Honda’s Tim Gajser took the overall from Kawasaki’s Romain Febvre in the chilly Mantova International in Northern Italy. HRC man Ruben Fernandez took third overall from new Kawasaki signing Jeremy Seewer.
Gajser continued his strong start to 2024 by going one-two for first overall, winning the first moto after leading from start to finish from his team-mate Fernandez, chased home by Febvre and Seewer. Then in race two, Gajser had a difficult first lap, but came all the way up to second, almost reaching the leader Febvre by the time the chequered flag came out. Seewer took third place in the moto from Fernandez.
The Kawasaki duo had stamped their authority on the second race from the word go. The duo launched their KX450SRs to a 1-2 holeshot and maintained those positions until two laps from the finish when, with Febvre secure in the lead, Seewer came under pressure and temporarily fell in a collision before quickly remounting to finish third.
The moto victory secured second overall on the day for Febvre and also in the short two-event series for the Frenchman.
Romain Febvre: “It was a great day, especially as I went back home this week and didn’t ride my bike since last weekend. I got two good starts; in the first race I didn’t take any risks to pass Fernandez as there was mainly only a single dry line. The second race was easier as I got the holeshot and could ride my own race. It was another good weekend; I’m not at peak form yet but everything is going in the right direction. I’m enjoying racing after two months training in Spain and Sardinia and I have two more races this month before the opening GP; it’s always good to be behind the gate and racing is what I like best.”
Jeremy Seewer: “We came here not knowing where we are compared to the opposition and I knew it would be a difficult race in the tricky conditions after the rain so I’m happy with fourth in my first race with Kawasaki. I know I was riding a lot better than fourth; everything is new, we have tested a lot and still have much to adjust before the first GP but I’m already there and rode relaxed. The preparation is already going better than in the past with no stress so it was a really positive start.”
In the MX2 class, Honda’s rookie racer Feruccio Zanchi showed that his second overall from the first round in Sardinia were no one-off, by posting the fastest lap in qualifying and then following that up with a strong ride for second place in the first moto in Mantova.
The youngster held off challenges from the reigning MX2 world champion Andrea Adamo to show once again that he looks like he already belongs in this class. Unfortunately, a crash in race two meant he pulled off the track, but it was more a precaution so that he can live to fight another day as the focus now switches to the world motocross championship which starts in just under one month’s time.
Liam Everts took the overall win with 1-2 finishes, in front of Adamo. But a surprise package was Valerio Lata from the GasGas Junior team who took the last place on the podium from Simon Laengenfelder on his factory GasGas.
1. Tim Gajser – Team HRC – 1-2 – 47pts
2. Romain Febvre – Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP – 3-1 – 45pts
3. Ruben Fernandez – Team HRC – 2-4 – 40pts
4. Jeremy Seewer – Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP – 4-3 – 38pts
5. Alvin Ostlund – Honda – 10-5 – 27pts
1. Liam Everts – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1-2 – 47pts
2. Andrea Adamo – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 4-1 – 43pts
3. Valerio Lata – Beddini GasGas Factory Juniors – 5-3 – 36pts
4. Simon Laengenfelder – Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing – 6-4 – 33pts
5. Oriol Oliver – WZ Racing KTM – 3-9 – 32pts