Moto Media

Villopoto raises the Stars and Stripes

NAKHONCHAISRI (Thailand), 08 March 2015 - Intense is one word that sums up today with temperatures soaring so high, to the point the Event Management team together with the team managers decided to reduce both MXGP and MX2’s second race by five minutes. In MXGP Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Ryan Villopoto obtained his first race and overall victory, while Jeffrey Herlings dominated both heats in MX2.

With the fans stoked to see the real Ryan Villopoto show up and do what he has been touted to do dominating race one for his first race win of the season, we were just as impressed with the all new race demeanor of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings as he rode cool and smart to remain unbeaten in Asia, as well as in the 2015 FIM Motocross World Championship.

Starting with the topic on everybody’s lips, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Ryan Villopoto. His performance yesterday in qualifying and in race one today was nothing short of amazing. The American looked right at home on the jump riddled circuit here in Nakhonchaisri, and couldn’t be touched in those two races. While finishing seventh at the first round of MXGP is nothing to turn your nose up at when racing the best riders in the world, to someone who is so used to winning championships, the result wouldn’t have been what he wanted. Today, RV’s feat took him from zero to hero, allowing him to raise the Stars and Stripes as the middle flag on the podium of the FIM Motocross World Championship for the first time since 2009.

Meanwhile Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP’s Clement Desalle was also very impressive this weekend and is exhibiting the type of consistency that cannot be flawed. The Belgian hardly put a foot wrong and was clearly the second fastest guy in both races. After finishing with a pair of seconds, for second overall just as he did at round one in Qatar, Desalle was awarded the red plate symbolizing he is the new MXGP championship points leader.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli made his statement in the second race when he pulled the Fox Holeshot and stormed away to his first MXGP race victory of the year. The Italian said "I cannot complain, I am getting better every weekend and I know that right now I am not in the best form, but I know that when I am, I can be up front so I am just looking forward to the next race”

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre put in some eye-opening performances today. Last year’s MX2 world championship bronze medalist, who was forced up to MXGP due to the age cap on MX2, has proved that you don’t have to be ‘big’ to ride a 450cc. The Frenchman, small in stature, has clearly got a handle on his YZ450F Yamaha which was evident when he wrapped up third in the first race and bounced back from an average start for fourth in the second race for fourth overall.

As for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos, it’s all about putting points on the board as he battled through the pain and discomfort of a wrist injury for fifth overall while Team HRC’s Gautier Paulin couldn’t find his groove and had to settle for sixth.

Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl had ‘one of those days’ and only finished seventh which has dropped him back to third in the championship standings. It was a little bit unfortunate for the German who carried the red plate into this round, but looking at the bigger picture, some points are better than no points. Just ask the likes of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing duo Tommy Searle and Ken De Dycker who both crashed and DNF’d both races.


MXGP Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Ryan Villopoto (USA, Kawasaki), 34:09.149; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:10.536; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:23.931; 4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:28.213; 5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:34.893; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:40.874; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +0:49.471; 8. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Kawasaki), +1:08.958; 9. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:20.819; 10. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +1:40.905

MXGP Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 29:10.216; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:09.756; 3. Ryan Villopoto (USA, Kawasaki), +0:22.788; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:51.327; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:59.278; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Honda), +1:03.006; 7. Todd Waters (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:05.485; 8. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Kawasaki), +1:16.036; 9. Dean Ferris (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:18.208; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +1:19.321

MXGP Overall: 1. Ryan Villopoto (USA, KAW), 45 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 44 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 41 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 38 p.; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 31 p.; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 29 p.; 7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 28 p.; 8. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 26 p.; 9. Tyla Rattray (RSA, KAW), 26 p.; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, YAM), 20 p.

MXGP Championship: 1. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 88 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 79 p.; 3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 78 p.; 4. Ryan Villopoto (USA, KAW), 70 p.; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 67 p.; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 67 p.; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 55 p.; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 45 p.; 9. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 40 p.; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 38 p.

MXGP Manufacturer: 1. Suzuki, 88 points; 2. Husqvarna, 82 p.; 3. KTM, 79 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 70 p.; 5. Yamaha, 70 p.; 6. Honda, 67 p.; 7. TM, 28 p.


Another amazing ride is in the bag for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings as he continues to take every race as it comes. With Herlings dominating just as he has done over the previous years, the former two-time FIM MX2 World Champion is already getting questioned what are your future plans. Herlings, this year, has two feet firmly on the ground answered "I am just taking each race as it comes, I know that anything can happen in a second. I used to make plans, like win the world championship then race in MXGP for fun, but I have learned not to look that far ahead.”

The young Latvian Pauls Jonass is really starting to turn heads now. Last weekend at MXGP of Qatar the Red Bull KTM Factory rider stole a couple of holeshots and managed to hold the pace for a couple of laps. Today in Thailand, he not only got good starts, he maintained the pace of the top guys and held off a couple of the most publicized names in MX2 to secure his spot on the second step of the podium, which for him is a career best finish.

After being ill yesterday, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Dylan Ferrandis managed to race his way to third overall for his second podium finish of the season. The Frenchman went on to say "my goal is to win. For the last five years I have never been 100% but now I feel good, better than I ever have. I believe that when I am riding the best I can, I can race with Jeffrey and that’s what I want to do”

Ferrandis’ Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team teammate Thomas Covington is really starting to get a handle on things. The young American rode solid today for two fifth place finishes for fourth overall.

Meanwhile Standing Construct Yamaha Yamalube’s Valentin Guillod, looking as stylish as always, felt a little off due to being sick but managed to battle on and finish fifth overall. 


MX2 Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:58.798; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:07.602; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:20.513; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:26.923; 5. Thomas Covington (USA, Kawasaki), +0:30.333; 6. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:46.653; 7. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:52.247; 8. Mel Pocock (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:06.255; 9. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +1:22.264; 10. Petar Petrov (BUL, KTM), +1:31.510

MX2 Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 30:06.023; 2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:10.312; 3. Julien Lieber (BEL, Yamaha), +0:16.508; 4. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:37.006; 5. Thomas Covington (USA, Kawasaki), +0:40.267; 6. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +0:49.406; 7. Mel Pocock (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:51.874; 8. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +1:00.529; 9. Petar Petrov (BUL, KTM), +1:07.961; 10. Roberts Justs (LAT, KTM), +1:17.137

MX2 Overall: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 40 p.; 3. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 40 p.; 4. Thomas Covington (USA, KAW), 32 p.; 5. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 30 p.; 6. Mel Pocock (GBR, KAW), 27 p.; 7. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 25 p.; 8. Petar Petrov (BUL, KTM), 23 p.; 9. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 20 p.; 10. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 20 p.

MX2 Championship: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 100 points; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 78 p.; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 70 p.; 4. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 62 p.; 5. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 58 p.; 6. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 56 p.; 7. Thomas Covington (USA, KAW), 53 p.; 8. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 52 p.; 9. Petar Petrov (BUL, KTM), 41 p.; 10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 38 p

MX2 Manufacturer: 1. KTM, 100 points; 2. Kawasaki, 78 p.; 3. Yamaha, 77 p.; 4. Honda, 61 p.; 5. Husqvarna, 56 p.; 6. Suzuki, 38 p

Kiara Fontanesi dominates in Thailand

Yamaha MXfontaracing’s Kiara Fontanesi brought the heat this weekend in Thailand for round two of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship riding a solid and fierce pace in each and every moto to claim her first WMX round win of the year as well as the coveted red plate. 


Race 1

On Saturday, when the gates fell it was Genette Vaage who got the jump and stretched out half a bike length on the approach to turn one before locking it up and crashing causing a bit of carnage which caught out the likes of young Dutch speedster Nancy Van de Ven and the defending champion Yamaha MXFontaracing’s Kiara Fontanesi. With the two Yamaha’s of Fontanesi and Van de Ven down on turn one it was the Kawasaki girls, Team One One Four’s Livia Lancelot and Monster Energy Kawasaki Bud Racing’s Meghan Rutledge who shot past the early race leader, Japanese wildcard Juri Hatao, to lead lap one.

While both Lancelot and Rutledge were setting a good pace up front, they soon found themselves in trouble when Fontanesi started laying down laps four seconds a lap faster than anyone else. With Fontanesi impressively erasing the space between herself and the leaders, it wasn’t long before she made light work of the Kawasaki duo and swiftly took over the lead.

Pure speed wasn’t a problem for the Italian who was clearly in her element out on the jumpy circuit here in Nakhonchaisri, which meant it was up to Lancelot to up her game if she was to challenge the reigning champ. While Lancelot did manage to rise to the challenge, she ended up biting the dust a couple of laps later.

While Lancelot still managed to recover in second she allowed Rutledge to put in a last minute charge for second but managed to hold strong forcing Rutledge to settle for third.

Meanwhile Yamaha’s Nancy Van de Ven made an amazing recovery after her first turn mishap, to come home in fourth while Twenty Suspension Suzuki’s Larissa Papenmeier rounded out the top five. 

WMX Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, Yamaha), 24:04.783; 2. Livia Lancelot (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:04.963; 3. Meghan Rutledge (AUS, Kawasaki), +0:06.190; 4. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, Yamaha), +1:02.427; 5. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Suzuki), +1:09.620; 6. Francesca Nocera (ITA, Suzuki), +1:16.905; 7. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), +1:19.157; 8. Genette Vaage (NOR, KTM), +1:29.841; 9. Justine Charroux (FRA, Yamaha), +2:00.082; 10. Anne Borchers (GER, Suzuki), +2:01.998.


Race two

Race two was a run-away performance for Yamaha MXfontaracing’s Kiara Fontanesi after she snuck up the inside of the holeshotter Nancy Van De Ven to take the early lead.

It wasn’t long before Fontanesi knuckled down and checked out leaving Van de Ven and Lancelot to vie for second. With Lancelot going to work on the eager young Dutch rider, Monster Energy Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Meghan Rutledge was slicing her way through the field after a shocking start left her well outside the top ten.

Rutledge had her life made a little easier when Lancelot hit the deck and handed her third but that was short lived with Lancelot bouncing back fast. After finding her way back around Rutledge, Lancelot dropped the hammer and went around the outside of Van de Ven past pitlane for second. Jumping in her slip stream, ‘Mad Meg’ also barged her way through dropping the Dutch girl back to fourth.

After battling through the intense heat here in Thailand it was Kiara Fontanesi who was on form today, taking yet another convincing victory for the round win and the championship points lead. Meanwhile Lancelot took another second with Rutledge rounding out her weekend with a pair of thirds. Van de Ven and Papenmeier kept the pattern going with their pairs of fourths and fifths.

WMX Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, Yamaha), 25:33.131; 2. Livia Lancelot (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:08.888; 3. Meghan Rutledge (AUS, Kawasaki), +0:13.374; 4. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, Yamaha), +0:41.855; 5. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, Suzuki), +1:12.649; 6. Francesca Nocera (ITA, Suzuki), +1:23.847; 7. Genette Vaage (NOR, KTM), +1:36.415; 8. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), +1:46.642; 9. Juri Hatao (JPN, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s); 10. Justine Charroux (FRA, Yamaha), -1 lap(s)


WMX Overall: 1. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, YAM), 50 points; 2. Livia Lancelot (FRA, KAW), 44 p.; 3. Meghan Rutledge (AUS, KAW), 40 p.; 4. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 36 p.; 5. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, SUZ), 32 p.; 6. Francesca Nocera (ITA, SUZ), 30 p.; 7. Genette Vaage (NOR, KTM), 27 p.; 8. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), 27 p.; 9. Justine Charroux (FRA, YAM), 23 p.; 10. Marianne Veenstra (NED, HUS), 20 p.

WMX Championship: 1. Kiara Fontanesi (ITA, YAM), 94 points; 2. Livia Lancelot (FRA, KAW), 94 p; 3. Meghan Rutledge (AUS, KAW), 78 p.; 4. Francesca Nocera (ITA, SUZ), 63 p; 5. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 61 p.; 6. Genette Vaage (NOR, KTM), 57 p.; 7. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, SUZ), 52 p.; 8. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, KTM), 51 p.; 9. Justine Charroux (FRA, YAM), 44 p.; 10. Anne Borchers (GER, SUZ), 41 p.

WMX Manufacturer: 1. Yamaha, 94 points; 2. Kawasaki, 94 p.; 3. Suzuki, 66 p.; 4. KTM, 58 p.; 5. Honda, 32 p.; 6. Husqvarna, 20 p.