This weekend sees the World Grand Prix Championship stop off at the Kegums circuit in (hopefully) sunny Latvia for the tenth round of the 2012 championship race. The MOTO team will be taking a short hop across the Baltic Sea to land in capital City Riga before the trundle to the sandy circuit at Kegums. Although a tiny country with only two million residents, anyone who has seen the Latvian supporters at the Maxxis rounds can confirm that the country is keen on it’s motocross and will turn out in massive numbers to cheer for Mattis Karro and generally enjoy the racing. Unfortunately Mattis is out injured so their flags will vigorously flapping for someone else.
But enough of the tour guide stuff – the motocross is what matters and hell – didn’t Uddevalla throw a complete curve ball and spanner into the championship. MX1 has been blasted wide open and MX2 suddenly got far more interesting as both the title front runners had bad days in Sweden. For the fans, it’s exactly what was needed to breathe life into the latter part of the championship.
Ok so we were a bit off on the predictions for the last round, but to be fair, we were not anticipating the deluges of rain, or indeed the extreme bad luck for Mr Cairoli. We did tip Pourcel for a good showing, but we certainly weren’t expecting both brothers to be in the top four. But even more unexpected and extremely welcome was the ballistic performance from Shaun Simpson to get the fifth overall. This was a great result for the British rider and great timing as team bosses start to consider next year’s squad. Great work Shaun.
But the story was undoubtedly Cairoli’s twin DNFs which wrecked his 2012 scorecard and undid all the good work he has put in for the last eight rounds. To see Cairoli hopelessly struggling to get his bike freed from the evil mud was pitiful, and could prove to be the defining moment in the championship. That said, getting a stone stuck in his back brake was strangely reminiscent of Josh Coppins misfortune when he was leading the 2007 championship by 100 points. Cairoli was leading by 47 prior to Sweden and now finds himself three down on new series leader Clement Desalle,(ffor the record, Coppins’ season never recovered).
Going into Latvia, Clement will be super confident as the sets out with the red plate and Cairoli will need to dominate if he is to regain the control of this championship. Behind them Pourcel is only nine points adrift and suddenly within sight of a title, so will be out to win big in the Latvian sun.
Although not quite as dramatic as MX1, the face plant into the Swedish mud by Jeffrey Herlings in moto two could not have been more convenient for British title hopes . With Tommy having another great outing for a second GP win on the bounce, the Kawasaki rider is now a mere sixteen points adrift from the championship lead and shows no sign of dropping his focus to race to the last corner in Teutschenthal. Herlings seemed to have calmed down a bit and thankfully Sweden saw no dramas other than proper racing ones, but nonetheless he must have been gutted to lose his margin of points.
The return of Zach Osborne could really screw things up for either Tommy and Jeffrey if he continues to head for the front of the pack like he did in Uddevalla. Sweden did actually see a different name on the podium as Dylan Ferrandis finally got to the step ahead of an astoundingly strong ride from Jake Nicholls. The other KTM of Van Horebeek had a similarly off day to get an eighth overall but his position as third in the championship is still relatively safe, being 57 points ahead of Roelants.
Latvia could prove to be very interesting for the title race and if the bookies were beckoning, I’d go for Zach upsetting things with at least one win.
If you cannot get to Latvia, grab yourself a warm cup of tea, shut out the rain and watch it all here on MOTO.