After a successful start to the season in Qatar the FIM Motocross World Championship travels all the way from the Middle East to the exotic land of Thailand. Most of the riders have used this overseas transfer to sightsee the most emblematic places around Bangkok before travelling to Si Racha, where the second Grand Prix of the season will be hosted.
It is going to be the first time that Thailand entertains an MXGP and everybody is very excited to see the response of all the Thai fans, as well as the new track which has been built especially for the event. Clement Desalle and Jeffrey Herlings lead the MX1 and MX2 championships respectively and their goal for this coming weekend will be to increase the points difference over their pursuers.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle left Qatar with the red plate on his bike, heading the MX1 standings by two points. The Belgian won the first heat on Sunday with great authority but he ended the Super Final in second, so his goal this weekend is to emulate Qatar and finish on the top of the podium to increase his advantage.
Second in the MX1 standings is Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli, who proved to everybody that he is ready to defend the title on his 350cc machine even if he could not win the MXGP of Qatar. The Italian won the Super Final but he missed the win in race one after a poor start from last position.
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin had a very consistent weekend in Qatar and he is now third in the FIM MX1 World Championship. The French rider admitted on Saturday that he is looking forward to a steady season in his second year in the MX1 class and he will be fighting for another podium finish this weekend in Thailand.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker is fourth in the point standings, just two points behind Paulin. The Belgian rider has started this season more motivated than ever as it is the second year for him in the KTM factory team. He feels more confident than ever to finish on the podium at every Grand Prix.
Completing the top five of the MX1 standings after the first Grand Prix of the season is Evgeny Bobryshev, who was fifth in the first race and fourth in the Super Final. The Russian felt very fast on his Honda last weekend and he expects to have that good feeling back in Thailand and fight for a podium finish.
Tommy Searle enjoyed a good debut in the MX1 class finishing sixth, ahead of Kevin Strijbos and Rui Gonçalves. Steven Frossard and Shaun Simpson complete the current top ten of the FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings landed in Qatar as a big question mark for the weekend as he had recently injured his knee. However, the pain reduced every day and the current MX2 World Champion dominated the first heat and finished seventh in the Super Final, being the best MX2 rider of the race. This weekend Herlings will focus on keeping the red plate on his bike but he will also try to improve on the seventh position in the Super Final and try to enter the top five.
Second in the MX2 points is Monster Energy Yamaha’s Dean Ferris, who had an excellent start to the season last weekend finishing second overall. The Australian rider admitted that his move to the MX2 class has been very positive for him and he now needs to work on his speed to try to stop Herlings at future Grand Prix.
One of the big surprises of the weekend was the young French rider Romain Febvre; the Wilvo Nestaan JM Racing KTM Rider finished close to Ferris in Qatar, so his goal this weekend is being again on the podium and try to move up one step and finish second.
Standing Construct KTM’s Glenn Coldenhoff also shone last weekend and he is now fourth in the MX2 point standings only two points away from Ferris and Febvre. The Dutch rider is determined to make a good performance this weekend and obtain his maiden podium in the FIM MX2 World Championship.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Christophe Charlier is fifth in the MX2 point standings at the moment but he knows that he can be fighting for a trophy this weekend, as well as his compatriot Jordi Tixier, who is right behind him with a three point difference.
Jose Butrón is seventh followed by Alessandro Lupino and Julien Lieber and Jake Nicholls rounds of the top ten of the FIM MX2 World Championship ranking.
Arnaud Tonus had to fly back home after the Grand Prix of Qatar as he cracked his tibia in the qualifying race and now faces a period on the sidelines.
Saturday: MX2 Free Practice 9:30; MX1 Free Practice 10:15; MX2 Pre-Qualifying Practice 13:15; MX1-Pre Qualifying Practice 14:00; MX2 Qualifying Race 16:10; MX1 Qualifying Race 17:00.
Sunday: MX2 Warm up 9:00; MX1 Warm up 9:30; MX2 Grand Prix Race 1 12:10; MX1 Grand Prix Race 1 13:10; MX1/2 Last Chance Race 14:30; MX1/2 Super Final 16:10.