After rushing through the first three Grand Prix in Holland, Bulgaria and Italy, the Grand Prix Road show packs itself off into crates and set sail for the hot and steamy climes of Central Mexico. The Fourth round is to be run at the Motodromo Nico Espana (whoever he is!) close to the enormous city of Guadalajara, slap bang in the middle of the country. The event is being coordinated by former GP and Supercross rider Sebastian Tortelli, so we’ve got to hope that with a racers touch, this circuit is going to be something special to justify the huge costs for the teams. Interestingly the circuit has both hardpack and sand sections which has the potential to take away any advantages that either specialists might have. Combine this with the heat and humidity typical for the region and there is going to be some intense racing on Sunday.
Whilst the first two rounds saw the championship sitting quite comfortably for British title contender Tommy Searle, the shenanigans between him and Herlings have done a good job of throwing things off course. Tommy is now 35 points adrift from Jeffrey and his no score in Moto 1 has allowed Van Horebeek to sneak into second place. TS has given the full impression that if Herlings wants to play that way then he’s more than happy to bring it, so we are expecting full on motocross war on the Mexican circuit. What may get in the way of this duel is that the KTM pilot picked up a training injury at Genk and his team are being quite tight lipped about whether it’s a significant injury. The British fans want Searle to win, but they certainly don’t like to hear of any rider getting injuries, so let’s hope he’s fine and Tommy can give him a total spanking!
Kawasaki’s other rider had a no-score nightmare in Italy, but despite this still sits fourth behind his team mate and will be keen to get back to normal service in Guadalajara. And then of course we have Anstie, still hanging strong and getting stronger each round. We think Max may rally to the conditions this weekend and we are going to stick our neck out and tip him for at least one podium finish. If he could be joined by Nicholls that would be great, but for Jake and indeed most of the European riders, the heat could prove the killer punch in Mexico. If it does prove to be a sweltering event, Steve Dixon’s Temp – Michael Leib might just sweep the podium.
When we conducted our paddock poll as to who was going to win the championship this year, the answers were split between Cairoli, Pourcel and Paulin. It seemed that a few below average results have punted DeSalle from contender to ‘also ran’. Yet Suzuki’s title hope is only one point behind CP377 and Mexico o could be just the circuit for Clement to tough out a strong result and catapult him back the top three and in sight of Cairoli. The crafty Sicilian has 17 clear points behind him and Paulin in second and still is in no need to panic – as ever he’s controlling the pack from in front. Tony has three wins to Pourcel’s two and we are well pleased to have accurately predicted Christophe’s overall victory in Bulgaria – just a shame we hadn’t actually placed a bet on it! Back in the mix in Mexico is Stephen Frossard, and although his title hopes are totally gone, the Monster Yamaha rider will be keen to come back with a bang and a large result in Mexico. Bobryshev might also have rallied a little from his injuries and be strong this weekend, but sadly like Frossard, he’s going to end the 2012 season with points not prizes.
The two South American rounds could prove pivotal to the championship as the tough circuit and heat will make for a gruelling four races between Mexico and Brazil. Only the tough guys will get the wins in these conditions.
If you can’t make the flight across the pond for the weekend, go for the next best option. Cut a hole in a blanket for a poncho, grab an unfeasibly large hat, a 12 pack of Corona and an Old El Paso Fajita kit and have your own Mexican GP party whilst you watch the live action LIVE AND REAL TIME BANTER here on Moto. Tequila – it makes me happy…….
The GP Chronicles: Chapter One Tony Cairoli from round 3 in Fermo, Italy.
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