Red Bull KTM MX1 & MX2 riders did it tough in the GP of Brazil in Beto Carrera but managed to salvage championship points in tough races after heavy rain turned the well prepared track into a quagmire.
While they left the venue without their usual cache of trophies, they were still able to hang on to the two red plates for Tony Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings in MX1 and MX2. KTM however was still represented on the podiums with Jose Butron of Spain finishing overall third in MX2 and Kevin Strijbos of Belgium third in MX1.
MX2 riders had it particularly hard as the track, with all the hallmarks of a thrilling profile, suffered under unexpected torrential overnight rain. And while the rain eased for the second half of the race program, riders still struggled with ruts as deep as their foot pegs and slippery sections that required absolute concentration and in many cases forced them to abandon their goggles.
Cairoli wrapped up his race day with an 8-9 result for overall eighth after his problems in the difficult conditions amplified when he got tangled in a first corner scrap with a number of riders in the second moto. Instead of assuming his natural habitat at the front of the pack, the five-times world champion was buried down at about twelfth place on a day when only a good starting position was likely to pay dividends. Factory teammate Ken De Dycker of Belgium finished overall eleventh. The MX1 GP went to Christophe Pourcel with David Philippaerts in second and Strijbos third.
Best finisher for the MX2 factory team was Jeremy van Horebeek of Belgium who was fourth overall after a 3-6 result while Herlings was overall seventh. Jordi Tixier, the factory team’s third rider finished in eleventh overall.
Herlings finished down the order in twelfth in the first MX2 moto on the sodden track the commentators were calling “1500 meters of pure hell”. He had a somewhat better outcome in the second moto even if his collective points were not enough to put him on the box. Tommy Searle, his biggest championship rival took the prize and picked up maximum points to trim the gap to the Herlings down to 20 points. Christophe Charlier was second in the GP and Butron of Spain took the minor podium place.
Conditions were so difficult that riders did not contest the warm-up and sighting lap on Sunday and lap times in the first moto of MX2 were around one minute slower than those in Saturday’s qualifying.
The Brazil round concludes the GP tour of South America for 2012 and teams now return to Europe where the competition resumes in two week’s time in Saint Jean d’Angeley in France.
Tony Cairoli: “I am very disappointed with my riding. I made some mistakes and the conditions were difficult but I should be more careful. We still have some good lead in the points and that’s the most important. Everything was working well yesterday and the bike was perfect so now I look forward to the next race and we will try to be on top again.”
Jeffrey Herlings: “This weekend went from good to bad. it started good when I won the qualifying but then today it was very bad. The start, the mud, the conditions and most of all, my riding. Now I just have to put it behind me and hope to do better in France.”
Jeremy van Horebeek: “The track was very difficult but I am happy to be leaving here with fourth overall after my third place last week in Mexico. I crashed at the start of the second moto today and that cost me a place on the podium.”
1, Christophe Pourcel, France, Kawasaki
2, David Philippaerts, Italy, Yamaha
3, Kevin Strijbos, Belgium, KTM
4, Gautier Paulin, France, Kawasaki
5, Rui Goncalves, Portugal, Honda
8, Tony Cairoli, Italy, KTM
11, Ken de Dycker, Belgium, KTM
13, Matiss Karro, Latvia, KTM
15, Davide Guarneri, Italy, KTM
1, Cairoli, 203
2, Desalle, 179
3, C. Pourcel, 172
4, Paulin, 170
5, de Dycker, 154
7, Strijbos, 139
14, Karro, 71
15, Guarneri, 59
MX1 Manufacturers Standings
1, Kawasaki, 215
1, KTM, 214
3, Suzuki, 189
1, Tommy Searle, GBR, Kawasaki
2, Christophe Charlier, France, Yamaha
3, Jose Butron, Spain, KTM
4, Jeremy van Horebeek, Belgium, KTM
5, Joel Roelants, Belgium, Kawasaki
7, Jeffrey Herlings, Netherlands, KTM
8, Jake Nichols, GBR, KTM
11, Jordi Tixier, France, KTM
12, Glenn Coldenhoff, Netherlands, KTM
15, Valentin Guillod, Switzerland, KTM
1, Herlings, 223
2, Searle, 203
3, van Horebeek, 189
4, Roelants, 152
5, Anstie, 137
6, Tixier, 128
7, Nichols, 120
11, Butron, 95
15, Coldenhoff, 62
MX2 Manufacturers Standings
1, KTM, 236
2, Kawasaki, 226
3, Yamaha, 151