The weekend’s MXGP of Italy was the first of three events to take place at the Monte Coralli circuit in Faenza, this event registered as round six of the pandemic-affected 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship.
The racing saw KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings take his 90th Grand Prix win in MXGP, while Yamaha rider Maxime Renaux took a career first overall win in the MX2 class.
The opening MXGP race saw Ivo Monticelli put his GasGas machine out in front as he led KTM’s Jorge Prado, Herlings and Kawasaki’s Clement Desalle.
Monticelli made a mistake on the opening lap and this allowed Prado to take the lead, with Herlings right behind him.
At that point Desalle was in third place, though was coming under pressure from the KTM of Italian multi-time world champion Antonio Cairoli.
It didn’t take long for Yamaha’s Jeremy Seewer to get up in the mix, as he started to apply the pressure onto Cairoli early in the race.
By the second lap it was a KTM 1-2-3, as Prado led Herlings and Cairoli.
Meanwhile, further down the field, Yamaha’s Gautier Paulin moved into 5th as he pushed Desalle down a position and was looking to edge towards his team-mate.
Desalle then lost a position to Honda’s Tim Gajser and was then coming under fire from GasGas rider Glenn Coldenhoff.
The two riders had a close moment as they entered pitlane, though Desalle managed to retain his position.
By lap eight, Herlings was starting to close in on Prado, as 2.7 seconds separated the two. Cairoli was still there in 3rd, trying to fend off Seewer and Paulin. During the same lap, Australian Honda rider Mitch Evans lost 8th to Kawasaki’s Romain Febvre, who was making his way up the field.
A few laps later saw Gajser crash out of 6th, while the battle at the front heated up! At that point predicting a winner was hard, as Prado, Herlings, Cairoli and Seewer were all bunched up together and pushing hard.
After taking his time, Herlings finally moved into the lead on lap 13, all while Prado was coming under fire from Cairoli and Seewer as well. As Cairoli got alongside the young Spaniard to attempt a pass, he was caught out, thus allowing Seewer through into P3.
Two laps to go and the gap between the top three was just 1.7 seconds, though in the end it was Herlings who took the race win, followed by Seewer and Cairoli, with Prado down in 4th after making a mistake on the final lap.
In the second MXGP race, it was Prado who claimed the second holeshot of the day and once again leading the rest of the field. Behind him was Herlings, Cairoli and Seewer, though Cairoli made a mistake and lost a handful of positions on the opening lap.
As Prado led the race, Paulin who was having a great ride in 4th came under attack by the defending world champion, Gajser, with Cairoli also stepping it up and getting involved in the action.
While the two factory Yamahas of Seewer and Paulin were having a top ride in the top 5, the same couldn’t be said for their team-mate Arnaud Tonus who crashed out of the race.
As Gajser and Cairoli continued to push Paulin, the Frenchman caught his leg which sent him flying into the advertising banners and out of a strong 4th place. Meanwhile at the front, just 2 seconds separated the top three riders, as Seewer set his personal fastest lap time of the race, clearly showing his intentions for the rest of the race.
Following the drama of the first race, that saw Honda rider Jeremy Van Horebeek miss the start due to what looked like a bike issue, he was running 11th in the second MXGP race. He finished 12th in the end.
As the battle for the lead continued, there was a good fight going down for 4th, with Cairoli being chased by Gajser. It also didn’t take long for Febvre to join in on the action as he eventually passed Gajser and set his sights on Cairoli.
Lap 10 and Prado continued to lead Herlings and Seewer, though that’s when you could see Herlings stepping up a gear as he pushed for the win. Though with Herlings focused on Prado, this allowed Seewer to get right on his tail, with the bullet losing a little bit of time during that lap.
Lap 13 and Herlings was the new race leader after finally finding a way past Prado. Seewer could not afford to let Herlings run away and was able to pass for second and continue his chase of Herlings.
For the last 3 laps of the race, a mere 1.1 seconds separated Herlings and Seewer, with the factory Yamaha using all his energy to try pass Herlings, though in the end he was not able to do so as Herlings made it 1-1 winning the MXGP of Italy.
Second on the podium was Seewer following a 2-2 result, with Cairoli filling the third step of the podium with a consistent 3-3 in the races.
Jeffrey Herlings continues to lead the championship by 60 points over Antonio Cairoli, with Tim Gajser in third on 196 points.
“In the first race I almost got the holeshot, I just went a bit wide but [Jorge] Prado was really good in the beginning and the roost hurt so it was hard to overtake him as he was riding the best lines,” said Herlings afterwards.
“I felt like I could go faster but I couldn’t really pass. Both races when I could sense that he was tired that’s the point where I tried to overtake him in both races and open a small gap between me and Jeremy. In the second race I overtook him, the rest of the pack like Jeremy were pretty quick so I had to race to the finish line. The speed of the top 10 is unbelievably fast, everybody is so close to each other, I felt good all day, I had two good starts, and two race wins so was a good day in the end … Starts are key and I will keep working on them.”
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MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:19.086; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:04.449; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:05.809; 4. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:18.901; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:20.460; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:27.508; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GASGAS), +0:29.307; 8. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:34.581; 9. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:39.860; 10. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:40.323.
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:18.731; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:01.973; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:07.461; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:09.053; 5. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:09.691; 6. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:23.291; 7. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:45.795; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GASGAS), +0:48.674; 9. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:51.293; 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Yamaha), +0:56.253.
MXGP – GP Top 10 Classification:
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 44 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 40 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 33 p.; 5. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 33 p.; 6. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 29 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GAS), 27 p.; 8. Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 26 p.; 9. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 26 p.; 10. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 23 p.
MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 263 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 203 p.; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 196 p.; 4. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 186 p.; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 178 p.; 6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GAS), 173 p.; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 155 p.; 8. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 153 p.; 9. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 146 p.; 10. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 137 p.
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
- Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 36:03.347; 2. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:07.292; 3. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:09.304; 4. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:09.701; 5. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +0:10.221; 6. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:25.871; 7. Stephen Rubini (FRA, Honda), +0:27.334; 8. Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), +0:28.862; 9. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:35.243; 10. Morgan Lesiardo (ITA, KTM), +0:52.644.
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
- Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), 35:45.835; 2. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:03.359; 3. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:08.329; 4. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:27.441; 5. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Kawasaki), +0:28.610; 6. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:29.501; 7. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:30.451; 8. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:32.842; 9. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:35.621; 10. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Yamaha), +0:57.942.
MX2 – GP Top 10 Classification:
- Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 47 points; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 45 p.; 3. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 40 p.; 4. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 38 p.; 5. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 30 p.; 6. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 26 p.; 7. Stephen Rubini (FRA, HON), 24 p.; 8. Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), 22 p.; 9. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 20 p.; 10. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, HUS), 19 p.
MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
- Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 257 points; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 254 p.; 3. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 196 p.; 4. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 178 p.; 5. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 169 p.; 6. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 166 p.; 7. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 139 p.; 8. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 115 p.; 9. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 115 p.; 10. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, KAW), 105 p.