The GP of Latvia has been and gone, and with it came a number of interesting topics worthy of some discussion. Kegums has been a staple on the calendar since 2009; the sandy surface often provides great on-track action. It is easy to find out who won the GP, by looking at the results. But, in order to find out what really happened over in Latvia, we must delve into the lap times.
Antonio Cairoli vs. Tommy Searle – MX1 Moto Two
Antonio Cairoli (1st)
Tommy Searle (6th)
Tommy Searle and Antonio Cairoli didn’t actually battle on-track at the Latvian GP. However, it is quite interesting to compare their lap times from the second moto; it proves how good a ride Searle was having whilst fighting up through the field. You could argue that Antonio had backed it down, because he was leading. But I do not believe this, as it was still early on; Ken de Dycker was right on him as well, so he had every reason to push forward. Although it may not be too surprising to see that Tommy was faster than the reigning champ on a few laps, it was extremely surprising to see that he was three seconds faster than Toni on lap ten!
Clearly, this proves that Tommy Searle has the potential to succeed in MX1. The time that he set on lap ten (1:52.981) was his fastest of the race, however Antonio Cairoli had bested that on lap one with a 1:51.417. Of course the 2:04.527 that Searle set on lap fifteen was because of the lapped rider that got in his way; Tommy stalled his bike at this point, as a result. Sadly, this incident halted his forward momentum. In the final five laps, the CLS Kawasaki pilot only set one lap time below the one-minute fifty-five range; the rest were nearing two-minutes.
Strangely, Antonio Cairoli seemed to struggle in the five-laps showcased in the chart above. I believe this is why Ken de Dycker was so close to him for much of the race. It was the type of performance typical of Toni Cairoli though, as he put in some incredible laps early on, before settling into the speed that everyone else was running; his lap times above were very similar to what de Dycker was doing. There is no denying the fact that Tommy Searle was the faster rider in those few laps though – it’s there in black and white!
Jeffrey Herlings vs. Jose Butron – MX2 Moto One
Jeffrey Herlings (1st)
Jose Butron (2nd)
It is obvious that we will be able to draw one thing from these lap times; Jeffrey Herlings was dominant. The Dutchman spent two laps stuck behind Jose Butron in the opening two laps of this moto, which is evident from the lap times above. Whilst watching the race you could see that Jeffrey was faster; his body language suggested this. However there was not an opening to pass, so he had to sit behind the Spaniard. But when he got around him, it was quite clear that Jeffrey was much faster. Immediately his times were somewhere around two seconds a lap faster than the rest of the field.
Intriguingly, Jose Butron did not set one lap time in the one minute fifty-three second range, whereas Jeffrey Herlings set three of these times in the chart above! Jordi Tixier was the only other rider to break this boundary, which indicates that he should have finished second. But, he lost that spot following a mistake. Jeffrey set his fastest lap of the race on lap seven, with a 1:53.544 lap time. However! Surprisingly, Jordi Tixier bettered that with a 1:53.510! See, it is beneficial to take a closer look at the lap times!
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image courtesy of KTM Images/Ray Archer