At the GP of Sweden on Sunday, there were a couple of interesting storylines that took place on-track. But in order to further understand what happened in Northern Europe, we need to delve into the lap times; there are a few interesting statistics and thoughts that you can take from the lap charts and race analysis.
Antonio Cairoli vs. Ken de Dycker – MX1 Moto Two
Antonio Cairoli (1st)
Ken de Dycker (2nd)
Intriguingly, Ken de Dycker found a way passed Antonio Cairoli in the first moto at Uddevalla on Sunday. However, that is not what I want to focus on here. Ken gained the lead on lap ten of the moto; he then lost the lead on the sixteenth lap. Evidently, de Dycker had a good pace going at the start of that moto – he caught and passed the six-time world champ, which is a remarkable achievement. But once he had moved into the lead his lap times dropped a bit, which eventually cost him. If he had maintained the pace that he was going at the beginning, I do think that he would have won the moto.
Why was the tenth lap so much slower for Antonio Cairoli? The Sicilian made a mistake after the pit lane and then seemed to spend the rest of the lap trying to regroup; so that is why he posted his only lap time inside of the one-minute fifties. But Cairoli immediately set out, and attempted to regain that time lost, which he did, as de Dycker evidently faded. I did allude to this in the ‘MX Vice Viewpoint’ earlier this morning; but I wonder if the drop in times for Ken was a result of him not being comfortable in the lead.
It is no secret that Ken de Dycker is not too comfortable under pressure, which is evident by how he frequently tends to look over his shoulder. I would put that down as a reason for his drop in times from laps ten to sixteen. At first I thought that this might be a result of fatigue, but he then picked up his lap times again as soon as he lost the lead. Quite clearly de Dycker was much more comfortable in the second position, for whatever reason. De Dycker posted three lap times in the one minute forty nine range whilst leading, whereas when he lost the lead he never dropped into that range, despite the rougher track. It is worth noting that the fastest lap of the moto came from Antonio Cairoli on the seventeenth lap as well.
Tommy Searle vs. Clement Desalle – MX1 Moto Two
Tommy Searle (13th)
Clement Desalle (3rd)
I have included this lap-time comparison in this article, because Clement Desalle and Tommy Searle provided us with a great battle to watch; they also edged closer to the top two, whilst pushing their limits in their separate battle for third. Intriguingly, the chart above shows that Desalle may have been slightly faster than Tommy; it would be hard to argue against that, as Clement was all over Searle for much of the moto; you could see just how desperate he was to get around him and into third.
Interestingly the lap times of Clement Desalle were inconsistent, whereas Tommy Searle was relatively consistent it would seem. I do believe that the reason for Desalle’s inconsistency is that he was experimenting with lines, in order to get around Searle. When the Belgian would lose a bit of time, he would turn up the heat the next lap and close back onto the back wheel of Tommy. Evidently, Desalle did have enough speed in his back pocket to match the pace of the guys in front of him; he just did not have enough speed to get around them with ease.
It is worth noting that the lap time that the Rockstar Energy Suzuki rider posted on lap eight (a 1:46.875) was his fastest of the race as well, it was one of only two times that Desalle got into the one minute forty-six range. In comparison Tommy Searle did not drop into the one-minute forty-six range at all during the second MX1 moto at Uddevalla
Words by Lewis Phillips
Image courtesy of Suzuki Racing