Stat Sheet: Round One

News, notes, stats and facts

· 13 min read

There is so much that goes on at each FIM Motocross World Championship round that it is inevitable that you will overlook certain things. That is where our regular ‘Stat Sheet' feature comes into play, however, as we focus on the details that you may have overlooked.

MXGP

Holeshot (Moto One)

Antonio Cairoli

Best Times (Moto One)

Jeffrey Herlings

1:42.433

Antonio Cairoli

1:42.787

Romain Febvre

1:42.933

Clement Desalle

1:43.069

Jeremy Van Horebeek

1:43.529

Laps Led (Moto One)

Antonio Cairoli

19

Antonio Cairoli was great in Argentina, but just missed out (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

Holeshot (Moto Two)

Antonio Cairoli

Best Times (Moto Two)

Jeffrey Herlings

1:43.383

Antonio Cairoli

1:43.710

Clement Desalle

1:44.392

Jeremy Van Horebeek

1:44.420

Romain Febvre

1:42.810

Laps Led (Moto Two)

Antonio Cairoli

18

Jeffrey Herlings

1

– The battle that Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings had in the second moto at the MXGP of Patagonia-Argentina was most intriguing. Why though? The lap times paint the picture. Herlings did not appear to be moving forward to begin with and, even once he dropped into second, his times were not consistently better. The table below covers the moment that Jeffrey Herlings slipped into second (lap nine) and started to hunt down his championship rival. Onlookers presumed the race was over at this point.

Jeffrey Herlings

Antonio Cairoli

Difference

Lap 7

1:45.160

1:44.555

+0.605

Lap 8

1:44.970

1:45.633

-0.663

Lap 9

1:45.440

1:44.774

+0.666

Lap 10

1:46.028

1:44.201

+1.827

Lap 11

1:44.491

1:44.582

-0.091

Lap 12

1:44.970

1:44.896

+0.074

This battle will be a hot topic all season, there is no doubt about that (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

– A fact that is going to emerge by looking at this feature is whether Jeffrey Herlings sped up towards the end or Antonio Cairoli slowed down. It turns out that it was a bit of both. Cairoli did not sustain the same pace that he was running in the table above, then Herlings cut his times by more than a second. The Dutchman clearly smelt blood in the water at that point and was spurred on by the fact that the gap was dropping by a significant amount each lap.

Jeffrey Herlings

Antonio Cairoli

Difference

Lap 14

1:44.877

1:46.388

-1.511

Lap 15

1:44.218

1:45.806

-1.588

Lap 16

1:43.985

1:45.412

-1.427

Lap 17

1:44.351

1:46.234

-1.883

Lap 18

1:43.938

1:45.492

-1.554

Lap 19

1:43.383

1:46.048

-2.665

– In an exclusive interview on MX Vice, Antonio Cairoli mentioned that he was caught out by a handful of backmarkers towards the end of the second race. There is not one lap time above that is significantly higher than the rest though. If he was indeed held up by a slower rider at one point, there would be a time that reflects that. Perhaps the time on lap seventeen is the one? It was eight tenths slower than his previous time and, following that point in the race, he dropped it back down again. Jeffrey Herlings won by two seconds in the end, so did those eight tenths that were lost make a difference?

– It is actually worth noting that the 1:43.383 time that Jeffrey Herlings recorded on the final lap was the quickest time of the race. When was the last time that an MXGP rider set the best lap of the race right at the very end? Antonio Cairoli managed it in moto one at the Grand Prix of Switzerland last year, so it is not too uncommon. It is also worth noting that Herlings was one of the only two riders in that second moto to set his quickest time after the halfway mark; Tommy Searle also did it.

Jeffrey Herlings actually broke a record at the opening round (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

– How about the battle that Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings had in moto one? The pair were extremely close once again, much to the delight of the thousands in attendance. The waves were particularly important in that race, because both riders opted to navigate different lines. Cairoli hogged the inside, which included hitting the roller, and Herlings went to the middle of the turn and chose to skip the small roller on the inside. Who was quicker on that particular part of the track? The segment times are below.

Antonio Cairoli

Jeffrey Herlings

Difference

Lap 13

0:23.721

0:23.201

+0.520

Lap 14

0:23.674

0:23.103

+0.571

Lap 15

0:23.445

0:22.938

+0.507

Lap 16

0:23.230

0:23.225

+0.005

Lap 17

0:23.459

0:22.747

+0.712

Lap 18

0:23.637

0:22.634

+1.003

Lap 19

0:23.734

0:22.473

+1.261

– A final note about Jeffrey Herlings, as he actually set a record at the Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina. The time that he recorded in free practice (1:39.459) was the quickest lap that anyone has ever done around Neuquen! Impressive, right? Statistics like that would be well-publicised in some other sports.

– The duel between Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings was not the only intense on-track fight that occurred at the Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina. Clement Desalle and Romain Febvre fought for third for the duration of the first moto. These lap times are just as interesting as the ones above; Febvre was remarkably consistent whereas Desalle could run a faster pace on certain laps. Doing that consistently was clearly not an easy task though.

Clement Desalle

Romain Febvre

Difference

Lap 12

1:45.632

1:45.200

+0.432

Lap 13

1:44.460

1:46.056

-1.596

Lap 14

1:46.130

1:46.587

-0.457

Lap 15

1:44.776

1:45.524

-0.748

Lap 16

1:46.073

1:45.858

+0.215

Lap 17

1:46.582

1:46.372

+0.210

Romain Febvre is off to a consistent start in the premier class (Monster Energy Media/Ray Archer)

– Romain Febvre was not spectacular at the opening round of the FIM Motocross World Championship, but did record some respectable results. Thirty-four points were acquired on the day. Unbelievably, Febvre has only scored better than that at the opening round twice before. When was that? 2016, the year that he was defending his maiden the world title, and then 2013. What about his final term in MX2? Although he landed on the box at round one, he still only scored thirty-four points. The moto scores that he had on that day were the same as what he acquired last Sunday.

– Acquiring a brace of sixths at the opening round is a solid way to start the season. Gautier Paulin was especially pleased to exit the event with some solid points on the board, however, as he entered with a sickness and dealt with that all weekend. Paulin is typically firing on all cylinders at the first round, as he has only scored thirty points or less at the opening MXGP round once before (when a bike issue with Team HRC forced him to retire from a moto in 2015). It is rather impressive that he always starts the season in such a noteworthy fashion.

– Jeremy Van Horebeek also tends to start the season in an impressive manner, much like Gautier Paulin. It seems as though the flyaway events in general suit him perfectly. Now, admittedly, his first MXGP round aboard a bigger bike (Qatar in 2013) was disastrous, but injury spoiled it. Van Horebeek has been inside of the top five at every opening round since then though, with the exception of last year. Seventh was the official ranking that he was handed the last time that the series visited Qatar, but he did tie for fifth.

Jeremy Van Horebeek is very underrated and often overlooked (Monster Energy Media/Ray Archer)

– Max Anstie and Tommy Searle have very similar second races, as they both crashed in turn one and then made a total of ten passes. Searle got up much quicker than Anstie and, consequently, was around twelve seconds ahead on the track. How did their times compare whilst negotiating some of the slower riders at the beginning of the race?

Tommy Searle

Max Anstie

Difference

Lap 1

1:49.296

1:48.583

+0.713

Lap 2

1:48.399

1:50.111

-1.712

Lap 3

1:50.047

1:48.603

+1.444

Lap 4

1:49.204

1:48.750

+0.454

Lap 5

1:49.461

1:48.407

+1.054

Lap 6

1:48.112

1:48.803

-0.691

Lap 7

1:48.372

1:48.913

-0.541

– With Tim Gajser and Brian Bogers on the sidelines, the Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina was a difficult exercise for Honda. Who was the best-placed CRF450R pilot? Arminas Jasikonis in sixteenth overall. When was the last time that Honda did not have an MXGP rider inside of the top ten? The Grand Prix of Belgium last year. With such a poor presence in the premier division, Honda are currently last in the manufacturer standings. Have they ever been that far down the order after round one? No. They were second to last after one round in 2006, however, with just TM in their rear-view mirror.

Arminas Jasikonis was the best-placed Honda rider at round one (Honda Pro Racing)

– Whilst Honda struggled to make their presence known inside of the top ten at round one, TM had their best showing in quite some time. Max Nagl slotted the machine into ninth overall on the day, which was the best result that TM have had in the premier division since the Grand Prix of Trentino in 2015. Davide Guarneri finished eighth overall on his TM at that event, which was also the last time that they had a premier-class rider inside of the top ten. One thousand and fifty-one days was the drought that they encountered between top-ten finishes.

MX2

Holeshot (Moto One)

Hunter Lawrence

Best Times (Moto One)

Hunter Lawrence

1:42.777

Pauls Jonass

1:43.195

Thomas Kjer Olsen

1:43.335

Ben Watson

1:43.683

Conrad Mewse

1:44.070

Laps Led (Moto One)

Hunter Lawrence

9

Pauls Jonass

8

Darian Sanayei

2

Darian Sanayei led laps for the first time at the first round (Monster Energy Media/Ray Archer)

Holeshot (Moto Two)

Davy Pootjes

Best Times (Moto Two)

Pauls Jonass

1:45.632

Thomas Kjer Olsen

1:46.426

Calvin Vlaanderen

1:46.731

Darian Sanayei

1:46.887

Ben Watson

1:46.932

Laps Led (Moto Two)

Pauls Jonass

18

– Pauls Jonass swept the Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina, as he finished first in every single session that was run at the first round of the series. When was the last time that someone managed to do that in the MX2 division? Jeffrey Herlings did it at the Grand Prix of Lombardia in 2016, which was six hundred and seventeen days ago, so this was obviously the first time that Pauls Jonass has achieved such an impressive feat. What a dominant start to the current campaign.

Pauls Jonass is off to a dominant start in the MX2 division (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

– Across the last twenty rounds that have been run in the MX2 class, dating back to round one last year, a rider has swept both motos five times. Pauls Jonass is the only Grand Prix regular who has managed it through that time though, as RJ Hampshire was the other one who did it. Who will be the next rider to sweep two motos at one Grand Prix? Based on how dominant Pauls Jonass has been recently, the rest of the field may have their work cut out to achieve that.

– Pauls Jonass actually moved up in the record books ever so slightly at the first round of the FIM Motocross World Championship. How? The Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina marked the twenty-seventh time that he has stood on the MX2 overall podium and, as a result of that, he tied Jordi Tixier for fifth on the list of all-time podium finishers. Tyla Rattray sits fourth with thirty-nine and is the next guy for Jonass to leapfrog.

– Thomas Kjer Olsen acquired a third and a second at the Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina, which left him in second overall, so Pauls Jonass is sat on a lead of eight points currently. When was the last time that an MX2 rider exited the first round with a lead greater than that? It has actually been quite a while. Jeffrey Herlings had a lead of ten points over Dylan Ferrandis heading into round two four years ago, so that was it. It is surprising that there has not been more inconsistency at the opening rounds in recent years.

– Although Pauls Jonass ensured that KTM were dominant at the Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina, the Austrian manufacturer did not have another rider inside of the top ten. KTM usually have three or four riders towards the front, if not more, so when was the last time that they had just one rider in the top ten? The MXGP of Czech Republic in 2015. Pauls Jonass was actually the only KTM rider near the front at that race too, as he ended second overall on the day. Jeffrey Herlings was out injured.

Jonass has managed to add consistency to his raw bursts of speed (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

– Pauls Jonass was not completely perfect at the Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina, as he did not have the quickest lap time in the first of two motos. Hunter Lawrence (1:42.777) claimed that. The first moto on Sunday was actually the first time that Lawrence has ever set the quickest time in a race, so that is another milestone that he has ticked off. Now he just needs to stand atop the overall podium for the first time. "It would have been nice to get the win, but it is not my favourite track so I cannot be too disappointed," he said in a post-race statement.

– How did Hunter Lawrence compare to Pauls Jonass in the first MX2 encounter at the Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina? Lawrence led the first ten laps of the season, but was eventually demoted by Jonass. The lap times from that portion of the race are below, including the lap that Jonass broke through and led for the first time this season (lap eleven).

Pauls Jonass

Hunter Lawrence

Difference

Lap 9

1:43.571

1:44.352

-0.781

Lap 10

1:43.764

1:43.577

+0.187

Lap 11

1:43.863

1:44.869

-1.006

Lap 12

1:43.233

1:45.444

-2.211

Lap 13

1:43.801

1:44.654

-0.853

Lap 14

1:44.204

1:44.984

-0.780

Hunter Lawrence was right in the thick of some intense battles (Monster Energy Media/Ray Archer)

– Speaking of Hunter Lawrence, he was also engaged in an enthralling battle with Ben Watson and Calvin Vlaanderen towards the end of the final moto. Watson moved past Lawrence and into fourth on lap eleven of eighteen, then Vlaanderen slipped into the top five on the very last lap.

Ben Watson

Calvin Vlaanderen

Hunter Lawrence

Lap 12

1:47.481

1:48.074

1:48.158

Lap 13

1:47.632

1:48.221

1:49.065

Lap 14

1:47.799

1:47.860

1:47.697

Lap 15

1:48.970

1:47.849

1:47.767

Lap 16

1:50.341

1:49.037

1:49.722

Lap 17

1:47.622

1:47.987

1:48.146

Lap 18

1:48.634

1:46.731

1:48.347

– Aside from the top four, the MX2 riders were rather inconsistent at the MXGP of Patagonia-Argentina. Jed Beaton ended up fifth overall, despite the fact that he finished in seventh and eighth in the two motos. When was the last time that someone with twenty-seven points or less finished in the top five overall? The Grand Prix of Trentino back in 2016 – a fourth and a twelfth left Jeremy Seewer in fifth on the day. It is quite rare.

– A handful of riders returned to Grand Prix racing in Argentina, following lengthy breaks. Vsevolod Brylyakov and Adam Sterry sustained season-ending injuries at Valkenswaard last year, so the first moto at round one marked the first time that they had competed in an MX2 race in three hundred and sixteen days. Brylyakov returned to the top ten immediately, as he finished ninth in both motos, which is exactly how he fared at round one a year ago. It is rather impressive that the injury that he sustained did not cause him to miss a beat.

Vsevolod Brylyakov had a consistent start to his comeback (Monster Energy Media/Ray Archer)

– Morgan Lesiardo was bitterly disappointed to leave the Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina with a single point to his name, but there was a reason for his lacklustre showing. Lesiardo got landed on in the qualifying race and, although he did not sustain any injuries, felt a little beat up in the motos. This was still the fifth-greatest showing that he has had in MX2– he failed to score points at two of the rounds that he completed last year.

– What happened to Marshal Weltin, the third American in the field? The Vamo Honda rider just slipped outside of the points in the first of two motos, then damaged his exhaust in the first turn of the final moto. "I felt my riding was pretty decent in the beginning of the first moto," he said in a team statement. "Things got pretty hectic, I fought hard and I found myself in a four-way battle. I held my breath and it tired me out quite a bit. That is where I spent a lot of energy and I paid the price near the end. We were unfortunate with a small bike issue in the second moto, but that is a part of racing."

Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: KTM Images/Ray Archer

Fantasy MX Manager
Play & Win Prizes!