GP Bits: MXGP of Riga | Round 4

Here is an inside look the second MXGP from Latvia; MXGP of Riga. This is also the first mid-week MXGP that we can think of. Strange times but great racing!

GP Bits: MXGP of Riga | Round 4

All photos by Juan Pablo Acevedo 

Here we are back at the same track as Sunday for round four of the 2020 MXGP series. We'll also stay in Latvia at the same track for the next round, this Sunday.

Practicing social distancing with the boom mic, it was super cool for Cairoli to take the overall with 1-4 moto scores.

His P1 in moto one gave him his 177th moto win in his career. Cairoli is a legend.

Tony Cairoli: “I’m really happy to be back on the podium and with a win. Last Sunday wasn’t my day and I was dealing with another injury to my knee. I didn’t know what to expect. I went to the hospital to get some fluid and anti-inflammatory treatment. It was pretty sore and swollen. In the first moto I stayed out of trouble, made my rhythm, kept smooth and tried to keep my feet up. I was really happy with how it went. In the second moto I made another good start but Jeffrey and [Arminas] Jasikonis were riding really fast. I just tried to follow, and I knew my condition was OK: if I could be with them then I could push even more at the end. At one point in the waves I saw the yellow flags and Jeffrey on the floor. He picked up and started very fast in front of me and I was a bit shocked and had to brake. I lost the front wheel. I had a gap over the others so held my position and watched what would happen. I’m really happy with the result and the improvement over last weekend – especially with the starts – so now I’m looking forward to the next Sunday. Hopefully the knee can be a bit stronger and ready for the battles we all want to see.”

Mrs. Cairoli with the Covid-chic look.

Your typical healthy portion of carbon fiber... Tank, subframe, air box, skidplate, and fan mount.

Along with front fender side extensions we saw last year, Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450s have shroud top extenders as well.

Man those PC headers have beautiful welds.

Check out the gold heat shield on the carbon airbox. Perhaps in the sand, everything gets so hot that the air passing through the airbox and intake gets too hot. Cold air is powerful air.

The Swiss Monster Energy Yamaha rider Jeremy Seewer had a great weekend going 4-2 for second overall... but not on that bike.

Jeremy Seewer: “We have had some great races, also on Sunday. I feel super happy in one way... I finished strong, I had some tough battles and I recovered well from a bad start. I feel great, but on the other hand, I’ve had two races where I have been so close to winning and today, I was even close to winning the GP. So, I’ve had some good results over these days and the track has been rough, so it has been easy to make mistakes. I am really happy, my bike is working well although there are a few little things to work on and improve, which we will do and then I think I will be ready for the last one here in Latvia on Sunday.”

First spray of the bubbly in a while for #91

Teammate Gautier Paulin's butt patch is... interesting.

Henry Jacobi aged up to the MXGP class this year. The stylish German rider is now in a bigger pond with bigger fish. He finished 25th overall.
Again, heat is hard to control in the sand. Gold wrapped coolant hoses and a thermometer strip on the cases.

Jacobi is running a hydraulic clutch like so many 450s nowadays.

Jacobi has FaBa Wheels which is a Germain wheel company.
You can also see a ti axle, and a little caliper guard in the left photo.

So much talent represented by these stands... and such a variety of styles as well.

Red Bull KTM rider Jeffrey Herlings was the most consistent rider, as far as the results are concerned, a 3-3 moto score for third overall.
But what 3rd places don't show is a massive charge from almost last in the first moto and him leading nearly all of moto 2 until a tip-over two laps to go.

PhotoJeffrey Herlings: “After getting stuck behind the pile-up in the first moto I had to pretty much regroup and come back again, like I did in the second moto last Sunday. I made it to third and was on the rear wheel of [Romain] Febvre but couldn’t pass him. The start was way-better in the second moto – up to 3rd and my best since we arrived in Latvia – I passed Tony and was leading up until two laps to go when my front wheel washed-away. I still managed 3rd and apologized to Tony because he might have crashed because of me! Anyway, we are both on the podium and we extended our points lead in the championship. Hopefully next Sunday we can finally be on top of the box.”

We guess Rene Hofer is a fan of the buffets? Unfortunately, Rene had a gnarly crash, fractured his shoulder and is out for the rest of the season.

Two red plates under the same tent. Pretty solid team, we'd say.

Everyone's board is talking about each other!

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna's Aminas Jasikonis was on fire this race. He was the fastest qualifier and put down the fastest lap time in moto one while climbing through the pack from a first turn crash to 8th.
Jasikonis then went on to get his first ever moto win in moto 2, for fourth overall.

Arminas Jasikonis: “It feels so, so good to get my first MXGP race win. Overall, I know I could have got more out of today, but even though the first race didn’t go like we wanted it to, it’s finished in the best way. Qualifying fastest was great and I lined up on the inside for race one. I was unlucky in the first turn, falling with a few other riders. It was just a little bit unfortunate. I was able to regroup and get going quickly. I passed riders almost every lap and caught up to the leaders, so it was a positive race really. Second moto, I had a much better start and pushed really hard for the first few laps and moved into third place. I passed Cairoli for second place and then chased after Herlings. I couldn’t quite close the gap but then he fell and I took the lead. The race wasn’t over though, and I had some serious pressure, but I kept calm, hit my lines and took the win. I’m so happy for myself and the team, it’s been a long time coming and I can’t wait to race again on Sunday.”

The super trick Husky pits are working out great for social distancing.

The double-decker pits always make any track feel like an MXGP.
Seems like their starting gate has much lower to fall than ours.

Everyone has there starting gate rituals... Apparently Febvre likes to sneak up on his handlebars.

Romain was 5th overall with 2-11 moto scores.

Romain Febvre: “This morning the track was rough and I didn’t want to take risks and push too much; even though I finished twelfth I was only just over one and a half seconds from the pole. The first start was strange as Prado cut across the pack and forced us to cut the gas in the first corner, otherwise we would have crashed. My starts were average in both motos but in the first race I had a good rhythm and was able to come back to second; it was a great result and I was confident for the second moto. Prado again had a strange reaction at the start; I had a good first lap to pass several riders but during the second lap Gajser hit me and I crashed. The pack was still close together so it cost me many positions. I came back to eleventh, but it’s just a shame that I missed the GP win due to this crash as my speed was very good during both motos.”

Honda HRC's Tim Gajser had a bad race day. Mistakes and a crash in moto one lead to Tim DNFing because of a bent-up bike. Moto two he got another bad start but managed to get back to 5th.

Tim Gajser: "Obviously I am not happy with how the day went because I know I can do better than this. I wasn’t able to get good starts and on this track, that can cause really big problems. My aim now is to get back to enjoying my riding and focus on having fun at the track. Sunday will be the third event here and I still believe I can score good points and get myself back into the championship battle. It won’t be easy but I have a good team around me and we are all working hard to get the best results possible."

Let's take another look at the all new 2021 Honda CRF450R. This time it is Tim's teammate's Mitchell Evan's machine.

That Yosh header is a lot longer than stock and, man, Mitchell runs his forks super flush with the clamps.

Comparing to stock photos of the '21 CRF450R (since we haven't seen one in person) it looks like much of the left side of the motor is pretty stock, on the outside at least. The ignition cover, hydro clutch, cylinder and head look just like Honda's catalog.

Why do CNC'd master cylinders look so cool? Evans also runs his lever in pretty far.

For having such a strong showing last weekend and at previous races, this Wednesday race was tough for Standing Construct GASGAS Glen Coldenhoff. He was 15th overall with a 7-DNF moto score.

Glenn Coldenhoff: “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose! This is motocross and it’s not always easy. Of course, after last weekend’s result it’s been a disappointing end to today’s GP, but my first race was ok. Finishing seventh after a big battle for much of the race was good, but not where I wanted to be. The second race didn’t begin so well, which was my fault. But I felt good right from the first lap, fit and strong and ready to battle. I was passing riders quickly but maybe I got a little too impatient and crashed into someone. I went down pretty hard and winded myself. I managed to re-join the race but after a few laps I was in more and more pain, so I had to pull out as I knew something wasn’t right. I’ll get checked out and I’ll be doing everything I can to be ready for round five on Sunday.”

Yamaha's Jago Geerts is an emerging force to be reckoned with. A decisive 1-1 has him quickly running down the red plate of Tom Vialle.

Jago Geerts: “Overall it was a really good day for me. I got my first holeshot of the year in the second heat so I was really happy with that. I felt good on my bike and on the track, so from here I look forward to racing here again on Sunday and getting closer to leading the championship.”

F&H Crone Kawasaki Mathys Boisrame put in a hard charge for 3-3 moto scores for third overall. Here is a look at his machine. Based on the parts and even the custom engine hanger, these bikes are very Pro Circuit-esque.

PC Ti-6 pipe and a fully open air box. On the stock 2020 KX250 the right side is blocked off for sound. Also for all of you losing your minds that Kawasaki dropped the "F" from the name of the model, for this team at least, it looks like they kept it. Look above the air box opening.

Boisrame runs solid bar mounts and, with the deep sandy track, it makes sense for the forks to be nearly flush with his Xtrig ROCS clamps.

They don't want sandy dirt to pack between the rear brake pedal and the bike. One major deviation from the PC KX250s is the use of Rekluse for their clutches.

Paddle knobbies for the Latvian circuit. Plus F&H etches their logo in the coated rear brake caliper.

KTM's Tom Vialle was 4-4 for fourth. He had a hard time answering the speed of Geerts and the F&H teammates of Van De Moosdijk and Boisrame.

Tom Vialle: “I made the starts today but struggled a bit with my rhythm. I was able to fight with Mathys [Boisrame] and Roan [Van de Moosdijk] for a little bit although I lost the tow after. We will work a little bit on my suspension setting for next Sunday. We still lead the championship and it is not too bad to take a 4-4 on a track where I wasn’t feeling so good today. Sunday will be a new day and I hope we will be able to fight for the win again.

Kay De Wolf...
Were you on Vital MX or texting girls?

Kay De Wolf blowing up the berms!

Clean simple design... better than peeing on the side of your truck.

See you Monday for the final Latvian MXGP!

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