Honda World Motocross rider Max Nagl battled hard at a fruitless round five of the MX1 World Championship in Sevlievo, Bulgaria today where he went 6-11 for ninth overall.
Nagl, who qualified fourth, got a superb start to the opening moto today, taking the holeshot award, but went too wide on the exit of the first turn and ran out of track, which cost him a number of places.
As he settled into the race he began to make progress, and within a handful of laps the Honda racer was pressuring Tommy Searle hard for fourth place. Nagl attacked lap-after-lap around the incredibly fast Bulgarian track, which was less bumpy than usual, looking for a good line to make the pass, but a mistake while trying to find a safe overtaking line cost him valuable time, as he fell in a corner.
Antonio Cairoli pressured Nagl for the second part of the race and on lap 13 he made the pass stick, resulting in the Honda racer crossing the line in sixth place at the chequered flag.
In the second race Nagl made a mistake off the start and was outside the top ten into the first turn. The 25-year-old German racer got his head down to move through the field and made a good pass with a creative line choice on fellow Honda rider David Philiappaerts in lap five, despite losing a place while attacking to Ken de Dycker.
Mid race Nagl was fighting for seventh and was trying every line possible to get past Rui Gonçalves, but he tensed up and became frustrated, which resulted in him making a costly mistake in the closing stages. Nagl crossed the line in 11th place for ninth position overall.
The overall win went to Gautier Paulin, with Antonio Cairoli second and Clement Desalle third. The next round is in Agueda, Portugal in two weeks’ time where it is hoped the injured Evgeny Bobryshev will return to action.
Max Nagl #12: 9th overall
“I was feeling good all weekend. I had a good start in the first one and got the holeshot, but I just went too wide and almost ran out of track. I struggled in the first lap and lost some positions, but I was coming back to fifth and trying to get by Searle. Tony passed me in the last few laps and I was sixth. The riding was good, but the result was not that special. I messed up the start in the second heat; I went a little bit, but I had to stop again and then the gate dropped, so I made a mistake and just got it wrong. I could catch some guys, but I pretty much stayed the whole race behind Rui. I just couldn’t get by him, because I didn’t want to make that aggressive pass that would maybe make us crash, and I couldn’t find any other way. I got stressed and I destroyed myself; I was so tired that with a few laps to go I had a crash in a turn, as I just lost the bike, and I fin ished 11th. I am really, really disappointed. My lap times are pretty good, but I have to improve my riding, especially at the beginning and I need to be more aggressive with the passing.”
Lorenzo Resta: Honda World Motocross Team Manager
“It’s not been a good weekend and we were expecting much more, especially after the performance in Arco Di Trento, as well as in qualifying yesterday. Max has been confident with everything; the bike, the tyres, the track. He had a really good start in the first moto, but had a little crash, which took him away from the top five. In the second moto the start was not good, and he was in the traffic in the first few laps. He couldn’t find his rhythm and the good lines to make the passes. We have more work to do and over the next few weeks we need to improve his aggression along with the first part of the race.”