News 15 Sep 2014

Tixier claws his way to MX2 World Championship

Paulin ends season on a high with Mexican MXGP victory.

Image: Ray Archer.

Image: Ray Archer.

Red Bull KTM’s Jordi Tixier is the 2014 MX2 World Champion after narrowly edging out teammate Jeffrey Herlings at Leon in Mexico; the final round of the MXGP World Championship season.

With Herlings returning prematurely from a broken femur, Tixier rose to the challenge with the overall victory on Sunday via 1-3 finishes, while Herlings limped to a courageous 14-10 scorecard for 11th overall.

The opening MX2 moto saw levels of tension rarely experienced in the sport. Tixier, who received the bad news this week that his brother in France has been involved in an accident, overcame emotions to pull off a very impressive win from Romain Febvre and Dylan Ferrandis.

At the same time Herlings, riding with a custom-made leg brace to protect a yet-to heal broken femur, managed to pick up a handful of points by finishing 14th and go into the final race still with a five-point lead.

Both riders got away cleanly in the second moto but tension levels rose when Tixier crashed into Aleksandr Tonkov a handful of laps into the race, only to be passed by a bunch of riders, including Herlings.

The race then evolved into what was a tremendous performance from both KTM factory riders. Tixier turned up the heat and fought his way back into the action to finish the race in third place, take the final GP and seal the title by four points.

Meanwhile Herlings put in a super-human effort to try to retain the title and did so with immense fighting spirit. In 2014 he won 12 of the first 13 GPs then his leg fracture put him out of the next rounds while Tixier began to progressively move up the points.

“In my head I still can’t believe it,” Tixier said. “After I crashed in the first laps of the second moto I thought the championship was over and I tried to give it everything. Then when I crossed the finish line I thought, ‘I did it’ and its really nice to win like this. I was really fast on the track, I caught almost everyone and I rode aggressive.”

While the overall 1-2 was a great result for the racing team, factory team manager Stefan Everts said the close fight between the two riders made it an emotional occasion for the whole team.

Jeffrey Herlings said: “For me it was like I was riding with just one leg. Every time I put my foot down or went over a bump the pain was terrible. In the first moto I was a little calmer and I thought it was already over, but in the second moto I was just fighting like a warrior. Obviously I came up short but that’s life and I’ll try to get the title back next year.”

The MXGP round was won by Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Gautier Paulin with 4-1 results, beating Max Nagl’s (Team HRC) 1-4 on countback. Eight-time world champion Antonio Cairoli (Red Bull KTM) completed the podium to round out his title-winning season.

2014 MXGP World Championship
Round 17 – Leon, Mexico

MXGP overall results:
1. Gautier Paulin 43
2. Maximilian Nagl 43
3. Antonio Cairoli 42
4. Kevin Strijbos 42
5. Jeremy Van Horebeek 32
6. Tommy Searle 27
7. Davide Guarneri 27
8. Steven Frossard 27
9. Rui Goncalves 22
10. Matiss Karro 22

MXGP championship standings:
1. Antonio Cairoli 747
2. Jeremy Van Horebeek 628
3. Kevin Strijbos 572
4. Clement Desalle 484
5. Steven Frossard 419
6. Maximilian Nagl 400
7. Shaun Simpson 397
8. Gautier Paulin 358
9. Davide Guarneri 297
10. David Philippaerts 275
23. Todd Waters (AUS) 107
24. Dean Ferris (AUS) 101

MX2 overall results:
1. Jordi Tixier 45
2. Tim Gajser 41
3. Valentin Guillod 37
4. Romain Febvre 36
5. Arnaud Tonus 33
6. Julien Lieber 32
7. Glenn Coldenhoff 25
8. Jeremy Seewer 24
9. Dylan Ferrandis 22
10. Kei Yamamoto 20

MX2 championship standings:
1. Jordi Tixier 616
2. Jeffrey Herlings 612
3. Romain Febvre 570
4. Dylan Ferrandis 533
5. Tim Gajser 528
6. Arnaud Tonus 455
7. Valentin Guillod 449
8. Aleksandr Tonkov 397
9. Jose Butron 359
10. Jeremy Seewer 352
22. Luke Styke (AUS) 80

Click here for detailed results