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MX2 Comments: GP of Thailand

Jeffrey Herlings: “This was a really tough weekend and I don’t have so much riding fitness yet because I have only been on the bike four weeks. The heat really got to me but we made our way through and won both motos. I also won the qualification so I can go home happy. The track is what it is and riders have to adapt but for sure it was kind of Supercross style, and with this hear, they humidity and such a track it was really tough. Sometimes you have to fight through a wall and that’s what I did. Now I have three weeks to recover so I’m going to rest, recover and start training again on Wednesday.”

Pauls Jonass: “We came to Qatar and Thailand with no expectations and I just tried to do my best. Here in Thailand I set the fastest time in time practice and I got second in qualifying for a pretty good gate pick for the races. My starts were not so good but I made a few good passes in the opening corners. I finished fourth in the first race and second in the second race when I felt much better and got my rhythm earlier. This is a good way to start the season and I will try to get more podiums.”

Dylan Ferrandis:  “I should be happy with two podiums and second in the standings, but I’m also frustrated as I dropped more points to Jeffrey. We’ve been coming here to Thailand for three years now but we never had such weather; it was really tough today. My first start was really good; I made a few mistakes but took a strong second placed finish. I kept some energy for the second moto but my start was not as good and I had to recover from twelfth to fourth. I felt tired mid race and didn’t want to make a silly mistake so I was satisfied to secure the fourth position which gave me third overall. Now I have three weeks to prepare for the next GP; we’ll do everything to go for the win in Argentina.”

Thomas Covington: “It’s been a really good weekend for me; the bike was working really good, I got two good starts and I rode two solid motos with two fifth placed finishes which gave me fourth overall. That’s where I wanted to be when I came into the season, being in the top five; we’ve got to keep on doing this every weekend, and being consistent. The track was OK; it was definitively not my favourite but there was some nice jumps even if it was pretty small and tight; but I just got my best ever overall GP result so I can’t complain.”

Jordi Tixier: “It was definitively not a good weekend, as I couldn’t finish the first race. I had recovered from twentieth to eleventh, but on the last lap in the waves section I couldn’t hold the bike and crashed.  My brain was not working as usual; I gave 100% during the race and with the heat I suddenly had no energy, no concentration and crashed. They took me in the medical service for treatment, but I couldn’t start the second race.”

Mel Pocock: “It was a tough weekend, but I had two good results today which gave me sixth overall and I’m now just outside the top ten in the championship. I’m happy with the results, one of my best in GPs; it makes the team happy, me happy, everyone goes back to England happy and that will just gave us some more confidence for the next races. It took a lot of time for the track to settle down as it’s a new track, but it was difficult, like a Supercross one but bigger, and at the end I was having fun on it.”

Aleksandr Tonkov: “It’s been a tough GP for me, but we got some championship points, and that was important. After my qualifying race I knew it would be a hard first moto, so to finish in ninth isn’t so bad. Eighth in the second race was a little better but with the heat it’s been tough. I’m looking forward to getting back to normal racing conditions.”

Julien Lieber: “I was riding really good in the first moto and came from mid-pack until third when I then crashed on the triple. I never thought I would be able to ride the second moto but we got my back checked and did some stretching. I had a go at the second moto and started in fifth. I passed a few people and finished third. It was really good. I’m tired but know I will be in shape for the next GP. I’m fourth in the championship, which is good but I also know that I lost a lot of points in that first moto. Anyway I would like to thank the mechanics for their help. The bike was pretty bent and damaged after the first race and the guys did such a good job getting it ready for me to go again.”

Valentin Guillod: “Considering I was sick all week with a cold I’m happy with the weekend. To finish sixth twice, fifth overall and get into the top five in the championship is positive. The raced were really difficult with the weather and luckily the second moto was cut short. Overall I still want to find the feeling with the bike that I had in training this winter and I know it will come.”

Benoit Paturel: “I felt a lot better this weekend than in Qatar. There I was riding tight but I felt comfortable all weekend long here in Thailand. My starts were good and I’m happy I was able to follow the pace of the top five riders. I think I could have battled for a top five overall without the problems in the second race. I don’t know what happened there. Maybe a stone hit the brake or I hit Covington, but my front wheel locked up and it was impossible to ride. That’s racing I guess… I want to thank the team and everyone around though for supporting and believing in me. I’m looking forward to the next GP!”

Damon Graulus: “Hot work out there today and I tried to ride but it was still too much for me after the crash in Qatar. I wanted to see if I could make some results or points but just didn’t get the feeling. I hope to be better for Argentina.”

Jeremy Seewer: “I had a cold coming here just from changing from the heat to the air conditioning and back and I think that might have been something to do with my first race. I just could not hold on anymore on that last lap and had a big crash. I remember picking up the bike but I couldn’t get on it and then I don’t remember anything else for the next hour. They gave me a drip and after that I knew I couldn’t try the second moto. It was probably for the best but I am still disappointed with how this GP turned out; I know I lost a lot of points.”

Tim Gajser: “Today was really heavy; the heat was unbelievable and many riders had problems including the guys at the front, so it was not easy. When I was riding in race one it was quite ok, but when I stopped I don’t know what happened but I couldn’t feel my legs properly and I had a really strange feeling. I went to the medical centre here and then after half an hour everything was ok and I was ready again. But then when we came to the waiting zone before the start they told me I couldn’t ride.

“In one case we are really disappointed because we didn’t race and lost many points in the championship, but in the other case it gives me even more motivation to train more and work even harder when we come back to show everyone what we can do.”

Petar Petrov: “I’m sure that was the toughest race I have done. I stopped and almost passed out. There were five or six guys that went to hospital! The goal was to improve from Qatar and we did that. I want to be on the podium by the end of the year. Today I was eighth and I have started the season with worse. We didn’t come here 100% so now we will go back to Europe and work to improve.”

Ben Watson: “Today was terrible really and I felt pretty weak all weekend. I probably put too much into the qualification race even though I was happy with thirteenth. From last week’s crash in Qatar my hand and wrist are very sore and I ripped up some of the biggest blisters. I tried to ride in both races and I didn’t do much in the first one. In the second they had to shorten the race. I went for it at the start but then the heat hit me like a brick and I had to slow down. I salvaged a few points. Not amazing but at least I managed to finish both motos.”

Image: KTM/Ray Archer

MX Vice Editor || 25

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