Trentino – Rider Comments
A big day for the Red Bull KTM Factory teams as Antonio Cairoli races the GP of his life, and Jorge Prado begins what will be his own legacy in the sport. Image Ray Archer
Antonio Cairoli: “I think this is one of my best races, best GPs ever. I hit the bank on the first corner and almost crashed into the mud but then crashed in the second corner and was hit by a lot of people. I was very p**sed off that I made a mistake and then said ‘I need to put myself on the podium’; I did my best to come back from twentieth place to do that. It was pretty sketchy in some places but I made it happen. When I got to seventh or eighth place I saw the group in front and thought it was possible to catch [Evgeny] Bobryshev for the overall win and kept pushing and pushing and making passes. I had some sketchy moments but that is part of racing: if you want to win you have to take risks. I’m really happy.”
Jorge Prado: “I never imagined to have such a good race here and I’m a little lost for words at the moment. I knew a good result was possible after yesterday but to win? That’s really difficult. This is the result of a big pre-season and many years of work: to get to this point that we could win a Grand Prix. Only the best win here [in GP] so I’m really happy with my work today.”
Tim Gajser: I had two different races today, in the first race I didn’t have the best start and I also didn’t feel good on the bike. I was riding a bit stiff and had arm pump, so I am glad that I finished third. Right at the beginning of the race I made a mistake when I went past Cairoli and then I couldn’t find the rhythm again. In the second race I took the holeshot and made a little gap, riding like i know how. I was checking behind me all the time as Bobryshev was really fast and Cairoli. The crowd was amazing and I am quite happy with the result this weekend.
Arnaud Tonus: “I feel like I’ve taken a big step in the right direction, I had a good feeling on this track and my YZ450F was working really good. In the second one my start was not so great, but I got up to sixth and then Antonio Cairoli passed me but I stayed there for the whole race. Overall I am really happy for the team as well, they’ve been great.”
Pauls Jonass: “I didn’t feel good on Saturday and during the night I was thinking about the changes I could make on the bike and we made a few little alterations on the suspension and it worked out well. It helped to get the first moto holeshot and then just focus on myself and ride my own lines. In the second moto I was again good at the start but Jorge pulled away in the first laps and I got a rhythm going and managed to catch him. It was really difficult to pass here and I couldn’t make it happen. I also didn’t want to make a mistake. I’m happy with second today because after Saturday I thought a top ten would be good!”
Jeremy Seewer: “I try to be positive but it’s hard to be too positive about my races today. We struggled so much with the start which is just so frustrating as that’s the most important thing, especially at a track like this. My confidence was like 200% after yesterday, I did well in all practices, then again in the qualifying race and also this morning in warm-up, I felt so amazing on the bike and I knew that if I was there from the start I was going to beat them because this is the kind of track that I’m good at. It’s just so frustrating not to be able to show what you can due to having a bad start and getting stuck behind riders from the beginning. I got up to ninth but I know I could have done so much better. I was then able to forget about that for the second moto and got a good start and made the best out of it. From fifth though, it’s very difficult to get to first on this track as everyone is the same pace more or less. Prado was a little quicker as he had a clear track but for me, it’s frustrating to battle the whole moto and finish only in fourth place.”
Thomas Kjer-Olsen: “I’m really satisfied with how things are going at the moment. After winning the qualifying race I secured a good starting position and managed to earn two very good starts in the final motos. Despite an early crash in moto one I came back from eighth to cross the line in fifth place. Then in moto two I was there again battling for the top for most of the race but a fall before the finish dropped me to sixth. Overall, we keep on making big steps forward in each GP.
Clement Desalle: “I qualified in sixth position on Saturday, but the second part of the race was not as good as the first half so we changed some settings on the bike for today. The feeling was better for the races, but once more the start was important as there’s a group of fast riders in this class so the position in the first corner often influences the final result. I finished fifth in each race but I think that I could have achieved more with a better start; in the first moto we all followed each other, then in the second one I was fourth behind Herlings but I couldn’t pass him and finally Cairoli overtook me. It was a decent weekend, but I want to achieve more and I hope that Valkenswaard will be different for me.”
Maxime Desprey: “I enjoyed riding a lot this weekend, and I tried to appreciate each moment on such a great bike! Saturday was OK for me; I had a good feeling with the bike and qualified fifteenth for the GP races. After a good warm-up I missed a good start in the first race but I came back to twentieth with good lap times; I always struggle a little bit to pass rivals, and here there were not so many lines as they worked on the track between the races. The second start was much better as I was twelfth at the first timing point, but then I made a mistake in a corner and lost ten positions but I never gave up and came back to fifteenth. Today was the first time that I have scored points in the MXGP class. Now I will spend the week in Belgium to prepare for Valkenswaard, and to get even more used to the KX450F-SR.”
Brent Van doninck: “I am really disappointed with today. I had a bad start in the first moto and it is so hard to pass out there so I stayed for the whole race behind one rider who is not on the same level but I just couldn’t pass him and I finished 12th. In the second race I had a better start but again it is so hard to pass and I couldn’t move forward like I wanted to. I had a battle with Samuele Bernardini but only got up to 9th. I am looking forward to Valkenswaard, it’s like a home GP for me, I look forward to having my family and friends there.”
Benoit Paturel: “Not a great weekend for me. I had a mechanical issue in the first race and in the second race I got a bad start. This is something I need to work on otherwise I am not going to get the results I want. My riding is good at the moment and I’m looking forward to the following GP in Valkenswaard.”
Evgeny Bobryshev: Considering what happened yesterday with my crash and injury the weekend was ok. My foot was really painful this morning so I had a trip to the medical centre to get some painkillers. In the first race it was a bit tough for me as I couldn’t find the speed, I had a good start for sure. I was just slow in the beginning and then I couldn’t find a second to stay in the front. I wasn’t happy with seventh place but we made some changes for the second race which made my confidence and riding much better. In the second race I had a good start out of the gate with Tim and I rode a consistent race. Antonio passed me on the last lap which made me narrowly miss the podium but I am overall happy with the performance. Team HRC have done a really good job this weekend and the team have all worked together which is really important for me. I look forward to Valkenswaard which is a bit closer to home for me.
Jeremy Van Horebeek: “Yeah it was a good weekend, I was really sick after Mexico, I did nothing for two weeks and then I went to the Belgian Championship and tried to race. I won there but I was throwing up afterwards, so I wasn’t sure if I could have the power this weekend. In the end it was okay, I just missed the starts, but my speed was good, I had a really good atmosphere with the team, the bike was great. I had a good weekend, just not quite what we hoped for.”
Shaun Simpson: “This weekend was always going to be tough for me because I don’t normally ride too well here. I was 18th in Qualifying yesterday so I didn’t have the best starting position. I tried to cut inside Antonio Cairoli in the first race but it didn’t work. The first race, I rode pretty solid, made a couple of passes and finished tenth so I was quite happy with that. In the second race I was in about sixth or seventh and then Antonio pushed me up against the bank at turn two, and the third turn there was absolute carnage as well. All in all, I’ve got some homework to do this week and should come out swinging at the next round in Valkenswaard.”
Romain Febvre: “I don’t know what to say. I just feel like I don’t know why the speed is not there. I will keep working.”
Thomas Covington: “It was a good GP for us. We had some ups and downs but we showed the speed is there. I had a bad start in the opening moto and then it was really hard work to come through the pack. I made some good passes but as I was battling to get inside the top six I went over the bars so had to settle for 11th. Then in moto two my start was a lot better. I was fourth for most of the race but felt really good and pushed hard for third. Overall, I’m really happy with my riding in Italy. The goal is to minimise mistakes so that we can consistently fight for the top three in each of the coming GPs.”
Conrad Mewse: “It’s been a good weekend for us. We had two solid motos battling with the top guys in MX2 and that’s been a great improvement compared to previous GPs this season. Taking some time off during these past few weeks has massively helped regain my confidence, so mentally I feel a lot stronger. There’s a few more things we need to improve, but we’ll keep working as hard as we do. Getting 10th overall in this one-lined track is very positive and I’m looking forward to the races to come.”
Hunter Lawrence: “The first moto I was feeling good and although I didn’t get the best start, I made as many passes as I could and was really trying my best and giving 100% as I always do. Unfortunately, I had a bike issue, which could happen to anyone, so that was disappointing as I had to pull off. In between the motos we swapped to a new engine so the bike was good to go for second race. Once again though I got a mid-pack start which really makes it difficult but I worked really hard to do the best I could again. I feel my riding isn’t the issue and I think during the moto I have the speed and the fitness to do really well. I finished 11th this moto and overall it was good. There were no crashes that were my fault but this isn’t where I want to be. I know what I’m capable of, and so do the people around me, and we’ll keep working until we get there.”
Gautier Paulin: “We had a good feeling throughout the weekend here in Italy. From the qualifying races to the final motos we showed the speed was there to battle for the top three. We’ve done a tremendous amount of work during the last few months and I feel that we deserve to be on the podium. I’m also very happy that my starts were good in both motos. The plan is to continue working as hard as we do and I’m pretty confident results will slowly start coming our way.”
Michele Cervellin: Today for me was a day of two halves. The first Moto for me was good, I finished sixth which I was happy with. In the second Moto I went out and crashed two times in the first lap which set me back and it was so difficult to come back and pass on the track and the class is very full today. I tried to come back through but by the end of the race I still didn’t finish in the points, which isn’t good for the championship but I have to put it behind me and look ahead to Valkenswaard next weekend.
Max Nagl: “We know this track really well so the feeling was good as soon as we got to Italy. Getting fifth in the qualifying race I managed to secure a good spot on the starting grid. During the final motos I felt I did my best, but for some reason I struggled to remain in the battle for the top. With the track being one-lined it was quite hard to make passes. There were some aggressive moves from other riders in both motos, so we had to stay focused on keeping it on two wheels. Earning ninth overall under such circumstances is not bad but we need to improve on our speed. We have a two-day testing session scheduled for this week before heading to Valkenswaard. The hard work continues with the goal to step it up and be able to consistently battle for the top in MXGP.”
Zach Pichon: “With my gate pick it was not easy to get a good start so I started in the pack and was starting to get good speed but early on a guy passed me with a block-pass so I had to stop. Unfortunately I was going too fast and crashed in the mud and by the time I got back on the bike I was down the field. I got back though and had good speed again but then I crashed again. After that I found it physically difficult, finding lines was difficult and it was hard to pass those guys again. Yesterday I was 12th and today I hoped to do the same but this didn’t happen so I need to get more experience and improve my riding in the timed practice so that I can get a good gate-pick in the next rounds.”
Arminas Jasikonis “It was a good day, I’m improving in every GP I think and 12-11 isn’t too bad when you look at all the experienced GP riders in front of me. It’s been a good weekend for me considering the track was so narrow and there were no lines to pass but I still could make it through the pack. Not many guys could do that so I’m pleased with that aspect; I just need to work on my starts a bit. I’m happy, there are some positive things and I owe a big thanks to my team for working so hard to help me get better on the new RM-Z450WS. The next GP is sandy, so again we will try to improve and put everything together for a better result.”
Glenn Coldenhoff: “We had some issues on Saturday, made some changes and then felt much better. We had a problem in the Qualification Heat and it made me a bit wary but I was hopeful for the motos because if I knew I had the start then I’d be OK. I had to use the clutch a little in the first start and didn’t get away well. I wasn’t comfortable in that moto and couldn’t do what I wanted. I was fighting hard but was stuck behind [Tanel] Leok for a while. I finished seventeenth and was really disappointed. The second moto start was much better and I was in the top four but didn’t have the speed like the top guys; I was a little bit off the pace. Tenth is a solid result but I’m still disappointed.”
Seva Brylyakov: “The first race was definitively a good one. I got a good start and we all knew that with a good start I could battle in front and that’s what happened! I rode calm during the first moto, just keep my position and finished fourth which was a good result for a possible podium. The second moto didn’t quite go as I wanted; it was not the worst start I had this season but it was not a good one and on this track the first corners are very tight and it’s very difficult to pass. Anyway it’s my best GP so far; I stayed on two wheels and we got two solid motos. Everything is there to get podiums; we’ll continue to work on the starts as I showed in the first moto that it is possible.”
Darian Sanayei: “It was definitively a tough weekend. I got tenth in the qualifying race which was not so bad but Sunday didn’t go so well. In the first race I didn’t got such a good start and then in the second corner there was a crash so I was around twentieth; it was difficult to pass on this track and I only moved up to sixteenth which was a little disappointing. I got a better start in the second race; I was around seventh in the first corner but in the second one a rider fell down, I hit him and crashed. I was dead last, but I did what I could to come back through to eighteenth.”
Adam Sterry: “Not a great weekend! Saturday messed us up really; the start was always going to be difficult from the outside gate on such a hard track to pass on. Neither race went as planned but now my hand is OK and I can ride in the week so we will have a good week riding and get back on the sand which I prefer.”
Petar Petrov: “Today was not easy but it feels good to be back racing! The results were not good but there are many positives to take from the weekend; I feel my speed was not so bad, just my starts need to be better as I had a bad gate due to some issues in qualifying. Overall it’s normal to take some time to get back where we should be, but I’m sure we’ll be able to fight for podiums soon. I can’t wait to be back behind the gate again next week.”