Rockstar Energy Suzuki MXGP rookie Glenn Coldenhoff came alive at the Grand Prix of Latvia Sunday to give the Suzuki brand its first MXGP win of the season.
Coldenhoff of the Netherlands conquered the sand Motocenter “Zelta Zirgs” track in Kegums, Latvia, to post the first MXGP win for his country since the turn of the decade in front of 23,000 spectators at the Grand Prix of Latvia on a rainy day that made the track bumpy and unpredictable.
Coldenhoff started the weekend by finishing fifth in Saturday’s qualifier. The Dutchman was feeling fast and confident on the sandy earth and it showed from the first seconds of the first moto when he pulled the holeshot and set a fast pace early. Coldenhoff’s Rockstar Energy Suzuki teammate Kevin Strijbos of Belgium quickly slotted into second place, giving Suzuki a one-two sweep of the first moto. Strijbos began to catch Coldenhoff as the moto progressed, but Coldenhoff didn’t make any mistakes and held on for the win.
Coldenhoff slotted into second place behind series point leader Romain Febvre on the first lap, and although he could not make a pass on Febvre for the moto win, he was able to hold off Red Bull KTM’s reigning World Champion Antonio Cairoli and Team HRC’s Gautier Paulin. Coldenhoff’s 1-2 moto finishes secured the overall win ahead of Paulin, who finished with 3-3 moto scores. Febvre was third overall with 8-1 moto scores.
“The weekend started good and I was fast right away,” Coldenhoff said. “I’ve always had a good feeling on this track, and the [MX of] Nations went well last year and this GP also. Of course I was really happy with the first moto. I started the season with a bit of a struggle. The goal was top-10 in the beginning, and later-on move up to the top-five and this came a bit unexpectedly! Winning a GP is something different! I’m really happy and the team has worked hard…it is just great.”
Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki rider Max Anstie also showed that his sand-riding ability is top notch. Anstie grew up racing in the sand of The Netherlands, and he showed that experience by winning the MX2 class with a clean 1-1 sweep.
Anstie has always claimed to be one of the best sand riders in the world, although he openly admitted that the absence of had Red Bull KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings from this weekend’s race made the job of winning easier. But Herlings was out and Anstie stepped up to the plate and beat everyone else in Saturday’s qualifier and both of Sunday’s GP motos for his first overall grand prix win of the season.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass led laps and put in two solid second place finishes for second overall. Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s last minute replacement rider, Harri Kullas of Finland, was not expected to compete for a podium, but compete he did, and in the end he landed a third overall finish, grabbing the first MX2 podium result of his career.
2015 FIM Motocross World Championship
Grand Prix of Latvia
Motocenter “Zelta Zirgs”
Results: July 12, 2015 (Round 12 of 18)
1. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED)-Suz/1-2
2. Gautier Paulin (FRA)-Hon/3-3
3. Romain Febvre (FRA)-Yam/8-1
4. Kevin Strijbos (BEL)-Suz/2-6
5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA)-KTM/4-4
6. Steven Frossard (FRA)-Kaw/6-8
7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL)-Yam/5-9
8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS)-Hon/11-5
9. Filip Bengtsson (SWE)-Hon/9-11
10. Dean Ferris (AUS)-Hus/10-12
FIM MXGP World Championship Point Standings (After 12 of 18 rounds)
1. Romain Febvre-457
2. Antonio Cairoli-416
3. Gautier Paulin-391
4. Max Nagl-360
5. Evgeny Bobryshev-345
6. Clement Desalle-291
7. Shaun Simpson-276
8. Jeremy Van Horebeek-260
9. Glenn Coldenhoff-243
10. Todd Waters-242
1. Max Anstie (GBR)-Kaw/1-1
2. Pauls Jonass (LAT)-KTM/2-2
3. Harri Kullas (FIN)-Hus/5-3
4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI)-Suz/4-5
5. Tim Gajser (SLO)-Hon/7-4
6. Davy Pootjes (NED)-KTM/3-11
7. Jordi Tixier (FRA)-Kaw/6-8
8. Brian Bogers (NED)-KTM/10-6
9. Ben Watson (GBR)-KTM/8-14
10. Thomas Covington (USA)-Kaw/14-9
FIM MX2 World Championship Point Standings (After 12 of 18 rounds)
1. Jeffrey Herlings-423
2. Tim Gajser-377
3. Valentin Guillod-352
4. Pauls Jonass-351
5. Jeremy Seewer-345
6. Jordi Tixier-334
7. Max Anstie-312
8. Julien Lieber-278
9. Aleksandr Tonkov-256
10. Dylan Ferrandis-205