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Hot and Cold: GP of Great Britain

With so many riders injured, some were sceptical about how the 2015 edition of the British GP would go. However, those doubts were immediately erased from the minds of most when a bumper crowd arrived and were treated to superb racing. It may have been the greatest GP in quite some time. The race wasn’t great for everyone though, which is exactly what we touch on in ‘Hot and Cold’…

Hot:

Antonio Cairoli: Cairoli has gone from strength to strength since switching to the 450F and, despite not spending much time on the bike in recent weeks, has now won two GPs in succession and fifty percent of the motos over that time. He even crashed in the second moto this past weekend, but still recovered to take the overall – we haven’t seen those types of performances from him yet this year. I don’t think his streak of wins will go much further, as the upcoming tracks don’t feature his favourite surfaces, but if I’m Max Nagl or Clement Desalle I would be starting to get a little worried. Then again, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that Tony wouldn’t have won moto one had it not been restarted. This title fight is still so, so close…

Valentin Guillod: It’s amazing what a win does for you, but even knowing that I didn’t think Guillod would reel off two in a row. The engine adjustments he made prior to Spain must have been drastic, as there’s no way a small tweak would result in such a large change of pace. He really is the best of the rest now – that’s a phenomenal turnaround. There is no way that you can deny that he was deserving of the overall win this past weekend, either, as he beat Herlings straight up. Jeffrey actually passed him and he got him back; there were no crashes, bad starts, luck or mechanical issues. When was the last time someone beat the Dutchman in that fashion? I’d honestly say it was Tommy in 2012.

Romain Febvre: Febvre is arguably the most impressive MXGP rookie in quite some time; his top five finishes at the start of the year were impressive enough, but he is now a legitimate race win contender too. His first moto was reasonably good, although nothing special, but he came alive in the second encounter. His ride wasn’t as spectacular as at the Spanish GP, as it seemed he learnt from his mistakes there and elected to pace himself in a situation where he knew he was faster. Whilst the veterans made mistakes on the slippery track, Febvre posted lap times in the one minute, fifty-three second range on eight consecutive laps. It was at that point that he really broke Desalle – his confidence will only rocket moving forward…

Max Anstie: Oh, what could have been! Anstie came so close to being the hero after fending off the advances of Guillod for fifteen laps of the first moto, but ultimately just missed the overall podium on the day. Max had the speed, there’s no doubt about that, although it did seem that he got a little tired at the end of the first moto – once Guillod and Herlings had passed him, he had no more to give. That is to be expected though, he gave it his all and the pressure of leading your home GP must be so intense. With that in mind, it was clear he needed a good start in moto two but it just didn’t happen. He made progress, but came up just one point short of the box.

Max has had the speed to finish on the podium at the last three rounds, but just hasn’t been able to put it together for a few different reasons. Obviously a mechanical issue in Valkenswaard wrecked his plans, then he missed it by the narrowest of margins at the last two rounds. Imagine the type of confidence and momentum he’d have behind him if he now had three podium finishes on the bounce.

Cold:

Mike Alessi: Wow, this isn’t good. Most people had varied thoughts on how Alessi would fare at Matterley Basin, although I’m sure no one predicted he would get straight up lapped. From the first practice on Saturday he was just off and, to be fair, there were a few things going against him. He hasn’t raced at the track before, hasn’t raced in a little while and is coming off of an injury. However, despite those issues, he should have been so much better. He has one more MXGP appearance scheduled (that being this weekend in France), but I find it hard to believe they would be able to make drastic changes to get him on the pace. Perhaps jumping from series to series isn’t a good idea after all?

Dean Ferris: When I spoke to Dean before the start of the season, he said it may take him a little while to get to one hundred percent. That’s understandable, as he was coming off a pretty major injury. However, we’re now seven rounds in and I haven’t see the type of performances that I expect out of him. He has been up front a few times recently, but just hasn’t had the speed to stay there. Saturday was good for him, which makes his rides on Sunday even more bizarre – it seems he is just as confused.

Julien Lieber: Lieber was arguably the greatest surprise through the first three rounds of 2015, showing podium speed regularly. However, since returning to Europe he has gradually slipped off the pace and become a bit invisible. A brace of twelfths certainly aren’t a true representation of what he is capable of. It is odd; he just needs one good race to light the fire again.

Maxime Desprey: Desprey could be sat quite comfortably at the top of the EMX250 standings right now, but just keeps making mistakes that cost him dearly. Valkenswaard was awful for him, but he was thrown a lifeline when Sterry struggling in Spain. However, he threw that away again this past weekend when he crashed out of moto one. The Frenchman has been in this position before, and has experience in MX2, so shouldn’t be the one making these mistakes. However, instead he just keeps on faltering…

Image: Andrew Conway

MX Vice Editor || 25

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