Vital MX Pit Bits: 2018 MXGP of Russia

The HRC team wants to keep things fresh, check out the carbon guards molded over the lower triple clamps and fork tubes.

Mmm..the CRF450R does come stock with a titanium fuel tank but the hand-made oversized HRC version is just better. Flush cap for the win!

Tim Gajser's Russian round can be considered okay, with a four-five performance.

The CRF450R wasn't originally equipped with a BFRC, so the sideplate/airbox plate had to be modified to access the whole adjuster. Check the carbon fiber subframe.

Check the brake line...wire-tie pros! Wish we had someone to do that to all our bikes....Just as we see in the US, the HRC team abroad glues on a ridge of material around the stock map and kill switches so they're harder to press accidentally.

MXGP of Russia...on the coast! What a unique event.

Some teams run stock, some aftermarket, some works parts when it comes to linkages. In the case of the HRC bikes, both the link arms and bell crank are machined to their exact spec.

Now that's some fresh...ummm, green engine oil.

The BOS MXGP ride of Evgeny Bobryshev took on a new look for his home country race. We also noticed the bike has some Suzuki logos we hadn't noticed earlier in the season.

The GET front fender mount on Van Horebeek's bike is quite unique to fit on top of all the ridges and bends of the stock Yamaha fender.

The factory Yamaha Rinaldi machines seem to have stock links and bell cranks...but they do have titanium nitride coated linkage bolt to reduce friction and wear.

Romain Febvre had another consitent finish and is sitting fourth in points behind the two KTM titans and the winner in Russia Clemente Desalle.

Ben Watson probably has some solid thoughts on Russia, as he pulled off an overall podium behind the two that are nearly impossible to beat this year (Prado and Jonass).

It's still odd to see Clemente Desalle rocking the older-style X-Trig clamps.

A good start is about the only way to take the fight to Cairoli and Herlings.

With a two-one for the overall victory, Desalle is the best guy outside of KTM's duo.

Mmmm...there's a few CRM tanks around the paddock but they all make us drool.

Machined link arms and some KMC engraving on the bell crank... KMC stands for Kawasaki Motor Corp which is the US branch, meaning these are the US team's developed parts.

Julien Lieber locked down seventh overall and sits tenth overall in the standings for his first MXGP season.

It's cool to see the KTM team in Europe running their 2019 bikes all season long.

After a few races of losing points, Pauls Jonass gathered himself and went one-one to pull out six points on Prado.

Looks like a stock link arm but machined bell crank for the factory MX2 KTMs.

After three rounds of gaining points on Jonass, Jorge Prado went back to second place and losing a few on his prior teammate.

Akrapovic quality is drool worthy. While the US TLD team uses FMF, the MX2 team in MXGP still utilizes Akrapovic.

Thomas Covington tried to ride through his knee injury, but could only muster 17-14 moto scores. We wonder if he'll continue on or bow out for surgery.

TKO keeps his third in the title, a bit out of reach from Prado and Jonass but well clear of fourth.

The factory Husky FC 250s has a bit more headpipe length than the KTM MX2 machines.

Gautier Paulin has been consistent but hasn't really had a big flash of brilliance yet, as he sits fifth in points and loses a little ground to Romain Febvre.

IceOne, the Husky MXGP effort, is fielding a EMX250 rider this year. But he's on the older generation bike and has 48mm forks, not quite the equipment of the factory MX2 team.

Herlings may have lost the win to Desalle but he still put points between himself and Cairoli by the time the weekend was over.

Michele Cervellin placed fourth overall in MX2 on his Martin Honda effort...which used to be the HRC factory effort in the MXGP class. Funny enough, Martin's blacked out Honda beat the factory HRC entry in the class...oops.

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