Positive return to form for Max Nagl at first European GP of 2016
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl has showed impressive form at round three of the 2016 FIM World Motocross Championship, delivering two committed performances to place second overall at the GP of Europe.
Returning to the type of form that saw him lead the 2016 MXGP series during the first half of last season, Nagl kicked off a highly positive round three at Valkenswaard with a convincing win in Sunday’s qualifying race.
Capitalizing on a great start in the opening MXGP moto the German found himself fighting for a place inside the top three. Showing impressive speed and consistency despite treacherous track conditions Nagl passed reigning MXGP champion Romain Febvre soon after the halfway point of the race, going on to earn a well-deserved second in race one.
Failing to get the jump off the start in the second moto, Nagl found himself battling in 15th position early on lap one of race two. Giving his all knowing that an overall podium result was on the cards he steadily worked his way forward to eventually place fourth. Wrapping up the GP of Europe with second overall in the MXGP class the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider ended round three of the 2016 series more than pleased with the improvements in his racing.
Making further steps forward Nagl’s MXGP teammate Christophe Charlier also enjoyed improved form. Powering his FC 450 to two strong starts the Frenchman fought for a place inside the top 10. With a mistake in moto one forcing him to settle for 25th at the finish, Charlier came back stronger to place 10th in moto two.
For Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s MX2 rider Max Anstie the GP of Europe proved to be a challenging one. Looking to fight for a spot on the MX2 podium Anstie was left with a mountain to climb after a heavy crash in his qualifying race robbed him of a much-needed strong qualifying result. Pushing hard to overcome a bad start Anstie raced to an eventual 19th position in race one. Fighting from the back of the pack he went on to place 22nd in moto two.
With a practice crash a week before Valkenswaard leaving Thomas Covington with an injured ankle, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MX2 rider did all he could to collect valuable championship points. Unable to show his true potential, Covington suffered a bad start in MX2’s opening moto going on to race his FC 250 to 24th position. Frustratingly, things weren’t any better in race two where Thomas tangled with another rider, crashing and breaking his radiator.
With the European Motocross Championship kicking off at Valkenswaard, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team riders Conrad Mewse and Yentel Martens both made winning starts to their 2016 campaigns. Racing his FC 250 to two moto victories Conrad Mewse topped the podium in EMX250. His teammate Yentel Martens secured 2/1 results to earn the GP victory in EMX300.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will take a trip to Argentina to contest round four of the FIM Motocross World Championship on April 08/09.
Max Nagl: “We had a really positive weekend and we managed to step it up to the next level. My riding was good on both days despite the rain making the track slippery and difficult. In the first heat I was fighting for third place for a long time but managed to make some passes and end up second. Then in the second heat I had a bad start putting myself in 15th position. I don’t know what happened. I really wanted to be on the overall podium, for myself and for the team, so I kept pushing hard until the end of that second race. I’m really happy I ended on the podium. If I could get another good start in moto two, I’m sure I could have fought for the overall win. We take all the positive things and move on. I’m feeling good on the bike and the track in the following round in Argentina is one of my favourites.”
Christophe Charlier: “We’ve done a lot of work with the team since Thailand and it paid off. I also had the chance to do some races in the sand in preparation for this GP and it helped a lot. Sand is not my strongest point but I fought really hard today and I think the results prove we’ve made some steps in the right direction. I had a big crash in the first moto, which didn’t allow me to fight for a place inside the top 15. Then in the second moto I got a good start and rode to 10th at the finish. Another positive to take away from this round is that I managed to improve on my starts. I was inside the top 12 after the start in both motos. I’m really looking forward to the following rounds and the hard-packed tracks so I can show what I’m capable of.”
Max Anstie: “Obviously things didn’t go to plan for us in Valkenswaard but we’ll just try to put the pieces of the puzzle together to get back stronger in the following round. It’s a shame I didn’t put myself in a good qualifying position by crashing right after the start of the qualifying heat. It was a big crash and I was lucky to escape with no serious injuries. Starting from the back and having the rain coming down in the first race didn’t help. I made a few little mistakes in the second moto too ending up outside the top 20. It wasn’t such a great day but we’ll go back to the drawing board and get going again. We’re doing everything we can, we’re working as hard as we can and that’s all we can do really. Hopefully luck will be on our side in Argentina.”
Thomas Covington: “I hurt my ankle last week so I wasn’t sure if I was going to race or not. It happened last Friday while we were testing with the team at a local track and I ended up injuring my Tibia as well as tearing one of the ligaments. The doctor said I could race if I could handle the pain, so we decided to go for it to get some points. In the first moto I just got a bad start. Then in the second moto I was feeling a bit better but got together with another rider and broke the radiator on my bike. The doctors said it’ll take four to six weeks for the ankle to be completely healed. Hopefully, it won’t be so painful for Argentina and I can ride like I know I can.”
Results – FIM Motocross World Championship, Round 3
1. Romain Febvre (Yamaha) 45pts; 2. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 40pts; 3. Tim Gasjer (Honda) 38pts… 15. Christophe Charlier (Husqvarna) 11pts… 23. Jake Nicholls (Husqvarna) 3pts
MXGP Race 1
1. Tim Gasjer (Honda) 15 laps, 34:41.033; 2. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 34:46.464; 3. Romain Febvre (Yamaha) 35:14.476… 18. Jake Nicholls (Husqvarna) 14 laps, 35:09.713… 25. Christophe Charlier (Husqvarna) 36:17.819… 27. Klemen Gercar (Husqvarna) 13 laps, 34:58.661
MXGP Race 2
1. Romain Febvre (Yamaha) 16 laps, 34:55.696; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 35:00.852; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (Yamaha) 35:08.133; 4. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 35:10.196… 10. Christophe Charlier (Husqvarna) 36:06.044… 29. Klemen Gercar (Husqvarna) 10 laps, 25:25.289
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 50pts; 2. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 44pts; 3. Jeremy Seewer (Suzuki) 38pts… 12. Ben Watson (Husqvarna) 18pts… 22. Lars van Berkel (Husqvarna) 3pts… 24. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 2pts
MX2 Race 1
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 15 laps, 35:12.127; 2. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 36:03.023; 3. Petar Petrov (Kawasaki) 36:19.295… 8. Ben Watson (Husqvarna) 37:19.916… 19. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 14 laps, 36:23.659; 20. Lars van Berkel (Husqvarna) 36:39.109… 24. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 37:19.935… 31. Davide Bonini (Husqvarna) 11 laps, 33:11.896
MX2 Race 2
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 16 laps, 35:17.872; 2. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 36:37.783; 3. Jeremy Seewer (Suzuki) 36:43.276… 16. Ben Watson (Husqvarna) 15 laps, 35:52.623… 19. Lars van Berkel (Husqvarna) 36:11.641… 22. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 36:35.784
Championship Standings (After Round 3)
1. Romain Febvre (Yamaha) 137pts; 2. Tim Gasjer (Honda) 124pts; 3. Evgeny Bobryshev (Honda) 107pts… 6. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 84pts… 16. Christophe Charlier (Husqvarna) 35pts… 26. Jake Nicholls (Husqvarna) 3pts
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 150pts; 2. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 112pts; 3. Jeremy Seewer (Suzuki) 112pts… 12. Ben Watson (Husqvarna) 39pts; 13. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 35pts… 16. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 32pts… 31. Lars van Berkel (Husqvarna) 3pts
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