It was a great ride for three top Britons in the MX2 GP qualifying race at Nequen in Patagonia-Argentina as they al finished in the top ten. Ben Watson came through from a disappointing start to finish a strong fourth, three places in front of fellow Briton Adam Sterry. KTM’s Conrad Mewse had a bad start and was outside the top 20 on the first lap, but put on a great ride through the pack to take ninth at the flag.
Husky’s Thomas-Kjer Olsen rode a calculated race to clinch the win after outriding world champ Jorge Prado and super-quick Henry Jacobi. KTM man Prado took the holeshot from his team-mate Vialle with Revo Husky’s Alvin Ostland and Henry Jacobi, then Thomas-Kjer Olsen, Adam Sterry sixth and Ben Watson up from 11th to eighth by the end of lap one.
Vialle soon tipped off and lost second, leaving Prado to lead from Jacobi Olsen, Sterry and Ostland, but the Frenchman soon got back on and scrapped hard with the battling Yamaha duo of Jago Geerts and Watson for sixth.
Prado, Jacobi and Olsen stayed close together at the front, as Sterry began to fall back but still held a strong fourth until he was caught and passed by fellow Briton Watson. Honda’s Calvin Vlaanderen, who missed the recent Hawkstone race with a back injury, then also squeezed by Kawasaki man Sterry. Sterry also lost a place to Mitchell Evans but managed to finish seventh.
Jacobi and Prado, not looking his usual dominant self, swopped the lead in spectacular style on the super-fast track. Jacobi eventually made a pass stick, but then Husky man Olsen – who had been fastest in timed practice – also got by the Spaniard and began to hound Jacobi.
With just over two laps to go, Olsen kept it fast and low over a high-speed section of jumps and passed the F&H Kawasaki rider.
As Olsen edged away, Prado mounted a late charge on Jacobi as the big crowd urged them on. They clashed, with the German going off the track before rejoining in a safe third.
Olsen, taking his third every qualifying race win, said: “I sat in third for a while and was seen Henry was making a push for the first. I knew I’d make my move towards the end and it was good to make it happen and win the first race of the year.
DRT Kawasaki rider Darien Sanayei, second in timed practice behind Prado, retired with a bike issue with four laps to go.