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Rider Comments: GP of Sweden

Jeffrey Herlings: “Today we basically did what we had to do and that’s to win both motos and make the points gap bigger to the second place. This weekend is something I’m proud of. I won on Saturday and twice on Sunday and I had a lot of fun on the bike.”

Jordi Tixier: “It was difficult to take the start but I did it and I had a good feeling during the race. I was very tired for the last ten minutes of the race but to finish second overall, it cannot be better, because Jeffrey is faster than anyone else.”

Antonio Cairoli: “I am pretty happy about this weekend. The track was hard and slick today and it wasn’t really my favorite conditions. But I managed to get two good starts and I was able to control the races and finish on top so its good for the championship. It’s way easier to finish on top when you have two good starts.”

Ken de Dycker: “It’s going better and better every time and I don’t have so much pain in my hand. Now I need to get a better start and I will be able to ride with the top five.”

Kevin Strijbos: “A good GP for me but I expected a little bit more after the first moto. I rode pretty good and had some nice lines. I felt fast out there. In the second moto another rider pushed me from the outside to the inside and I had to cut across. I hit my team-mate with my back wheel and he crashed hard; I hope he is fine. I then had sand in my goggles on the first lap and ‘that was it’ basically. I closed up to Max and tried to pass him but it was very difficult to see. Anyway third place means a good day.”

Clement Desalle: “I’m really in a lot of pain right now. The scans showed that nothing was broken or damaged but I can hardly move and I have this burning sensation but the skin isn’t broken. It is strange. Somebody just took my front wheel and after that I was down. We will have to see how I feel in the next days.”

Jeremy Seewer: “I had a really good day yesterday, almost the holeshot but was then second with some good lap-times. I made a mistake which meant I finished fifth but that was still OK. The track was different today with more small bumps and edges. The first moto start was weird because many riders hit the gate. I was right up at the front but Valentin Guillod almost crashed right in front of me and I had to close the throttle. I had some good laps and a battle with Julien until it started to rain a little bit and I lost the front wheel on the slippery ground. Finishing 10th was OK; the speed was there but so were the mistakes also. In the second moto there were a lot of riders around me fighting in the top-10. I managed to stay on the bike and finished ninth. It was a strange track. Sometimes there was grip, other times there wasn’t and you needed power over the bumps to save the bike. Maybe I was closing the throttle a little too early. Overall it was another top-10 result and now I am looking forward.”

Julien Lieber: “The first moto was good. I started in seventh and finished in sixth. My speed was good, the same as the guys in front. In the second heat my start was not that great and I lost control of the front end in a corner; that was the first crash! The second came when I jumped too far in the wave section and the last was when I tangled with Covington and his footpeg was in my front wheel and we both went down. I’m not so happy because I made too many mistakes. I hope I can do better in Finland.”

Steven Frossard: “I got two bad starts again this weekend; we need to work on that as I have to push hard to come back during the first early laps. Luckily I could pass many riders in the first few corners and came back both times into the top five after two laps, but in the first race I used too much energy in doing so and lost one position again in the last ten minutes. In the second race my rhythm was much better after fifteen minutes and I posted the fastest time of the race on the twelfth lap but a few minutes later I crashed and lost time getting back on the track. The track was very dangerous in some sections, with deep ruts before some jumps.”

Dylan Ferrandis: “ Saturday was good for me with the pole position in timed training and a third place in the qualifying race; we have worked on the settings of the bike since Germany and I have a better feeling now. Unfortunately the first race wasn’t so good; the rider next to me hit the gate and that disturbed me, so I also hit the gate and started in last position. Then in the second lap another rider crashed on a jump and I hit his bike, so after two laps I was only twenty-third. I came back to twelfth, which was not so bad on this track, and in the second race I got a third position even if my start was not very good. A disappointing weekend.”

Thomas Covington: “I never raced on a track with so many rocks; that makes it pretty difficult for me. The track is challenging with the rocks and a strange grip, and it was definitively a tough weekend for me with some crashes with other riders. I haven’t been able to train due to my foot injury from the race in Maggiora last month, but I wanted to race and get more experience. For sure I need more time to recover; I think I will be fit for Loket at the end of the month.”

Tommy Searle: “I didn’t like the track so much today, I don’t think it’s a very good track and for a GP it should be a lot better prepared; it was dangerous in some places, and you had to ride very carefully. I was sixth and fifth; my second start was better and that made it a little bit easier for me. I felt more comfortable in that race. Now I’m looking forward to Finland next week as I like the track there.”

Dean Ferris: “I’m excited to be back in the MXGP paddock but I had hoped for better results. After not being on a bike for almost four months it was tough to jump back into race mode again on a track as gnarly and difficult as Uddevalla. I started off ok but lost some confidence in myself as the weekend wore on. Overall this race hasn’t gone anywhere near how I wanted to but the next round in Finland is a chance to wipe the slate clean and improve things.”

Nathan Watson: “I’m delighted to have claimed a career best result of 13th today. I really feel like I’m steadily making small steps forward in this class. I felt more settled with the bike and comfortable on the track. Gaining more experience at this level has given me the added confidence of knowing that I can race with these guys. Next weekend in Finland is a sand track and I’m looking forward to it. I always enjoy those conditions so hopefully there I can continue to improve and edge closer to the top ten.”

Max Nagl: “In general I’m really happy with the second moto. I was struggling all weekend with the track because the ground was similar to Arco [MXGP of Arco di Trento, April] and it was difficult for me, but today was better than yesterday. In the first race I had a terrible start and was really far behind, and especially at this track it’s hard to make up many positions. We changed some small things on the bike and then in the second heat I had a good start and got with the front guys and was able to carry the same speed and follow them in third. Kevin [Strijbos] was pushing me really hard mid-race but when someone like him is behind you, you feel safe because you know he won’t make any stupid moves. It meant I could still take my lines and not have to worry where he was going to go, so I was able to still push hard t o stay ahead and in the end pull away a little bit.”

Romain Febvre: “I’m a little frustrated with myself. A couple of mistakes and crashes cost me the chance of taking a podium result for Husqvarna in Sweden. In both motos I had the speed to finish inside the top three but in race two it just didn’t happen. I wanted to match my opening result of third and was in contention early on to do just that. Unfortunately I crashed on lap one but regrouped to get back up to sixth. Then, when I crashed again I damaged my fork leg. I couldn’t ride how I wanted to and nursed it home for 11th.”

Aleksandr Tonkov: “I had no luck in race one. A bad reaction off the start gate and then getting involved in another rider’s crash left me with no front brake. I rode as best I could to get back to 11th. Getting a decent start in race two made such a difference. I got into fifth position and found a way past Guillod to take fourth. I kept pushing and closed in on second and third but with nothing left in the tank during the final two laps I had no energy to give one last push. But I’m delighted with fourth, it’s my best result of the season to date.”

Jeremy Van Horebeek: “It was difficult today and normally I like this track because the type of ground suits my style. I don’t know what happened in the first moto. I was fighting with myself and the bike and it did not go the way I wanted. I had to be happy that I still finished third. We sat together with the team to make some changes for the second moto and they worked because I could be really smooth and fast and we’re here on the podium again. We still have a lot of races ahead this year but I’m proud of what I am doing so far.”

David Philippaerts: “I’m very happy because I didn’t like the track at all; it was very hard with long bumpy lines. Today was pretty good anyway and it is good that now I’ve been in the top ten for four races. This is important for the championship and also for my position; to be a top ten rider in the world with a private team is great for me. We will now focus for Finland which will be another difficult one: sandy and bumpy.” 

Rui Goncalves: “One weekend soon I will be able to be 100% fit and healthy! Tough day today and I knew it would be like that coming here feeling sick. I just tried to do the best I could and the second moto was again something we can look on to take away from this.”

Shaun Simpson: “I’m totally cheesed-off. It was a shit day. I should have had more points. My rear brake went early on in the first moto and then I had to stop when Desalle and those guys went down on the first corner in the second. I made up a load of ground but then lost it when I stalled the bike. Frustrating. I’m still fifth in the championship but Frossard made up some points and Nagl took a chunk out of me today. I’m looking forward to Finland now. I have a feeling that it’ll be a much better track for me than here.”

Mel Pocock: “I didn’t crash today and that was an important thing because the track was really gnarly in places. I went down on Saturday and then scared myself stupid in the second race as two streams of riders just went straight by me and it took a while to get going again. Not many positives to take from today.”
Ben Watson: “In the first race I started in the top ten and straightaway on the first lap I had a stone right in my face. It bust my nose, my eyes were watering and there was a load of blood. My lens was gone so I slowly dropped to thirteenth because I did not want any more stones coming through. I was happy with that to be honest. My face was swollen today and I couldn’t breathe through my nose properly. I still wanted to go out there and show what I could do. I made it into the lead and stayed there for over half the race. I made a mistake on the pitlane straight and a few people got me. I ended fourth but considering everything I was happy with that.”

Image: Honda World Motocross

MX Vice Editor || 25

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