Qatar Rider Quotes

GP of Qatar

We hear from the riders following the opening round of the FIM Motocross World Championship.

GP of Qatar

Tim Gajser (1st MXGP): “Actually I didn’t expect this before this weekend! I expected to do well, but not to get my first 1-1 so I’m really happy about that. All weekend long I have been feeling so good here, and I was riding smart and with good lines and just felt comfortable, like I was riding in training. It’s the perfect way to start the season, and maybe a nice birthday present for my mother! I feel so well on the 450, and I’ve been feeling very relaxed and with no pressure before this weekend. I’ve been waiting all winter for this race, and it’s just amazing to start like this.”

Romain Febvre (2nd MXGP): “I had a slow start in the first moto, maybe 6th, and it was difficult after that to chase. In the second moto I was feeling much better, but I jumped too far and lost the front end in a crash. I didn’t lose much time, but I did lose two places, which I had to try to catch up. We saw some progress here in Qatar, and hopefully we will see some more in Thailand.”

Evgeny Bobryshev (3rd MXGP): “We did a good job today and I’m really happy to start the season like this on the podium. The first race was pretty easy for me in second, but in the second race I had a small crash when I hit a stone that I didn’t see, but I came back to third place which I’m happy with. It’s a long season and this is just the first race but I’m happy with this weekend and feeling good. We’ve worked hard with Honda and HRC to put a good bike together over the winter so big thanks to the team that we’re starting this season in this way. I’d also like to say big congratulations to Tim for his win today – he rode really well.”

Antonio Cairoli (4th MXGP): “I’m very happy about today because I didn’t know what to expect before coming here. I was only four times on the bike after a month so my goal was a top 10 finish and to get some points. It was even better because I was top five. That’s good for the feeling and for the motivation to see if I can improve. I still don’t have all my strength but I can see I can stick with the top positions and that’s a good sign.”

Jeremy van Horebeek (5th MXGP): “I messed up my start position yesterday, but today I managed a pretty decent one in both motos. It’s my best result here so far, and I’m stoked to leave in fourth position in the Championship. In 2014 I left here in fifth, and that year I came out vice World Champion, so we can take it step by step because I know I can do even better. It’s a long season, and after Qatar we now have the information we needed at the start of the year and who the good riders are. I’m happy and I think the team is really happy to leave with 2nd and 4th.”

Tommy Searle (8th MXGP): “I’m very happy; it’s nice to leave the race healthy and in each session I learnt more, rode smooth, made no mistakes and I had good lap times. I was one of the fastest riders so there’s nothing to worry about and step by step I think I can get up to the front. I had injuries each of the last two seasons so it’s important for me to get some races under my belt. The track was bumpy; you have to be sensible here with the darkness but overall it was a good weekend.”

Kevin Strijbos (9th MXGP): “It was a bad weekend. We all struggled and it looks like we are not ready yet. There is not much more I can say! My times were ‘off’ yesterday and today and I tried to push and thought I was riding good, but it was nothing. I had a bad start in the first moto but I tried my best and we got an eighth. It was not good but there were signs of progress. I wheelied at the start of the second moto and it was one big mess. There was no energy in me to do what I needed to do. We have worked hard for this GP so it is a bit of a mystery. We just have to hope for better next weekend.”

Glenn Coldenhoff (10th MXGP): “I didn’t show good speed in the last international races but yesterday in qualification I was always in the top five. We have improved already so I am happy with my riding at the moment. I got a great start in the first moto but I got some arm pump and had to drop back a bit because it was pretty sketchy out there. I had a terrible start in the second moto but I fought back to ninth place. In the end I made a mistake and Strijbos passed me. I tried to pass him back in the last lap but I wasn’t able to do it.”

Ben Townley (11th MXGP): “I went with the guy next to me and hit the gate: Stupid. I haven’t done that in years. The bright points were that we made a change overnight with the bike and then again between warm-up and the first moto and the guys nailed it. It was pretty good and we made progress. I felt like I had a lot of cobwebs and rust in the system and it was a really tough track for me to have my first race. It was so tricky and I think ‘treacherous’ would be a good word for it; there were literally potholes on the track. There are a lot of positives to take out of the first moto because I went from 21st to 10th on the first lap and I was able to ride with guys who were championship contenders. The second moto was just a cock-up. I went for the sighting lap and we had a ‘mechanical’. I had to use the back-up bike and it was a huge lesson for us as a whole team. Stefan said that in 18 years of racing he never had to use the back-up machine. So we learnt a lot.”

Clement Desalle (19th MXGP): “For sure it was a tough race, mentally and physically. I knew that I didn’t come here for a podium, or even a top five, less than two weeks after my injury. Before coming here I had some examinations to be sure that there would not be any risks for my health and my body; my goal was to score one or two points and that’s what happened. I knew that it would be tough, and it was, especially on jump landings. We are on a road race circuit here in Qatar; for sure if I was racing on asphalt that would have been easier this weekend. The season is long so I want to stay positive and I will take it race by race; of course I hope to be fit as soon as possible and to have some fun riding my bike. I go back home during the week; I will visit my doctor for some other examinations and then will be back for Thailand.”

Gautier Paulin (21st MXGP): “In the second race my bike stopped today. It shouldn’t happen, but this is now part of my 2016 season. But I never give up. I remember all my training and everything I did and all the work I put in over winter, and I never give up. It’s like this. I can do nothing, except look to the next race.”

Jeffrey Herlings (1st MX2): “I didn’t really feel I was riding like I should be this weekend except in the second moto, when I felt comfortable and could get the max out of my riding. This weekend we were winning but we didn’t dominate but in the last moto, we did. Now we go to Thailand, it’s going to be warm but I want to make the best of it. I feel physically and mentally strong and I didn’t feel threatened by Ferrandis in the first moto. I felt comfortable and strong right to the end and when I had the opportunity and the right moment to make the pass I did it.”

Dylan Ferrandis (2nd MX2): “I was not really expecting such good results, even if I have the speed, as we didn’t do so much testing before this GP. Last week I raced an international in France and struggled with the bike, but everyone in the team spent many hours on the bike before coming here and it was great for everyone to get this podium! We worked on the settings of the bike through the weekend and we saw the results. The track was dangerous on some sections and I had armpump in the first race and finished second. In the second race I got the holeshot but Jeffrey passed me; he took some risks but I didn’t want to make any mistake. I go back home this week to do some more testing with the suspension, and to prepare for the next round in Thailand.”

Pauls Jonass (3rd MX2): “Maybe it was good that I didn’t ride any pre season races because I came here without any expectations. I wanted to do my best and to take some points and thought if I finish in the top ten it is already good. My (injured) thumb hasn’t been that good and last month I didn’t ride. I just rode three times the week before Qatar and that was tough. Already yesterday I felt good in the free and time practices.”

Brent Van Doninck (4th MX2): “I didn’t have my rhythm in the first race, and I got tired really quickly. But the second race I had such good rhythm and such a good feeling, like I was on cruise control. When I have good rhythm I can push really hard. I’m so happy for this weekend. I just came here wanting to get some points, because I am not at 100% ready, especially after my crash again yesterday. But the trainer Jacky did a good job on my body to keep me more flexible. In Thailand I start again from zero, it’s another race and another atmosphere. I don’t want to pressure myself, just because I had a good result here. It’s just step by step for me, and I hope to be 100% by Valkenswaard.”

Jeremy Seewer (5th MX2): “A really good feeling actually because yesterday I was sitting in my chair without any motivation. My body was quite weak and I was bunged-up. I rode quite well to fourth and then luckily felt much better today. I made a really good first moto and could lead some laps but needed to save some energy to make it through the whole day. The second moto was a similar story: I was pushing for third until a small mistake, came back to fourth and then decided to take a risk and go for the podium. I preferred to try instead of ‘following’… but another mistake came! Overall I’m happy with fourth. My speed is there and the speed from the bike is really good.”

Petar Petrov (6th MX2): “This track is not really my favourite one, but it was a pretty good weekend. We saw that Dylan, the team and me have worked pretty well on the bikes, and we showed good speed all weekend. In the first moto I had a horrible start; it was my fault and I came back from fifteen to sixth. I tried to pass Tonkov in the last turn but I couldn’t do it, anyway I was happy with my race and my speed was good. My second start was really good and I was fourth, I was getting gradually closer to Jonass but I struggled a little bit with the suspension; we had made some changes between the races, not really what I wanted, and I went down but finished again sixth. Sixth overall is not a bad way to start the season; the speed is there and we’ll try to come back from these first two rounds safe. I’m really happy with the whole situation, how the team is working, the whole system of working and I’m happy where I am.”

Aleksandr Tonkov (7th MX2): “I caught up from a bad start in the first moto from 12th to 5th place, and got pretty close to 3rd and 4th, so that leaves me pretty satisfied. But the second moto wasn’t the best start for me, and I got stuck into the rhythm of the riders in front of me. Now we go home and we take a look at what we have to work on – where we lose time, where we gain time – I think we just have to gather up and put it all together and we will see what happens in Thailand.”

Benoit Paturel (8th MX2): “I wasn’t lucky in the first race. I was 6th and wanted to pass for 5th, but the bike stopped.  In the second race I came back from 8th after a mistake and I want to go better in the next race without any problems. I’m confident for the season ahead, but my results in Qatar aren’t my true level. My training is better than this, and I think that’s going to be visible in the next race.”

Vsevolod Brylyakov (9th MX2): “It’s not exactly the weekend I wanted, but I’m happy to be in one piece after the big crash during the first race. I had a good qualifying race, finishing eighth so I had a good gate. In the first moto I was in the top ten but made some mistakes and had some crashes, unfortunately another rider hit me when I crashed in front of the pit lane. He hit my ribs and my back, I was on the ground for two or three minutes and even breathing was very painful. I tried to recover between the races and took some painkillers but I couldn’t breathe deep and already in the first lap it was tough. I had a good start, put in  some good laps and scored a top nine so that’s not a bad start of season, especially as it was my first race this year.”

Alvin Östlund (17th MX2): “Both starts were really good, but my gate pick was too far outside, and in the corner I got pressed out, so I know now that I need to pick a better gate. In the first race I was 12th, so that’s really good for me. I rode with no mistakes and that makes me really happy. In the second race I had the same start, but in the first lap a guy crashed in front of me, and I got stuck behind him while everybody passed me. It’s difficult to pass here because everybody is fast, so I need to be faster in the top at the beginning and try to follow the faster guys.”

 

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Ashley is a digital and social media guru who loves a good dirt bike meme.