Arnaud Tonus Shines in MXGP of Leon

April 3, 2017 - 6:03 PM


MXGP World Championships, MXGP of Leon – Leon, Mexico

The MXGP contingent marched towards the Mexican facility of Leon, which sat beneath the beating sun, this past weekend. The Grand Prix of Mexico-Leon marked the fourth flyaway event in succession for the multitude of FLY Racing athletes contesting the FIM Motocross World Championship.

The weekend started off in a promising fashion for Arnaud Tonus of Wilvo Yamaha MXGP. Competitive times in practice left him on the cusp of the top five each time, so there was a sense of excitement in the air as the qualifying race fired into life. A handful of mistakes hindered him in that, however, and he eventually crossed the line in eleventh, just one spot ahead of Shaun Simpson.

Tonus rebounded in a spectacular way in the first of two MXGP motos, as he started seventh and then latched onto a chaotic battle for a spot on the podium. Although he only gained one position across the moto, to finish sixth, he crossed the line just two seconds down on the rider in third. The second moto followed a similar pattern, but this time he advanced all the way to fourth at the finish with some impressive moves. The result was his best of the season by far, as he ended the event fourth overall and now sits twelfth in the championship.

Arnaud Tonus was on form at the MXGP of Leon, with his best finish of the season in fourth overall.

Shaun Simpson, the other rider on the Wilvo Yamaha MXGP team, had an uneventful day on the cusp of the top ten. A twelfth in the first moto was followed up by an eventful outing in moto two, where he overcame a mistake to salvage a fifteenth. That gave the Scotsman fourteenth overall and enough points to cling onto tenth in the championship.

Shaun Simpson sits 10th in the MXGP standings.

In the MX2 division, Iker Larranaga Olano came alive. He thrived on the slick soil and improved on his finishes from the previous rounds to claim twelfth overall, following a twelfth and a thirteenth in the two motos. That result is his best of the season so far. His Husqvarna 8Biano Racing teammates, Tanel Leok and Rui Goncalves, ensured that there were five sets of FLY Racing in the top twenty in MXGP, as they finished nineteenth and twentieth respectably (just behind Jose Butron). The fourth rider on the team, Ivan Petrov, came up just short of the points with a twenty-first in both motos.

8Biano Racing rider Iker Larranaga Olano had his best finish of the season in Mexico with a 12th overall in MX2.

The riders and teams will now return to Europe, ahead of the fifth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship that’ll be held at the spectacular setting of Pietramurata. First, however, there is a weekend off.

Arnaud Tonus: “My speed has been pretty good overall. I just needed to put everything together and that is what we did here. I was happy with the way I rode and everything. I had fun and came back through after some pretty bad starts. I was surprised that I was able to come back through, but I had to be creative. I am happy. It is good to have this kind of race, as it is a confidence booster.”

Shaun Simpson: “I was quite positive coming here. It did not really get off to the best start, as my kit got stolen. I was missing a bit of speed yesterday, but felt pretty solid in the heat race. I felt like I was making some good moves; my race craft and fitness was coming into play. Twelfth on the grid was quite good. Everyone was more or less on a similar pace today though. It just felt like no one was making too many moves. My results do not reflect how I felt this weekend could have went, but there are definitely positives to take.”

All photos courtesy of