MXGP: Honda, Nagl take win in Mexico season finale
Max Nagl rounded out the season-ending South American double header standing on the podium again today for Team HRC, taking a race victory and finishing second overall in Leon, Mexico. It marks a fantastic run for the German, who has scored two qualifying race wins, three race wins, an overall victory and now a second overall in the last two weekends.
Aboard his CRF450RW, he took his best victory of the season in the opening race because it was his hardest fought. Unlike his previous clean sweep in Brazil, and indeed his qualifying race win yesterday, this time he didn’t get the holeshot and was fifth into the first corner.
His aggression in the first two laps was what won it for him as he attacked like no one else. On the first full lap he was two seconds faster than the rest of the field as he surged through to quickly take the lead.
After that it was still not an easy ride for the German as Kevin Strijbos followed him in second position, often the pair matching each other’s laptimes to the tenth of a second. Handling the pressure beautifully, and without putting a wheel wrong, Max’s relentless pace saw him eke ahead and cross the line 1.2seconds clear for his fifth race win of the season.
In race two, Max again took an early lead which he maintained for much of the race, but coming under increasing pressure from the trio of Gautier Paulin, Antonio Cairoli and again Strijbos, this time he was unable to match their pace. Despite a last-lap effort to re-pass Strijbos, which would have promoted Max to the overall win, the German took second overall; his fourth podium of the year. In doing so, he also moved up to sixth position in the World Championship.
With the 2014 MXGP season now having reached its conclusion, the one remaining event on the calendar for Max Nagl and his Honda counterparts is the Motocross of Nations in Latvia on 28 September.