The MXGP of the Netherlands delivered the heat today, not only due to the hot weather conditions but also thanks to the incredible race action in Oss in front of a very excited Dutch crowd who saw Jeffrey Herlings win the opening MXGP race with a broken shoulder following a first-lap incident when Ivo Monticelli landed on him.
The day began with a special parade lap that featured former FIM Motocross World Championship legends such as Harry Everts, Joel Smets, John van den Berk, Marnicq Bervoets, Jacky Martens, Marc Velkeneers, Peter Herlings, Gerrit Wolsink, Gerard Rond, Gertjan van Doorn, Edwin Evertsen and Johan Boonen.
Then it was time for racing and to put it simply, the Dutch Grand Prix, as always, did not disappoint.
In MXGP, all eyes were on Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff who were starting the races from first and second positions.
In race one, it was Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre who grabbed the Fox Holeshot, though Coldenhoff was not looking to waste any time as he jumped into the lead. He then led Febvre, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, Herlings and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Seewer.
Herlings then took a hard hit from Ivo Monticelli of Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team, though miraculously was able to carry on, while Monticelli crashed.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Arminas Jasikonis was having a good ride in 11th place to score his first points of the season.
But the action in front is what had our attention as Febvre was looking for every possible way to get around Coldenhoff. The pair kept the intensity high from the beginning, while Gajser rode smart, taking his time in the background.
As the gap shrunk to 0.359 it looked like Febvre was finally going to get around the Dutchman, but instead the Frenchman made a mistake which saw him crash, costing him valuable time. He did however re-join pretty quickly and was down in third.
With less than 10 minutes to go, it looked like Coldenhoff was starting to fade a little as Gajser, Febvre and Herlings closed in on him. Febvre then got Gajser for second and got onto the back wheel of Coldenhoff’s Yamaha once again.
Herlings then muscled his way past Gajser and not long after was all over Febvre. With 2 minutes plus two laps to go, Herlings was already in front of Febvre who crashed and within striking distance of Coldenhoff.
The chase was on and with 3 laps to go, Herlings became the new race leader going on to win the first race with Coldenhoff second and Gajser third.
The second race saw carnage in the start which saw riders like Coldenhoff and Seewer, among others, go down, while Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado got the Fox Holeshot and led the way. Febvre was second with Gajser third.
Due to the incident in the opening race, Herlings did not line-up for the second heat as he travelled to hospital to confirm his shoulder injury. His return to racing is unknown for the moment.
As Febvre looked to push Prado for the lead, he made a costly mistake which saw him go off track on a side of a jump. He re-joined the race in 6th ahead of Jasikonis.
Prado then led Gajser by 2.342 seconds, with Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing’s Brian Bogers having a strong ride in third place.
Seewer and Coldenhoff struggled to come back from their crashes, with Seewer managing a top 10 finish in race two, while Coldenhoff placed down in 22nd, missing out on championship points.
Febvre worked his way back up the order as he passed Ben Watson of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing for 5th place, as Gajser closed the gap down to Prado.
Cairoli then put a large charge in the race as he got around Bogers for third and set his sights on Gajser and Prado ahead.
Prado did a good job at keeping Gajser at bay until the final three laps of the race, when the Team HRC rider was able to get around the Spaniard. Prado then seemed to have faded as Cairoli was able to get around him too.
The 9-time World Champion then stepped it up another gear and caught out Gajser who maybe did not expect to have him right there. With less than half a lap to go, Cairoli took away the lead and went on to win the second MXGP race in Oss. Gajser was second and Prado third.
In terms of the podium, it was Tim Gajser who took the overall win, with Antonio Cairoli finishing second and Romain Febvre placing third, with two solid 4th place finishes.
Gajser continues to lead the championship with 166 points, with Herlings, Cairoli and Febvre tied on 143 points just behind him.
Tim Gajser: “First race I was quite happy with third place, and I didn’t want to take any risks as the track was sketchy. In the second race I took a good start, I was behind Prado the whole race but he was blocking all the lines but then I managed to pass him with a couple of laps from the end but I lost all my energy before and Tony passed me on the last lap. I was trying to hold him, but he had better lines and anyway I am very happy with the overall”.
Antonio Cairoli: “Yeah I was very disappointed about that first race because I know I have a good condition; I could ride good in this track. I am not the best in the sand for sure, but I felt I could do more. But after that first race, I was losing hope because I had a bad start. I was around 15th in the first corner and then of course Ivo crashed, and I lost a few positions so I was really struggling to find a rhythm; I spent a lot of energy to try to overtake the guys and then I arrived at the back of Jorge and I almost passed him but then I made a small mistake, I crashed and lost positions so I was not really happy about it. But second one I knew I had to stay away from trouble in the first lap. Towards the end of the race the guys in front were a little tired at the end, so after I passed Jorge I said I’ll go for the win. I have to give it everything and try to win because I still had energy and it worked so I am looking forward to another GP”.
“I was not really a hard pack guy but lately, I am really enjoying it more than before. I also found a good setup on the bike. Before I was struggling more. So, I am looking forward to Loket. For sure it is not one of my favourite tracks but I am looking forward to those hard pack races and hopefully we have some public again because it is very nice to ride in front of the public. That’s why we are there, racing”.
Romain Febvre: “I felt like that was my GP. I took two good starts, a holeshot and second and in both races I was second for a long time but trying to pass. I learned to take my time and I took my time but didn’t make the pass happen. In race one I crashed two times and still finished fourth but with crashing two times I could not do any better. That second race, the same thing, I was second and I was faster than Prado who was leading but I made a mistake going down the hill and crashed in the fence, but I got up really fast and went back. Not so much to say. I am happy to be on the podium but when it’s your time to take some points you should not crash so I will learn again and try again next weekend”.
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 36:28.182; 2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:02.563; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:05.559; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:11.495; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:22.231; 6. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:38.861; 7. Pauls Jonass (LAT, GASGAS), +0:46.584; 8. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:48.838; 9. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:50.585; 10. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:58.409;
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 34:37.324; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:03.782; 3. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:05.573; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:06.707; 5. Brian Bogers (NED, GASGAS), +0:26.103; 6. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:30.792; 7. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:39.106; 8. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:42.921; 9. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:44.610; 10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:45.341;
MXGP – GP Top 10 Classification: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 42 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 38 p.; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 36 p.; 4. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 35 p.; 5. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 27 p.; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 27 p.; 7. Brian Bogers (NED, GAS), 25 p.; 8. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 25 p.; 9. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 25 p.; 10. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 23 p.;
MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 166 points; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 143 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 143 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 143 p.; 5. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 132 p.; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 113 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 104 p.; 8. Pauls Jonass (LAT, GAS), 104 p.; 9. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KTM), 83 p.; 10. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 71 p.;
MXGP – Manufacturers Classification: 1. KTM, 184 points; 2. Honda, 167 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 143 p.; 4. Yamaha, 140 p.; 5. GASGAS, 112 p.; 6. Husqvarna, 69 p.
In MX2, there were big expectations of home heroes Roan Van De Moosdijk of F&H Kawasaki Racing and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kay de Wolf who were among the podium favourites.
As the gate dropped for the opening race, it was Simon Längenfelder of Diga Procross GASGAS Factory Racing who claimed the Fox Holeshot, though about a lap later it was Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jago Geerts who became the new race leader, while Moosdijk and De Wolf were down in seventh and ninth.
Längenfelder then crashed, which allowed Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Rene Hofer through and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Thibault Benistant to close in.
Van de Moosdijk then caught onto the back of Benistant as he chased fourth place, managing to go through not long after and continue his climb up the order.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Mattia Guadagnini entered the race as the championship leader though had a tough start and was left fighting outside of the points for much of the race, ultimately managing to get up to 14th.
Van de Moosdijk then took third from Längenfelder, as Geerts held a comfortable 7.431 second gap to Hofer, with the Austrian coming under pressure from Moosdijk who got around him for second. The Dutchman continued to push, setting a lap time that was almost half a second faster than Geerts’ as he closed in on the leader.
Meanwhile De Wolf then went after Benistant for 5th place, with the pair having a close battle. Though as De Wolf was looking to go through the pair caught each other and went down.
This presented Jed Beaton of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing the perfect opportunity to climb up the order, as he got himself in fourth and then chased Hofer and Moosdijk, passing both in the closing stages of the race.
It looked like Beaton could go after the race win, though ran out of time as Geerts took the race win. Beaton was second and Van de Moosdijk third.
In the second race, it was Geerts who secured the Fox Holeshot and was the rider in front, with De Wolf, Guadagnini, Beaton and Honda 114 Motorsports’ Ruben Fernandez rounding out the top five.
Meanwhile Van de Moosdijk didn’t have the best start and was down in 12th, though his day got worse as he was forced to pull out of the race due to a bike issue.
De Wolf then briefly led the race as Beaton got into third, with Fernandez also going through on Guadagnini pushing him to 5th.
Geerts then got back past De Wolf for P1, though it was De Wolf who was faster and was being encouraged by the Dutch crowd to go for the win. For most of the race about a second separated the pair as they kept things close.
Meanwhile Beaton at one point was the fastest rider on track as he looked to keep the two riders ahead of him within striking distance, though Renaux was also looking to get close to the action.
As the race reached closing stages, all eyes were on Geerts and De Wolf who continued to go at it. On the last lap it looked like De Wolf was going to try one last time to take the race victory, though a little mistake cost him valuable time, and in the end, he had to settle for second as Geerts took the win.
With a 1-1 result, Jago Geerts was the overall winner of the MXGP of the Netherlands, while Jed Beaton’s 2nd and 3rd place results put him second overall, with Kay De Wolf joining the pair on the podium for his first MX2 World Championship podium appearance as he placed third.
While Maxime Renaux failed to make the podium, he did however take over the MX2 Championship lead from Mattia Guadagnini who is now 5 points down, after two tough races today, where he finished 14th and 5th. Ruben Fernandez is third
Jago Geerts: “I’m really happy with today. Two really good starts, we are on the right tracks. The first heat I passed Längenfelder on the first lap and rode my own race, kept a small gap so that was good. In the second heat, I took the holeshot, but Kay was right there and he passed me but then he had a small crash, but he was still behind me the whole race so he was pushing but I’m happy with the overall win and I’m looking forward to the next race”.
“I’m feeling really good at the moment, the knee is good now so I hope to have a good week of training and then we will see how it goes in Loket”.
Jed Beaton: “I’m obviously happy, the starts were as good as they could have been today, I think they held me back especially in the first one. I got into second and was making a little bit of a charge but obviously it was just too late so that’s that. The second one, I got a better start but just got caught up a little bit in the first laps and then had to put in a bit of a hard charge to take third. And then I was behind Jago and Kay but by the time I got to them they already had quite a good pace and I had spent a bit of energy already and it was quite hot today, so I just didn’t have the energy. It was obviously a good step in the right direction, So I’m pretty happy with that”.
“I guess so. I had a really good off-season but just before the start of the first round it was a little bit difficult and it took me a little bit of a step back, but now I’m feeling like I’m starting to build up again and to be honest I think it’s quite a good time anyway as we are only four rounds into the championship so if I can keep building we will be solid from here on”.
Kay De Wolf: “I feel amazing. I had two very solid races. In the first one I didn’t have such a good start and struggled a bit in the beginning and then had a big crash with Thibault but still managed to get back to fifth. The first race was really good, I was happy with my riding. In the second race I almost had the holeshot, but Jago had two really good starts today. I followed him for the first lap, I made a pass on him and then I tucked the front, which was not how I planned it but still managed to stay second and Jago was really holding a good pace. I tried to pass him on the final lap, but I was completely dead. The last few laps, they were long, but I managed to get on the podium and I’m really happy”.
Maxime Renaux: “I have mixed feelings today, getting my first red plate is a great moment but not being on the podium is disappointing. I had a really tough day today. I had belly pain all day long and the first race I made too many mistakes. In the second corner I was third and washed the front and had to come all the way from the back and then had another crash during the race so that was really tough. In the second race I had a better start but couldn’t find my rhythm in the beginning and then started to feel better and catch Jed, but I couldn’t really get close enough to try anything. I didn’t have the best feeling on track today but still managed to take the red plate which is most important and getting some good points for the championship”
“Now I just take it race-by-race, as we can see today I am not so delighted about getting the red plate because I had a tough day and it was not how I wanted it to be, I just want to take it race-by-race but for sure the red will look nice on the Yamaha and I will try to keep it but the most important is to have it at the end of the season”.
Main Photo: Jago Geerts
Bottom Photos: 1. Jed Beaton 2. Kay De Wolf
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top Classification: 1. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 35:07.172; 2. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:06.279; 3. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Kawasaki), +0:10.512; 4. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), +0:24.613; 5. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:24.870; 6. Wilson Todd (AUS, Kawasaki), +0:28.899; 7. Isak Gifting (SWE, GASGAS), +0:29.378; 8. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Kawasaki), +0:29.972; 9. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:34.532; 10. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:38.042;
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 34:37.597; 2. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:05.174; 3. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:14.273; 4. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:19.047; 5. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, KTM), +0:41.273; 6. Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:45.271; 7. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:50.636; 8. Isak Gifting (SWE, GASGAS), +0:57.219; 9. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Kawasaki), +0:58.383; 10. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), +1:04.779;
MX2 – GP Top 10 Classification: 1. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 50 points; 2. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 42 p.; 3. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 38 p.; 4. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 30 p.; 5. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 29 p.; 6. Isak Gifting (SWE, GAS), 27 p.; 7. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 25 p.; 8. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, KAW), 25 p.; 9. Wilson Todd (AUS, KAW), 24 p.; 10. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, KTM), 23 p.;
MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 141 points; 2. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, KTM), 136 p.; 3. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 133 p.; 4. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 124 p.; 5. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 119 p.; 6. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 117 p.; 7. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 109 p.; 8. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 108 p.; 9. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 103 p.; 10. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 87 p.;
MX2 – Manufacturers Classification: 1. Yamaha, 174 points; 2. KTM, 174 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 145 p.; 4. Honda, 133 p.; 5. Husqvarna, 117 p.; 6. GASGAS, 101 p.;