|Honda World Motocross rider Max Nagl bounced back from a tough race one in Arco Di Trento for round four of the MX1 World Championship with a top three finish in the second to take seventh overall.|
Nagl, who qualified sixth, was the sole representative of the team this weekend due to teammate Evgeny Bobryshev’s injured ankle, and was determined to make another step forward in his results, as he returns to fitness from injury. However, in the opening race of today, the German racer had a disastrous start to his moto, as he missed the gate and crashed on the first lap with a slower rider.
It was an uphill battle from there for the Honda pilot, but Nagl got his head down and from dead last he battled his way through to within grasping distance of a top ten finish, to reach the chequered flag in 11th position.
An angry but determined Nagl got a better start to the second moto aboard his Dunlop-shod factory CRF450R, and was sixth at the end of the first lap. From there he battled hard around the super-stoney Italian track, which was incredibly difficult to make passes on with few choice lines offering any traction.
After getting by Rui Gonçalves on lap three, Nagl pushed hard to pass Jonathan Barragan in a nail-biting fight, in which the Honda racer won on lap nine after pressurising Barragan into a mistake. Once he was able to get into a good rhythm without being in attack mode, Nagl soon hunted down Xavier Boog to make the pass for third, but by this point the leaders were a long distance ahead.
Gautier Paulin was beginning to catch Nagl in the closing stages, but the Honda racer reacted and was one of the fastest men on track in the final five minutes of the race, as he brought down the 21 second deficit on Ken de Dycker to five seconds by the chequered flag to finish in a well-deserved third position and seventh place overall.
Antonio Cairoli won both races and the overall, with de Dycker second and Paulin taking the final step of the podium. The team will now head over to Sevlievo, Bulgaria for the fifth round of the series next weekend.
Max Nagl #12: 7th Overall
“First of all after all the problems pre-season I am really happy for the team, mechanics and Honda, as we’ve been training so much in the last few weeks and finally I have been able to make another step to improve my speed along with my physical condition. I still need to work on my starts, as in the first race it was terrible and I crashed on the first lap, so I was last and it was so tough to fight through. I was still 11th but I was very angry, as the speed was definitely there for the front. We changed some small things on the bike for the second heat; the start was better, and the riding improved a lot. I am so happy to have third place, as it took a lot of energy for me, the whole team and everyone. It was also great to have so much support here, as we aren’t so far from Germany, so it was nice to see some of the fans. The track was really tough today, as it was just one line so I had to follow the guys in front, and the big st ones in the roost were bad; my hands, chest, everything, all hurt like hell. If I changed the line there was a lot of loose dirt, so there was no traction and the gap to the guy in front increased again. The only way to pass was to follow and pressure them hard into a mistake, which is what I did with Barragan and Boog. Now I’m looking forward to Bulgaria next weekend, as it’s a track I’ve won on in the past and I hope we can get closer to a podium finish.”
Lorenzo Resta: Honda World Motocross Team Manager
“The first race wasn’t good; the start wasn’t good and then a rider caught Max’s back wheel, which made him crash. He was dead last, so he had to work really hard to catch the field and he found a nice rhythm with many fast laps to fight through to 11th, with a top ten finish possible if we just had one more lap. It is impressive that he could do this on a track in that condition, which was really difficult for passing. In the second race the start was better, but not perfect. He was sixth after the first lap, and fought really hard on the ground that had deteriorated from the first race. Step-by-step he worked his way through to a top three with a good rhythm and constistant speed. He made a big step with the gap from the front, and we’re really pleased to have him in the top three. Seventh overall is not so bad considering what happened in the first race, but n ow we will continue our work for Bulgaria, although we believe we have a good bike, suspension and setting for the hardpack ground, which should put us in good stead.”