MXGP Insider No.26 presented by Kawasaki – Mexican GP
Welcome to our web-exclusive weekly column: Transmoto’s MXGP Insider, presented by Kawasaki.
While sitting back watching the Grand Prix of Mexico, it was easy to look back and wonder if it was a success of not. After the disappointment of the riders’ strike on Saturday qualification it was hard to imagine that the event would turn around and actually present good racing.
Under really tough conditions on the Sunday the FIM World Motocross Championship riders put on a great show around the technically difficult Nicolas España’s circuit. With the high altitude (over 1500m) and temperatures around 35 degrees the riders must be applauded for a job well done.
When the riders decided to skip the Saturday qualification races there was a feeling of gloom over the sport. It’s not often riders overrule the governing bodies and while it has happened before on a few occasions it always remains a black spot on the sport.
While most of the complaints were about dust, there were also complaints about the shape of some of the jumps. The second complaint seemed a little unusual as former World 125cc and 250cc Champion Sebastien Tortelli had a lot to do with the design of the circuit and he felt the track was okay.
Monster Energy Team manager Steve Dixon, who let his riders race on Saturday if they wanted to, was also disappointed that riders didn’t race. He even mentioned that he asked his American rider, Michael Leib, if he wanted to race and Leib went out and raced – not for Dixon, but for himself. As did British MX2 rider Max Anstie.
Leib was not getting too much positive attention on Sunday during warm-up with some riders roosting him with dirt. Totally unprofessional from Leib’s rivals and not necessary.
By Sunday morning a lot of water had been put down and some of the rough edges from the jumps had been changed and the circuit looked pretty good.
Antonio Cairoli even mentioned on Sunday night that he enjoyed the circuit, which was a change to how he might have felt on Saturday afternoon. Jeffrey Herlings also said the circuit suited him as a lot of sections on the track was sandy.
All in all the Grand Prix of Mexico went ahead; the Red Bull KTM Factory dominated and went home happy with the outcome.
As for other riders, Tommy Searle who had been unlucky enough to witness a dead body on the road to the circuit and mentioned how happy he was to leave Mexico in one piece. Christophe Pourcel also mentioned he felt the circuit was dangerous.
Crowd figures mentioned 25,000 but it was probably more like 10,000.
Not surprisingly the riders who remained positive in tough conditions went home with victory and the riders who struggled with the whole Mexican adventure went home with their tales between their legs and possibly wondering if they really should have taken a different approach to the tough conditions.