Going Top Three – Podium Men
By Geoff Meyer | 12 Apr 2012
There can only be one way to describe the opening round of the 2012 FIM World Motocross Championship and that would be Domination. When Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings arrived at the podium for their victory celebration nobody was surprised. Both Red Bull KTM Factory riders deserved all the applause they received from the public.
What should be mentioned though were the performances of their rivals. Many riders stood out and began their 2012 challenge with a bundle of points and something to grow on.
In the MX1 class it was Clement Desalle and Steven Frossard who gave Cairoli the most trouble, while the in MX2 it was Joel Roelants and Tommy Searle who kept Herlings honest.
As for Desalle, the Belgian rode smart and didn’t take too many chances. Knowing Cairoli was just too quick, he didn’t try and follow and remained calm.
"My pace was good,” Desalle said. “The track was bumpy and difficult, but it is not like Lommel, not that rough. I'm satisfied because I feel good, I rode pretty safe and at my own speed. We had four categories this weekend and the track was managed for all that racing so there were not many bumps inside the actual corners. I gave the best I could and this is OK for the moment."
Frenchman Frossard looked brilliant at times, but was obviously pushing too hard. The want to win overtook his game plan as he struggled as his body decided he had pushed too hard.
“I was very disappointed,” Frossard said. “I rode like I did a few years ago in MX2 by pushing too much, I didn’t ride well in the first moto. I had a few good laps at the beginning but then I had some arm-pump and then pushed a bit too much. I don’t know how many mistakes I made. I went outside the track twice. I turned the day around and I was happier after the second moto because I rode quite close to how I do in training. In the first moto some parts were very bad but then they were graded too much for the second.”
In the MX2 moto’s Roelants showed that he will be a contender in 2012, something some didn’t expect.
"I was a little nervous in my first GP for the team and made a mess of the first start but we've got the bike working so well after the winter tests that I was able to come all the way through to third. I was so confident for race two that I was even able to follow Herlings for several laps, but he was just too fast and I focused on securing my second place.”
British rider Searle was never going for the win in Valkenswaard and decided to keep it on two wheels and score as many points as possible.
“This result is like a win for me because I have done most of my training in California and England on the sort of tracks we will race in 14 of the 16 GPs this year, so I am now confident for the season ahead. I can’t wait for the next race in Bulgaria, I am not a sand expert so I knew that I couldn’t race with Herlings here, but in Bulgaria I have a chance.”
Photo: Clement Desalle - Ray Archer image
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