GP Bits: MXGP of Lombardia | Round 17

All photos by MX July

Tim Gajser fans always show up strong in Italy. But Tiga has some bad luck with a penalty in the first moto. The next caption he explains in his own words.

Tim Gajser: "I am very disappointed with how today turned out. In race one, I got hit by another rider and that caused me to go out of the track and because of the way the track is designed, the safest place to get back on is where I went. I believed I was just outside the top five when I went out, and tried to re-join in the similar position, so as not to gain an advantage, but when I finished the race in third, I was told that I had a five-position penalty. It is not nice to have to try and come back from that when the championship points are so tight but I tried my best to regroup for race two and in the end, I came through to third again. There is still one round left so I won’t give up, as anything can happen, and I would like to thank all the team and the fans who came to support me this weekend."

Romain Febvre keeps the points lead going into the last race and has three points over Jeffrey Herlings. He also won this race but had to share points with Jeff since they swapped moto wins and seconds.

Romain Febvre: “That was definitely a big win in the first moto. I felt good on the track today though it’s really sketchy in places with the loose surface on a hard base. I took the lead pretty early in the first race but it was tough at the front to be sure of the best lines. It was a heavy race and I struggled a little mid-moto but picked it up again at the end for a strong finish. I again got a great start in race two but I didn’t want to take any risk of a collision to pass Prado and I lost some time to Jeffrey. I made some fast laps to close the gap a little but he was still three or four seconds clear so at one point I decided to settle for second and take the red plate to the final round. It may sound strange that I still don’t feel any pressure. We have really good starts with our KX450-SR here in the sand so I’m confident for Wednesday. We are really close and the best man will win. It’s game on!“

Tony Cairoli made it on the box for his second to last race with 3 - 4 moto scores for third overall.

Tony Cairoli: “I’m happy about the result and I really enjoyed the track. If I can make the podium for both of my two last races as a Pro it would be amazing. The second moto start was not that good and when I got behind Jorge I lost a lot of laps there. I lost the rhythm a bit but, anyway, I’m very happy, especially here in front of this crazy crowd.”

TC222 is going to leave a huge hole in KTM's lineup. They already have Herlings and Prado, but who will take Tony's place?

We got a video walk-around of Nicholas Lapucci's Fantic Factory Racing XX 250. If you haven't seen it, check out the home page. Here is a photo version.

Fantic and Yamaha have a partnership. Fantic is not copying Yamaha or licensing old tech. Fantic starts with stock YZs and rebuilds the bikes to their own specs, mainly moding the motor and obviously swapping a lot of stock parts with race parts.

The HGS exhaust is made specifically for the Fantic XX, not necessarily the YZ.

They use Reikon controls up front.

Since Lapucci is on the shorter side, they have a lowered subframe, lower seat, and raised footpegs.

Again, raised footpegs to suit the rider's stature.

Extra large custom radiators fro better cooling and that extra-capacity carbon tank for the thirsty 250 2t.

On the shock, the team is using some custom Lainer suspension parts. We've used Lainer on a few project bikes and they are an Italian firm operating here in the US.

The Fantic XX 250 is still based on the 2021 and earlier YZ250. It will be interesting to see what they do with the new 2022 model.

Again, the Fantic Factory has a very close relationship with HGS and they were able to develop a pipe to compliment the Fantic motor specifically.

According to the Team Manager, this chain is made for them custom from Regina chains. It is said to be both lighter and stronger than anything you can buy.

Jeffrey Herlings sits in second place in the points, just three points down from Febvre. Things are going to be nuts on Wednesday (the last race of the season).

Jeffrey Herlings: “I knew I had to win the second moto because I had my work cut out in the first moto and came up to 2nd even though the seat on my bike was loose. In the second one I passed Jorge and Romain and made a little gap. I did all I could and now it’s down to three points. It’s going to be really interesting. Every point counts right now. I think it is basically down to me and Romain and there is a lot on the line. It will be a good one on Wednesday.”

In the MX2 class, Factory Yamaha rider Jago Geerts took the overall spot right ahead of his teammate Maxime Renaux who just won the MX2 Championship last race.

Jago Geerts: “I knew my speed was good already. I was there over the last few rounds but couldn’t quite make it happen. Today, I managed to do it. I am really happy to be back on the top step. It’s really important for the championship because I am in the fight for second place in the championship. I know it will be really tough, but we will be back on Wednesday and will do everything we can.”

Prado started off in the front of the race but faded as he he is struggling with recent injuries.

Jorge Prado: “Overall an ‘OK’ day and nothing special. The second moto start was better than the first when I had to come through from the back and lost a lot of time. I’m missing rhythm and the lack of riding and training in the last month means I don’t have the pace of the guys in front…but I always fight 100% and do my best. My goal right now is to try and start first and hold onto the leading positions as much as I can, have good battles and not go too crazy. One race left and we’ll try our hardest to go into the off-season in the best way.”

KTM is still using the non-split 'split' clamps we saw throughout this season.

With Jeremy Van Horebeek behind the bars, the Beta RX 450 has been doing pretty darn good for it's first year in the MXGPs. Van Horebeek is in 13th in the overall MXGP class points. Beta plans to release a bike here in the US next year  and be racing SX/MX in 2023.

Another look at Maxime Renaux's Championship display bike.

What is cooler? Gold tip? Carbon Fiber Tip?

I don't know about the gold tires. I love all the other gold custom parts but the tires have a 'spray-paint' vibe that is a little too diy.

The machining on the factory KTM fork lugs is quite slick.

The Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing team is the official EMX250 Race team from Yamaha. Unlike the MX2 team, they are running the bigger air box covers.

Geerts surveying practice with his riding coach, Steve Ramon.

The Factory GASGAS team has a partnership with Rekluse and uses their slave cylinder rather than Brembo.

Herlings is one of the few athletes with Oakley goggles. The Airbrake is a dated, yet still awesome goggle. He also keeps the nose guard on his Airoh helmet. That is the first thing I ditch on pretty much any lid.

Just a nice scrub from Isak Gifting.

Speedy Guada getting in the zone.

And we'll end with one of the raddest riders in the pits, Chase Cairoli!

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