Team HRC’s Tim Gajser and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado strengthened their respective positions in the MXGP and MX2 classes as both now hold the championship leader’s red number plates after another weekend at the top step of the podium.
New Zealand’s Dylan Walsh (Husqvarna) finished 17th and 13th in the MX2 class at the Russian GP, good for 14th overall for the weekend. He’s 17th overall so far for the series.
Following Saturday’s qualifying results, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Romain Febvre lined up to the gate in pole position and when the gate dropped for Sunday’s race one, the Frenchman scored his second holeshot of the year. Gajser shot past Febvre almost immediately after they crossed the chalk line and was into the lead as the opening lap kicked off.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle got into second with a pass on Febvre along with Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Arnaud Tonus. The #84 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machine of world champion Jeffrey Herlings was in fifth, while Red Bull KTM’s Antonio Cairoli was way back outside the top 15.
BOS Factory’s Evgeny Bobryshev lost control of his Kawasaki on the main downhill section on the opening lap and crashed hard ending not only the race but his home GP. Tonus gained a spot as Desalle fell in a corner while Tonus’ Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP team-mate, Gautier Paulin, crashed out of the top 10, damaging his front causing him to fall again before making his way into pit lane and eventually the paddock.
Herlings then found himself in 4th after the fall of Desalle with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Jeremy Seewer applying pressure. Seewer first passed Jonass but then Desalle surged past both Jonass and Seewer to take over fifth.
Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki’s Alessandro Lupino had a big crash and was unable to continue while fellow Italian and his friend Cairoli was stuck in 15th for 12 laps before finally making a pass on Team VHR KTM’s Jordi Tixier. Desalle was ejected from his bike at the end of pitlane straight with only four laps to go and was unable to rejoin the racing. Seewer took over the 4th spot while Gajser took the race win ahead of Tonus, Febvre, and Herlings. Cairoli gained two more spots in the closing laps to finish 12th.
The second and final race of the MXGP weekend started with a season first Fox Holeshot for Standing Construct KTM’s Glenn Coldenhoff with Gajser and Tixier just behind. Tonus was quick to move past Tixier along with Seewer. Seewer’s team-mate Febvre fell in the early portion of the race from 7th costing him six positions with his former 7th place spot going to Cairoli.
Jonass passed Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Julien Lieber to get into the top five behind his former MX2 rival Seewer. On lap seven Jonass lost his top five spot to Lieber as Cairoli also went by into 6th before making it past Lieber the next lap, at the same Gajser finally made his way around Coldenhoff for the lead.
Coldenhoff lost the second spot to Tonus immediately before losing a handful of other spots in the following laps to Seewer, Cairoli, Lieber, Jonass, Herlings, Paulin, and Febvre. Tonus then closed in right to the back wheel of Gajser and made an attempt to take the lead but clipped a trackside hay bale and fell instead.
The fall of Tonus didn’t lose him any positions, only time to Gajser that he could not recover. At the finish Gajser took his 3rd MXGP Overall in three rounds via double race wins, the MXGP Championship leader’s red plate, and the first ever Russian Overall GP victory for Honda. Tonus took second overall with his 2-2 finishes and Seewer scored his career first MXGP podium overall, best MXGP race finish, and put not only the second Yamaha on the podium but also joined his Swiss compatriot Tonus to make history as the first time two Swiss riders have stood on the podium in the premier category of the FIM Motocross World Championship.
Tim Gajser, “I am feeling really good but both races were really tough because Arnaud was really fast and pushing. Overall, I am happy winning again and thanks to everybody at Honda, the bike is just amazing. Three races ago I was more than 40 points behind Tony and now I have the red plate.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado took pole position into Sunday’s races, thanks to his win in qualifying on Saturday, but spun off the gate for an uncharacteristic start outside of the top 10. Meanwhile it was BIKE IT DRT Kawasaki’s Darian Sanayei taking his first holeshot of the year.
Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha Official MX2’s Jago Geerts and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle where in second and third but Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen was on a mission and made it past Vialle quickly.
Not much later Olsen made it into second passing Geerts on the downhill leading up to the finish. Prado has made his way up to fifth by this point and took fourth from his team-mate Vialle on the next lap before battling with Geerts over third.
While the pair battled, Olsen took the lead from Sanayei who then was caught by Prado after he made it by Geerts. The next lap Geerts also move forward past Sanayei who continued to lose position to Vialle and Honda 114 Motorsports’ Mitch Evans. With two laps to go Prado took the lead from Olsen as they entered the turn at the bottom of the downhill. Geerts tried to reel in Olsen for a last lap pass but wasn’t quite close enough.
The second MX2 race started with the 10th holeshot of the season for Prado with Sanayei again getting a good start in second. Olsen was in third just ahead of Marchetti Racing Team KTM’s Iker Larranaga and Yamaha SM Action MC Migliori’s Michele Cervellin.
Geerts didn’t have quite as good of a start as in race one but made his way into fifth by lap two with a pass on the American Mitchell Harrison from BUD Racing Kawasaki. The other American Sanayei was then passed by Olsen for second as the Dane tried to keep Prado in sight.
Cervellin lost fourth to Geerts but gained it back as both him and Geerts shuffled Sanayei further back. After Vialle joined the top 5 by passing Sanayei on the 10th lap no further changes occurred at the head of the field. Prado passed the chequered flag for his sixth consecutive overall win and 7th of the eight races so far this season. Olsen took both second in the race and overall while Geerts took third and rounded out the podium.
Jorge Prado, “I felt pretty good this weekend, the track was hard but I felt good getting the Saturday Qualifying Race win and today I was in the back of the pack so I had to make my way up to the front, but I had good speed and fought all the way to the end to get the win. I am happy and looking forward to the next round.”
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RESULTS AND STANDINGS:
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten:
- Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:40.798; 2. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:02.718; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:29.654; 4. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:37.212; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:38.625; 6. Julien Lieber (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:41.033; 7. Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:42.055; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:43.723; 9. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:44.364; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, KTM), +0:45.964.
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten:
- Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 33:31.603; 2. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:05.014; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:09.910; 4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:14.130; 5. Julien Lieber (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:15.660; 6. Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:18.786; 7. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:20.842; 8. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:21.359; 9. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:23.306; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:23.79.
MXGP Overall Top Ten:
- Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 50 points; 2. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 44 p.; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 36 p.; 4. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 32 p.; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 32 p.; 6. Julien Lieber (BEL, KAW), 31 p.; 7. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 29 p.; 8. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 27 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 24 p.; 10. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 22 p.
MXGP ChampionshipTop Ten:
- Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 351 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 338 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 231 p.; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 220 p.; 5. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 212 p.; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 208 p.; 7. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 206 p.; 8. Julien Lieber (BEL, KAW), 172 p.; 9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 170 p.; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 168 p.
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten:
- Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 34:13.145; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:01.249; 3. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:02.784; 4. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:16.702; 5. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:27.598; 6. Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), +0:31.130; 7. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:33.148; 8. Henry Jacobi (GER, Kawasaki), +0:33.845; 9. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Yamaha), +0:33.945; 10. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:38.485.
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten:
- Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 34:12.435; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:04.649; 3. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:05.320; 4. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Yamaha), +0:26.085; 5. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:27.956; 6. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:33.047; 7. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:37.728; 8. Henry Jacobi (GER, Kawasaki), +0:46.019; 9. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:47.226; 10. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:48.668.
MX2 Overall Top Ten:
- Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 50 points; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 44 p.; 3. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 40 p.; 4. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 34 p.; 5. Michele Cervellin (ITA, YAM), 30 p.; 6. Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 27 p.; 7. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 26 p.; 8. Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 26 p.; 9. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 26 p.; 10. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 23 p.
MX2 ChampionshipTop Ten:
- Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 347 points; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 327 p.; 3. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 257 p.; 4. Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 236 p.; 5. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 216 p.; 6. Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 214 p.; 7. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 210 p.; 8. Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 169 p.; 9. Davy Pootjes (NED, HUS), 157 p.; 10. Michele Cervellin (ITA, YAM), 132 p.