GP Bits: MXGP of Great Britain | Round Two 11

An inside look at the second round of the 2019 MXGP FIM Motocross World Championship from the Matterley Basin Motocross Circuit in Great Britain.

GP Bits: MXGP of Great Britain | Round Two

The Matterley Basin Motocross Circuit is tucked away in the rolling English countryside.

Red Bull KTM's Tony Cairoli pulled down a 1 - 2 to get the overall victory. Two holeshots and mistake-free riding was his game.

"It was a great weekend and for sure this track is one of my favorites. I had difficulty to push from the beginning because of a problem during the week and I was stiff. It meant I got arm-pump after three-four laps. I had to be careful because on this track if you are tight then you’ll crash because it is tricky and there are a lot of strange ruts and kickers. I was cautious and in the end, it paid off. Hopefully, I can be better for next week in the sand. For the championship, everything is going well and that’s my goal.”


Team Honda HRC's Tim Gajser had a scary moment in moto one, yet remounted a mangled bike to get third in that race. Then, passed Cairoli in moto two to get the win there. His 3 - 1 scores gave him second place overall.

Let's take a closer look at Tim Gasjer's CRF450R.

Handguards are a way of not only protecting Tim's hands but the hydraulic master cylinders as well. We can also see that Tim is running what looks to be a different Nissin hydraulic clutch, not the HRC factory unit, also made by Nissin, that the US team uses. It might be the spec that the KX450 has.

Again, we can see the Vibram grip pad on the frame and the little carbon fiber protector right above where the lower section of the subframe bolts to the frame. Unlike some other factory GP machines, this CRF450R isn't running a carbon subframe.

The magnesium side cover and case saver look to be the same as the US team's. Same with the stock looking engine mounts. But that radiator is custom with a different shape at the bottom and the fins continuing lower than stock. Also, access to the shock adjusters is made easier with a cutout and carbon reinforcement. Lastly, his shifter tip is rubber coated, rather than just knurled metal.

They take fork AND clamp protection very seriously at the GPs.


Honoring his brother Zan.

Tim is making sure everyone knows his special number.

"We had a great weekend! I was feeling great on the bike and the track both yesterday and today. I’m really happy to finish on the podium on this special day for me. The first race we started well and the beginning was good, but then I made a mistake and I fell down and finished third. The second race was better as I took the same start and worked my way to the front and I’m just so happy to win my first race in more than a year, after all my injury problems so I’m thankful and happy. A huge thanks to all the team because they all put in huge amounts of work and it’s paying off. We will continue working hard and to keep pushing!"

Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP's Gautier Paulin had a good weekend, going 2 - 3 for third overall on his YZ450F.

"Every weekend on the box is a good weekend. I was happy with the first moto. In the second moto I was riding stiff in the beginning, but overall we had a good weekend and made a big step forward since Argentina. This was always the goal and this is what we are working really hard towards. I am really happy with my team Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP and the work they are putting in."

Paulin always looks so serious, but podiums seem to make him happy. I don't know if Cairoli approves of this show of pure joy.

Monster Energy Kawasaki's Clement Desalle moto scores of 4 - 7, for fourth overall, don't do his ride justice. In moto two, he hit the deck on lap one, was last place, and passed his way up to 7th. His lap times, while mid-pack, were on par with the leaders at the front of the race.


“It was not an easy weekend as yesterday I injured my hand in the crash and when I woke up this morning it was still painful so I knew it would be a tough day with so many big jumps on the track. My first start was ok from the fourteenth gate and I scored a fourth position, not so bad in the circumstances. My second start was much better, but at the end of the first downhill, in the same corner where I had crashed in the qualifying race, another rider hit my front wheel and I crashed with several other riders including my teammate. From there I came back from last to seventh to save important points. Now I will take care of my hand and recover during the week as we have another GP next weekend.”

Rounding out the top five overall at the MXGP of Great Britain was Honda SR Motoblouz rider Jeremy Van Horebeek, going 5 - 6 for fifth overall.

From Instagram: "P5 today, bit disappointed but we can be happy with the result after no proper testing in the offseason! At least the “ BIG TEAMS “ know we are not here to Play! #PRIVATEERLIFE Merci."

Moving on to the top riders in the MX2 class, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna's Thomas Kjer Olsen swept the weekend with 1 - 1 moto scores, giving him the overall. Last round's winner Jorge Prado missed this round due to injury.

From Instagram: "1-1. Unbelievable weekend. It felt amazing to be leading some laps and coming away with the victory. Can’t wait to see my husky with a red plate on it ? Thanks to the team for all the hard work they put in ??"


F&H Racing Team Kawasaki's Henry Jacobi 2 - 3 for second on the weekend.

Let's take a closer look at Jacobi's KX250.

Nothing is radically different than stock on this KX. It is cool to see European race teams using US brands, like Pro Circuit, Boyesen and Rekluse. The polished frame is common practice. To get access to the KYB shock adjusters, there is a custom cutout in the plastic, but it isn't as clean as on Gajser's bike.

Jacobi's cockpit shows us a little more deviation from stock. Carbon fiber gas tanks are always cool, and you can also see that he runs a GET 2-position map selector on the left side of the bars. Xtrig ROCS clamps are paired up with Xtrig PHDS bar clamps to handle the rough tracks of the MXGP series.

On this side, you can see even more Pro Circuit parts, like the chain block, air boot, pipe, and ignition cover. You can also see three holes, each slightly smaller as they go down, on the engine hanger and one hole drilled in the front engine mount. This also mirrors some of the Pro Circuit team bikes.

 “My first race was pretty good. I had some special lines and I saw that nobody else was taking them so I thought that maybe I could win this race. I went for it, but I started my attack a little too late; I came up short in some corners and I just missed my opportunity. I had hoped to time it better in the second race; my start was OK in fourth or fifth, but then I got stuck a little bit during the first ten minutes as I wanted this podium so much; I put myself under a little bit of pressure and rode too tight during the first ten minutes. But then in the last fifteen minutes I found a good rhythm to pass Vialle and secure the second position overall, which is good for me and for the team. We made some really good steps during the winter; the team has only been in the world championship for a few years but everyone is doing a fantastic job and we had a very good winter preparation. I never had such a professional winter training and the Kawasaki suits me really well; I like the control in the corners and our trainer is so clever and give me such good advice. We are here now, second in the points, and we are determined to stay there !"

At his second MX2 race ever, Red Bull KTM's Tom Vialle took third overall with 3 - 4 moto scores. It is easy to forget how young some of these guys are. If I didn't know any better I'd say this was an 85cc rider.

“It was a really good weekend: I had ridden well during the week and it fed into the practice sessions and both motos. I’m really happy with my starts because being at the front helps me find my rhythm: it is so important. I think a very good winter has helped with my transition from EMX to MX2. My feeling on the bike is another positive thing. Today has been a big step for me.”

Honda HRC's Calvin Vlaanderen had a mixed weekend with 8 - 2 moto scores landing him just off the box in 4th overall.

"It wasn’t the greatest weekend, to be honest. I’m happy that I could finish off strong with a second place in the second race, but the whole weekend I actually struggled a lot. This was especially the case in the qualifying race and the first moto today, I didn’t really have a good rhythm and I seemed to be fighting the track a bit too much. I’m happy though that I could rebound for the second race and ride like I know how to ride and get that second place. It is good for my confidence and going into the week ahead, it’s good motivation to keep pushing and make sure I come out swinging next weekend."

Rounding out the top five in the MX2 class, Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2's Ben Watson went 4 - 5 in front of his home crowd.

"The weekend was not so bad, but also not what I want. I had a good start yesterday where I was able to ride my own race. I think my riding can be better. I felt good in warm-up this morning, but I crashed early on in the first race and lost my rhythm completely. In the second race, I had a terrible start and found it difficult to come through. I feel like I could have ridden better as well. Still, solid points on the board. It's a really long season, so to be inside the top-five is not bad."

Before leaving Great Britain, we'll look a little closer at some Husqvarna's. Olsen's FC 250 isn't radically different from what we see in the US under the Rockstar Energy tent. But you can see carbon fiber engine hangers, which American Husky riders tend not to favor.

Here is the FC 450 of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna's Arminas Jasikonis. Other than the carbon skid plate and a few blue anodized bolts, this 450 isn't that blinged out from the outside. Extra sharp pegs are also pretty standard for pro racers. The lift stand has risers front and rear to keep the bike from rocking around, which is a nice touch.

More carbon guards.
Jasikonis runs a Brembo hydraulic clutch rather than the stock Magura unit.
Carbon guard everywhere. You can also see that the axle isn't slammed way back in the adjusters like some riders like.
The stock
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