Vital MX Pit Bits: 2018 MXGP of Valkenswaard

The MXGP of Valkenswaard was cold, rainy, snowing and a whole of good racing...and to match this excitement is what we found in the pits. Enjoy our latest Pit Bits straight from the cold of the Netherlands.

The MXGP class is really setting the tone for excitement when it comes to motocross racing around the world.

It might have been a little cold at Valkenswaard...

Antonio Cairoli is on the new bike...but with some hold over parts.

The head/mid-pipe being bolted back onto the engine mount is a dead giveaway. The new frame switches that mount to the frame, which has been ground off in this case.

This is because Cairoli is utilizing the prior cylinder head, which is taller and heavier...but has slightly different ports and angles to it. Creating a slightly different power characteristic.

To make this swap happen, the bike required some custom machine engine mounts to go from the updated mounting bracket on the frame to the older cylinder head's bolt hole. By comparison, Jeffrey Herlings doesn't have these parts as he's utilizing the new cylinder head.

Little data box hiding behind the front number plate of Cairoli's machine.

After missing the first round with a broken jaw, missing teeth, and a concussion...Tim Gajser returned to action with a 9-14.

Calvin Vlandeeren and his HRC 250 also had a rough go with 15-11 moto scores.

His ride however, is drool worthy.

HRC titanium fuel tank with flush mount cap.

Unlike the Geico team in the US, which drills a small hole to relieve energy, the HRC 250s aren't modifying their upper engine brackets.

Interestingly enough, the HRC team in MXGP/MX2 is still using SFF AIR TAC forks, instead of spring forks.

But out back they are using Showa's BFRC shock along with a full carbon fiber subframe/airbox.

We also spy a carbon fiber chain guide and an aluminum rear sprocket that's been drilled out to lower weight.

Hunter Lawrence had a better outing on his 114 Motorsports/Honda, going six-six for sixth overall, sitting third overall in the MX2 championship.

Orange and white up front as the factory and support KTM and Husqvarnas ruled the MX2 starts.

There was a bit of snow in Valkenswaard...

With all the snow and rain, Valkenswaard was a bit more challenging than usual.

TKO was the best of the rest in MX2, taking a solid three-three for third overall but off the pace of Prado and Jonass.

Jeremy van Horebeek's day started on high with a podium in moto one but ended low with a DNF in moto two.

Jeremy van Horebeek's seat bump looks more like a wall than a bump.

Holy handguards. Nearly everyone was adding material and tapping off the vents of their hanguards this past weekend to fight off the cold.

X-Trig has made these top clamps for Rinaldi for a few seasons now. Instead of their PHDS mounts, they're made for a standard Yamaha bar mount.

Rinalidi's latest hydraulic clutch cylinder is made in-conjunction with their front sprocket it's beautiful.

Romain Febvre battling it out with Shaun Simpson for a consistent six-five performance.


Hunter Lawrence chasing down Davey Pootjes, who would ultimately finish ninth, while Lawrence was the best non-KTM/Husky with sixth overall.

Max Nagl's TM career is off to a rougher start, with a 14th place overall in Valkenswaard.

Where's the fuel tank? In the subframe as this whole front piece is dedicated to the airbox.

Gautier Paulin was rocking some cold weather 100% gloves to match the conditions.

But oddly enough he didn't tape over his handguards...

Thomas Covington and his massive handguards squeaked out a top five in Valkenswaard.

The MXGP Husqvarna FC 450s have a much longer FMF header than the US team, a common theme amongst the KTM/Husky 450 bikes in Europe.

Holy buttons...we've got a start button, kill switch, launch control and finally a map switch (far left).

Looks like WP's air fork project isn't around anymore at the MXGPs as neither Paulin nor Anstie's bike has them. While last year the Husky MXGP team riders had used them at different points.

Works linkage and bell crank, along with a high and low-speed rebound (second rebound adjuster is just slightly visible behind the link arm).

Max Anstie's first moto was strong with a fourth but the second moto was little off with a ninth.

Darian Sanayei's second race of the season was similar to the first, DNF first moto and a comeback in moto two. Scroll below to learn more about what DRT is up to in the technical department.

Steve Dixon is known for going pretty crazy with his 250Fs to gain the most power. From four valve YZ250Fs back in the day, to three-speeds and now some ram air for their KX250Fs.

Yup, that scoop is part of the intake system.

It's actually molded into their carbon fiber tank, making for a pretty unique view from the top side.

All this intake area still leads to the rear of the cylinder head but things get odd back here, as a closer looks reveals a custom frame, engine mounts, and more to fit this unique intake system.

No welds half way up the frame can see the difference in the curve of the frame itself. Speaking of custom, check out the radiator. Also, it looks like there's still an air filter inside the standard airbox area.

Tommy Searle went out with an injury at Valkenswaard...hopefully it wasn't caused by this seat bump, yikes!

In moto two it looks as if Sanayei went back to a standard version of the KX250F after a DNF in moto one...

17-8, the conditions weren't the kindest to Jed Beaton.

Herlings, sand, we knew what would happen....first place, duh.

Jorge Prado put himself back into a stronger position in the title hunt with a two-two performance and pushing Pauls Jonass most of the weekend.

Pauls Jonass fought hard to take a one-one over Jorge Prado and snag a couple points in the title.

The KRT machines of Desalle and Lieber.

Mmmm, carbon tanks. Per the past few seasons, Desalle chooses to stick with the older and more rigid X-Trig clamp design.

The KRT MXGP team continues to utilize a custom radiator fan setup, albeit it looks a bit more compact than what we've seen before. To run this, the KXF has a battery stashed in the airbox.

Glenn Coldenhoff had a solid weekend with a five-four finish.

Cairoli was on the gas all weekend but pushing Herlings pace caused a few small mistakes that relegated him to second overall.

Evgeny's BOS GP RM-Z450 is gorgeous in red and white.

 Being that the team is run by a suspension brand, they're going to go all out to get the best performance...including warmers for the forks and shock.

The BOS shock has changed and gotten a bit larger in many aspects over the original version we tried over three years ago.

The BOS motocross fork is a seperate function design, with damping components on one side and spring forces on the other. With this they're easily able to go back and forth from coil to air spring. In this case, Borbyshev is on a coil spring fork.

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