HRC rider Tim Gajser and Red Bull KTM rider Jorge Prado have won the MXGP of Latvia in MXGP and MX2, but the big stories were the injuries to Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings.

Tim Gajser:  “I am so happy about today. First race I was struggling, but the second one I found a good rhythm and I had a good battle with Jeremy. I am so happy for the team. Yesterday I had good speed but at the qualification race I had a big crash and I was a little sore today with some pain in my neck, but I got enough for sixth in the first race. Second race I tried to ride my race and I didn’t know I had won the overall. This is everything we work for and I am happy for the team.”

Romain Febvre:  “Today was okay, much better than yesterday. I made some mistakes with bike set-up yesterday. We changed it a lot for today and I felt better. My start was not there, and I struggled a bit. I could have finished fourth but I got really bad arm pump. Tony was in front of me and I couldn’t catch him. The second race I had a good first lap and kept my moment. Middle of the race I struggled in the wave but I could catch the guys in front. Maybe I needed two or three extra laps to catch Tim. I thought I won the overall, but I am happy even if a bit disappointed. It isn’t so long after I came back from my injury, so I feel satisfied.”

Jeffrey Herlings: “Very sorry to say I have broken my ankle, had a small crash in sighting lap and another rider rode over my bad foot and broke my ankle. I decided after sighting lap to still line up for the moto and even won the moto with a broken ankle. I just can not believe it anymore…….. Of course I will be out for 2nd moto. Feeling so sorry for my team and sponsors.”

Arnaud Tonus:  “I had a good feeling, at the beginning I got passed by Jeffrey and I followed him, then I found some good lines and it was great to lead. I had a good lead, but Jeffrey passed me, and he got the win. I will take every race to learn and just get better. I have to be happy. Sure, a bit frustrated, coming so close to the win, I will keep working and it is great to be on the podium, I enjoy this a lot. The way I was riding today, it’s maybe the best I have ridden in these types of conditions. It’s been years that I am trying to work on myself to compete at this level and if you look at the last few GPs, I am super happy. My mechanic told me if I could pass Romain, I could win the GP, but the track was sketchy, and I tried to keep it on two wheels.”

Jorge Prado: “This weekend was a bit down for the team. There were some ‘ups’ like my victory and the good ride by Tom but then Jeffrey and Tony getting injured is upsetting. I wish a speed recovery for both of them. From my side it was a perfect weekend. I headed every single session, so really good. Teutschenthal next and I won there last year. Big ruts! Hopefully we can train well this week and keep focussed on the goal.”

Thomas Kjer Olsen:  “It’s been a hugely positive GP, but also a little frustrating. Another overall podium result is great, I got two really good starts and held second for so many laps in both motos. So, I feel like I should have got the overall runner-up result. I gave the second moto everything to finish second, and get second overall, but it wasn’t to be. I’m frustrated because I didn’t get far enough ahead of Jago (Geerts). He rode really strong, but I also felt like I rode well – fast and consistent, lap after lap. Lots of positives to take away from the GP.”

Jago Geerts:  Pretty good start, but the first three corners I messed up a little, I tried everything I could do to pass Thomas and I am really happy with the weekend. I felt good on the track today. I didn’t have the best gate pick, which was quite difficult on a track like this, but I felt good and came back strong and managed to get back to second. I am happy with that result.

Ben Watson:  “I’m really happy with this weekend. My riding was a little bit off the pace of the top guys, but there was a pretty big margin from me back, so I felt much better. I didn’t feel really good on the track, so I didn’t want to hang it out, I just wanted to get two good results and keep plugging away. Overall, I feel I rode OK and the result was solid, and good for the championship. From here we will keep building.”

Jeremy Seewer: “I had an amazing weekend, probably the best this year even though I was on the podium last weekend but not this weekend. I still finished on the same points and I was able to lead a lot of laps which was really cool. I got passed on the last lap, ‘chapeau’ to my teammate Romain, he was riding really fast on the last and we were able to catch Gajser. It was a great battle and I really enjoyed this weekend podium or not. I am really looking forward to Germany, it is one of my favourite tracks, so it is going well at the moment and I want to keep moving in this direction and fighting for more podiums.”

Roan van de Moosdijk:  “Unbelievable! 1-1 for my first perfect weekend; I was first in every session in practice and in racing. The start was the key and today I was fourth leaving turn one; I soon had the lead so I could ride my own race and check out to control the race. I’m really happy that I didn’t make any mistakes today; I was riding safe in the sketchy section. I didn’t look at the standings but I know that I’ve closed the gap with the leaders again and I’m just focusing on each race. I’ve got a great family behind me at Kawasaki and F&H Racing and we can look forward confidently to Teutschenthal next weekend after taking the last two overall wins and four motos from the last five.”

Adam Sterry:  “I almost got the holeshot in the first race but before we reached the finish line for the first time another rider hit me and his handlebar was in my back wheel when we crashed together. I was so far behind when I could get back in the race but I had really good lap times and good speed and I came back to fifteenth. I got another good start in the second moto, nearly as good as the first one; I found my rhythm all race and managed to make a gap on the pack. Fifth is my best single moto result this season. Now I’m excited for Teutschenthal; I like the track and hopefully I can get some more good starts there.”

Henry Jacobi:  “I finally got quite a good start again in the first moto and made some quick passes in the beginning. I was behind Watson almost all race and my plan was to make a pass in the last couple of laps but I had a bike issue. The second start was not so good, twentieth or something like that and in the first lap some riders passed me; I had a strange feeling during the first few laps, but then I found my rhythm again and came back to sixth with very good lap times. Now I’m looking forward to my home GP next week.”

Mitchell Harrison:  “It’s my best result since Portugal, and it was a really good day. We made some little changes to the bike and I felt more comfortable, but I didn’t got good starts this weekend and I had to make my way through the pack. In the first moto I came back from twenty-third to twelfth and in the second moto from twenty-fourth to finish twelfth again. I charged hard and I feel really good with the bike now; I can’t wait for Germany. The track was great here; it’s a little like some tracks we have back home in Michigan and I felt very comfortable.”

Jed Beaton:  “It’s been a really tough GP for me, but I’m pleased I came away with points in both motos. I got sick with the flu on Thursday before the race and I really struggled with a fever and low energy. I worked hard during the qualification race and did all that I could during today’s motos.”

Pauls Jonass:    “It’s been an eventful home GP for me. Highs and lows I guess you can say. I’m pleased with my speed and leading for some laps in the qualification race was great, but things didn’t go to plan in the first race today. I gave everything but I lost a lot of positions when I fell on the first lap. I crashed again while battling with Coldenhoff, and after the race I needed some stitches in my eyebrow. It was a tough one. The second race was much better, I’m pleased that the GP ended with a good result. Working my way forward with some good passes to finish just outside the top five is good. My speed is there now and I feel really good on a 450 – I’m feeling stronger and stronger on the bike with each GP, so I’m really looking forward now to putting all the pieces together during the races in the second half of the season.”

Brian Bogers:  “It wasn’t too bad today as I was able to turn it around after I crashed in the start of the first race. That definitely isn’t how you want to begin the motos. That crash left me at the back of the field, but that made me want to try too hard and although I passed a lot of guys to begin with, I got held up behind one rider and that really halted all my momentum. I went from completely last to 18th which is a couple of points but not really what I wanted. This made me extra focused for the second heat where I had a better start and was around 20th. Then in that first lap I was able to get up into 12th and that’s where I stayed for the whole race. I was really happy with my riding in that moto because I showed some good speed in the first 20 minutes. I pushed as much as I could and I’m happy to get one solid result and I hope this can continue next week in Teutschenthal.”

Arminas Jasikonis:  “I felt really good in warm-up this morning and the first race started well, but we weren’t able to turn that good speed into the strong result we hoped for. After such a great qualifying yesterday, today has been really frustrating for everyone in the team. But that’s racing. I know my speed was good, which is really positive, and to be running right at the front of the qualification race was great. Things just didn’t work out and I struggled to find a good rhythm in the second moto.”

Tom Vialle:  “It was a special weekend and set of conditions: it was complicated to work out the track for my first visit but I’m happy with the result. My speed was good and two solid finishes and more experience for me. I know I need more training and practice in the sand and to be better on all types of terrain next year. Teutschenthal will be another new place for me but the hard-pack will be good.”

Tony Cairoli:  “On Saturday I had the Flu and a fever, and my arm was not as strong as I wanted after the crash in Russia. I could battle with the guys for first position in the first moto but then I got a bit tired and settled for third, which was good for the championship. In the second moto I was fourth and trying to follow [Arnaud] Tonus. I had quite a big crash and when I stood up I felt my shoulder was out. My hope is to be ready to at least start next week in Germany. I don’t want to give up at all and I want to be there as much as possible for the championship.”

Vsevolod Brylyakov:  “This weekend was not an easy one. Both starts were terrible for me, but I tried to make my way up. I had an easy crash on lap one in the first race and lost many positions, so could not get myself into a rhythm and finished twenty-first. The second moto was a lot better. I made some passes in the first laps, then rode really good in the beginning. I made a small mistake, so dropped from fourteenth to outside the top twenty, but built myself up again. I was happy with the second moto. That was the highlight. I am looking forward to Germany now.”

Kevin Strijbos:  “It was not a great weekend. We somehow had bike issues the whole weekend and could not solve it. In the qualifying race it just stopped on the last lap, but I could make it to the finish. In the first moto I was trying and trying, but I knew something was wrong because my bike was not performing as it normally would. It is a pity, because I liked the track and was looking forward to doing well. Let’s focus on next weekend.”

Julien Lieber:  “I have been sick this week so I knew it would be tough, but when another rider hit me at the start of the first moto it got even worse as we crashed and I had pain in my elbow; I had no feeling in the hand but I did a few laps before I crashed again and retired. The second start was better but it was tough to find a good rhythm and I just tried to secure some points; I’m expecting more in Germany where I have usually a good feeling.”

Mitchell Evans: “Tough day, finishing ninth and twenty-second. A crash in moto two ruined my chances of achieving my goal of two top-ten finishes today.”

Zachary Pichon:  “Really disappointing weekend. I had a sore shoulder after my second-moto crash in Russia. I crashed twice on Saturday, really hard, and again in the first moto. The pain was too much. Nothing is broken, it is just pain in the muscles. We will try to fix that and see. I want to thank my team for all of the effort, even on a bad weekend.”


Dan Lamb is a 12+ year journalist and the owner of MotoXAddicts.