The best motocross riders in the world took to the fast, square-edged Neuquen track today for the 3rd round of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship, where Team HRC’s Tim Gajser and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass were victorious.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser came into Sunday in the pole position after qualifying first on Saturday. He kept true to his qualifying form and won race one ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek and race two just over 5 seconds ahead of Team HRC teammate Evgeny Bobryshev. With his performance Gajser takes over the red plate heading into Leon, Mexico. Gajser later in the press conference said, “I’m really happy, its actually a perfect weekend and it couldn’t be better! I was enjoyed all weekend!”
The MX1 class blast down the main straight. Credit: Youthstream
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek had his best results of the year finishing 2-3 for second overall. After a good pre-season Jeremy struggled in the first two rounds of the championship but he is now looking like a contender for wins. In the post race press conference he stated, “My preseason was really good, in Qatar and Indonesia I don’t know what happened…I‘ve regrouped, me and my team made some changes to the bike, both today and yesterday I felt like myself, I felt comfortable and ready to fight for wins.”
Meanwhile Team HRC’s Evgeny Bobryshev, who was admittedly not feeling very well due to a virus, fought through pain and his 5-2 results gave him his first overall podium of the year. Bobryshev passed both Desalle and Van Horebeek in race 2 giving team HRC a 1-2 race finish and both riders on the overall podium. Bobryshev said “I’ve been sick for a few weeks and coming here I didn’t really expect to be on the podium…Today I was feeling better and stronger…I’m really pumped for sure to be 3rd overall.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin worked his way forward in both races. Gautier was in 8th on the first lap of race 1 and at times, he was in a three way battle with his Husqvarna teammates but he would lead the three with a 6th place at the finish. In race 2 he started one better in 5th on the first lap but would pass the early leader Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle for 4th which is where Paulin would finish receiving 4th overall on the weekend.
Tim Gajser took both wins in the MX1 class and now has a 10 point lead in the championship over Antonio Cairoli . Credit: Youth stream
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre also made his way forward as he started 11th in race 1 but made quick work and in one lap was 7th, he then continued to move ahead for a 4th place finish. In race 2 he had a similar start with a 10th but eventually moved into 5th until a fall cost him the position and left him to finish 8th for 5th overall.
"I feel good. The first moto I started really bad, maybe sixteen, and I came back to fourth," Febvre said. "My speed was good. In the second race my speed was good, I felt as though I could have got back to second place but in one corner I started sliding with both wheels and I couldn't keep the bike up and I crashed and lost some positions. I need to stay on two wheels and then everything will be okay."
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle looked good throughout weekend. The Belgian finished 3rd in race 1, he then rocketed out of the gate in race 2 behind Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff and then lead the first 3 laps before falling back to 10th. His 3-10 finishes put him in 6th overall.
"My start in the first race was pretty good; I was third or fourth throughout the race and eventually finished third; it was a good race," Desalle said.
"The track changed a lot between the two races and, even though I got a very good start, I struggled with the track. I was second at the first corner and took over the lead at turn two to lead the race for several laps but I didn’t felt confident and took the decision to ride safe to finish the race.”
Yamaha's Jeremy Van Horebeek had his best result of the season with second overall in the MX1 class, the Belgian is now 4th in the standings. Credit: Youthstream
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli was perhaps the one rider who had the hardest charge. Cairoli struggled on both starts and he was positioned as low as 22nd in race one before finishing 9th and 15th in race 2 before working his way to 5th. Cairoli showed the heart of a champion and recouped valuable points.
"The weekend was very difficult mainly because of the starts and also the riders were very close together on this track and you could not make the difference; you had to take some risks to pass the others," Cairoli explained. "So I had to come from the back both times and made more mistakes and crashed again. From dead-last in the first moto I came back to ninth; which was OK and I couldn't do more. In the second I crashed after three laps and went down outside the top twenty, to come back the way I did was very good. I am so disappointed because it should have been another 1-1. The championship is still so long so we have time to get back this lead.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl traditionally does well in Argentina and though it may not be the results he was hoping for his consistent top ten finishes landed him in 8th overall.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings had his best result in MXGP thus far finishing 7th in race 2 and taking 9th overall. It is clear he is determined to improve and expects to do so in the following rounds.
"With my wrist problem and hand injury it has been a tough road and this is perhaps the most demanding class in the world. This was the best weekend we had so far but it still wasn't good enough so we’ll keep on working and getting better," Herlings said.
The MX2 class goes into battle. Credit: Youthstream
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass took the second overall and 1-1 finish of his MX2 season in Patagonia Argentina today. The Latvian started well and by the finish of both races he separated himself from the rest of the field. Jonass said “I really enjoyed this track and I really enjoy racing here, I’m very happy with the final results”.
“Indonesia was really disappointing for me because I had so much bad luck but here we made things right with a 1-1: I had a good feeling and great starts and was able to ride my own race without pushing too hard," Jonass continued.
"I didn't make any big mistakes and that was the goal. I took back some points on first place [in the championship] and I hope we can continue the season like this! Together with Jorge we had a few close calls, maybe too close for teammates! But it was racing, and to go 1-2 was awesome for the whole team and I’m also happy for Jorge and his first podium of the season.”
Pauls Jonass took both moto wins in MX2 and now sits second in the championship behind Suzuki Worlds Jeremy Seewer. Credit: Youthstream
Meanwhile the other Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Jorge Prado Garcia had good starts taking both FOX holeshots. He then battled with his teammate before losing ground, his 2-3 finish put him on the second spot of the overall podium. Jorge stated “It was a really good battle, I really enjoyed it, I lost a little bit of energy there in the second race but I found a little bit more and was able to get a second place overall.”
“I am really happy with the day and actually the whole weekend considering that I had been sick for a week and couldn't really train like I wanted coming here," Garcia added, "So I was a bit tired today and I don't know what happened but sometimes when I am not feeling so good I can still make good results! This is my best result yet and I’m happy I was able to fight from the beginning until the end. Pauls was just a little bit stronger than me but I showed good speed.”
Jorge Prado Garcia made it a KTM double in the MX2 class with second overall.
Team Suzuki World MX2 Team’s Jeremy Seewer admittedly struggled with his race 1 start, from 8th on the first lap he moved his way up to 5th. In race 2 he started 3rd and he was able to make his way around Jorge Prado Garcia’s bike but it was not close enough to challenge Jonass. Jeremy took the 3rd overall but more notably the points lead and the red plate.
“I think the first moto could have been a lot better,” said Seewer, “but we did some changes for the second race and it worked out. I want to stay on the ground, not get hyped-up too much. We got the red plate and that’s a positive point for sure to be leader after three GP’s, but I think we have to look at weak points and work on them.
"It is an amazing feeling though to get the red plate for the first time in my life. It’s what I’ve been working for my whole career. First the overall in Indonesia and now the red plate here; just an amazing feeling. It’s strange because I had a bad GP in Qatar, a really good one in Indonesia of course and now again, average in that first moto, so to be points leader is pretty good, I just need to keep working.”
Despite finishing third overall Jeremy Seewer had enough points to take the championship leaders red plate in the MX2 class.
Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team’s Benoit Paturel was impressive in race 1 and his 2nd place finish had him leading the points coming into race 2. His luck changed in race 2 though when his possibility of taking the red plate disappeared as he went down and his 9th place finish put him one spot off the overall podium for a 4th. Benoit now sits third in the championship standings.
The American rookie, Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki Racing’s Darian Sanayei had the best weekend of his MX2 career. He qualified 3rd on Saturday and followed it with 6-4 finishes on Sunday. Sanayei was 2nd in race 1 before being passed by Pature, he then slid out while trying to retaliate. The American showed some speed and looked to be a podium contender after his 5th overall.
LRT KTM’s Julien Lieber came into Patagonia Argentina with the red plate but he lost invaluable ground in the championship after going down and remounting in 31st position on lap 2. He eventually passed 14 riders to finish 16 in race 1. Race 2 was a different story and he finished 5th. Lieber would end the weekend 10th overall and slip to 4th in the championship.
Australian Hunter Lawrence went (13-18) for 18th while compatriot Jay Wilson finished 24th.
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 35:25.581 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:07.150 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:10.968 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:12.239 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:14.082 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:15.046 7. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:18.326 8. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:19.268 9. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:20.011 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:31.372 MXGP Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:07.642 2. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:05.315 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:06.723 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:08.878 5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:17.959 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:22.477 7. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:23.506 8. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:26.071 9. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:29.400 10. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:35.513
MXGP Overall Top Ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 50 points 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 42 p. 3. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 38 p. 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 33 p. 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 31 p. 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 31 p. 7. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 28 p. 8. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 28 p. 9. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 23 p. 10. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 23 p.
MXGP Championship Top Ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 106 points 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 96 p. 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 91 p. 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 84 p. 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 82 p. 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 72 p. 7. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 65 p. 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 56 p. 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, YAM), 55 p. 10. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 49 p.
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 35:21.092 2. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:04.318 3. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), +0:07.107 4. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:08.386 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:10.398 6. Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), +0:24.237 7. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:27.793 8. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:33.721 9. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:35.480 10. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Kawasaki), +0:35.534
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 34:04.845 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:03.278 3. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), +0:25.893 4. Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), +0:29.301 5. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:34.137 6. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:36.225 7. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:40.989 8. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Kawasaki), +0:42.865 9. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:46.656 10. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:48.515
MX2 Overall Top Ten: 1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 50 points 2. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 40 p. 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 38 p. 4. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 34 p. 5. Darian Sanayei (USA, KAW), 33 p. 6. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 32 p. 7. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 29 p. 8. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, KAW), 24 p. 9. Michele Cervellin (ITA, HON), 22 p. 10. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 21 p.
MX2 Championship Top Ten: 1. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 110 points 2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 107 p. 3. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 104 p. 4. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 99 p. 5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 99 p. 6. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 73 p. 7. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), 70 p. 8. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 67 p. 9. Michele Cervellin (ITA, HON), 62 p. 10. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, KAW), 59 p