The Motocross World Championships are ready for the 17th round of the series this weekend, crossing the Atlantic in a visit to the United States and the sunshine state of Florida.
The Monster Energy MXGP of USA will take place this weekend at the WW Motocross Park in Jacksonville, Florida, for the first time ever.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli has claimed eight World championships in his career and his ninth is within reach this weekend.
Italy’s Cairoli has a 101-point advantage on MXGP rookie and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team-mate Jeffrey Herlings.
All that is needed from Cairoli this weekend is to place better than Dutchman Herlings in the overall standings and he will secure his ninth title. Herlings does however come off a triumphant first American motocross appearance in the MXGP off weekend and he won the MX2 at the 2016 Monster Energy MXGP of USA.
The pair will be joined by not only their weekly advisories but also the newly crowned American Motocross Champion, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Eli Tomac, who is also the winner of the last Monster Energy MXGP of USA at Glen Helen in 2016 and the Monster Energy MXGP of Americas.
Tomac’s European counterpart Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle is fourth in the MXGP championship. Statistically either Desalle or the third place holder, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin, could still win the title but the odds are against then as they essentially would need Herlings and Cairoli to have multiple scoreless races. Nevertheless both are always hard charger and potential overall winners.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser may be out the championship chase but the 2016 champ is looking to take the momentum of his last overall win in Sweden with him into the US. Now 178 points off the lead, Gajser is simply searching for race wins and a strong finish to the season.
While the American rider Monster Energy Yamalube Chaparall Factory Yamaha’s Cooper Webb’s last world championship race was in MX2 at the Monster Energy MXGP of Americas where he took the overall, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Romain Febvre, the 2015 MXGP champion, has had a challenging season but made a return to the podium at the MXGP of Sweden, his first in 2017. Febvre who won the MXGP of USA in 2015 is striving to stand on the box once again.
In MX2 points leader Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass is still fighting Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer for the title. Seewer won the last stop two weeks ago in Sweden but will need some luck to recover from his points deficit if he wants to claim the MX2 World Championship.
American MX2 riders Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Darian Sanayei and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Covington will be ones to keep an eye on at was it the only home GP this season.
Both Sanayei and Covington were impressive at the last MXGP in Sweden. The pair of world championship riders will be joined by fellow American motocross racers from the Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit Racing team Justin Hill, Adam Cianciarulo, and Joey Savatgy.
Frenchman and Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team’s Benoit Paturel holds down third in the Championship and is not one to underestimate, especially if he can get solid starts. It is also important to not forget that this is the first of his final few races in MX2.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen continues his strong rookie season sitting fourth in the championship only seven points back of Paturel. Olsen hasn’t seen the same success as earlier in the season lately but perhaps this trip across the Atlantic may inspire another top result.
The final rider to mention is LRT KTM’s Julien Lieber, the Belgian has struggled the last rounds with crashes but was running well before each. Signed to the Monster Energy Kawasaki MXGP team for 2018 his future is bright but right now he remains focused on the task at hand, this weekend Monster Energy MXGP of USA.
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MXGP Championship Top Ten:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 631 points; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 530 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 526 p.; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 519 p.; 5. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 453 p.; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 441 p.; 7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 377 p.; 8. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 364 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 352 p.; 10. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 344 p.
2016 Monster Energy MXGP of USA MXGP Top 3
- Eli Tomac
- Antonio Cairoli
- Tim Gajser
MX2 Championship Top Ten:
1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 669 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 624 p.; 3. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 504 p.; 4. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 497 p.; 5. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 436 p.; 6. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 417 p.; 7. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 392 p.; 8. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 331 p.; 9. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, SUZ), 284 p.; 10. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 273 p.
2016 Monster Energy MXGP of USA MX2 Top 3
- Jeffrey Herlings
- Jeremy Martin
- Mitchell Harrison