Amidst a throng of Italian motocross fans the MXGP Trentino, round 5 of the 2017 Motocross World Championship of, kicked overnight with MXGP and MX2 Qualifying Races.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli gave the country’s MXGP fans exactly what they wanted to see, an Italian in pole position while in MX2 class it was the new face of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen who will have first gate pick come Sunday.
Antonio Cairoli sits on pole in the MX1 class at his home GP. Credit: Youthstream
Cairoli started the MXGP Qualifying Race with the holeshot and followed it up with an impressive win after leading every lap. Cairoli has not only the support of the Italian fans but also the added pressure, and after today’s performance he is now in the best position to win on Sunday. In the post race press conference the italian said, “If it’s possible I will try to take the win in front the home crowd tomorrow, but it’s always difficult and the most important thing for me is to be consistent.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin had another good start this season, second behind Cairoli but ahead of points leader Tim Gajser and though there was a slight cushion both in front and behind Paulin fairly consistent. In addition Paulin also had the fastest lap of the race showing that he is on par with the Trentino pace of not only Cairoli but Gajser as well.
Frenchman Gautier Paulin was second fastest in MX1. Credit: Youthstream
Team HRC’s Gajser found himself an unfamiliar position as of late which was anything but the lead. Gajser kept Gautier within reaching distance the entire race and looked as if he was going to make a charge on the last lap to move past. In the end he settled with third and shift his focused to tomorrow’s racing. For Gajser this is one of the closest GPs to his native Slovenia, with many Slovenian fans and media making the trip he finds himself in a good position to impress tomorrow.
"The track is OK it is a little bit sketchy as it has many square bumps," Gajser explained, "I am quite happy with my riding today, I didn’t have the best start and then I ended up riding the whole race behind Cairoli and Paulin. We were really close and I didn’t want to risk too much today. I felt a little bit stiff on the bike so we will change something for tomorrow and I hope that I will enjoy it more and ride well".
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre showed he had the top level pace as well putting in some very fast lap times on his way to a 4th place finish. Febvre had a good start but will look to improve it for Sunday as the competitiveness of the class makes moving forward from a bad start a challenge.
MX1 Championship leader Tim Gajser was third fastest. Credit: Youthstream
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl finished out the top five in qualifying Race. Nagl was one of the few riders who made his way past riders, most notably points contender Clement Desalle for the top five position.
For Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle qualifying session was likely not as productive as he would have liked after being in the top five for the early stages of the race and then being pushed out by Max Nagl. Desalle has done well here in the past though and he will use his 6th gate pick to hopefully provide another impressive result.
Championship points contender, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s, Jeremy Van Horebeek finished in the seventh spot after showing some great speed in the beginning of the race. Van Horebeek has done well at the prior 2 GPs and he will try to keep the momentum of such for Sunday.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen scored the first qualifying race win in MX2. Credit: Youthstream
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen scored the first qualifying race win of his professional career. The 2016 EMX250 champion is showing he has what it takes to compete in the MX2 World Championship.
Kjer Olsen made his way past Jorge Prado Garcia for the lead early in the race and he remained there until the checkered flag was out. In the post race press conference Thomas said, “It feels really good getting a qualifying win, its great… I felt the best I have felt all year out front being just able to focus on my lines. It’s a confidence boost.”
Red plate holder Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer qualified 2nd even after falling while trying to make a pass on Samuele Bernardini. He is already off to a better start to the weekend than his 7th qualifying position in Leon, which he later followed with a 2nd overall. Seewer looks comfortable and very fast in Pietramurata.
“The day started good with free practice and timed practice, finishing first and second," Seewer said. "The bike feels really great on this kind of track and I like to ride it, so I was confident for the qualifying race. I had a decent start, good enough to battle with the guys but then had a tough time with Bernardini as he’s not easy to pass, but I came back to second which is more than good enough for tomorrow. Everything is there, my confidence is good, my start today was ok and my race speed is also really fast so I’m looking forward for tomorrow.”
The MX2 class blast out of the gate at a picturesque Trentino motocross track. Credit: Youthstream
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado Garcia came out looking much improved from a difficult Leon. Prado lead the first few laps and finished 3rd, setting up a good chance to win his first race of the season Sunday.
The Italian native HRC MX2’s Michele Cervellin didn’t just grow up just a stones throw away from here but he impressed today with his best result on the World Championship stage, finishing 4th. Cervellin looks to keep the career best results coming for Sunday.
"Today has been a good day for me," Cervellin said. "I have had the best qualifying race of the season so far but the real race is tomorrow. We will try to do the same as we did today but I would like to do better. The track I know well as I live really close and I have alot of fans here. The track today was hard and a little bit slippery but I like it and I feel like everything for me here is much more comfortable which is giving me confidence in the race."
The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Pauls Jonass battled in the lead group, which had some intense bar to bar action, before finally finishing in the 5th position.
MX2 championship leader Jeremy Seewer was second fastest. Credit: Youthstream
Championship competitor, Kemea Yamaha MX Official Team’s, Benoit Paturel struggled on his way to a 14th place result. Getting the start his needs and has been missing lately will be difficult for Paturel with 14th gate choice against a full gate. Although the French has proved he has the skills to pass productively he will hope to keep from need to show it Sunday.
MXGP Qualifying Times: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 25:05.215 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:02.621 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:03.916 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:05.934 5. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:09.486 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:16.871 7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:33.806 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), +0:37.425 9. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:39.399 10. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:44.407 11. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:45.712 12. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:46.420 13. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Suzuki World MXGP), +0:47.128.
MX2 Qualifying Results: 1.Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), 23:39.305 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki World MX2), +0:04.224 3. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), +0:06.897 4. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:11.179 5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:14.103 6. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:14.974 7. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:18.172 8. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:20.375 9. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), +0:23.795 10. Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), +0:24.655 11. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), +0:26.764 12. Giuseppe Tropepe (ITA, Suzuki), +0:27.219 13. Anton Gole (SWE, Husqvarna), +0:31.712 14. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:32.526 15. David Herbreteau (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:40.420 16. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Kawasaki), +0:41.474 17. Ben Watson (GBR, KTM), +0:46.500 18. Conrad Mewse (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:47.455 19. Brian Hsu (GER, Husqvarna), +0:48.018 20. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki World MX2), +0:48.536. 27. Jay Wilson (AUS, Yamaha) +1:11.006