The 2013 FIM World Motocross Championships have begun. And MX history was made here at the Losail International Circuit, which will also host a round of MotoGP next month. Tonight – Jeffrey Herlings swept the MX2 class, and Clement Desalle wins the overall MX1 GP over World Champion Tony Cairoli, and Cairoli wins the SuperFinal.

Three firsts here in Qatar: 1. The first MX GP run at night. 2. The first MX GP run in the Middle East. 3. The first ‘SuperFinal’, where both MX1 & MX2 riders raced together in the final race, a la Motocross of Nations.

You probably would be surprised at the amount of investment the State (Country) of Qatar, and specifically the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation is putting into motorcycling (motocross, MotoGP, etc.). Their goal is to develop young riders to compete on the world level within the next ten years.

The same applies to the facility here – it is an amazing facility that is a huge change compared to what is normally found at a motocross. The media center alone is multiple large rooms, with hi-speed internet, hundreds of TV monitors, and multi-stories in height. Each team has it’s own garage to work out of – reminiscent of … Formula 1 and MotoGP facilities.

There was a Losail ‘locals’ race in conjunction with the MX1 and MX2 racing. There was a big turnout of riders – over 38!

MX2 moto 1 – reigning MX2 World Motocross Champion Jeffrey Herlings, from the Netherlands, took command less than ten minutes into the 35 minute plus two lap race. Yesterday’s Qualifying race winner Valentin Teillet was off the track on lap ten. And three laps later, Max Anstie was done as well. Arnaud Tonus only made it three laps. So, Herlings out front and his quickest lap times were in the 1 minute 48 second range.

Jeffrey Herlings

With two laps to go, it’s Herlings headed towards the win, Glenn Coldenhoff, also KTM mounted, in second. Third is Chris Charlier, on Yamaha.

The finish has Herlings picking up right where he left off last season – winning. Second is Coldenhoff, third Charlier. Then Romain Febvre, Dean Ferris, Alessandro Lupino, Jordi Tixier, Julien Lieber, Mel Pocock, and Jose Butron round out the top ten. Both Anstie and Teillet will have to try to make the SuperFinal thru the LCQ.

MX1 moto 1 – the early leader is Kevin Strijbos, riding on Suzuki. World Motocross Champion Tony Cairoli had a poor start, running about 13th on the first lap.

This class is stacked with great riders. TC 222 (Tony Cairoli) is moving thru the pack well. Up front it’s Strijbos leading – but he has Ken de Dycker right behind him now. Third is Evgeny Bobryshev, fourth Clement Desalle, then Gautier Paulin, Tommy Searle, and then Tony Cairoli. Others giving chase – Shaun Simpson, Rui Goncalves, Max Nagl, Joel Roelants, Jeremy van Horebeek, and Steven Frossard.

Just over 20 minutes into this moto, there has been quite a few changes. First, Ken de Dycker has overtaken Strijbos for the lead. And then at the 21 minutes mark, Clement Desalle has now overtaken de Dyker for the lead! The running order is Clement Desalle first, Ken de Dycker second, Evgeny Bobryshev third, Tony Cairoli fourth, Gautier Paulin fifth, then Kevin Strijbos, Tommy Searle, Shaun Simpson, Rui Goncalves, Davide Guarneri, Max Nagl, Steven Frossard, Tanel Leok, Joel Roelants, Xavier Boog, Jon Barragan, and Jeremy van Horebeek round out the top 18.

With less than two laps to go, Antonio Cairoli has moved past Evgeny Bobryshev and into third place.

At the finish – after 21 laps, Clement Desalle wins this race. Ken de Dycker finishes second, Tony Cairoli third, Gautier Paulin fourth, and Evgeny Bobryshev fifth. Then Strijbos, Searle, Simpson, Goncalves, Guarneri, Nagl, Frossard, Boog, Leok, Roelants, Barragan, van Horebeek, and Philppaerts.

Clement Desalle

Four riders will go thru to the SuperFinal thru an LCQ (Last Chance Qualifier. Two from MX2 and two from MX1. It’s Jens Getteman (MX1), Max Anstie (MX2), Valentin Teillet (MX2), and Jason Dougan (MX1).

The SuperFinal is the final moto for both MX2 and MX1. They are each scored separately, to make the overall results, but they will be racing together. Consider it the second moto for both classes. There will be 40 riders total – 20 from MX2, and 20 from MX1.

The SuperFinal. How will the 250’s do against the bigger bikes of MX1?

It’s two Suzuki’s out front – Clement Desalle first, Kevin Strijbos second! World MX1 Champion Tony Cairoli third!

Cairoli then goes by Strijbos. It’s Desalle first, Cairoli second.

On lap 5 (just under 10 minutes in) of this 35 minute plus two lap race, Cairoli moves just to the left of Desalle and makes the pass for the lead! Tony Cairoli is leading. Clement Desalle is second. Evgeny Bobryshev is third. Then Kevin Strijbos, Gautier Paulin, Tommy Searle … and the first 250 (MX2) bike in this race is Jeffrey Herlings. Ken de Dycker is ninth.

Click on the thumbnails to view the larger images

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The top riders have remained in position – Cairoli up front, Desalle second, Bobryshev third, Gautier Paulin fourth, Kevin Strijbos next, then Tommy Searle, Jeffrey Herlings (top MX2 rider) and Ken de Dycker. Can de Dycker on the 450 KTM get past team-mate Herlings on the 250? Lap times are averaging about 1 minute 48 seconds for the top riders.

Tony Cairoli in Qatar - MX GP 2013

Tony Cairoli

Tony Cairoli has won this race – the first ever ‘SuperFinal’ in MX GP. Clement Desalle finishes second. Desalle gets the overall GP win, Tony gets second. (See overall results below.) The rest of the top finishers in this moto – Gautier Paulin, Evgeny Bobryshev, Tommy Searle, Kevin Strijbos, Jeffrey Herlings (first MX2 machine – he wins the MX2 Grand Prix), Ken de Dycker, Steven Frossard, David Philippaerts, Rui Goncalves, Xavier Boog, Dean Ferris (second in MX2), Joel Roelants, Tanel Leok, Romain Febvre (next in MX2), and Shaun Simpson.

At this first race of the season, and with the first ever ‘SuperFinal’, there was a bit of confusion after the race for some regarding the podium, but for sure that will be worked out. Next week is Round 2 in Thailand.

MX2 Results:

  1. Jeffrey Herlings – KTM – 1/1
  2. Dean Ferris – YAM – 5/2
  3. Romain Febrve – KTM – 4/3
  4. Glenn Coldenhoff – KTM – 2/7
  5. Christophe Charlier – YAM – 3/8
  6. Jordi Tixier – KTM – 7/5
  7. Jose Butron – KTM
  8. Alessandro Lupino – KAW
  9. Julien Lieber – SUZ
  10. Jake Nicholls – KTM
  11. Mel Pocock – YAM
  12. Elliott Banks-Browne – KTM
  13. Petar Petrov – YAM
  14. Max Anstie – SUZ
  15. Alexander Tonkov – HON

MX2 Points:

  1. Jeffrey Herlings – 50
  2. Dean Ferry – 38
  3. Romain Febrve – 38
  4. Glenn Coldenhoff – 36
  5. Christophe Charlier – 33
  6. Jordi Tixier – 30
  7. Jose Butron – 26
  8. Al Lupino – 25
  9. Julien Lieber – 24
  10. Jake Nicholls – 21
  11. Mel Pocock – 19
  12. E. Banks-Browne – 17
  13. Petar Petrov – 16
  14. Max Anstie – 12
  15. Tonkov, Kullas – 11

MX1 Results:

  1. Clement Desalle – SUZ – 1/2
  2. Tony Cairoli – KTM – 3/1
  3. Gautier Paulin – KAW – 4/3
  4. Ken de Dycker – KTM 2/7
  5. Evgeny Bobryshev – HON – 5/4
  6. Tommy Searle – KAW – 7/5
  7. Kevin Strijbos – SUZ – 6/6
  8. Rui Goncalves – KTM
  9. Steven Frossard – YAM
  10. Shaun Simpson – TM
  11. Xavier Boog – KTM
  12. David Philippaerts – HON
  13. Davide Guarneri – KTM
  14. Max Nagl – HON
  15. Joel Roelants – YAM

Mx1 Points:

  1. Clement Desalle – 47
  2. Tony Cairoli – 45
  3. Gautier Paulin – 38
  4. Ken de Dycker – 36
  5. Evgeny Bobryshev – 34
  6. Tommy Searle – 30
  7. Kevin Strijbos – 30
  8. Rui Goncalves – 23
  9. Steven Frossard – 22
  10. Shaun Simpson – 20
  11. Xavier Boog – 18
  12. David Philippaerts – 15
  13. Davide Guarneri – 15
  14. Max Nagl – 15
  15. Roelants, Leok – 15


  1. Tony Cairoli
  2. Clement Desalle
  3. Gautier Paulin
  4. Evgeny Bobryshev
  5. Tommy Searle
  6. Kevin Strijbos
  7. Jeffrey Herlings
  8. Ken de Dycker
  9. Steven Frossard
  10. David Philippaerts
  11. Rui Goncalves
  12. Xavier Boog
  13. Dean Ferris
  14. Joel Roelants
  15. Tanel Leok
  16. Romain Febrve
  17. Shaun Simpson
  18. Jon Barragan
  19. Jake Nicholls
  20. Jordi Tixier

Courtesy Suzuki Racing, MX1 Grand Prix winner Clement Desalle said afterewards “It is a good feeling to start the season with the red plate (as the series points leader) but it doesn’t mean so much because the year is very long. I have always said that when I have fun on my bike, then the results go well and that’s really important. I didn’t make many mistakes today and my starts were much better than we saw in the pre-season races; that was a good point. I had some difficult moments last season and also coming back from some injuries, but I feel good on the bike now and wasn’t pushing too hard. I want to say a big thanks to my team because they made a big job in the last few weeks. It was tough to start the championship a month earlier than usual.”


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