MXGP of Russia: This weekend took the first Grand Prix of the 2021 Motocross World Championship at Orlyonok. The inaugural round of the campaign was just the fourth visit by MXGP to the venue and the Grand Prix benefitted from sunny and hot weather conditions for the one-day race format.
Jeffrey Herlings 2nd overall in the MXGP class after taking Pole Position while Tony Cairoli fights for overall podium until second moto crash causes DNF.
Jeffrey Herlings: “I’m happy. These are not the best results and not what we dreamt of but I’m pleased to get on the podium at a track I don’t like so much. I worked my way to 4th in the first moto then had a holeshot, tip-over and then back to 2nd. It wasn’t a bad weekend. Hopefully it gets better from here. I’m already looking forward to Matterley Basin; it suits me better with more grip and lines.”
Tony Cairoli: “I’m quite disappointed with my mistake, especially with three laps to go and in a place where many people crash. It shouldn’t have happened and I should have thought a bit more. I was a bit distracted and crashed hard. Luckily, I didn’t hurt myself and wanted to restart as I had some time over the guys behind but the clutch was broken and bar was bent. It’s disappointing because I was feeling very good on this track after struggling in previous years. Let’s regroup and see what we can do in England.”
Jorge Prado: “A very tough day, one of the toughest race-days from the last few seasons. Just bad luck because I had good speed in an easy way. I could have done very well today. I was a bit nervous because it has been so long since we’ve raced. I made a mistake on the third corner of the first moto. On the second lap I completely lost the back wheel coming down the hill and many guys passed me. I came back to 9th from outside the top twenty and that was very good on a track that is difficult for passing. I was a bit disappointed. In the second moto a few guys just didn’t brake, and ran me off the track in the first corner. I got up to 6th but I had to hit the brakes to avoid some of the marshals at a place that was just too slippery and sketchy. My bars were bent and I couldn’t do much. P8 in the end. Somehow I took top ten finishes today which is not what I want…but the best I could do.”
Tom Vialle dominates MX2 with two moto victories. All three Red Bull KTM riders in the top ten with Rene Hofer 5th and Mattia Guadagnini 8th.
Tom Vialle: “A very nice day! I had a great weekend and I really liked the track. We had a good winter and that paid off today. Two great starts and the work of the team has been amazing, I’m very grateful for that.”
Rene Hofer: “Definitely a good start to the season. I wasn’t that far forward in the first moto but moved up from 11th to 6th on the first lap. I rode quite good in the first half of the race but then ran into some arm-pump and was holding on as much as I could for that 5th place. My riding wasn’t great but top five was OK. A holeshot in the second moto! But a little mistake meant I went back to third. I could keep up with Fernandez quite well until he crashed. I was making time on Tom, so the middle of the race was really good. Some small errors meant Boisrame could get me, and then I went down on the last lap with Fernandez. A shame but I’m still happy to finish top five in the first GP. A lot of chances still remain to get on that podium.”
Mattia Gaudagnini: “Not the best but also not too bad for the first GP of the year. My starts were not great, so we need to work on those: I made my life difficult! I’m pretty satisfied with my riding and the lap-times were pretty good. We can only get better from here. I was 4th in Timed Practice, so that was also a positive.”
Motocross World Championship 2021, Round 1 – Orlyonok (Russia)
2. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM)
7. Jorge Prado (KTM)
10. Antonio Cairoli (KTM)
1. Tom Vialle (KTM)
5. Rene Hofer (KTM)
8. Mattia Guadagnini (KTM)
9. Simon Längenfelder (GasGas)
17. Stephen Rubini (Honda)
23. Isak Gifting (GasGas)
credits: press.ktm.com and gasgas press center
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