After the drama of the MX2 class, the MX1 race felt like it was going to be a bit of an anti- climax, and in reality that wasn’t far off the truth. Antonio Cairoli took the holeshot in his usual style, and from that point on really had nothing more to worry about, leading every one of the nineteen laps. Following on behind was the giant form of Ken De Dycker, closely followed by Xavier Boog, Clement Desalle and Max Nagl, fresh from his return to the GP circuit. The third turn saw a huge pile up, but with most of the front runners away up the hillside, the effect wasn’t too dramatic.
Nagle got past Desalle with surprising ease, and with the German on an absolute mission, Boog was only able to stay ahead for three laps before passing up his third place. Paulin was making similar progress forward, also managing to overhaul the Suzuki rider by the seventh lap.
Shaun Simpson was down in a frustrating twentieth place at the start of the race, but was able to steadily improve matters over the course of the moto.
At the head of the pack, Nagl eventually hunted down Big Ken to take second, but with Cairoli well ahead, he would have to settle for second.
In what was perhaps a somewhat embarrassing retirement, Honda’s Evgeny Bobryshev had to pull out of the race without the seat of his CRF450R, the offending item retrieved by one of the track marshals.
With the last lap sign on show, Cairoli whipped and scrubbed his way round the Matterley circuit, to the appreciation of the crowd. The Sicilian rider took the chequers, with fellow KTM riders Nagl and De Dycker completing an all orange top three. Paulin and Boog were able to hold on to fourth and fifth respectively, in front of an uncharacteristically lack lustre Clement Desalle.
In what seemed a deviation from the script, Max Nagl nailed the holeshot to Moto 2, from Antonio Cairoli and a seemingly re-invigorated Bobryshev. In fact it seemed like the Honda squad had had a serious team talk, as Rui Goncalves was at the pointy end of the pack from the very start of the race, starting lap two in a much more impressive fifth place.
Nagl’s lead didn’t last long, as Cairoli sliced past him to take the front, and went on to lead every single lap on the score card just like Moto 1. By half distance, Gautier Paulin had managed to get past Bobryshev and was carrying Goncalves with him, the Honda riders eventually swapping places on lap twelve.
DeDycker had overshot the same corner that Desalle had in qualifying on lap four, dropping him down to eighth for a while. But with a steely resolve, No 9 got straight back on the gas, steadily climbing through the field to eventually end up between Goncalves and Bobryshev. Desalle was having another forgettable race, managing to go backwards through the pack over the course of the nineteen laps. With the GP circuit into its final throes, Clement needed this result like a third armpit.
By the end of the race, Antonio took the win and the overall, with Nagl and Paulin a comfortable difference behind. The overall GP classification was a replica of the Race 2 result.
|4||9||de Dycker, Ken||BEL||FMB||KTM||20||16||36|
But as for the weekend – this was all about Tommy Searle and one of the best GPs we could ever have hoped for.