GP Bits: MXGP of France | Round 12

Great to see the respect between Herlings and Febvre. Romain won the first moto and beat Herlings straight up, which not many people have done.

 Romain Febvre: “I was happy to win the first moto. We saw already in the morning that our speed was much faster than the others so it was a real challenge which of us would win. I was quickly second with a couple of good passes in the first race; I had a really good spot to pass but I didn’t want to show it to Jeffrey until I was sure I was close enough. It was tough at the end with the lapped riders but we won and could celebrate that one with the French fans. In the second moto we were already first and second again after a few turns so I knew it would be a challenge to the end. I got around Jeffrey when he made a mistake and I made a few fast laps to make a gap but at the end he was faster in some sectors. Obviously I am a little disappointed. I almost won at home but it’s good to be on the podium and I am happy to see so many fans; they deserved the win but I couldn’t quite make it happen for them. It’s nice to have three of us really close in the points; hopefully we keep it like this to the end and I can find something to make the difference at the last few rounds.“

In EMX250 Nicholas Lapucci still leads the points on his Fantic XX 250. Long live two-stroke racing.

Speaking of two-stroke racing here's some close-ups of a MJC Yamaha Official EMX125 Team YZ125s.

Polished swingarm for that mirror-like shine. Interesting that they are running Maxxis tires.

Oooh, that's sweet. Let's see some custom colored calipers over here!

How much carbon can one bike have?

Carbon fiber subframe, because they can. It would be interesting to know the weight of that bike.

Nice safety wire job with the rubber hose protection as well.

GYTR parts and drilled out bolts everywhere.

Saving weight any possible way.

Getting valuable track info... or listing to Kenny G to calm the nerves?

Maxime Renaux keeps the red plate and was absolutely flying in both motos. Not-so-great starts kept him from the overall win.

Jorge Prado's crash with Herlings last week left him with a gnarly gash on his arm that needed to be stitched up. He didn't ride great and had to settle for 14th overall.

Thibault Benistant in front of his home crowd.

Everything looks so tidy the day before the races. Unfortunately, the factory Yamaha team has had some really untidy results this season.

Ben Watson “I had a really bad day today. I felt terrible all day, starting from qualifying. That blocked me. I got a good start in race one but was bumped off the track. It was just a battle from the back of the pack, which I couldn’t do anything to get to a decent position. In the second one, I changed a few things on the bike and went completely in the wrong direction, and then I twisted my ankle. So, I really just want to get out of here and regroup for the next one.”

This was the first visit to this track for the veteran Tony Cairoli.

The KTM pits are always going to be a big draw, especially the French fans wanting to see Tom Vialle.

We got word that Brian Bogers' GASGAS MC 450F might actually have the 2023 frame and engine. But our photographer was asked to keep her distance. Brian doesn't look like he's in the mood to share.

This angle isn't great either.

The MX2 GG team looks to be on the same equipment they have been all year. Maxxis tires come stock, but again, it is interesting to see a factory team run them since none do stateside.

No future-bike sighting here.

No sneakery here either except for the fake 'split' clamps on Kay De Wolf's FC 250. Also, Wolf prefers a longer header compared to both Hoffer's and Vialle's in the previous photo.

A look at the 114 Honda MX2 team who are still on 2021s.

Tom Vialle is seemingly unstoppable lately. “A really nice day. It’s the first time I’ve won the French GP and it’s amazing to ride in front of the public. Last year we didn’t have many fans at the races, so this was very nice. I had a bit more pressure than a ‘normal’ GP today but I managed to do good. The starts were really important. The track was sketchy and I don’t think this was my best GP in terms of riding but I’m really happy to win both motos again.”

Jeremy Seewer actually had one of his best finishes of the season with a 4th overall.

Maybe Hofer likes convenience stores.

Mattia Guadagnini: “I’m happy to be back on the podium and to come back from a bad weekend in Germany both for the results and my riding. We did a great job today. Taking Pole Position was important for the start and I had a very decent gate pick. The track made passing difficult but I was pleased to go 2-3. I lost a bit of rhythm towards the end of the second moto but it’s positive to be back on the podium.”

The Airoh guys have their hands full with all the factory lids they have to service.

No, Henry Jacobi isn't a massive fan of Kevin Windham. K-Dub is another name for the gear brand he runs KW from Poland.

When you see the perfect start rut.

Just after giving it up, Herlings gets the red plate back. Tim Gajser is now in third in the overall points.

Jeffrey Herlings:“A pretty good day. I already knew this morning that Romain would be good here and I had to step-up my game. The set-up I had for the first moto was pretty hard and there were a lot of off-cambers I was struggling with some arm-pump. Romain made a pass and I had to let him go. At the end of the moto I tried to close him back but I was just a bit too late. He won fair-and-square. I had another good start in the second moto and tried to pull away but it was tough. I entered a turn too hard and just washed out a front wheel; luckily I didn’t lose too much time and again managed to close it back down to Romain. We had a bit of bar-banging with the pass but I knew on this track you had to make a statement. I won the moto and the overall and now I’m looking forward to next weekend.”

Vialle is very used to the spray of champagne, even if he's getting sniped from the back.

That's it from France, see you in Spain.


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