For the First time in ten years, The World Motocross Championship sets down in Russia, and if all goes to plan in 2012, Youthstream have signed this fixture into the calendar for the next four years. We’re not sure how the riders feel about this particular outing, but speaking to the various British team owners and mechanics, there’s mixed enthusiasm for the trip. Talks of having to travel in convoy for safety, hardly makes for an easy working day, and you suspect that they are going to spend the bare minimum time in the land of bears and vodka! With little known about the circuit, infrastructure or region, it’s certainly going to be a learning experience. A brief Wikipedia revealed that the main hotel in Semigorje used to be a mental institution….
But these aside, let’s look at the two classes and how things are panning out as we go into Round 11 of the title race.
As expected and indeed predicted right here a week ago, the red plate didn’t stay off bike number 222 for very long. António came back from his twin DNF shocker in Sweden to fire off two perfect scores that catapulted him back over Suzuki’s Clement Desalle and back to the top. Cairoli is probably one of the only riders in MX1 that could be expected and indeed able to do this. The KTM rider is back to 12 points ahead and isn’t going to want any more slip ups in Russia. Desalle is still 23 points ahead of Pourcel but needs to keep his head down and concentrate on Cairoli if he’s any hope of getting the lead again. Low scores in Latvia came exactly when he did not need them, and if he’s not careful, CP377 will steal the second spot away. Latvia saw a complete KTM podium, and DeDycker and Strijbos will be hoping to repeat the same in Semigorje as they now sit 5th and 6th in the table – who would have predicted that this time last year.
Prediction will be wins for Cairoli and Pourcel with 222 getting the overall.
Just as Latvia restored the MX1 to its expected order, the MX2 class saw an absolute disaster for the hopes that Tommy could get close enough to Herlings points total to steal the MX2 title in the last part of the season. In the space of 1 moto, it looks like Searle’s title chase went up with the steam shooting out of his Kawasaki’s radiator. It would be easier to bear if TS had screwed things up himself, but a mechanical on arguably one of the strongest motors in the paddock is almost too cruel to bear.
Herlings is now forty one points ahead of Searle and now has a bit of a cushion to take off the pressure for a bit. In fact, Tommy needs to worry about van Horebeek who is now only twelve points behind! Not much change in the order below, and despite our urging, Jake still can’t get above Jordi Tixier to take 5th place, lets hope this weekend Jake finally finishes on the podium and Anstie still sits just behind like an enthusiastic pillion passenger.
But let’s not lose hope here – Cairoli had a fifty plus lead and DNF’d two in Sweden and lost it to one small stone and a ton of mud.
As you might have guessed, last time we were struggling to recommend a Latvian drink, but this year we are on safer ground. If you are not braving the KGB and the Mafia to get to Russia this weekend, get you mates round, plug the laptop into the widescreen, get the Vodka shots going and watch it all on Moto right here.