2014 MXGP Of Bulgaria

Photos courtesy Youthstream & FIM | Video courtesy Youthstream & GoPro

The FIM Motocross World Championship continued its trek through Europe, with the fifth round of the 2014 season taking place at the Gorna Rositza Circuit in Sevlievo, Bulgaria. This year’s championship has already seen a fair share of excitement and intrigue, as both defending champions have been saddled by injuries and their competition’s improvement over the off-season.

MX2 World Championship

Jeffrey Herlings | 1-1 | 1st Overall

For Jeffrey Herlings, the weekend was a chance to overcome the points deficit from when the Red Bull KTM rider was forced to sit out the GP of Brazil with an injured shoulder. The missed weekend cost Herlings 50 points in the championship and allowed CLS Monster Energy  Kawasaki’s Arnaud Tonus take over the series. After returning one week ago at the GP of Italy, Herlings was closer to what many feel is his normal pace and it showed in his two motos wins on the day.

Arnaud Tonus | 2-2 | 2nd Overall

Arnaud Tonus has steadily improved over the last two seasons and the Swiss rider is a contender to strip Herlings of the status he’s carried for the last two seasons. Increased speed and stamina put Tonus close to his arch rival on the track but he will need to eliminate mistakes, like a late-race crash in moto one that handed Herlings the win, to keep his title hopes alive. Still, his second place overall finish keeps the gap over Herlings in the championship at four points.

Jordi Tixier | 3-3 | 3rd Overall

Many feel as though Jordi Tixier did not take advantage of his Red Bull KTM teammate’s misfortune earlier in the season, but the French rider has the speed it take to remain in the fight. Consistency will be key as the year presses on and finishes like his 3-3 rides in Sevlievo will help his chances against competition that often struggles to string finishes together week after week.

Moto One Results

1. Jeffrey Herlings
2. Arnaud Tonus
3. Jordi Tixier
4. Dylan Ferrandis
5. Romain Febvre
6. Tim Gajser
7. Glenn Coldenhoff
8. Petar Petrov
9. Jeremy Seewer
10. Aleksandr Tonkov

Moto Two

1. Jeffrey Herlings
2. Arnaud Tonus
3. Jordi Tixier
4. Dylan Ferrandis
5. Romain Febvre
6. Petar Petrov
7. Glenn Coldenhoff
8. Tim Gajser
9. Aleksandr Tonkov
10. Jeremy Seewer

2014 MXGP Of Bulgaria MX2 Overall

1. Jeffrey Herlings
2. Arnaud Tonus
3. Jordi Tixier
4. Dylan Ferrandis
5. Romain Febvre
6. Petar Petrov
7. Glenn Coldenhoff
8. Tim Gajser
9. Aleksandr Tonkov
10. Jeremy Seewer

MX2 World Championship Standings (5 of 18 rounds)

1. Arnaud Tonus 198pts
2. Jeffrey Herlings 194pts
3. Glenn Coldenhoff 176 pts
4. Romain Febvre 158 pts
5. Dylan Ferrandis 154 pts
6. Jordi Tixier 147 pts
7. Aleksandr Tonkov 130 pts
8. Tim Gajser 121 pts
9. Valentin Guillod 107 pts
10. Jose Butron 105 pts

MXGP World Championship

Antonio Cairoli | 2-1 | 1st Overall

It had been seven years since Antonio Cairoli’s last win at the Bulgarian circuit, dating back to when the now five-time MXGP world champion raced in the MX2 division. After claiming the holeshot in the opening race, Cairoli was passed for the lead by Gautier Paulin but held on to take second place in the moto one. Rains soaked the track before the second outing, but this did not faze the Red Bull KTM rider. Another holeshot put him at the front of the pack and he stormed away from the rest of the field to take both the moto win and day’s overall. He now leads the championship by 28 points.

Gautier Paulin | 1-4 | 2nd Overall

There is something about the vicious hard packed hills of Bulgaria that suits Gautier Paulin. The CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki rider blasted by Antonio Cairoli in moto one, when the track was a vicious circuit of massive braking bumps, deep ruts, and vertical drops-offs, to win by an eight second margin. When the skies opened and the track became a soft mess in moto,  Paulin could only muster a fourth place finish but his two thrilling rides were enough to earn second overall on the day.

Jeremy Van Horebeek | 4-2 | 3rd Overall

MXGP rookie Jeremy Van Horebeek has been impressive through the first rounds of the 2014 season. Now racing aboard a factory Yamaha Rinaldi YZ450F, the Belgian rider has shown few issues running the pace of the premier class and added his third-straight podium finish to this year’s statics. As impressive as his fourth in the first moto was, it is overshadowed by his second place run to Antonio Cairoli in the second moto, where he finished just over three seconds behind the defending champion. Van Horebeek’s overall record on the season places him third in the championship, ahead of many established veterans and just behind two of the most successful racers in the class.

Moto One Results

1. Gautier Paulin
2. Antonio Cairoli
3. Kevin Strijbos
4. Jeremy Van Horebeek
5. Clement Desalle
6. Xavier Boog
7. Evgeny Bobryshev
8. Tyla Rattray
9. Steven Frossard
10. Maximilian Nagl

Moto Two Results

1. Antonio Cairoli
2. Jeremy Van Horebeek
3. Clement Desalle
4. Gautier Paulin
5. Kevin Strijbos
6. Tyla Rattray
7. Shaun Simpson
8. Todd Waters
9. Rui Goncalves
10. Maximilian Nagl

2014 MXGP Of Bulgaria MXGP Overall

1. Antonio Cairoli
2. Gautier Paulin
3. Jeremy Van Horebeek
4. Clement Desalle
5. Kevin Strijbos
6. Tyla Rattray
7. Xavier Boog
8. Shaun Simpson
9. Maximilian Nagl
10. Rui Goncalves

MXGP World Championship Standings (5 of 18 Rounds)

1. Antonio Cairoli 222 pts
2. Clement Desalle 194 pts
3. Jeremy Van Horebeek 194 pts
4. Gautier Paulin 180 pts
5. Maximilian Nagl 166 pts
6. Kevin Strijbos 145 pts
7. Todd Waters 107 pts
8. Xavier Boog 96 pts
9. Evgeny Bobryshev 95 pts
10. Shaun Simpson 95 pts