VALKENSWAARD (The Netherlands) 31 March 2019 – Three rounds are now complete in the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship after today’s racing at the MXGP of the Netherlands in Valkenswaard. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team’s Antonio Cairoli and Jorge Prado bested the competition on every occasion this weekend achieved the first KTM sweep of 2019!
The Netherlands was the perfect setting for the action today with challenging race conditions and better than expected weather added to by an enthusiastic crowd. As the day progress the dark Dutch sand shifted lap after lap creating the ultimate test for even the world’s best MXGP and MX2 riders while also providing at times chaotic but mostly action-packed racing.
The first home for many riders and second home to most others, the Netherlands always hosts action packed racing. Today was no exception, rather the example, as riders swapped positions on number of occasions and battles were fought around the circuit.
As Race 1 started Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli scored the Fox Holeshot but by the end of the first lap it was Standing Construct KTM’s Max Anstie in the lead! Running the pace early Anstie’s pass on Cairoli was textbook.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser was third with Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Gautier Paulin and Standing Construct KTM’s Italian rider Ivo Monticelli. Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle was back in 8th after the first official lap but passed his Monster Energy KRT teammate Julien Lieber one lap later. Continue his way forward the Belgian made it by Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Jeremy Seewer before catching Monticelli.
On the fifth lap a mistake sent Gajser flying and out of 3rd promoting Paulin to the spot. Three laps after the mistake from Gajser, who rejoined the race in 12th behind HRC teammate Brian Bogers, Anstie then fell while leading and was slow to get back going after snagging his gear on the bike.
The fall of Anstie not only gave Paulin another spot but handed the lead back to the always strong Sicilian Antonio Cairoli. Next to fall victim to a mistake was Anstie’s teammate and Cairoli’s compatriot Monticelli. Taking over the Monticelli’s position was Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Arminas Jasikonis. Jasikonis started his charge from 10th on lap 1 and progressed all the way up to 4th by lap 12.
At the conclusion of the first race Cairoli took the win by over Desalle by 4.2 seconds with Paulin and Jasikonis less than 3 seconds further back while Honda SR Motoblouz’s Jeremy Van Horebeektook 5th. Gajser recovered to 7th by the finish while Anstie finished 16th ahead of his two Standing Construct KTM teammates Glenn Coldenhoff and Ivo Monticelli in 17th and 18th.
MXGP Race 2 gave Cairoli his 2nd Fox Holeshot of the weekend and 4th of the season but this time he held the lead for all of the 17 laps. Gajser has his Works Honda in second with the privateer effort of Van Horebeek just behind.
Jasikonis was off to another midfield start and came across the finish lap in 9th after the first complete lap. RFX KTM Racing’s Shaun Simpson had a remarkable start inside the top 5 battling with Desalle for 4th during the first 10 laps. Paulin was on a move up the leaderboard along with Jasikonis for several laps before losing control of his Yamaha and sampling the sand.
Similar to Race 1 Jasikonis continued to progress forward taking 4th away from Desalle with only two laps remaining. At the finish it was a second race win for Cairoli with Gajser 2nd, Van Horebeek 3rd, Jasikonis 4th, and Desalle 5th.
In the overall classification Cairoli’s double win earned him 50 points while Desalle’s 2-5 scores earned 38 points for 2nd overall and Gajser’s 7-2 tallied 36 points for 3rd overall and his 3rd podium of the 3 races so far this season.
Antonio Cairoli: "Overall I'm happy going into Trentino next week. Having the first three GP wins this year it's nice. Of course, it's not easy, Tim is very fast at the moment and it's nice to have such a high rhythm in the race for us, for the fans, and for everybody.”
Clement Desalle: “I'm happy going into Trentino next week. Having the first three GP wins this year it's nice. Of course, it's not easy, Tim is very fast at the moment and it's nice to have such a high rhythm in the race for us, for the fans, and for everybody.”
Tim Gajser: “I'm happy to finish on the podium again. But yeah I'm a little bit disappointed. In the first race I had a good start and I was in third place behind Tony and Max, then I make a mistake and I fell so I had to came through the pack. Anyway we're looking forward to next weekend in Arco, definitely many fans from Slovenia are going to be there and I'm excited.”
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 34:34.806; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:04.242; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:05.137; 4. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:06.759; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:12.427; 6. Julien Lieber (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:13.786; 7. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:14.058; 8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:20.989; 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:35.999; 10. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:39.272.
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 34:13.363; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:01.461; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:32.822; 4. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:42.905; 5. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:48.123; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:51.333; 7. Julien Lieber (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:52.345; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:54.021; 9. Max Anstie (GBR, KTM), +1:00.795; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:01.515.
MXGP Overall Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 38 p.; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 36 p.; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 36 p.; 5. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 36 p.; 6. Julien Lieber (BEL, KAW), 29 p.; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 28 p.; 8. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 28 p.; 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 25 p.; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, KTM), 17 p.
MXGP ChampionshipTop Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 147 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 125 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 103 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 102 p.; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 102 p.; 6. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 92 p.; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 78 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 64 p.; 9. Julien Lieber (BEL, KAW), 62 p.; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, KTM), 56 p.
MXGP Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 147 points; 2. Honda, 127 p.; 3. Yamaha, 113 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 103 p.; 5. Husqvarna, 92 p.
Main Photo: Antonio Cairoli
Bottom Photos: 1. Clement Desalle; 2. Tim Gajser
The dominance of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing continued in MX2 this weekend as defending MX2 World Champion Jorge Prado returned from his one-week hiatus. Adding to his impressive collection of Fox Holeshot black plates Prado took the Race 1 lead immediately.
Thomas Kjer Olsen’s red plated Rockstar Energy Husqvarna got him into second early while his newfound antagonist Henry Jacobi from F&H Racing Kawasaki ran third. Team DIGA Procross Husqvarna’s Davy Pootjes was 5th for the first 7 laps of the race before Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha Official MX2’s Ben Watson flew past at the end of the roller section.
Watson also passed Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle but a lap later the Brit crashed making his hard work all for nothing as he lost 3 spots as a result. Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen came from 9th on lap 1 to 4th by the end of lap 12 where he settled in behind Jacobi. Watson meanwhile regrouped from his fall and took 5th away from Pootjes for the second time with two laps to go.
At the finish Prado scored the win 7 and a half seconds ahead of Olsen who had 6 seconds on Jacobi and another 16 seconds on Vlaanderen in 4th.
In Race 2 Prado’s perfection was continued with another Fox Holeshot over Olsen, Jacobi, Vialle, and Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha Official MX2’s Jago Geerts. Prado’s new KTM teammate, Tom Vialle, crashed out of 4th position during lap 3 and remounted only in 11th.
Vlaanderen moved into the top 5 due to Vialle’s crash but more noticeably Geerts took the Frenchman’s prior position and ran with it. A native of the neighboring Belgium, Geerts applied pressure to Jacobi for a consistent 7 laps and finally made the move to take over 3rd and 2 laps later Vlaanderen did the same displacing Jacobi another position backwards.
With just two laps to go Jacobi would lose another position to Watson with Maddii Racing Husqvarna’s EMX250 rider and current EMX250 points leader, Alberto Forato, applying pressure from an impressive ride in 7th. The most important pass of the race for Geerts was also the final one. On the last lap, the last section, and last jump Geerts launched his YZ250F past Olsen to take second and also earn the final spot on the podium.
With Prado taking the win it was a perfect KTM sweep of the weekend in both MXGP and MX2 while Olsen took second overall and maintained the red plate ahead of next weekend’s MXGP of Trentino.
Jorge Prado: I had a good feeling both days, It's still not where I want because we still need to work but I'm going in the right direction. Trentino should be a great weekend hopefully. I have good memories from there and I have good races there every year. Hopefully we can make another good one next week.”
Thomas Kjer Olsen: “I feel pretty good with my performance. I got two good starts in the races, which I was pretty happy about. It made it a little bit easier for me to not have to battle all the way through the field. Prado was riding really good, I didn't feel like I was riding bad or anything myself, I had a pretty good flow it just wasn't quite enough.”
Jago Geerts: “It was a really good week for me, the first race didn’t go as planned but in the second race I was pretty fired up, in the last lap I got second place and took third on the podium so I was pretty happy with that.”
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 34:30.560; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:07.459; 3. Henry Jacobi (GER, Kawasaki), +0:16.197; 4. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +0:32.080; 5. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:41.347; 6. Davy Pootjes (NED, Husqvarna), +0:46.249; 7. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:46.877; 8. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:54.324; 9. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:58.521; 10. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:09.100.
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 34:35.326; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:05.031; 3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:05.188; 4. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +0:13.061; 5. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:16.499; 6. Henry Jacobi (GER, Kawasaki), +0:27.070; 7. Alberto Forato (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:37.591; 8. Bas Vaessen (NED, KTM), +0:48.631; 9. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:06.469; 10. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +1:09.989.
MX2 Overall Top Ten: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 50 points; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 42 p.; 3. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 36 p.; 4. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 36 p.; 5. Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 35 p.; 6. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 32 p.; 7. Alberto Forato (ITA, HUS), 23 p.; 8. Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 22 p.; 9. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 21 p.; 10. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 21 p.
MX2 ChampionshipTop Ten: 1. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 136 points; 2. Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 113 p.; 3. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 107 p.; 4. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 100 p.; 5. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 95 p.; 6. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 86 p.; 7. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 81 p.; 8. Davy Pootjes (NED, HUS), 65 p.; 9. Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 63 p.; 10. Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 60 p.
MX2 Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 138 points; 2. Husqvarna, 136 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 113 p.; 4. Honda, 109 p.; 5. Yamaha, 102 p.
Main Photo: Jorge Prado
Bottom Photo: 1. Thomas Kjer Olsen; 2. Jago Geerts