While Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Jorge Prado seems to be the fastest, he isn’t leading the championship points due to his missing a round after picking up an injury.
Prado (pictured here) will need to stay consistent to catch red plate holder Thomas Olsen of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory team, but both will need to remain calm under huge pressure from names like Henry Jacobi, Jago Geerts, Ben Watson and Tom Vialle who are also showing amazing speed and they’ll next face off at the MXGP of Lombarbia, at Mantova, next weekend (on May 12).
Dirk Gruebel of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team has been able to sit back and watch his young gun Vialle surprise many people. Like many inside the GP paddock, Gruebel is loving everything about the MX2 class and these young rookies.
“It is fantastic,” Gruebel said. “I would never have imagined how much talent and how strong Tom is riding. I mean our job was the bring him on, help him get to the top ten and take it from there. Since the pre-season races, he surprised us, and he did well in the pre-season race in Mantova, then Hawkstone it was less, but Lacapelle was good, and since Argentina, he takes the good starts and he is living from that a bit, just as Jorge did two years ago. Still, he isn’t fading away and it is great to see.
“In Arco, he has never been there before, and he is keeping guys like Olsen behind him, and they are pushing hard. The last 10 minutes is still crucial for him, because he doesn’t have the strength yet, but it will come. It is just fantastic, the podium in MX2 is really young now.”
Former GP winner Marc De Reuver also has one eye on the MX2 championship as his riders fight for podiums finishes. At present, Jacobi is proving many people wrong with his consistent and strong showings and isn’t far off the pace of Prado and Olsen.
“Yes”, De Reuver said, “MX2 is super, and I didn’t expect it to be like this. It is really nice to watch, they all want to win, or go for the podium. Yes, Prado is too good, but that is okay, you also see he can make mistakes and you never know in this championship and I am not saying Henry will be World champion, but Prado is better at the moment but behind him, they are all equal. Watson, Olsen, they are all together and its good. We are not on Prado level yet, and if you want to go to Prado level, you need to continue. It isn’t like after one podium the season is over.”
And now, in a weeks’ time, on May 12, the MX2 class will arrive at the Mantova circuit in the north of Italy, and once again, the pack will be hunting down red plate holder Olsen and defending champion Prado. With names like Ben Watson, Tom Vialle, Jago Geerts, Henry Jacobi and so many others all looking for a way to unsettle the championship picture.
Words courtesy Geoff Meyer
Photo by Ray Archer
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