MOTO: FIM MX World Champs Portugal

While we’ve all been glued to the crazy happenings in the World Cup, this year’s MX world champs has also been throwing up a few surprises. MOTO Editor Ben Johnson brings you this mid-season round-up accompanied by highlights from the weekend’s GP of Portugal courtesy of MOTO’s answer to the Parkin brothers Mikey Neale.

Motocross is where it’s at – real proper scrambling on tracks rougher than Ryan Gigg’s home life. You can’t beat the great outdoors for excitement, and hell has the MXGP season been exciting so far. Teenage wonders, epic races, shock wins and some smashing smashes, the championship has seen an electric opener.

Former MXer Aaron Gwin isn’t the only two-wheeled god to light a rocket under the arse of the establishment this season. The MX1 world motocross championship big-guns have had to give second best to class rookie Steven Frossard twice already in six GPs. The Frenchman might be as interesting as white bread away from the track, but on the big Yamaha 450 he’s been a revelation so far this year. Smashing the opening moto win of the series and winning his home GP in France had ensured the man in black has grabbed much of the attention in the opening quarter of the GP series and shown himself a serious title contender for the big pre-season favourites, four-time world champ and style god Tony Cairoli and old-school Belgian bruiser Clement Desalle.

Cairoli himself has struggled to match the utterly dominant form that saw him run away with the 2010 title thanks to a bit of a bum knee, but the Italian maestro has still found it within himself to not only win GPs, but also provide the most exciting races of the year. Even when crock he’s the man to watch. He’s having to give second best to the hard Desalle currently however. The Belgian has found a whole heap of speed and confidence this year and looks to finally have the measure of Cairoli. Desalle leads the way in the title hunt, but by a neglible amount, and with the burly Belgian renowned for being unafraid to rough up his rivals expect some fireworks between him and Cairoli real soon.

MX2 meanwhile has been a teenage rout of epic proportions as KTM’s frighteningly fast twosome Ken Roczen and Jeffrey Herlings have won all but two motos and one GP between them, with the other win going to British ‘veteran’ Tommy Searle who’s the ripe old age of 21! Neither KTM rider is old enough to even drive and it’s a wonder and a worry how good this pair are already (imagine Troy Brosnan thrashing Gee and Co. by three seconds at a world cup and you’re close).

Roczen in particular has staked his claim as the fastest 250F rider on the planet and should have been well on his way to running away with the title but two big crashes in succession in France and Portugal have allowed Herlings to sneak into the championship lead and left Roczen feeling seriously second-hand and needing a big hug from his mum. Fully expect the Teutonic tearaway to bounce back and snatch the title though; he’s the next motocross legend.
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