NAGL AND ROCZEN POWER GERMANY TO TOP MXON QUALIFIER
Germany, powered by great rides by KTM factory riders Max Nagl and Ken Roczen emerged as the top nation in qualifying for tomorrow’s annual motocross battle of attrition, the Motocross of Nations, this year being run for the 66th time in the deep soft sand of Lommel in Belgium.
Belgium, the Host nation and with KTM factory riders Ken de Dycker and Jeremy van Horebeek were also in blistering form as second fastest qualifier, while Italy with Tony Cairoli and Netherlands with Jeffrey Herlings were third and fourth. Marvin Musquin of KTM’s US factory team helped France to fifth place and USA with Ryan Dungey, KTM’s AMA 450 champion was sixth.
The USA team is bidding to continue it’s long-standing winning streak in the competition and want to retain the coveted Chamberlain Cup but they are riding on a surface that is very unfamiliar to them. The soft sand of Lommel is renowned for being tricky and it will be roughed up and deeply rutted for tomorrow’s race action.
KTM’s MX1 World champion Tony Cairoli of Italy got qualifying going at a blistering pace and apart from a mid-race period where he tucked into second behind KTM teammate Max Nagl he made the race his own. Cairoli lives for much of the year Belgium and is no stranger to the deep sand circuit. Nagl also looked very strong and is out to make big points for Team Germany. Unlucky was KTM’s Ryan Dungey who had trouble with his goggles and had to discard them, leaving him in a brutal situation with the fine sand flying in his face. Dungey crossed the line in sixth place.
“I wanted to race a good qualifying,” Cairoli said. “Lommel is one of my favorite tracks and I wanted to start the race weekend in the best way. I made the holeshot and immediately pushed. I just waited for the best moment to take the lead on Nagl.” He said he and his teammates are going to do their best for Italy in tomorrow’s races. “We are confident for tomorrow but we also need some luck on our side because in past years we didn’t have this luck. Forza Azzurri!”
Next up was KTM’s Ken Roczen racing for Team Germany and he blazed his way to the win in the qualifying to not only put on an impressive display but also to put Team Germany in a great position after Nagl’s second qualifying place in the opening race. Jeremy van Horebeek racing his KTM for host nation Belgium came in second and Marvin Musquin (Team France) was fourth behind Blake Baggett of the USA.
All that was left them was for MX2 World Champion KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings to make his customary magic in the sand at Lommel. Competing on the KTM 350 SX-F instead of his usual KTM 250 SX-F Jeffrey did not get away cleanly at the start and was in eleventh place after the opening lap. But then he let fly. He put down the hammer and had moved up to fourth in the next lap before he quickly closed in on USA’s Justin Barcia in the lead. The next laps were hard-fought battles with Barcia defending hard before Herlings got the edge and went into the lead. Then disaster struck for Team USA when Barcia lost the line and wedged his bike in between two of the track barrier plates. He managed to get free but was deemed by race officials to have had outside support and was disqualified.
Each national team has three riders contesting MX1, MX2 and Open respectively. Each rider races twice and the worst of the six results can be dropped. Teams score one point for first, two for second, three for third and so on, with the team scoring the lowest points winning the trophy. Qualifying races were 20 minutes plus two laps but Sunday’s races will be 30 minutes plus two laps and this will be crucial on this deep fine sand on what will by then be a very cut up track.
Sunday: Warm-up B-Final 8:40; Warm-up MXoN Group 1 9:10; Warm-up MXoN Group 2 9:40; B-Final 11:00; MXoN Race 1 (MX1+MX2) 13:08; MXoN Race 2 (MX2+Open) 14:38; MXoN Race 3 (MX1+Open) 16:08. (All times CET)
MX of Nations at Lommel, Belgium
MX1 Qualifying Heat
1. Tony Cairoli (I), KTM, 25:24.630 min
2. Max Nagl (D), KTM, 25:34.119
3. Clement Desalle (B) Suzuki, 25:55.290
4. Gautier Paulin (F), Kawasaki, 26:06.030
5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS), Honda, 26:10.512
6. Ryan Dungey (USA), KTM, 26:22.465
MX2 Qualifying Heat
1. Ken Roczen (D), KTM, 24:24.394 min
2. Jeremy van Horebeek (B), KTM, 24:34.231
3. Blake Baggett (USA), Kawasaki, 24:44.451
4. Marvin Musquin (F), KTM, 25:02.392
5. Jake Nicholls (GB), KTM, 25:08.546
6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NL), KTM, 25:21.626
9. Priit Rätsep (EST), KTM, 25:32.609
10. Even Heibye (N), KTM, 25:41.822
12. Jose Butron (E), KTM, 25:56.372
Open Qualifying Heat
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NL), KTM, 24:23.539
2. Ken de Dycker (B), KTM, 24:25.563
3. Tanel Leok (EST), Suzuki, 24:52.400
4. Max Anstie (GB), Honda, 25:09.897
5. Davide Guarneri (I), KTM, 25:35.424
8. Valentin Guillod (CH), KTM, 26:33.792
10. Filip Bengtsson (S), KTM, 24:30.108 (11 laps)
16. Matthias Walkner (A), KTM, 25:22.151 (11 laps)
1. Germany, 3 points: Ken Roczen MX2 (KTM), Maz Nagl MX1 (KTM), Marcus Schiffer Open
2. Belgium, 4 points: Ken de Dycker Open (KTM), Jeremy van Horebeek MX2 (KTM), Clement Desalle MX1
3. Italy, 6 points: Tony Cairoli MX1 (KTM), Davide Guarneri Open (KTM), Alessandro Lupino MX2
4. The Netherlands, 7 points: Jeffrey Herlings Open (KTM), Glenn Goldenhoff MX2 (KTM), Marc de Reuver MX1
5. France, 8 points: Gautier Paulin MX1, Marvin Musquin MX2 (KTM), Xavier Boog Open
6. USA, 9 points: Blake Baggett MX2, Ryan Dungey MX1 (KTM), Justin Barcia Open