MXLarge

Favourites for Germany

Red Bull KTM Factory rider Antonio Cairoli goes into this weekend’s Grand Prix of Germany with a lot of confidence around the tough hard pack of Teutschenthal. Cairoli should be the big favourite, as his season has been consistent, and he loves the rough and tumble of Teutschenthal.

Cairoli has won on a handful of occasions at this facility, winning in 2007 for the first time, in the MX2 class, finishing second to Tyla Rattray in 2008, winning in his debut season in MX1 in 2009, getting zero points in 2010 after a crash. He finished second to Evgeny Bobrshev in 2011, won in 2012, in 2013 the race went to Lausitzring, which Cairoli also won, he then finished  with 5-4 results in 2014, before a 9th overall in 2015, and finally winning for the fourth time in Teutschenthal and fifth time in Germany in 10 years.

While I did enjoy seeing Jeffrey Herlings finally arrive at the top of the box in Latvia 10 days ago, and the idea of him winning again in Germany would suit me and many others, however, I do like the idea of yet another rider winning the MXGP class.

Herlings, despite his many victories on hard pack, there are still some question marks about where his confidence is on hard pack in the MXGP class (clearly its good on sand). Victories in two Dutch sand races and also the Latvian GP tend to let us think he is close to his best, but only Sunday will tell for sure.

There is every reason he can race off into the distance next weekend, just as he did in Kegums. Herlings and Teutschenthal didn’t really get on early in his career, with his finishing fourth in 2011, 8th in 2012, before winning in 2014 and again in 2016.

With already 10 riders winning an overall, in both MXGP and MX2, the unknown is always better than the expected, and as we have seen this season, it’s been one unknown after another.

Clement Desalle, Jeremy Van Horebeek, Evgeny Bobryshev, all yet to win a GP will be strong in Germany. All ride Teutschenthal well and while Desalle, who won at this track in 2010 and 2014 and finished on the podium in 2011 and 2012, has lacked the form to put him in the favourites spot. Both Van Horebeek and Bobryshev have shown signs of their best form and Bobryshev has a win there in 2011 and finished third last year.

Tim Gajser coming off that massive crash in Latvia will be troubled by the injury, it is hard to imagine his body has recovered enough to race 100%, although speaking to HRC manager Roger Harvey this morning it seems he is healthy and ready to race. Gajser has also done well at this facility. Finishing second to Jeffrey Herlings in the MX2 in 2014, winning MX2 in 2015, before finishing second to Cairoli in 2016.

As for the MX2 class, that is an even bigger question mark. Pauls Jonass has been at times perfect this year and even in defeat in Latvia, he looked really strong. You would probably go with him to win in Germany, but remember Jeremy Seewer taking it to Herlings in 2016, and putting a lot of pressure on the seemingly unbeatable MX2 champion.

Of course, other MX2 riders will be competitive, but outside Jonass and Seewer I can’t see anyone else winning. The other three GP winners from this year’s class of MX2, Jorge Prado, Thomas Kjer Olsen and Thomas Covington could get there, but I just don’t see it.

Mind you, how the confidence of Olsen has grown over the last couple of weeks, he could do well, and both Prado and Covington have shown good speed on hard pack.

Whatever happens in Germany this coming weekend, don’t be surprised to see more winners, but it’s going to be hard to stop Cairoli, Seewer or Jonass.

MXGP and MX2 winners in 2017

Feb. 25………..Qatar…………..Tony Cairoli…………….Pauls Jonass
Mar. 5…………Indonesia………Shaun Simpson………Jeremy Seewer
Mar. 19……….Argentina……….Tim Gajser…………….Pauls Jonass
Apr. 2…………Mexico………….Tim Gajser…………….Thomas Covington
Apr. 16………..Italy……………..Tony Cairoli……………Jorge Prado
Apr. 23……….Holland………….Gautier Paulin…………Pauls Jonass
May 7………….Latvia…………….Jeffrey Herlings…………Thomas Kjer Olsen