The 14th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship saw Jorge Prado and Tom Vialle of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing sweep the podium at the MXGP of Limburg, as the pair took a 2-1 result in MXGP and MX2 to confirm their spot on the top of the box in Lommel, Belgium.
The races today were met with all the elements, including rain, sunshine and wind which made for even more challenging conditions, as the MXGP and MX2 riders battled it out for top positions in the deep sand of Lommel.
Jorge Prado made his eight-podium appearance during the MXGP of Limburg today after some close battles in both races, where he finished second and third to secure his first GP overall in Lommel, in the premier class.
After running off track and taking some time to get going again in race two, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, had to settle for third in the second heat, after a race win in the opening race, which gave him second overall today, as the Slovenian continued to show impressive form in the sand.
While, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli made his return to the podium, since Mantova, as a fifth and a second in the races was enough to put him on the third step of the podium, an improvement from the previous round here in Belgium.
In the first race, it was Prado who claimed the Fox Holeshot, as he led Gajser, Romain Febvre of Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team, then followed by Jeremy Seewer from Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing and Marchetti Racing Team KTM’s Brian Bogers, who continue his impressive form, after setting the fastest lap in timed practice.
Prado then continued to lead Gajser and Febvre, with the Frenchman looking to close in on the pair ahead. Gajser then made a mistake and was lucky to keep it on two wheels, though in the process lost second place to Febvre.
Febvre then bettered his previously set fastest lap of the race, as he got within 1.980 seconds to Prado and continued to work away at the gap as he closed in on the leader.
Home rider, Jeremy Van Horebeek of Honda SR Motoblouz then crashed out of sixth place, and was able to re-group in 16th, though he eventually came home in 11th position.
Febvre then lost second to Gajser on lap five, as Seewer continued to fend off a hard charging Bogers. The Swiss then managed to break free of the Marchetti KTM rider, and even had Febvre in his sights for a top three finish.
Prado then led the way by 3.399, though by the following lap the gap was down to 2.028 and then he was on the rear wheel of the Spaniard. All while, Bogers lost fifth to Cairoli.
And with a few laps to go, Gajser took the lead away from Prado and opened up a 2.129 second gap. At the same time Seewer had caught onto the back of Febvre, though was not able to find a way through and in the end had to settle for fourth.
With a lap to go, the gap was just 1.376 between the factory Honda and KTM riders, though in the end it was Gajser who claimed the opening race win, while Prado crossed the line in second and Febvre third.
In race two, Prado got another flying start, behind him though was Cairoli, Gajser and Seewer. And Gajser wasted no time to get himself up into second and then into the lead on lap 5. Cairoli was also looking to do the same, as he pushed to get around his teammate.
Seewer then made a mistake and fell down to sixth in the race, as Febvre charged to get around Bogers for P4.
Gajser didn’t lead for long as by the next lap, the Team HRC rider found himself off track, and took some time to get going again. The Slovenian re-joined the race in 7th.
Prado was the new race leader, as he led the 9-time world champion, Cairoli, by 1.065 seconds with 11 minutes on the clock. The two then battled closely together with one another until the end of the race, as Cairoli briefly was able to pass into the lead, though the Spaniard was able to respond quickly on each occasion.
Febvre then started to close in on the pair, and while pushing to get closer, made a small mistake and went down. Meanwhile, Gajser was down in 6th and closing in on Seewer, who made a small error, which allowed the championship leader inside the top 5.
In the end it was Prado who was the winner, with Cairoli second and Gajser third.
Gajser now leads the championship by 55 points, as we head into round 15 of the FIM Motocross World Championship this weekend, for the final race here in Lommel.
Jorge Prado: “In the first race I had a really good start but after Tim passed, I tried to follow him, but he was too fast. I almost crashed and I couldn’t do anything else. In the second race, again, I took a really good start and I was feeling really good on the bike, so I went ahead. I had a nice battle with Tony, he passed me, and I passed him back, so I gave all myself. Even the guys behind me were a little bit faster than me but I was able to keep the position and I got the overall victory. I’m really happy, now it’s time to recover and be ready for the next race”
Tim Gajser: “I’m quite happy, the pace and the riding was really good in the first race and as well in the second race until I made that mistake. I didn’t even crash, I just got off track, I got stuck with bike and I took like 20 second to pull out the bike from that situation. I needed one lap to recover and regroup and to get the speed back again. I was able to pass the guys in front of me and finish 3rd. I’m really looking forward to the next race, it’s weird to say but I’m really enjoying riding on the sand again”.
Antonio Cairoli: “I’m happy about today. Last week I wasn’t me riding; everybody knows that I’m able to ride in the sand properly, even today it was not my best sand riding but anyway was quite ok. I really enjoyed today, especially the second race even if I made a small mistake at the beginning and I was outside of the track. In the end I was pushing hard and I chased Jorge and once I passed him I struggled because I had to clean my lenses with my hand and behind me I had Febvre that was pushing a lot so I had to be super focused. Jorge was riding really good and he deserved the overall victory. I’m looking forward to next GP, we made some changes on the bike and I think we can even improve more with some other changes and push to be on the first step of the podium”.
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 35:51.802; 2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:09.460; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:19.277; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:25.844; 5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:39.570; 6. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:46.241; 7. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:58.549; 8. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +1:02.925; 9. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +1:09.942; 10. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Husqvarna), +1:21.751.
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 35:54.221; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:01.349; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:07.509; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:19.506; 5. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:21.288; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:32.046; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:42.261; 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:45.771; 9. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:51.185; 10. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +1:02.918
MXGP – GP Top 10 Classification: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 47 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 45 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 38 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 38 p.; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 32 p.; 6. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 30 p.; 7. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 27 p.; 8. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 24 p.; 9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 23 p.; 10. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 22 p.
MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 533 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 478 p.; 3. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 476 p.; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 461 p.; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 421 p.; 6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GAS), 375 p.; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 369 p.; 8. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 336 p.; 9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 271 p.; 10. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 263 p.
MXGP – Manufacturers Classification: 1. KTM, 624 points; 2. Honda, 570 p.; 3. Yamaha, 527 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 490 p.; 5. GASGAS, 417 p.; 6. Husqvarna, 324 p.
Main Photo: Jorge Prado and Antonio Cairoli
Bottom Photos: 1. Tim Gajser; 2. Romain Febvre
In the MX2 category, Tom Vialle of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing claimed his second consecutive overall win here in Lommel, with a second and a race win, as he extended his championship lead to a comfortable 61 points over his closest rival, Jago Geerts of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing.
Meanwhile Yamaha SM Action MC Migliori J1 Racing’s Maxime Renaux still occupies third in the standings with 438 points, as Jed Beaton of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing is just a further nine points back in fourth.
It was a great day for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing MX2 squad who claimed another double podium, as Ben Watson occupied the second step on the box, after some impressive racing that saw him fight back from down the order to top point scoring positions, as he finished the races 3-2.
Third was his teammate and home GP rider, Geerts, who had a mixture of a day, after a couple of big crashes made things that much more difficult for the factory Yamaha rider, as he continued to chase an overall victory on home soil.
In the opening race, the Fox Holeshot went to Michael Sandner of Diga Procross GasGas Factory Juniors. The GasGas rider led Geerts, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen, though F&H Kawasaki Racing’s Roan Van de Moosdijk wasted no time to slip into third place within a couple of corners.
The second factory Husqvarna rider, Jed Beaton, had a tough start to the race, as he picked himself up and got going on quite far behind on the rest of the field. Though he was able to get his head down and fight through up to 10th which is where he finished.
His teammate, Olsen, also went down in the opening few laps and was outside the top 20 too.
Geerts then set his best lap of the race, as he extended his lead over Vialle to 1.679 seconds and the gap between the pair remained tight for quite some time. The championship contenders were closely followed by van de Moosdijk, who pushed to stay with them and even gain some ground to go after the win. And as he edged closer, a bike issue forced him out of the opening race.
Geerts then went out of the lead, as he had an awkward crash, which gave a clear way for Vialle to lead the race. Meanwhile, Watson battled his way back up the order, after a poor start and was all over Ruben Fernandez of SDM Corse Yamaha for fourth place. After several attempts, the Brit was able to make a pass stick, though he then had quite the gap to go after Rubini. All while Vialle led the way by 12.121 seconds.
Watson then started to take a load of time out of Stephen Rubini of Honda Racing Assomotor who was having a great rider in 3rd place.
The gap between second and first then started to come down drastically, as Geerts was taking a load of time out of Vialle every lap until he was on his rear wheel. The two then had a few brief moments of running alongside one another, though with three laps to go, the #193 was finally able to claim back P1.
Watson also passed Rubini for 3rd, with the Honda rider coming under further pressure and losing out two more spots to Fernandez and Isak Gifting of Diga Procross GasGas Factory Juniors.
In the end it was Geerts who claimed the win, with Vialle second and Watson third.
In race two, it was Geerts who got the Fox Holeshot as he led Van de Moosdijk, Gifting and Vialle. Though Van de Moosdijk was not about to sit around, as he quickly moved into the lead, while Vialle passed Gifting for third on the opening lap.
Geerts then had to work hard for eight laps to get around Van de Moosdijk as the Kawasaki rider put up a good fight. But as Geerts got into P1, he had a big crash and was stuck under his bike for a few moments, which cost him valuable time as he was only able to re-group in 7th.
Watson then made his way back up once again and eventually caught onto the back of Maxime Renaux of Yamaha SM Action MC Migliori J1 Racing and by lap 11 was able to pass the Frenchman for third as Gifting also lost a couple of positions after making a slip-up.
There was then 3.483 seconds separating Watson from second place, as he only had 4 laps to get closer to Van de Moosdijk for a few more points. Two laps later, the Brit was all over the back of the Dutchman and with a single lap to go was able to move into second after an incredible effort.
Though it was Vialle who won the race, as he crossed the finish line in first, with Watson second and Van de Moosdijk third. Geerts could not manage to pick up anymore positions and finished the race in 7th which was costly to his championship chase.
Tom Vialle: “I’m really happy about the result of today. In the first race I did one mistake and Jago was really fast. In the second race I took a good start and me and Jago we pushed a little bit outside, like this Roan was able to go inside and I was third. After that Jago made a mistake and I took the chance, I was able to go ahead and make my own rhythm to win. I’m really happy about this win and to be here again”.
Ben Watson: “I’m really happy, being again on the podium is a really good feeling. I didn’t have such a good start, so I had to push a lot but I’m really happy because I was able to pass a lot of riders. In the second race I almost crashed on the waves and I lost my rhythm and after I had to fight with Roan. We are not quite at the end yet as we still have four races to go and a lot couple happen, and I want to enjoy these moments”.
Jago Geerts: “I’m ok but today was a strange day. I have mixed feelings. In the first race I was feeling really good and happy about the ride. In the second race I was following Roan and just after passing him I had a really bad crash and I still don’t know what happened and I was stuck under the bike and for sure I couldn’t reach what I was expecting”.
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 36:00.760; 2. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:10.862; 3. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:38.277; 4. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Yamaha), +0:53.408; 5. Isak Gifting (SWE, GASGAS), +0:57.521; 6. Stephen Rubini (FRA, Honda), +1:12.422; 7. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +1:20.130; 8. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +1:25.846; 9. Alvin Östlund (SWE, Honda), +1:26.910; 10. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:29.485.
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 35:54.380; 2. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:02.989; 3. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Kawasaki), +0:09.294; 4. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:18.439; 5. Isak Gifting (SWE, GASGAS), +0:26.482; 6. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:28.036; 7. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:29.245; 8. Bas Vaessen (NED, KTM), +0:37.444; 9. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Yamaha), +0:43.762; 10. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:47.060
MX2 – GP Top 10 Classification: 1. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 47 points; 2. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 42 p.; 3. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 39 p.; 4. Isak Gifting (SWE, GAS), 32 p.; 5. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 31 p.; 6. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, YAM), 30 p.; 7. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 29 p.; 8. Stephen Rubini (FRA, HON), 24 p.; 9. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 22 p.; 10. Alvin Östlund (SWE, HON), 22 p.
MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 616 points; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 555 p.; 3. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 438 p.; 4. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 429 p.; 5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 410 p.; 6. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 397 p.; 7. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 377 p.; 8. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 287 p.; 9. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, YAM), 279 p.; 10. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 234 p.
MX2 – Manufacturers Classification: 1. Yamaha, 632 points; 2. KTM, 632 p.; 3. Husqvarna, 500 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 459 p.; 5. Honda, 319 p.; 6. GASGAS, 231 p.
Main Photo: Tom Vialle and Jago Geerts
Bottom Photos: 1. Ben Watson; 2. Isak Gifting