Rider Comments: GP of Trentino

Shaun Simpson: “I feel good. I ended the weekend on a positive, which is always a good way to get you through the following week leading up to the next GP. I haven’t really been brought up on this terrain so it was a case of toughing out this weekend, gritting my teeth and really trying hard. In the first race it was hard to pass, especially with my start but I grinded out a 12th that I thought was a good ‘save’ really.

The second race was better start, better lines, better rhythm. We have a bit of work to do on the bike for these kinds of conditions but I’m sure we can get that dialled in for the next time we come to somewhere similar like Uddevalla or Loket. I’m looking forward to next week and really getting this 450 opened up. Here was a bit tight and twisty and Bulgaria is more about speed.”

Mel Pocock: “We had some problems with my first bike which meant we had to use my second for the races. A bit of a bummer. In the first race Tonkov and I crashed together and it wasn’t really anyone’s fault. We both ended up with our bikes on top of each other. On this kind of track you need a good start and then just be able to sit there and settle in. I had a better one in the second race and was careful in the first few laps. I used my head and was trying to change up a gear and ride the bike with the correct rpm. I came up with a steady twelfth, which was an improvement. I’m fast enough for the top ten; I just need things to come together.”

Natalie Kane: “I struggled all weekend with the track. I liked the ground but when it was watered then it just slicked up. It was all about mistakes because you could gain time on others but also lose it! So I didn’t feel that comfortable but we came out with a good result and I’m really happy to have that red plate.”

Jake Nicholls: “A good weekend for me here at Arco di Trento. Qualifying went well, I got a good start and rode a strong race for sixth. In race one on Sunday I got a decent start but never really found my rhythm after getting held up by a few riders. I got swamped by the group behind and ended up in 15th. The second race was much better after another good start in seventh. I followed Simpson for the whole race and was faster than him in the last third but failed to make a move; with two laps left whilst trying to pass him I lost two places instead. I still finished ninth which I’m really happy with, it’s my first top ten in MXGP but more importantly the first time I’ve totally clicked with the 450.”

Matiss Karro: “It was tough for me this weekend. I struggled with the track in both races and I couldn’t find the right lines and never really felt confident on the bike. I still managed to post two point scoring rides and didn’t crash so I’m happy about that.”

Romain Febvre: “Finishing second in qualification was a big confidence boost for me. I knew my speed was good for a top three result but early in race one I got arm pump and that slowed my progress. Race two was much better and I held third position for about six laps. Unfortunately Herlings and Tonus got passed me but I hung on to take fifth.”

Aleksandr Tonkov: “It’s been an up and down weekend for me. I felt great in practice but I had some problems in qualification and only finished 35th. That gave me a bad gate pick but in the first race I got a perfect start and was eighth until I tangled with another rider and broke my foot peg. In the end I finished 14th. In race two my start was really good and although I crashed once during the race I finished eighth. Overall I’m not too happy with my results but I’m pleased with my speed. Hopefully next weekend in Bulgaria will be better.”

Todd Waters: “That was one of the toughest tracks I’ve ridden in a very long time. It took a while to feel comfortable on it. Race one didn’t go great. I fell off on the first lap and then had a bit of work to do to finish 14th. I was more determined for race two and just got on with the conditions. That made the difference – I rode a lot better and I almost finished sixth.”

Tyla Rattray: “I only rode my bike three times before this race so I didn’t know where I’d fit in. I was lacking bike time and my right hand quickly blistered up. It was hard to hold on but I dug deep to get my two finishes. My speed isn’t where I know it should be yet but that will come with time – it was just nice to be behind a starting gate again. With this race now behind me I’ve got something to build on for next weekend in Bulgaria.”

Antonio Cairoli: “I did have the fastest lap in both races but I need to be more consistent. I really wanted to win the second race today an I was working my way back to the front then I made another mistake.”

Jeffrey Herlings: “My starts were not so good but I managed to work my way to the front to win the first race and to finish second in the second race. Considering I was injured and had also been sick with a virus infection and I haven’t had much time on the bike, we can’t really complain.”

Jordi Tixier: “I think my speed was better than in Brazil but it was difficult to ride with my wrist problem and there was a lot of pain in the braking bumps. But since Brazil KTM has let me try a lot of new things on my bike and I am feeling much more confident, also in my head.”

Jeremy van Horebeek: “I am happy to be second but I made too many mistakes today. I crashed in the first moto and lost time. In the second moto I had a bad start and had to come back through the pack. At the end of the race I was almost on Clement’s rear wheel and if it had not been for those mistakes then maybe I could have gone for it [the win]. Anyway, I’m pleased to be back on the podium and the consistency shows that Thailand was not a lucky shot. It feels good to be making the same results in MXGP like I did in MX2. I know I am really fit and I gave my all today. I hope to continue like this and soon win a GP because we are getting close now.”

David Philippaerts: “It was a hard day because the track was so difficult and with so little grip. In the first moto I was riding OK but it was hard to pass. In the second moto I changed the tyre for hard-pack but it did not really work for the start. I lost traction in one corner and crashed. Now we have to focus for Bulgaria and the coming races. I’m disappointed I couldn’t do better at my home grand prix. I liked the track but not the ground. We launched the team here and I’m really happy with the set-up and the structure. I have to reach the same standard myself now!”

Rui Goncalves: “I thought I might struggle at this track and disappointingly it turned out this way. We tried changing a few settings to find grip and more speed but I couldn’t get the feeling I needed to get comfortable. We’ll keep working for better next weekend.”

Glenn Coldenhoff: “Good to be back on the podium again. Especially with that first moto result. I had a bad start and the track was very one-line then. I was a bit too slow in the first 10 minutes and by the time I picked-it-up, I missed some momentum to make the passes. I finished eighth. The team suggested some set-up changes and I didn’t really agree but they paid off; so I’m really happy those guys are behind me. I followed Guillod until I could see that he would slow down a little bit. I took the lead and held it to the finish line.”

Jeremy Seewer: “For sure this was another step forward. Yesterday I was already good with the starts and the speed. The first moto was one of the best of my career! I almost got the holeshot and led half the lap; right at the front of the MX2 world championship. In the end I took fifth which was pretty good and my best result yet. The second moto was a bit of a disaster with people swapping gates on the line. I had to switch mine three times, which was not normal. My speed was good again but I lost ground in the beginning of the race as I battled with Pocock. Next time I should pass quicker. I’m already looking forward to the next GP.”

Clement Desalle: “I came here relaxed and had a good feeling on the track. The races were good and I had some decent starts. I was second throughout the first moto and it was hard to make the difference here. I came back on Gautier Paulin sometimes, but would make some small mistakes to lose some time; it went like that all the way through. It was easy to make a mistake on this track but I’m really happy with how it worked out today. The season did not start how I expected but I was feeling better in Thailand. I don’t have pain in my shoulder and feel good on the Suzuki. I don’t know if I am 100% yet but I am close.”

Kevin Strijbos: “I had two good races today despite the fact that it was far from easy; I struggled to find my rhythm and speed on this track. I made two good starts and put my head down in both motos. I’m happy I am on the podium. After the last GP we changed some stuff and I was riding a bit more; all that work has paid off.”

Max Nagl: “The biggest positive from today is that we improved the bike a lot from the starts. I had two good starts where I was right with the first five guys so that’s a big improvement. The team did a really good job with the bike, but all today I was struggling with the track, like it was not possible for me to turn. I could not put the bike flat in the turns because it always moved and slipped so I had the feeling I would crash, so I had to keep the bike upright and then you are really slow. I was really aggressive and pushing hard in the second race behind van Horebeek but the track was very strange and I made some mistakes and just couldn’t make that one second extra that I needed today.”

Kiara Fontanesi: “I really tried to push this weekend. In the first moto I didn’t want to take any risks, so I did what I could to get up from sixth to third and was determined for the second moto today. I gave my all at the start and reached second place on the first corner. From there I could ride smoothly and with my own rhythm. I saw I was faster and was waiting for the right moment to pass Meghan when she crashed. It was good for me because I recovered a lot of points in the championship. I’m happy to win the GP, especially here in Italy. I did a lot of things wrong in Qatar so this is like a new start to the championship. We go to Valkenswaard next and I like the sand. I think we can do well there.”

Luke Styke: “I’m happy the results are getting better. I managed to improve my result from Brazil and that was the goal. I’m still not where I should be at but at least we see an upward trend in the results. I will keep on working hard and I’m looking forward to go to Bulgaria next week discovering another new track.”

Max Anstie: “Not the weekend we were looking for. We were switching between set-ups and finally went with what we knew. Today I went down quite heavily on the first lap of the first race. I was lucky not to be landed on. It ruined the moto. In the second one I really wanted to get a good start but I hit the gate; which I never do! I can’t believe I did it. I had to come from the back again and I found the track like a skating rink because it had been watered. It was one-liney. I tried passing but struggled. The others were better than me today. Back to the drawing board and we’ve got a lot of testing and work ahead of us.”

Petar Petrov: “There’s not so much to say to be honest. The story of the last weeks continued here in Italy. In the first race I came together with Tonus in the start and I was in the last position. I charged hard and after a couple of laps I was already riding in the points. I felt pretty good and my speed was alright, but then we had a mechanical problem. This is part of racing. In the second race I had an average start and when I got to 10th position I had a small crash in a corner and lost five or six positions. By the time I got back to tenth the gap to the next rider was too big. 10th is not bad but it’s not where I should be. Now we’re going to my home round in Bulgaria next week.“

Arnaud Tonus: “The first race was incredible. I had a problem at the first corner as the bike stopped; maybe it was a stone in the rear wheel, but I don’t know for sure. I was last but I passed many riders during the first lap and I had a good rhythm so I was able to come back to second. I felt physically OK for the second race, but I made some small mistakes; I got another GP podium and keep the red plate, so it was a good weekend for me.”

Dylan Ferrandis: “I didn’t feel so comfortable on this track, and crashed at the start of the qualifying race; the bike was damaged but I still recovered to finish twelfth. My start in the first GP race was not so good, but I came through to sixth position until I crashed and finished tenth. My second start was much better and I was fighting with Butron; we touched each other and in the incident my gear pedal was broken so I couldn’t continue the race.”

Thomas Covington: “This track was not the best to get used to a new bike for me, I struggled with the lines and the grip as it was very strange and slippery.”

Alessandro Lupino: “I only got Tommy’s bike just before this GP, and I didn’t know what to expect in the MXGP class. In the first moto I had some arm pump, but that’s normal as the 450 is very different to the 250 and I rode with Tommy’s settings. In the second moto I hit the gate and was last at the first corner, but I had good speed and was happy with my riding. I felt more comfortable, I was changing gear at the right moment, and for sure with some more training and tests I will be more confident for the remaining races.”

Gautier Paulin: “It could have been a perfect weekend, but it was not to be and of course I am frustrated this evening. It was more important than ever to have good starts here at this track, so we worked a lot on this and I got two holeshots. In the first moto I posted a couple of fast laps and then controlled my rivals, and the plan was to do the same in the second race. I had another holeshot, but after five laps I had to stop as a stone hit the crankcase.”

MX Vice Editor || 25

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