Yamaha Red Bull De Carli's Tanel Leok takes his first victory aboard the blue bike
Frenchman Gautier Paulin scores his first-ever win in MX2
Saturday’s qualifying brought unanswered hope to the people of Faenza with bits of sunshine and overall pleasant weather. But, as soon as the motos had concluded for the day, the rain started to rear its ugly head. Eventually it took a break in the morning, but not for long enough. It started again and did not stop until the track and surrounding area were flooded. The damage was too great for the FIM and track officials to continue racing after the first motos. So with that, The single-race format took effect, and to the moto winners went the overall victory.
The MX2 class got first crack at the soup bowl of a track in Faenza
We are always excited to see first-time winners, and the MX2 class at Faenza welcomed three newcomers to the podium. That’s right, the top three had never stood atop the MXGP podium before – proof positive that anything can happen in the World Champioship, as if the weather wasn’t proof enough. Beursfoon Suzuki’s Jeremy Tarroux seemed the early candidate for the win; he floated his RM-Z250 out into the lead early and held it until the track swallowed him up on the eighth lap. The other Jeremy, Jeremy Van Horebeek, had put his KTM comfortably in second early on, and so he inherited the lead when Tarroux fell victim to the mud. The surprise really came from Frenchman, Gautier Paulin, who finished the first lap in fourteenth place. Bud Racing Kawasaki pilot gained a position nearly every lap. While other, more likely podium candidates like Rui Goncalves fell to the merciless mud circuit, Paulin stayed steady, and took the lead from Van Horebeek with just two laps to go. Van Horebeek held onto second, while another Frenchman, Marvin Musquin quietly finished third. The Nouvelle Generation Sports Honda rider got a decent start off the line and finished the first lap in fourth; and though he did fall back to sixth at one point in the race, he held the throttle on and jetskied back to his first podium.
MX2 Overall Results
1. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 25 points
2. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 22 pts
3. Marvin Musquin (FRA, Honda), 20 pts
4. Davide Guarneri (ITA, Yamaha), 18 pts
5. Joel Roelants (BEL, KTM), 16 pts
6. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Yamaha), 15 pts
7. Nicolas Aubin (FRA, Yamaha), 14 pts
8. Marco Maddii (ITA, Suzuki), 13 pts
9. Valentin Teillet (FRA, KTM), 12 pts
10. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 11 pts
Teka Suzuki's Steve Ramon splashed out in front of the pack in the lone MX1 moto and led the opening laps ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Maximilian Nagl. Ramon, however, had his moto cut short by the horrendous conditions and Dutchman Marc De Reuver took the lead, but he soon followed Ramon back to the pits with a mudpacked bike.
Eventually, the attrition battle took a turn for Yamaha Red Bull De Carli's Tanel Leok. With riders dropping out of contention faster than flies from a zapper, the Estonian Expressmade his way around LS Motors Honda's Clement Desalle. Desalle, however, did not give up another position, and scored his first-ever podium.
Most eyes were on IItalian star Antonio Cairoli aboard his new Yamaha Red Bull De Carli-backed YZ450F, and the MX1 freshman was chipping away at the frontrunners until he suffered a mishap climpbing one of the stair-step hills. His frontend was pulled off the track by one of the nasty ever-changing ruts, and he lost quite a bit of time remounting and returning to the track. Though the Italian fans were disappointed, they did receive a constellation prize with Aigar Leok. Yes, Leok is Estonian, but his bike is none other than a TM Racing bike, the Italian upstart motorcycle company. The TM rider secured fourth place with Cairoli in tow.
MX1 Overall Results
1. Tanel Leok (EST, Yamaha), 25 points
2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Suzuki), 22 pts
3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Honda), 20 pts
4. Aigar Leok (EST, TM), 18 pts
5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, Yamaha), 16 pts
6. Joshua Coppins (NZL, Yamaha), 15 pts
7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), 14 pts
8. Tom Church (GBR, CCM), 13 pts
9. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 12 pts
10. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, KTM), 11 pts