2014 FIM MXGP / MX2 World Motocross Championship
The sharp bumps and hard shallow sand of Hyvinkää was the setting for the Grand Prix of Finland and the thirteenth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship today and Honda World Motocross’ Max Nagl managed fifth position overall in the premier MXGP class. The German rode his factory CRF450RW to fourth and seventh places in the two thirty minute and two lap motos and watched by a modest 17,000 crowd.
The second Grand Prix in a week to take place in northern climes of Scandinavia saw Antonio Cairoli again celebrate victory across the narrow and compact circuit north of Helsinki with Steven Frossard and Kevin Strijbos also walking the podium steps in MXGP.
Hyvinkää was flat, fast and littered with juddering bumps; the sand gave an illusion of a soft nature of what was actually a rippling course with a hard base. Nagl didn't make the best of starts in Saturday’s qualification heat race and battled his way back to tenth spot.
Sunday dawned warmer and breezier and the former championship runner-up was more effective out of the sandy gate to gun his way into the top four of the first moto. Nagl seemed comfortable in third until Steven Frossard gathered speed and the Honda man tired slightly and his race pace eased off by two seconds. He was suddenly under pressure and could do little about the Frenchman’s presence.
Hoping for better than fourth in the second moto ‘12’ was poised on the brink of the top three. He spent the first part of the race attempting to pass Shaun Simpson for third place but could not find a clean way to overtake the Scot. In the meantime Dean Ferris and Rui Goncalves drew close. At one stage Nagl was holding third position courtesy of Jeremy Van Horebeek’s crash but again struggled with his stamina in the closing stages – Finland is just the third Grand Prix since he returned from a broken wrist – and the chances of an overall podium and third trophy this year slipped away as he dropped to seventh spot.
Nagl has been rapidly gaining points and holds seventh position in the MXGP table with just four rounds of the schedule to go.
In the MX2 class Gariboldi Honda’s Tim Gajser was struggling slightly with a hip injury this weekend. It is the first time this season that the seventeen year old has faced some physical adversity and a slip in the qualification sprint on Saturday did not help his cause. The Slovenian – tired after a protracted journey to reach Helsinki due to flight cancellations and bad weather - was still operating at a high level and with accomplished speed. He finished second in the final standing on his CRF250RW with a brace of third positions in the motos. The teenager was close to second spot in the second sprint but was passed with two corners to go by Dylan Ferrandis. The silverware still represented Gajser’s fourth set of 2014 and third in a row.
Honda sit fifth in the MX2 world championship standings thanks to Gasjer’s efforts. He also holds fifth place in the individual title chase, just twenty six points from the top three. It is the manufacturer’s best ever season in the category in terms of results.
Round fourteen of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place in two weeks on the slick and hilly hard-pack of Loket for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic and the penultimate round of the series to be based in Europe.
|2||Van Horebeek, Jeremy(Yamaha)|
|21||van Berkel, Lars(Honda)|
|16||van Berkel, Lars(Honda)|