The Grand Finale of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship kicked off today at the international off-rad circuit of Shanghai, China for the JUST1 MXGP OF CHINA presented by Hehui Investment Group with the MXGP and MX2 qualifying races. The first ever visit of MXGP in China comes in an important year for the country as it celebrates the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.
At the last qualifying races of the Championship it was Standing Construct KTM’s Glenn Coldenhoff who took his second consecutive MXGP qualifying race win with a solid performance. The Dutch rider led home Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Arminas Jasikonis and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team’s Jeremy Seewer. In the MX2 qualification race it was again Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado who took the win from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle and Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen.
After the Qualifying day at the JUST1 MXGP OF CHINA presented by Hehui Investment Group a special welcome evening was organized by the Government of Shanghai. The whole MXGP Paddock was invited to Nine Trees Future Art Center which hosted a special concert featuring a truly breathtaking performance from the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra where Representatives from the Shanghai Government, Youthstream, FIM, Local Organizer, and MXGP Partners joined the MXGP and MX2 teams for a music show before taking tomorrow’s last round of the FIM Motocross World Championship.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser led the MXGP qualifying race from Standing Construct KTM’s Glenn Coldenhoff, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team’s Jeremy Seewer, Red Bull KTM Factory Jeffrey Herlings and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Arminas Jasikonis. Standing Construct KTM’s Ivo Monticelli was sixth, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Pauls Jonass next, then came Team HRC rider Brian Bogers, Honda SR Motoblouz’ Jeremy Van Horebeek, and Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Gautier Paulin in 10th. Herlings dropped back to seventh place, and Gajser then went down hard in the lead and dropped back to ninth position. Gajser went down again as he rounded in 14th place.
Coldenhoff might have had the lead, but Jasikonis wasn’t letting the Dutchman get away. Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Arnaud Tonus pulled into the mechanics area, and Gajser moved into 11th place.
After four laps Coldenhoff led from Jasikonis by around two seconds, with Seewer third, Jonass fourth and Monticelli fifth. On lap six Jasikonis was all over Coldenhoff, with Seewer also closing on the two leaders. Herlings continued to trail in sixth position, and Gajser was 13th.
On lap nine Herlings passed Monticelli, and Coldenhoff started pulling away from Jasikonis and Seewer. Jasikonis and Seewer closed on Coldenhoff again in the last two laps and those three fought for the lead, with clocking the quickest laps and pulling up on Jonass in fourth. Coldenhoff won his second qualifying heat of the season it from Jasikonis and Seewer.
Glenn Coldenhoff: “I had a good start and it was actually similar to last week, when Gajser had the lead, had a crash and then Jasikonis was behind me. I have a good gate pick for tomorrow and the inside is very good for the start. I am 11 points down on Paulin for third in the championship. I was 22 points down last round, so if I do the same as next week I can get to third in the championship. Wherever I finish we are happy, but I would love to have that medal around my neck.”
MXGP – Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 24:42.040; 2. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:01.428; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:02.342; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:03.284; 5. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:03.428; 6. Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), +0:24.928; 7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:26.907; 8. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:32.226; 9. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Yamaha), +0:35.620; 10. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:45.017.
Main Photos: 1. Glenn Coldenhoff; 2. MXGP welcome Concert
Bottom Photos: 1. Arminas Jasikonis; 2. Jeremy Seewer
When the gate dropped in the MX2 qualifying race it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado who led Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle, Team SM Action Yamaha team’s Maxime Renaux, Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen, and in fifth place it was 114 Honda’s Mitchell Evans. After a lap Renaux had moved into second place, but Vialle was quickly back into the second spot after repassing his fellow Frenchman. Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha Official MX2’s Jago Geerts had moved into fourth place passing both Vlaanderen and Evans while Vlaanderen was up to seventh.
Prado had extended his lead to two seconds over Vialle, with Renaux third. Vialle wasn’t giving up in second place as he hounded Prado, the two KTM riders moving well away from Geerts who had moved into third when he passed Renaux.
Five laps in and Prado and Vialle remained in close combat, with Geerts third, Vlaanderen fourth and Renaux fifth. On lap six Vlaanderen passed Geerts for third place. Prado began to make a gap between himself and Vialle and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team’s Thomas Kjer Olsen moved past Harrison for ninth place. Geerts went down hard and lost a bunch of places, eventually getting up in eight position. Prado eventually took his 14th pole position out of 18 from Vialle and Vlaanderen.
Jorge Prado: “Like Glenn said, the inside gate has an advantage. I took the holeshot and I didn’t push too much in the early laps but then I found the better flow. It is good to train with the 450 and next week I will be back on the big bike. I am enjoying riding the big bike.”
MX2 – Qualifying Race Top Ten:1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 25:02.251; 2. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:17.493; 3. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +0:29.568; 4. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:44.519; 5. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:45.877; 6. Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:47.400; 7. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:52.916; 8. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:54.480; 9. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:57.782; 10. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Kawasaki), +1:00.515.
Click HERE for the complete results