Netherlands MXGP Rider Quotes


What did our top riders think of the sandy Assen track?


Clement Desalle: (1st in MXGP) “It feels good to be back on the top step of the podium again after two years. We’ve been working all season for this. I started the year with everything new – new bike, new tyres, new suspension – and then I got the injury at the worst possible time just before the first GP, but the whole team has been working hard and we have found a good base for me on all surfaces. I was second in each moto today, but I was the best rider overall on the day. After the rain in the night the first moto was all about staying on two wheels, and in race two I had to resist pressure from Coldenhoff right to the end of race; it was not easy with the lappers but I kept focused to the finish. I enjoyed the victory today and to win in sand made it even sweeter; for sure that is a surprise to some people but I am actually good in sand. I am back and now I want to win every race I start.”

Antonio Cairoli: (2nd in MXGP) “It was a good weekend overall but for sure it could have been even better. Especially in the first moto the track was in horrible condition. It was not fixed as it should have been, and it was very dangerous and very slow, but the same for everybody. I was bit stiff in the beginning then I had a crash and Glenn and Desalle passed me. I tried to close the gap but in the end Glenn was on the gas and he also didn’t get tired. I knew it would be difficult to take the overall from fourth place. Now in the next rounds we will do our best to make it difficult for the championship and maybe also even chase the title.”

Glenn Coldenhoff: (3rd in MXGP) “It was an amazing weekend but I always have a good feeling when I come here. I know what I can do here and the last few races have gone very well, especially the last one in Switzerland where I was third, so the confidence is building up. We’ve made a big step with the bike and I feel really comfortable with it, also the suspension was working very well today and everything came together.”

Max Nagl: (4th in MXGP) “It was a challenging GP and I’m pleased with fourth overall. The track was really demanding. Especially the opening moto, which felt like an extreme enduro race. There was water everywhere and in some parts of the track you had to struggle to stay on two wheels. I got a decent start and battled my way to sixth place. Conditions were drier in moto two. I had a good start and had some good battles to cross the line in fourth. I think I made the best out of a difficult GP and I’m really happy. All my team did a great job this weekend and we managed to make a few more improvements in our suspension set-up. We’re flying out to the US on Tuesday to adapt to the conditions there. The plan is to battle for the podium in each of these two last GPs on US soil.”

Jeremy Van Horebeek: (5th in MXGP) “The track was pretty bumpy, and in between the first and second motos they lowered the waves a bit. But it was overall a pretty good weekend. In the second moto I knew I needed to finish second to be on the podium, and I tried, and I didn’t make any mistakes until the last three laps. It’s a bit of a bummer, but we did everything right, and we’re still fifth on a day like today. I’m happy.”

Jordi Tixier: (8th in MXGP) “I had a good feeling with the track on Saturday during the qualifying race, but today it was not the same track after the heavy showers ! I was pretty happy with my riding in the first race, and an eighth position was not so bad in these conditions. The track was better for the second moto, but in the first corner another rider hit my right foot; it was really painful, but after ten minutes I had less pain and could gain some positions to come back to eighth. It’s just a shame that I crashed later, and lost two places again. The medical examination didn’t reveal any fracture but my ankle remains painful after the race.”

Evgeny Bobryshev: (10th in MXGP) “The first race was so hard today – to be honest we were like turtles riding so slow through all the water on the sand. I had a bad gate pick from yesterday, but anyway I could get into top 15 from the starts. In the first moto I made a mistake a had a big crash when I was pushing for eighth, and in the second moto I started well again but unfortunately made a mistake again and went out of the top twenty. It was so easy to make mistakes here. It’s not the place I want to be so it’s frustrating, and it’s just been a hard weekend in general here so now we must just focus on Charlotte, where I’m really excited to put a line under this weekend and line up on the new 2017 race bike for the first time.”

Tommy Searle: (11th in MXGP) “The results could have been a lot better, but I felt good all weekend. In the first race I got a bad start and just managed to finish the race thirteenth as we struggled a little bit, just like everybody else, with overheating in the heavy track conditions. I had a great start in race two and was third when someone hit me from behind and then I had to come back from last to eleventh. It was not bad but it could have been better. I now have a good feeling in the sand and quite enjoyed riding on this track on Saturday; conditions were tough for the first moto today, but they made a lot of improvements for the second race.”

Valentin Guillod: (12th in MXGP) “For sand conditions my results are pretty good, and also with the crazy rain and weather. I had a great first moto, but unfortunately I crashed with five laps to go. In the first race it was really deep, and sometimes the bike got stuck in the ruts, which made it really difficult to ride. In the second race they did a lot of work on the track, especially on the waves section, and that made it a bit easier to ride.”

Kevin Strijbos: (16th in MXGP) “A really bad day and I didn’t feel good all weekend on the track. I was struggling so much and I’m not happy with the result, my riding, my feeling on the bike. There is not much more to say.”

Tim Gajser: (18th in MXGP) “For sure I’m disappointed with today and not happy with the result, but it’s racing and we’re competing at the highest level, always pushing 100 per cent, so things like this can happen. On a track like today, when it was so tough, they can happen very quickly too. First race I crashed twice and could come back to 12th but I wasn’t happy with my riding because I know I can do better. Before the second moto I tried to reset myself, and actually things were going much better and we were fighting for second, but then I made a mistake and went off the track. I broke the front brake and the throttle cable of the bike so I wasn’t able to continue. We don’t change our strategy and come just to race and enjoy, but of course you have the championship in the back of your mind. I didn’t feel relaxed this weekend and I wasn’t riding well from the start of the weekend and actually didn’t really enjoy it this weekend, but we can’t change it now so we must just learn from it and head into Charlotte fresh and focused to start again.”

Gautier Paulin: (19th in MXGP) “Today was really hard for us. This morning we were third fastest in the warm-up so things were looking good, even after the track changed with all the rain overnight, but then the second storm today changed the track again and we just couldn’t get into it. I struggled in both races after that; couldn’t get into a rhythm and just couldn’t get comfortable. I’m really disappointed because after the speed in warm-up I thought we could fight well today, but especially in the first race when the track was so tough we just couldn’t put it together. I hope next weekend will be a different story because it felt like a struggle here this weekend.”

Jeffrey Herlings: (1st in MX2) “I think the weekend turned out very positive. We had some bad luck yesterday with the mechanical failure and I had a very bad gate pick regarding the weather circumstances. So I’m very happy to walk away with the win and to gain so many points on Seewer. So we are looking very good for the championship next weekend. I don’t want to think about but now it’s so close we just have to make it happen.” Speaking about the coming races in the USA, he commented: “It gives me more motivation to race against the Americans but we just have to concentrate on the championship and not on going head to head with those guys.”

Jorge Prado: (3rd in MX2) “Yesterday was perfect and today was also pretty good. The first moto was difficult because the track was actually not so good for me, but I still enjoyed it. I got the holeshot again in the second moto and in the first laps I was battling with my teammate ‘The Bullet’ (Herlings). He’s the best sand rider so I enjoyed it a lot.  [Responding to compliments from Herlings about his riding talent] He’s one of my idols and one of my favorite riders. Every time he says something nice about me I get really motivated.”

Max Anstie: (4th in MX2) “Overall, we had a good GP. In the first race I put myself in a good position after the gate dropped and almost got the holeshot. Unfortunately, I hit a soft spot on the track after the first turn and did a front flip. I had to work my way through the rankings, but rode strong and ended up finishing eighth. I got a good start again in moto two and found myself in second after the first turn. The track was really different in moto two. They’d flattened everything and everyone was flat out. Just before the end I made my move to Prado for second but ended up going down with two turns to go. I ended up fourth losing a spot on the overall podium. That’s just how it was and we now need to focus on the remaining two GPs. My goal is to be up front and end the season on a high note.”

Thomas Covington: (6th in MX2) “It’s been a great GP and I’m happy the off-season training has finally paid off. The conditions were really hard in moto one. I got a great start behind Prado. I knew it was going to be a long race so I just tried to relax and remain focused. A couple of guys crashed and when I got the lead I tried to be fast without making mistakes. Everything went perfect and we managed to secure the win. In moto two I got a bad start and crashed in the opening lap. I had two more crashes during the race so it was difficult to stay close to the leaders. The speed is there and I’m really looking forward to the next two GPs back home in the US. The goal is to battle for the overall podium in MX2.”

Benoit Paturel:  (7th in MX2) “It rained a lot this morning, and the track was really heavy. I had a good start in the first race and was leading for a few laps, but I made a mistake and finished fifth. In the second race my start wasn’t as good. I don’t think this was my best race, but now we have two more to go in the U.S. and I hope to do better for the end of the season.”

Bas Vaessen: (8th in MX2) “I had a horrible start in the first moto and through the first waves section I thought ‘I’m going wide-open…’ and I got up to fifth; I don’t know how that happened! Coming over the finish I saw there were just four guys in front of me…which was great. I passed a few people and then Herlings came by me and I could follow him pretty well. We were having a good battle but on the second-to-last lap I messed it up and crashed. I threw it all away and went from second to ninth. That sucked! But my riding was good. In the second moto I was OK; not too spectacular and I got passed at one point by [Samuele] Bernardini and just rode out to the finish. The track was really technical and if you didn’t focus for a single second then you crashed hard so it was difficult…but good.”

Arminas Jasikonis: (13th in MXGP) “Overall it is not the best but the second moto was great. I could fight with the top guys and finished seventh. It could have been sixth but little mistakes stopped me. My riding was OK in the first moto but there were more mistakes and then I crashed. It was hard to make a [good] start from that outside position but I fought all the way in the second race and we are improving.”

Jeremy Seewer: (14th in MX2) “I had good starts and I had a good feeling in the first moto but the trouble started when I got stuck in the corner before the finish line. I fell back, had another crash and it was one thing after another. I knew it would be a tough weekend even if I had already proved that I am a good sand rider this year. It was sandy out there but I don’t think there is anything in the world that you can compare this track to; it was very peculiar. So it was a black day but I am happy that I am alright because I had a pretty big crash in the second moto. We’ll move forward now and I think I’m confirmed as second in the world so that’s great and we’ll try to be back at the front in Charlotte.”

Brent Van doninck: (15th in MX2“The conditions were really difficult today, especially on this track because there is normally only one line, and it’s hard to pass. It hasn’t been so easy to come back from my hip and thumb injuries this year, but each week is a step up.”

Petar Petrov: (16th in MX2) “It was not really fun this weekend, even though the first moto was a good ride. I crashed at the start but then came back from last to sixth; that was pretty cool but unfortunately a lapper crashed in front of me and I got stuck behind his bike. I stalled the bike and lost a lot of time, and could only finish tenth; it’s a shame as I was with Bogers at this time so I think a third or fourth was possible for me. In the second moto I had a bad start, and I had to pull off after a crash. I can say it’s been a tough season, but I’m really looking to next year now; on Friday I will have surgery to my shoulder. We took the decision together with the team and Kawasaki as the goal is to be ready early for next season. It was not an easy decision as I could finish fifth in the series if I go to the US GPs, but we look at the future and it’s a smart decision. In the past I sometimes took stupid decisions concerning my health; we had to do this surgery and the earlier we do it the better it is for the future.”

Alvin Östlund: (17th in MX2) “It was one of the most difficult races of my career, and to finish 11th makes me really happy. In the second race we had a technical issue, and I had to stop after the first lap. I like the sand races, all kinds of sand. This track is a little bit special and narrow, but it’s still good.”


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