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The Starter: MXGP of Indonesia

A report from Pangkal Pinang.

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Following a tedious week of travel, the Grand Prix contingent have arrived in Indonesia for the first of two FIM Motocross World Championship rounds. Pangkal Pinang, the circuit that hosted the event last season, is the first stop and one that desperately needs to get rid of its bad reputation. It seems that everything is in place for that to happen this weekend.

There were torrential downpours last season, which has been discussed at length, but that could occur at any location. The first event at Afyonkarahisar in Turkey could also turn out to be a mudder, but that does not mean that it should be placed on a shelf and not considered again. The point is that although the inaugural event at Pangkal Pinang did not meet expectations, it is only right that it has been given another chance. Youthstream have also done all that they can to ensure that this edition will be a prosperous one. The first step was, of course, moving it to a later date and out of the rainy season.

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Unfortunately, rain has battered Pangkal Pinang recently.

Sean Ogden

There is still a threat of rain this weekend, although it seems that is just down to poor luck. Reports from the locals suggest that there has not actually been much rain at all over the last month, so moving the event to the summer was clearly a positive step, but there have been thunderstorms this week. Based on the weather forecast for this weekend, it seems that Saturday will be okay and then some heavy rain could fall on Sunday. It is worth noting that at the time of writing, midday on Friday, a huge storm is battering the facility. It has not stopped at all in the last four or five hours.

 The track crew are braced for that though, as the track has been raised and the bog section has also been removed. Those two points alone should make a huge difference. There was a reason why that particular straight was so bad last year, as the land that it covered is like a swamp. It just never drys up. Some of the other parts of the track, most notably the area by the finish, actually became quite rideable during the first motos last year. There is no doubt that is the greatest improvement of them all and will make a significant difference during the races on Sunday.

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This is the second time Pangkal Pinang has hosted a round of MXGP.

Sean Ogden

Everything is just much more complete, which in turn means that the promoters are ready to tackle the elements. There was some difficulty preparing the track last season, hence why pit lane and some other things were not up to their usual standard, but that is certainly not the case this time around. The road heading into the circuit is currently being painted in black and white, to resemble a chequered flag. What does that have to do with the success of the Grand Prix of Indonesia? Nothing at all, but those finer details are never communicated with the fans on the other side of the world.

With the rain still falling, it is likely that a wet-weather schedule will be put into place this weekend. Stay tuned to MX Vice for more on that though, as all of the news will be added to the MXGP channel.

Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Sean Ogden

MXGP World Championship

Mathis Valin stays second in EMX250

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Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Mathis Valin narrowly missed the podium in round two of the EMX250 Championship at Pietramurata in the Trentino region of northern Italy but the French teenager retained a secure second place in the series standings.

A single slip in each race cost the youngster a second consecutive podium in his rookie season in the class, but he displayed character and determination to regain his composure and charge back up the leaderboard to finish fourth in each moto. He spun out in a loose-surfaced turn on the third lap of Saturday afternoon’s first moto after quickly advancing to fourth; the incident cost him three positions but he responded well to recover fourth place five laps from the close despite discomfort in his leg from the crash. In race two on Sunday morning he found himself squeezed towards the trackside banking heading into the first turn but was again quickly on the move to seventh before tipping over in a tight turn at the start of lap four to surrender two positions. Undaunted by the slip he persevered with decisive passes on consecutive laps mid-moto to make fourth his own four laps from the end. He now trails the championship leader by sixteen points but is seventeen clear of third in the standings.

Bud teammate Benjamin Garib had no joy in Saturday’s first moto as he was involved in a mass collision on the exit from turn one but the Chilean showed his speed and determination in race two as he advanced consequently from a fifteenth-placed start to seventh – with his sights set on fifth – two laps from the finish before a fall pushed him back to eighth at the chequered flag.

Mathis Valin: “ After my crash yesterday I had so much pain in my leg that I could hardly walk when I came back to the team truck and I didn’t sleep so well last night. But today I did my best to get some important points with another fourth-placed finish; in the first part of the race I still had some pain, especially when I was sitting down, but  it became less painful mid-moto and I could make some passes. I didn’t really enjoy this track so much but the results show that all the work we did this winter is paying off and overall I’m happy as I’m still second in the standings.”

Benjamin Garib: ” Saturday was not a good way to start the weekend with a crunch at the first corner but my start was better today and I was right on the pack. I could make some good passes but I had a small crash near the end which cost me a couple of places. I enjoyed the track, but it was a new experience and very tricky with the grip; you had to be very careful with line-choice. I’m happy with my riding; I just need to figure out my starts.”

Inside Team video of the week-end in our Youtube link below :

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MXGP World Championship

Onboard with Tim Gajser in Arco di Trento

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Tim Gajser was riding with a GoPro camera at the fourth round of the MXGP world championship in Arco di Trento last weekend. Watch the footage below and see how intense it is in the opening laps of the MXGP class.

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Watch the startcrash of the MX2 class in Trentino

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At the start of the second MX2 moto of the Grand Prix of Trentino there was huge pile up. One of the riders was championship leader Kay de Wolf. Mikkel Haarup was riding with a GoPro camera and filmed the crash from behind

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