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Pundits Preview: #37

Well, following sixteen rounds in fourteen different countries, the 2014 FIM Motocross World Championship will conclude this weekend in Mexico. Although it looked like the MX2 title fight was going to be another snoozer earlier in the year, the fight for the championship will come to a head this weekend between Jeffrey Herlings and Jordi Tixier. Anyway, there is more on that below. In ‘Pundits Preview’ we look ahead to the weekend and put the spotlight on some stories that you need to watch out for.

Who will win the MX2 championship?

So, Jeffrey Herlings will be riding this weekend after all. I have analysed this in many, many places already, but here it goes again. Herlings wouldn’t be heading over to Mexico unless he thought he had a shot at it, right? The fact that he seemed quite strong in a video posted on social media also indicates to me that he can go reasonably quick, despite the recent injury. However, his fitness will restrict him and also aid Jordi Tixier, which is where it gets interesting.

The Frenchman will enter the round needing to win, quite simply, which is something he hasn’t done too often. For that reason, Herlings is the favourite in the eyes of most, although that could change when we see what he can do in free practice on Saturday morning. For a more in-depth look at the upcoming title fight, click here.

Will we see another first time winner?

In Jeffrey Herlings’ absence, a handful of riders have claimed their maiden GP win and a few more will be looking to do that this weekend. Herlings shouldn’t be in a position to battle for a win, so will we see another first time winner? Dylan Ferrandis and Tim Gajser are the only two riders that have a realistic shot at topping the podium for the first time – I would honestly like to see Dylan do it. However, Tixier and Romain Febvre will both be hungry too, so we should see yet another fantastic race!

Although a majority of the MXGP riders already have a GP win to their name, we may see a rider take their first win of the year this weekend. Kevin Strijbos is the most likely candidate, as he has been a consistent podium threat – it wouldn’t take much for him to steal a win. Steven Frossard was quite strong at the GP of State of Goias too, although he is so crash prone that it is quite unlikely that he puts it together over two motos. Of course, if Cairoli turns up raring to go and eager to put an exclamation point on his championship, he will be tough to beat.

Will the second Mexican GP be a success?

The infamous GP of Mexico in 2012 was a disaster for many different reasons, hence why most are sceptical heading into the finale this weekend. However, it should be noted that it is a different promoter and they are heading to a different circuit this weekend, so it will be quite different fortunately. There is a chance of rain and some storms, which will just make it all even more exciting! Reports also suggest the track is quite soft.

Which Max Nagl will show up on Sunday?

Max Nagl is quite inconsistent, but sometimes he is just on form and unbeatable – we saw that in Brazil. It was the most dominant he has been since 2009, as he led every single lap and was clearly the fastest. So, obviously, there will be quite a few eyes on the German this weekend. Will he repeat that performance? Honestly, I think the momentum and confidence gained will do a lot for him – that can work wonders. I don’t think he will sweep both motos again, but it certainly wouldn’t be surprising to see him on top. It was just great to see HRC get one, in the interest of parity, and after they have put so much into their programme this year.

Farleigh Castle comes alive for the VMXdN:

It is a weekend that most nostalgic fans and riders countdown to; the Vets MXdN will take place yet again this weekend at the historic venue of Farleigh Castle. With many, many great riders scheduled to make an appearance from around the globe, it is an event not to be missed. Of course, they will all be on their old steeds too. Racing will take place all day on Saturday and Sunday; if you are a fan of that era, we recommend you get down there.

Words: Lewis Phillips

Image: KTM Images/Ray Archer

MX Vice Editor || 25

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