GP Bits: MXGP of Latvia | Round Nine 5

An inside look at the ninth round of the 2019 MXGP FIM Motocross World Championship from Kegums, Latvia.

GP Bits: MXGP of Latvia | Round Nine

The Latvian MXGP was another pretty sandy track on the international circuit.

Sometimes you have to be multi-lingual to read all the pit boards, but it also surprising how many are in English.

We looked at American Darian Sanayei a little bit last week, but we got an even closer look in Latvia. He rides for the Bike It DRT Kawasaki team that runs WP suspension on their Kawi's. Darian didn't do so great this weekend, only able to land in 21st position in the MX2 class. Check out the air scoop/gas tank cover.

Here is another look. Could be to keep overall bike temps down.

This ignition cover eliminates the bolts and looks pretty sweet.

Cosworth does there engine work, including pistons, cams, valvetrain, and con rod. His engine mounts are also completely different than stock or even what other teams run.

Another bike with Suter slipper clutch. Also, the team seems to be playing with different engine mounts. Check out that cnc'd design.

Custom clamps with Xtrig PHDS bar clamps to help smooth things out a bit.

Honda HRC rider Tim Gajser was on the top step of the podium with unusual 6 - 1 moto scores. All top three finishers had 40 points and it was their second moto scores that determined their order on the podium.

Tim Gajser: "I’m really happy because I really didn’t expect this after yesterday’s performance. I had 18th gate pick after a horrible crash and I wasn’t feeling great in that first moto today either. I couldn’t find good lines or a good rhythm so I was only able to finish sixth. In the second race I had an even better start and although it took a few laps, I passed my way into the lead with about 10 minutes remaining. I’m really happy to win another overall and a big thanks to all of the team who work so hard, because that hard work is really paying off so a big thanks to everyone. Still there are a lot of races to go so I will continue to go into each GP trying to have fun, giving my best and hoping to come out on top and remain leading this MXGP championship."

Monster Energy Yamaha's Romain Febvre went 4 - 2 for second overall. Romain Febvre: "I finished on the same points as the overall winner, so I am happy but disappointed at the same time. This weekend didn't start so well, I didn't feel comfortable on the track yesterday, but it was much better today. I made some changes to my bike and I really want to thank my team Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP for the work they are putting in. It has not been long since my injury and I have already been on the podium twice, so I am happy with that."

Febvre's was in English, present tense.

Wilvo Yamaha's Arnaud Tonus has been on a tear lately. Even though he was in third overall, he had the same 40 points as Gajser and Febvre. Arnaud Tonus: "I have to be happy with this weekend. It is a bit frustrating to come this close to the win, we fight hard for this so to be on the same points as the winner but miss it, it's tough. We will keep working. It still feels great to be on the podium, so I need to thank my team and all of the people around me. I will enjoy this podium finish a lot and keep fighting for the win in the future."

Custom starting blocks are a thing on both sides of the pond.

Red Bull KTM rider Tony Cairoli was only 11th overall. He was third in the first moto, but crashed out of the second. “On Saturday I had the Flu and a fever, and my arm was not as strong as I wanted after the crash in Russia. I could battle with the guys for first position in the first moto but then I got a bit tired and settled for third, which was good for the championship. In the second moto I was fourth and trying to follow [Arnaud] Tonus. I had quite a big crash and when I stood up I felt my shoulder was out. My hope is to be ready to at least start next week in Germany. I don't want to give up at all and I want to be there as much as possible for the championship.”

In the EMX250 class Team Assomotor Honda RedMoto rider Stephen Rubini holds the red plate. Let's check out a few things on his bike.

The SMT clutch comes from an Italian company that, like Suter, specializes in slipper clutches.

Looking at both sides of the engine, the Akro pipe has dual resonators. The bikes in the US Outdoor Nationals don't have any on their Yosh pipes.

With the HRC and GEICO Honda teams here running titanium tanks, it is a little weird to see a red bike with a carbon tank.

Interesting to see that these pegs don't come open, the team must cut out the center cross.

Red Bull KTM's Jorge Prado had another perfect weekend with 1 - 1 scores.
Not sure if anyone in the MX2 class can challenge Prado for the title.

Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha's Jago Geerts has made great strides over the last few races. His consistent 2 - 2 scores were good enough for the second spot on the podium. Jago Geerts: "I felt good on the track today. I didn't have the best gate pick, which was quite difficult on a track like this, but I felt good and came back strong and managed to get back to second. I am happy with that result."

Rockstar Husqvarna's Thomas Kjer Olsen might be able to step it up, but he has dropped to 30 points behind Prado, but is still in second place overall. With 3 - 3 scores he was third on the day.

Thomas Kjer Olsen: “It’s been a hugely positive GP, but also a little frustrating. Another overall podium result is great, I got two really good starts and held second for so many laps in both motos. So, I feel like I should have got the overall runner-up result. I gave the second moto everything to finish second, and get second overall, but it wasn’t to be. I’m frustrated because I didn’t get far enough ahead of Jago (Geerts). He rode really strong, but I also felt like I rode well – fast and consistent, lap after lap. Lots of positives to take away from the GP.”

Red Bull KTM rider Jeffrey Herlings had the most ironically unlucky butt patches of the day. On moto 1's sight lap, he went down and was hit in the foot by another rider. Even though he won that moto, he didn't ride moto 2 and has a hairline fracture in his tibia. We aren't sure about his return to racing next weekend.


Over at Gebben Van Venrooy Racing, they have Solva forks on their KX250s, and some custom triple clamps to make that mix work.

They also look to be running stock shocks.

Those Solva fork lugs are super slimmed down and minimalistic, especially with just one pinch bolt per side.

More Suter clutches in action.

And the mostly obligatory carbon tank.

We'll finish off with a style check of this outside berm. Here's Max Anstie

Tony Cairoli

Brian Bogers

Michele Cervellin

Mitch Harrison

Romain Febvre

Gautier Paulin

Iker Larranaga

Arnaud Tonus

Jeremy Van Horebeek

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