It is winner takes all in MX2!
With the news that Jeffrey Herlings will be missing for Brazil and could still be nursing an injured shoulder for the rest of the season, the MX2 pack have got a new injection of extra motivation.
This happened at the end of last year when Herlings got hurt but the main contenders went to pieces when it was their chance to win a GP leaving mentally strong Aussie Dean Ferris to take the win in Belgium. Ferris won the first moto in the UK again (barely from Jake Nicholls) and then a mega second race saw Coldenhoff take the overall win after Charlier won the moto.
Can we expect similar carnage in Brazil? I think so. At least eight guys will think they can win now probably even including young American Thomas Covington. Tonus knows he can win as does Ferrandis, Anstie thinks he is better than Herlings anyway, Coldenhoff won last year in Herlings’ absence and is riding even better this year!
Then you have the two Husqvarna boys, Tonkov and Febvre who have shown some very good form as well as KTM no.2 Jordi Tixier who really needs to step up this weekend and show he can deal with the pressure of being the team’s number one rider.Unfortunately fellow Frenchman and factory Yamaha rider Christophe Charlier won’t be winning as a broken foot means he will miss the next couple of races.
But Brazil will show us the guys who have the mental strength to win races when they have the opportunity and the title challengers to Herlings might just be a little more clearer come Sunday evening.
The difference between a very good rider and a champion is the ability to perform under pressure and the MX2 guys are all under pressure to win, so who can handle it?
Let’s look at the top five in points.
Dylan Ferrandis is second in the championship 23 behind Herlings, Coldenhoff is 28, Febrve 31 and Tonus 32. All four can win races and all four could be leading the championship at the end of day. You can be sure as they sit on the plane to Brazil that they all believe this is their chance and they are all thinking about it. A double moto win from any of them will give them the red plate.
Tonus might just have the most raw speed and if he get the win Herlings might have something to worry about. because if the Swiss man gets the type of confidence Herlings has anything is possible. For Tonus after two years of injuries this is a golden opportunity to win his first GP, it is also his last year in MX2 and time is running out to do it.
The French duo are the only two riders to pass Herlings this season but Febrve will need a better start to get a win while Ferrandis will feel that being second in points means it’s his time to launch an attack on the title. And he knows exactly how to do it after winning the opening moto of the year.
Glenn Coldenhoff is having the best season of his career and he would love to give Suzuki their first win in MX2 since Ken Rocan and give Holland yet another GP win.
The excitement of the theme park behind the circuit might just be out shone by the excitement of the riders and the on track action of MX2 at Beto Carrero World this weekend.
It could be the race of the year and key in giving someone the momentum and confidence to challenge Herlings for the title.
In MXGP it is all about beating Cairoli, his rivals are still smarting from the fuel episode in Thailand but they need to put it behind them and focus on winning the race.
Cairoli already is creeping away in the points (16 point lead) and with his home GP looming at the next round it is imperative that someone shows Cairoli they can beat him, not just for themselves but to give everyone else the belief that this year won’t be like the other years.
Paulin did it in Qatar but even before the fuel issue in Thailand the Frenchman was not on the pace to get on the podium. So will it be Paulin or a much improved Desalle who can beat Cairoli? Can the quiet but effective Nagl who is now second in points win an overall on the HRC Honda or will Frossard push Cairoli in the speed stakes?
Jeremy Van Horebeek is also starting to put his name in the list if potential winners with his form on the factory Yamaha with some impressive rides in the first two rounds.
There will be a lot of motivated riders on the line this weekend. The already excitable Brazilian fans are in for a treat!
Article: Jonathan McCready