Stat Sheet: MXGP of France

News, notes and statistics from France

· 9 minutes 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.


Holeshot (Moto One):

Jeffrey Herlings

Best Times (Moto One)

Antonio Cairoli


Jeffrey Herlings


Clement Desalle


Romain Febvre


Tim Gajser


Laps Led (Moto One)

Jeffrey Herlings


Jeffrey Herlings now leads the MXGP series by sixty-two points (KTM Images/Ray Archer)
Holeshot (Moto Two):

Antonio Cairoli

Best Times (Moto Two)

Jeffrey Herlings


Antonio Cairoli


Tim Gajser


Romain Febvre


Gautier Paulin


Laps Led (Moto Two)

Antonio Cairoli


Jeffrey Herlings


– Jeffrey Herlings led more laps than Antonio Cairoli at the Grand Prix of France. Unbelievably though, the event marked just the fifth time this season that Herlings did lead more laps than his foe. Cairoli may have only won a single round, the Grand Prix of La Comunitat Valenciana, but he led more laps than anyone else in Argentina, The Netherlands, Latvia and Great Britain. Herlings obviously led more at the other five rounds that have been run.

Jeffrey Herlings has won sixteen of the twenty motos this year (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

– The way that Jeffrey Herlings charged onto the rear wheel of Antonio Cairoli in the second moto, then immediately executed a pass, was impressive. It was quite clear that the move was going to happen on lap fourteen, as his pace before that was almost unbelievable. That period in the second moto at the Grand Prix of France is highlighted below.

Jeffrey Herlings

Antonio Cairoli


Lap 12




Lap 13




Lap 14




Lap 15




Lap 16




Lap 17




Lap 18




– Jeffrey Herlings jumped into the record books as yet another 450F-mounted rider who has won at St. Jean d'Angely. Since Youthstream took control in 2004 and the premier class (previously named MX1, now called MXGP) was introduced, there has not been a repeat winner at the historic French circuit. Ten events have been held there in that time too! It is insane how that has worked out. All of the premier-class winners are in the table below. Who would like to bet that Herlings does actually manage to win again in the not-so-distant future?

MXGP Winners

Jeffrey Herlings


Romain Febvre


Clement Desalle


Antonio Cairoli


Steven Frossard


David Philippaerts


Sebastian Pourcel


Josh Coppins


Ben Townley


Stefan Everts


Jeffrey Herlings has now won seven events in France (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

– Jeffrey Herlings claimed his seventy-fifth Grand Prix victory this past weekend with a clean sweep. How many of those seventy-five victories were the result of winning both motos? Fifty-nine of them, almost unbelievably, which is a reminder of just how dominant he has been throughout his career. The highest number of clean sweeps that he has had in a single season is thirteen, so there is actually a chance that he could set a new personal record by the end of the current term.

– In an exclusive post-race interview on MX Vice, Antonio Cairoli stated that the second turn was very tricky for him with his knee. Was that reflected in the sector times from early on in the final encounter, when Antonio Cairoli was arguably at his best? The table below reveals all.

Jeffrey Herlings

Antonio Cairoli


Lap 1




Lap 2




Lap 3




Lap 4




Lap 5




Lap 6




Lap 7




– Antonio Cairoli has won a lot of rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship, eighty-four, but the French events have not exactly been kind to him. When was the last time that he actually stood atop a podium in France? It was at Ernee back in 2013! One thousand eight hundred and thirteen days have passed since that event. Three additional victories have been claimed in France; St. Jean d'Angely in 2012, St. Jean d'Angely in 2007 and Ernee in 2006.

Antonio Cairoli is still struggling with that injured knee (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

– Gautier Paulin always comes alive in front of the French fans, but could only manage to secure seventh overall on Sunday. When was the last time that he finished both motos at his home Grand Prix and ended in a position worse than that? It was at St. Jean d'Angely in 2010, where he secured a fourteenth and fourth for eighth overall. That event was two thousand nine hundred and twenty-seven days ago. One could argue that Paulin was twelfth overall at Villars sous Ecot in 2015, but a mechanical issue restricted him to that position.

– Sticking with a similar theme, there were no French riders inside of the top four in the premier division on Sunday. When was the last time that happened on home soil? It was actually at St. Jean d'Angely in 2010 as well! The best-placed French rider was Anthony Boissiere, who was piloting a TM at the time, in fifth overall. Marvin Musquin won the overall in the MX2 class on that day though, so it was not a bad one for the crowd.

– Jeremy Van Horebeek, who is known for his consistency, has had a rough time of it this season, as a lot of different injuries and health issues have restricted him. With that in mind, it is hardly surprising that he has a total of just two hundred and nineteen points after ten rounds. Has he ever had less points than that at this point in the season? Van Horebeek had one hundred and ninety-four points to his name in 2015, but he missed two of those events with injury.

– Romain Febvre has been solely responsible for pushing Yamaha up the order in the manufacturer standings, for the most part anyway, as he has been the best-placed rider in blue in fourteen of the twenty motos this season. Jeremy Van Horebeek has managed that in five of the motos, then Jeremy Seewer did it for the first time in moto one this past weekend. Yamaha are currently third in the manufacturer standings, forty-five points ahead of Husqvarna.

Romain Febvre has delivered consistent results for Yamaha (Yamaha Racing)

– Valentin Guillod had a good reason to celebrate at the Grand Prix of France, as the event marked his return to the top ten. Guillod finished in tenth in moto one, after returning from a broken leg a week ago, and it was actually the first time that he has done that since the Dutch Grand Prix in 2016. Guillod was tenth in the first race at Assen that year, so went six hundred and fifty-two days without a top-ten finish.

– The tenth place that Valentin Guillod secured was obviously a season-best finish. Who else managed to acquire one of those on French soil? Ivo Monticelli, who was tenth in the other moto, was the only other rider in the premier class who managed it. When was the last time that he slotted into the top ten in a race? Monticelli was seventh in the second MX2 moto at the Grand Prix of Switzerland in 2016, which was run six hundred and seventy-three days ago.

– Speaking of finishing in tenth place, Shaun Simpson occupied that position in the overall classification. A thirteenth and eleventh in the two motos left him with a total of eighteen points, which secured him the finish. When was the last time that a rider with such a low total was inside of the top ten? It was actually just last week! Max Anstie was sat in tenth with seventeen points to his name.         

Shaun Simpson is making steady progress every single week (Yamaha Racing)

– Jorge Prado claimed his seventh overall win at the Grand Prix of France and his first on French soil. Prado has now won in Italy (twice), Belgium, The Netherlands, Portugal, Germany and France. There is plenty of variety there. By claiming his fourth victory of the season, he also surpassed his total from the previous term! There were plenty of positives for the rising star to extract from the tenth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship.

– Gaining twelve points on Pauls Jonass was very positive for Jorge Prado, but it could have been even more. The Red Bull KTM outfit were pushing him to chase the victory in the first moto; he was fast enough to overcome the ten-second deficit that he faced around the halfway point. How did his times compare to Thomas Covington, the leader, though?

Thomas Covington

Jorge Prado


Lap 7




Lap 8




Lap 9




Lap 10




Lap 11




Lap 12




– Jorge Prado could only secure a third in that opening moto at the Grand Prix of France, which meant that there was not a single KTM within the top two. When was the last time that happened in an MX2 moto? It actually in the final moto of the season in France last year, as Hunter Lawrence and Thomas Covington hogged the top-two spots. The best-placed KTM rider was Pauls Jonass in third in that race, much like Jorge Prado was this past weekend.

Prado had not won in France, before that victory on Sunday (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

– Although Jorge Prado took the holeshot and led every single lap in the second moto, he did not exactly dominate proceedings. Jago Geerts showed a lot of composure to maintain the gap to the race leader and not lose touch in what were tricky conditions. It was an interesting look at what he could do in the future. These lap times from that second moto are just as impressive as well.

Jorge Prado

Jago Geerts Difference
Lap 9 1:57.135 1:56.954


Lap 10




Lap 11




Lap 12




Lap 13




Lap 14




– Hunter Lawrence made more passes than anyone else at the Grand Prix of France, mainly because of a mistake a couple of laps into the second race. Lawrence made eleven moves in race one, officially anyway, and then seventeen in the second moto for a total of twenty-eight passes. Ben Watson was the next-closest rider, as he made sixteen passes in the first moto and then eight in the next one. Both riders were involved in a crash down the start straight in the first encounter and had a significant amount of work to do.

– Speaking of bad starts and Ben Watson, those have been a bit of a theme this year. How many passes has he actually had to make in the motos? Since the Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina, he has made one hundred and sixteen moves. Watson made his hundredth pass of the season in France! There is no denying the fact that he would be a constant contender if he could get out of the gate and avoid any issues on lap one, as his speed is there for everyone to see.

Ben Watson rode so much better than the results may show (Yamaha Racing)

– The second moto at the Grand Prix of France was where Ben Watson was the most impressive. Whilst working through the field, he was locked in a duel with Pauls Jonass and stuck to his rear wheel the whole way. It was even more proof that he can contend for victories when in the right situation. How did his times compare to the reigning world champion? The table below highlights that.

Pauls Jonass Ben Watson Difference

Lap 11




Lap 12




Lap 13




Lap 14




Lap 15




Lap 16




– Conrad Mewse returned to form at the Grand Prix of France, as he recorded a seventh and a ninth in the two motos to take eighth overall. Twenty-six points were acquired on the day. Quietly, however, it was actually one of the best showings of his career, as he rarely scores more points than that on a single day. Mewse had done that just six times before arriving at the Grand Prix of France. This was certainly a step in the right direction for him.

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

We use cookies! By browsing this site, you agree to our use of cookies.
More info
Fantasy MX Manager
Play & Win Prizes!