The 2017 MXGP of Switzerland presented by iXS kicked off today in Frauenfeld - Gachnang with the qualification races and it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli and Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer ticked off laps and went pole for Sunday.
MXGP was led at the start by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie who avoided a first turn pile up involving several riders including Team HRC’s Tim Gajser. It was only corners later that the Cairoli took the lead spot away from Anstie. The race continued between the 2016 Swiss GP winners, Anstie was MX2 at the time, and though Cairoli maintained his lead Anstie kept within striking distance.
Antonio Cairoli took pole in MXGP
Behind the leaders was initially Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Facing MXGP’s Romain Febvre and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff. Coldenhoff would however be dispatched from his 4th position by Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Official Team’s Arnaud Tonus. Tonus made the pass with a fast technical move, wheel tapping a single before the grand stand tabletop.
Tonus later felt the heat of Jeffrey Herlings and his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing SX450-F though. Herlings let Tonus know he was right there on several occasions showing him a wheel. Prior to reaching Tonus it was Herlings who had to find his way past Coldenhoff and he did so quickly. In the end Herlings fell while trying to get Tonus and in turn lost a spot back to Coldenhoff.
Max Anstie was not far behind Cairoli in second
Up front Cairoli finished out the race 2.1 seconds ahead of Anstie. “I really enjoy riding on this track, it is always very technical," Cairoli said. "The race was good and the start was okay, I was 3rd at first then immediately went into second and at the end of the first lap I was already first because Max made a mistake and I was able to overtake him. He (Anstie) was always there and put on the pressure, he was riding really good.”
Febvre took third while Tonus took 4th at what is his first ever home GP appearance.
Frenchman Romain Febvre will have third gate pick in the MXGP class
“I had a good Qualifying Race, my start was pretty good and I felt like I was in a good rhythm," Tonus said. "You could really feel the crowd, the way that the track is arranged, they (the fans) can see the whole thing and they really push for us which is a cool feeling and I’m really looking forward for tomorrow.”
Return to racing this weekend was Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Tommy Searle who finished 11th in qualifying. “I am really happy with 11th," Searle said. "I didn’t expect to be that far up, a couple people crashed on the first turn so that made it a little bit easier for me. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Jeremy Seewer took pole in MX2 in his home GP
There is nothing like the taste of victory but what makes it even sweeter is when you win in front of the home crowd and that is exactly what Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer is looking to do here in Switzerland. Seewer’s GP Overall chances are looking good as today he took the qualifying race win to go pole.
Seewer wasn’t always in the lead however, at first it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass in front. Jonass made a small mistake in a corner on the first lap and he was unable to keep his KTM upright.
The mistake of Jonass dropped him to 4th, just behind Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen who tried to keep the MX2 Championship leader behind him but instead was passed back quickly.
KTM's Julien Lieber was second in MX2
The first real benefactor of the Jonass mistake was LRT KTM’s Julien Lieber who moved into the lead. Lieber looked comfortable out front even as the crowd cheered on Seewer who ran second.
Another rider who was having a strong showing was the American, Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Darian Sanayei. Sanayei ran 5th every nearly every lap of the race pressuring Olsen who consequently pressured Jonass.
Back at the front the Swiss fans continued to push Seewer forward inevitably erupting with cheers when the #91 took the lead away from Lieber. Seewer took the race win with Lieber and Jonass behind. On the final lap Sanayei was able to finally make a pass on Olsen to secure 4th.
“I feel at home on this track, I really like to race it," Seewer said. "It feels good to race in front of the home crowd and I’m just enjoying so much and having fun, I will try to do the same tomorrow!”
American Darian Sanayei just missed the MX2 podium but will start from 4th