Round two of nineteen in the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship saw the new venue blasted by frequent showers and thunderstorms on what was the series’ first visit to the country in exactly twenty years. The second MX2 moto was cut short with seven minutes still on the clock due to the perilous nature of the track and in the wake of another bout of rainfall. A decision was made by officials to cancel the second MXGP outing and the results from the first race served for the overall classification.
With the fences and grandstands packed with eager fans and a keen audience for MXGP (official figure of 36,000) the premier class began on a drying course but with the mud still very soft and difficult to judge. Practice and qualification on Saturday had been reduced to just one session because of the conditions and as the 30 minute and 2 lap race on Sunday ticked down areas of the 1600m layout became extremely rutted and sticky.
One section in particular turned into a quagmire and would catch out MX2 World Champion Jeffrey Herlings as the #84 machine became swallowed from a potential top ten finish and the Dutchman was classified in 17th.
Herlings: “It was a gamble and some riders won and some lost; it is pretty devastating to be in sixth-seventh position and to then get stuck. I’m already fifty points down in the championship but I still believe we can make it happen. It has been a tough start and we expected that because of my injury but the weather here meant it was out of my hands! We’ll have to take this and work from here. At least my hand was much better than last week. I hope I can finally be up front in Argentina and it is a track that suits me well. A podium there is realistic.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing will now be able to head home to Europe and adjust to a familiar time zone before jetting west and to Neuquen in Patagonia for the third Grand Prix of Argentina this century. The popular course is forged from volcanic earth and will again be flanked by a busy and passionate crowd.
Next Round: March 19, 2017 – Neuquen (ARG)
Results MXGP Pangkal Pinang 2017 (only one moto)
1. Shaun Simpson (GBR), Yamaha, 36:06.712 min (15 laps)
2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED), KTM, +7.725 sec
3. Clement Desalle (BEL), Kawasaki, +12.501
4. Tony Cairoli (ITA), KTM, +39.427
5. Rui Goncalves (POR), Husqvarna, +43.580
17. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), KTM, +2 laps
Standings MXGP 2017 after 2 of 19 rounds
1. Antonio Cairoli, 68
2. Clement Desalle, 60
3. Tim Gajser, 56
4. Evgeny Bobryshev, 44
5. Jeremy Van Horebeek, 42
17. Jeffrey Herlings, 17