Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings and Tom Vialle dominated the MXGP and MX2 races to go 1-1 in their respective categories to win the MXGP of Trentino.
Once again, both classes delivered on some intense battles and very close racing, especially in MXGP as the top four battled within just a few seconds of one another in both heats. This was a treat for the huge crowd of fans that lined the hard-pack circuit and who were keen to cheer on their favourites.
And they will do it all again on Wednesday as the FIM Motocross World championship will continue with the MXGP of Pietramurata for round 15 of the series.
In MXGP race one, it was Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Seewer who grabbed the Fox Holeshot from his teammate Ben Watson, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings. Meanwhile Tim Gajser from Team HRC started around sixth position.
Watson then crashed which allowed Herlings through as Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre followed the Dutchman. Gajser then got around Prado as well for fourth and was the fastest rider out on track in one of the first few laps.
Febvre then looked for a way to launch an attack onto Herlings as the pair pushed on and urged on the leader, Seewer, who set his best lap of the race. Herlings kept it close to Seewer as Febvre and Gajser were also searching for an opportunity to pass.
The racing within the top four was extremely close, as the gap was just 2.573 between Herlings in first place and Gajser who was down in fourth.
Further down the field Prado, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff were having a good fight for fifth.
Herlings then close in on Seewer, who had Febvre closing in on him, who had Gajser chasing him down too… In the end Herlings made a nice move on the Swiss on lap 11 to take over the lead.
Prado then crashed but only lost three positions, finishing the race in 8th ahead of Mathys Boisrame who made his debut with Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team in the MXGP class.
In the end Herlings won ahead of Seewer and Febvre, with Gajser fourth after struggling to pass the Frenchman ahead of him. Coldenhoff had a good first heat to end in fifth place ahead of Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass.
In the second heat, the Fox Holeshot went to JM Honda Racing’s Henry Jacobi as a couple of riders got tangled up in the first corner, this included Olsen and Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing’s Brian Bogers.
Herlings and Gajser started the race 12th and 13th, while Jacobi led Febvre, Coldenhoff and Honda SR Motoblouz rider Benoit Paturel. The German’s time in the lead did not last long as Febvre was in the driving seat by the end of the first lap. Coldenhoff went through as well.
Gajser then managed to make up some good positions as he got by Watson for fifth as Herlings followed through. The Slovenian then got around Paturel and set his sights on Jacobi who made it a little bit harder to pass, but by lap four he was ahead of the JM Honda rider. Herlings did the same not too long after.
Seewer had to fight through the field in the second race as he got around his teammate Watson for seventh. The Swiss made a couple of more passes and finished the race fifth, but it was not enough for a podium.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli had more bad luck in race two, as he also DNF’d the second race after struggling from his crash in race one. Prado also struggled with Bogers and Jonass ahead of him. The two GasGas riders managed to come back to 12th and 13th, while Prado finished in 17th.
Febvre then started to come under pressure from Coldenhoff who brought the gap down to 1.920. Gajser also caught onto the pair and was looking for the perfect moment to pass. As the battle for the lead went on, it looked like Febvre struggled with arm pump as he started to make mistakes.
Herlings then joined the three-way battle for first as he took third from Gajser. Coldenhoff also made a pass as he moved into the lead on lap 12. The Dutchman led for five laps before being caught by his fellow countryman Herlings.
Gajser and Febvre then fought for third as the factory Honda rider was eventually able to secure the position after the pair made contact in one of the corners.
In the end Herlings was the race winner as Coldenhoff was able to fend off Gajser in third, while Febvre and Seewer rounded out the top five.
With two race wins, Herlings added a fifth GP victory in Trentino to become the most successful rider at this venue, with Coldenhoff and Gajser tied on points in second and third places. In fact, Coldenhoff, Gajser, Febvre and Seewer all finished with 38 points, while Herlings was on 50.
Herlings now leads the MXGP standings 24 points over Febvre, while Gajser is just three points behind.
Jeffrey Herlings: “It wasn’t an easy one. In the first race Jeremy was leading, riding smooth and at a good pace so it was tough to pass him. But at one point I knew I had to go because the boys behind me started pushing, so I had to pass him. The second race, I was caught up a bit in the start. Tim and I were somewhere around 10th or 12th and we both fought our way back to the front. He was one place ahead of me. At one point we caught up to the leader and I managed to pass him. Then I had to defend and pass Romain. It was a tough run, but I am happy to have won. I feel like I am in a very good shape right now, but I should never underestimate the competition from Tim, Romain or Glen today. It can be anyone’s race. So, I will keep charging till the end. We are only 17 days away and a lot of things may happen during the last four races”.
Glenn Coldenhoff: “I have been struggling all year long except in Maggiora, so it’s good to be back on the podium. It’s been a very long and hard road. It’s good to be back here and I also feel like I belong here. I had a good feeling straight away this morning. I finished fifth in the first race. The second one was quite intense to say the least. In the beginning I was behind Febvre. I got so much pressure from behind, so I really had to do something. I managed to pass Romain and lead a few laps. I can tell you it was a great feeling. Definitely looking forward to having more battles like that. Jeffrey as we know is really strong lately. He passed me and I don’t think it’s a shame. It’s good that we have two more rounds here. I started this stretch on a positive note and I am looking forward to the rest of the season”.
Tim Gajser: “I did not have the best start in both races, so I had to fight my way back. Then I came to the top four and we were all riding at a similar pace so it wasn’t easy to make a pass. Overall, the speed was there. I think we have to work on the starts, to get better starts and to be in front and to battle for the win. Really looking forward to Wednesday. The gap in the championship is already quite big. But we know that anything can happen until the end. So definitely we will push hard until the end and try to win some races and GPs if I can and finish the season strong”.
Main Photo: MXGP Start
Bottom Photo: Glenn Coldenhoff, Tim Gajser and Jeffrey Herlings battle
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:14.099; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:02.146; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:03.665; 4. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:04.234; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:41.383; 6. Pauls Jonass (LAT, GASGAS), +0:44.401; 7. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:48.810; 8. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +1:09.882; 9. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:10.696; 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KTM), +1:11.881;
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:32.192; 2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:01.454; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:02.211; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:12.132; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:31.200; 6. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Honda), +0:56.020; 7. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:58.077; 8. Tom Koch (GER, KTM), +1:05.634; 9. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:11.256; 10. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Yamaha), +1:13.668;
MXGP – GP Top 10 Classification: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 38 p.; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 38 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 38 p.; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 38 p.; 6. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 24 p.; 7. Pauls Jonass (LAT, GAS), 24 p.; 8. Tom Koch (GER, KTM), 23 p.; 9. Benoit Paturel (FRA, HON), 22 p.; 10. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 20 p.;
MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 555 points; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 531 p.; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 528 p.; 4. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 457 p.; 5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 419 p.; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 411 p.; 7. Pauls Jonass (LAT, GAS), 376 p.; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 340 p.; 9. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KTM), 250 p.; 10. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 239 p.;
MXGP – Manufacturers Classification: 1. KTM, 662 points; 2. Honda, 537 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 536 p.; 4. Yamaha, 461 p.; 5. GASGAS, 414 p.; 6. Husqvarna, 266 p.;
In MX2 race one, it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle with the Fox Holeshot as he led Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Thibault Benistant into the first corner. Benistant then slipped to third as Isak Gifting of Diga Procross GasGas Factory Racing got around the Frenchman. Meanwhile further down the field, the championship leader Maxime Renaux from Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing struggled out of the gate as he started the race down in 18th position.
Vialle continued to lead Gifting, Benistant and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jago Geerts as Renaux climbed his way into 13th in the first few laps. The red plate holder then caught onto Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Rene Hofer and after passing him, shifted his focus on getting around Andrea Adamo of SM Action Racing Team YUSA Battery.
As Renaux struggled to pass Adamo, Beaton also joined the battle for eighth as he raced behind Hofer. It took Renaux four laps to pass the Italian, but he was eventually able to get it done on lap six.
Geerts then got by Benistant as he moved into third, while Tom Guyon of Team VHR KTM was having a great ride in 12th. He eventually finished the race in 13th position on what was a wildcard appearance in the MX2 category.
Benistant then crashed and struggled for the remainder of the race as it turns out he had an electrical problem with his bike. Meanwhile his teammate Geerts was applying pressure onto Gifting for second as Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kay de Wolf and Honda 114 Motorsports’ Ruben Fernandez fought for fourth place. Fernandez ended up winning that fight.
Vialle then stretched his lead to 12.051 seconds as Gifting worked hard to keep Geerts behind him but as the race progressed, he succumbed to the pressure and let the Yamaha rider through on the last lap.
Vialle went on to win the race ahead of Geerts and Gifting, while Renaux managed to come back to sixth as local hero Mattia Guadagnini of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing struggled the entire race and could only manage 18th.
In race two, it was again Vialle with the Fox Holeshot as Renaux went down in the first corner. The KTM rider led his teammate Hofer, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jed Beaton, Geerts and Mike Gwerder of WZ Racing Team.
Fernandez then got by Gwerder, as Gifting started down in 11th position. He only managed to get back to ninth by the end of the race.
Renaux had a big battle on his hands as he started in last but was able to make some nice passes in the first few laps.
At the front of the field though, Hofer crashed out of second which allowed Geerts to move into second. Beaton was right there too as he clocked the best lap of the race as he was closing in on the two leaders.
Guadagnini has a much better second race as he got by Guyon for seventh, while Renaux passed Honda Racing Assomotor Team’s Stephen Rubini. Gifting and Gwerder were next in his sights.
Benistant then crashed out of ninth position as he looked a little hurt while getting up. He continued the race to finish in 17th.
Geerts then started to close down the gap to Vialle and began to apply the pressure onto the leader. With two laps to go Geerts was within striking distance but could not find an opportunity for a pass and was forced to settle for second as Vialle went on to win the race. Beaton was third ahead of Fernandez and Hofer.
With two race victories, Vialle went on to win the MXGP of Trentino as Geerts got himself back on the box for second overall, while Fernandez celebrated his first GP podium in 12 races to finish third overall.
Renaux was eighth overall this weekend but continues to lead the championship by 92 points over Geerts and Vialle who moves to third in the standings and is just four points behind the Belgian.
Tom Vialle: “It was a tough one. In the second race, Jago started third I think, and I had actually Rene behind me. I know he crashed because I saw him crash. Then Jago was second after 4 or 5 laps and I knew it was going to be a tough one. I tried to stay focused. I think I did a good race overall, not so many mistakes. It was a great weekend and started off really good right from the morning. I felt good on the track and also had two great starts, so everything was fine today. We all know it’s a nice area here. The track is also pretty cool. We still have two more races here, so I will try to have good starts, fight for the top position in the championship and try to close the gap as much as possible. That’s what I did today, and I will try to continue this way”.
Jago Geerts: “I am really happy with the day. I felt really good in time practice. I had two solid races with two second places. The riding was really good, but we still need to improve the start a little bit. I think I started off fourth both times, but a really good start is needed on the track to seal the win”.
“I just had a difficult period. Everything went well again since the second race in Spain, where I finished second. That gave me a real confidence boost. Then now two more second places so I am really happy with that”.
Ruben Fernandez: “I did not feel really good at the beginning in practice. The track was slippery, and I did not find a good rhythm. But I had better start in both races where I was in the top 10. The first race was a bit worse. I then made my way into fourth during both heats. I am happy with the riding; it’s been calm and solid I would say. 4-4 for third overall, I’ll take it. I am happy to be back on the podium after the second round of the season. I had an injury in between, with no riding for three weeks. I came back in France and from there I have been improving and getting back on my feet, which I am really happy with”.
Maxime Renaux: “It was a tough day for me as you said. Actually, I felt really great in the morning. I had a really good lap time and finished second. Everything was on point and under control but then I really struggled in those two races. First start I was out of the top 20. I think I was 24th and fought as hard as I could. In the second race, I crashed in the first turn. I tried a different technique on the start, cutting a little bit more inside but I just lost the front in the first corner and touched the guys from the outside. Anyways, I just tried to fight my way back to the top and get as many points as I could because that’s all I could do. I finished eighth that race. Eighth overall as well, with 6-8. For sure, it was not the result we were waiting for, but I couldn’t make anything better today with my conditions and the way I started my races. It’s a strange feeling, but we’ll try to move on to better things and come back stronger on Wednesday with two good starts hopefully”.
Main Photo: MX2 Start
Bottom Photos: 1. Tom Vialle 2. Ruben Fernandez
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 34:46.430; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:02.789; 3. Isak Gifting (SWE, GASGAS), +0:09.063; 4. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:18.322; 5. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:20.012; 6. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:30.797; 7. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:31.889; 8. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), +0:32.782; 9. Stephen Rubini (FRA, Honda), +0:38.032; 10. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +0:39.451;
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 34:53.616; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:01.183; 3. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:25.585; 4. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:29.065; 5. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), +0:36.189; 6. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:51.411; 7. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, KTM), +0:51.596; 8. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +1:07.560; 9. Isak Gifting (SWE, GASGAS), +1:10.806; 10. Tom Guyon (FRA, KTM), +1:12.339;
MX2 – GP Top 10 Classification: 1. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 44 p.; 3. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 36 p.; 4. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 34 p.; 5. Isak Gifting (SWE, GAS), 32 p.; 6. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 31 p.; 7. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 29 p.; 8. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 28 p.; 9. Stephen Rubini (FRA, HON), 22 p.; 10. Tom Guyon (FRA, KTM), 19 p.;
MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 563 points; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 471 p.; 3. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 467 p.; 4. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, KTM), 443 p.; 5. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 429 p.; 6. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 393 p.; 7. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 366 p.; 8. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 362 p.; 9. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 328 p.; 10. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 245 p.;
MX2 – Manufacturers Classification: 1. KTM, 626 points; 2. Yamaha, 622 p.; 3. Husqvarna, 477 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 397 p.; 5. Honda, 369 p.; 6. GASGAS, 335 p.; 7. TM, 4 p.;