Hunter Lawrence 12th overall in MX2 – Jett 3rd overall in EMX250
Courtney Duncan third overall in WMX
MXGP 2018, Round 11 at Lombardia in Italy saw KTM take the win in both MXGP and MX2 classes, with Antonio Cairoli and Jorge Prado taking top honours, with both closing in on their respective championship leaders.
Todd Waters made his return to the MXGP class and despite a rough weekend claimed one championship point, while Hunter Lawrence was 12th for the round in MX2 and Jett Lawrence was third in EMX250. Courtney Duncan also had a strong weekend in the WMX class, taking third overall.
Italy’s Ottobiano circuit was challenging for the best riders in the world with rough, technical, and sandy sections testing both rider fitness and ability. In addition to the track taking its toll on the riders’ energy so too did the high temperatures but thousands of Italy’s wildest motocross fans encouraged the MXGP and MX2 stars as they fought. Rewarded with a win from the Italian motocross superstar, Antonio Cairoli, the fans filled the hillside and starting straight for podium celebrations.
MXGP Race 1 was scripted perfectly for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli as he took the Fox Holeshot after taking the 7th gate pick equal to his Saturday qualifying result. Cairoli’s start was indicative of the following 19 laps where he jumped in front of the field and never looked back.
In second place from the beginning was Romain Febvre but 8 laps into the race the Frenchman fell and dropped 2 positions to Clement Desalle and Max Anstie. Two laps later another mistake from Febvre allowed Gautier Paulin and Max Nagl past.
Anstie had his teammate Paulin closing in which pushed him to catch Desalle. All the while Romain Febvre was back on a mission and took 5th from Nagl who was having a season high ride. On the last laps Anstie was all over Desalle for second but on the final lap he lost the front end in a turn and had to settle for third.
Cairoli took the race win with dominance, Desalle was second, then Anstie, Paulin and Febvre. Tim Gajser made a pass on the next to last lap, after crashing in the first turn, to take 6th from Nagl.
Race 2 was another strong start from Cairoli in 3rd while Standing Construct KTM’s Kevin Strijbos took his first Fox Holeshot and Desalle was second. By the third turn Cairoli was past Desalle and only one turn after that he took the lead from Strijbos.
Gajser was fourth behind Desalle but by lap 2 was past the Belgian and into 3rd. Nagl was off to another good start to the race in 5th with the two French riders of Paulin and Febvre giving chase. Cairoli however went down on lap 2 while leading, lost 3 spots, and gave Strijbos the lead. Gajser would however only allow Strijbos one lap at the front before making his way into the lead.
Cairoli went back to work quickly after his fall and made one pass a lap for each of the next 3. Cairoli’s third pass was the one which gave him back the lead and it was done just in front of the home fans along the fence.
Desalle then fell in a corner losing positions to Paulin, Nagl, Febvre, and Anstie. Desalle’s race just got worse from then on as he caught a kicker and swapped out through the roller section and was narrowly missed by Jeremy Seewer. Desalle was lucky to come away unharmed but had to pull into to Pit Lane to have his bike repaired. Later rejoining the race Desalle took 20th position for only 1 championship point.
At the finish it was another strong win from Cairoli ahead of Gajser, Paulin, Anstie, and Seewer. In the overall standings Cairoli’s perfect 1-1 scored the maximum 50 points while Paulin and Anstie tied at 38 points a piece with Paulin taking 2nd and Anstie 3rd. The final result has cut the championship lead of Jeffrey Herlings to only 12 while both Paulin and Anstie achieved their season best results.
“I’m really happy with the weekend. Unfortunately Jeffrey got injured but this is something that can happen to any of us. We have been going at a very high speed. This weekend was good for the championship because we could come very close. It was important to have a good result in front of my home crowd and with two good motos. The second one was a good show; racing at home brings a lot of pressure but it is also nice to give the fans a win. They gave me a big push.”
“I seem to excel in these conditions – I always do well when it’s hot and the track is rough, like today. I was feeling good in myself but had two bad starts – the 180-degree first turn was really tricky to manage. I came close to crashing a couple of times and you spend a lot of energy when you have to come through the pack like I did today. To finish on the podium is great though, especially after such a tough weekend in England. I also want to congratulate my team-mate on his podium success today.”
“It’s awesome to be back up here on the podium. It has been such a difficult start to the season with things seemingly going from bad to worse. I felt so strong at the beginning of the year, especially after finishing 2017 on a high, so it’s great to get a finish like this and to be battling on track with the other top guys. It’s going to be another tough race in two weeks’ time in Indonesia so hopefully I can get a similar result there.”
“I’m quite happy with the speed I showed today. I think the damage was done yesterday in qualifying race because it was hard to get a good start with such a poor gate pick – as I ended up being far on the outside. My jump out of the gate in race one was actually horrible, but I managed to come through the pack and finish sixth – which was OK, but surely not what we were aiming at. I took a better start in race two and make some quick passes at the beginning, led a couple of laps which felt awesome and then finished second. Surely I’m a bit disappointed that we didn’t get a podium this time, but I’m looking forward to Indonesia now. I would like to thank the team because the bike was really fun to ride this weekend.”
“I am not so happy with the way this weekend went, especially because I won the Qualifying Race yesterday, so I know I had the speed to be on the podium this weekend. It is frustrating for me, but I need to look forward and now we have a two-week break, which will be good to let my ankle heal some more. Hopefully it will be better for Indonesia.”
“I felt amazing from the first practice here. I made some small changes to the bike, but it was really good all weekend and I am really happy with that. I am also pumped with my holeshot yesterday and to finish second in the Qualifying Race as well. For some reason I feel like I had good rhythm this weekend and my bike felt the best it has all year. It keeps getting better and better, and I managed to take another step with top-five finish, my first of the season and it helps me to build my confidence. I just want to thank my whole team, they put a lot of effort it. Now I am looking forward to the trip overseas.”
“I got a good start in the first race, and took over second place after a few laps when I passed Febvre. I managed to keep Anstie behind me during the last few laps to finish second, which was a good result. I got another good start in the second race and was third when I had a small crash; the speed was really high during the first few laps, and I had to push to regain the positions I had lost but I had another small crash and again lost positions. Then I collided with Simpson and my brake pedal was bent; I tried to repair it myself but in the end I had to stop at the pits and was last when I went back on the track, I recovered from twenty-eighth to score one point. That’s not what I was expecting but I know where I am and was pleased to feel physically strong in the heat; that will be important during the next two rounds in Indonesia.”
“I fell off the back of the bike through the rollers in race two and caught the bike on the inside of my leg. I picked the bike up and everyone went past, so I tried to continue but I couldn’t ride the way I wanted and the pain was there and increasing, and since I wasn’t fast enough to come through the pack I opted for an early retirement – instead of risking another crash. Until then it wasn’t too bad, I felt good on the bike and I was riding much better, I just crashed. I lost a lot of strength in my upper body due to the injury and that made me struggle throughout the races – and generally speaking I’m nowhere as fit as the other riders, who have done winter testing and half a season more than me. But we’ll use the time from here to Indonesia to get as fit as we can, then do it all over again!”
Just like in the MXGP class the MX2 title chase is tightening up between the two main protagonists. Pauls Jonass leads the points but his younger teammate Jorge Prado has again cut into the lead this weekend.
Race 1 started with the now typical Fox Holeshot from Jorge Prado with Thomas Covington, Ben Watson, and Henry Jacobi chasing in that order. Jonass was around 7th place but was up to third after a pair of passes on Watson with the second finally sticking.
Thomas Kjer Olsen moved into 6th past Davy Pootjes on lap 4 and continued on to make a pass on Jago Geerts for 5th. Olsen teammate, Covington, chased Prado for the first 7 laps but then he started to see the Spaniard making mistakes and took the opportunity to claim the lead.
Covington then controlled the race and gapped Prado who had Jonass giving chase while also holding off Watson in 4th. Across the finish Covington won the race 5.8 seconds ahead of Prado, Jonass, Watson, and Olsen.
MX2’s second race looked nearly identical out of the first turn with Prado taking the FOX Holeshot and Covington second. Olsen found himself 3rd in opening lap ahead of Jonass and Jacobi. Calvin Vlaanderen came from around tenth to pass Jacobi for 5th on lap 5. 3 laps later Watson took the spot away but Vlaanderen fought for the spot back on the next lap. The pair’s battle resulted with Watson holding the position.
Meanwhile at the front of the field Prado’s lead was too far gone and Covington soon lost positions to Olsen and Jonass. At the finish of Race 2 Prado won both the race and the overall with Olsen 2nd, Jonass 3rd, Covington 4th, and Watson 5th.
Covington was second in the overall behind Prado but ahead of Jonass. Prado’s victory cuts the championship lead of Jonass to only 9 points as the series will head to Indonesia in two-week time.
“It was an incredible weekend. I cannot say it was unexpected because I have worked so hard and waited a whole year to come back here and prove people wrong. At the end of the second moto I was so happy because it was so, so tough. It was very physically demanding, so to win a race like this makes me happy. It gives me the motivation to keep training. This is almost the hardest conditions we can have and if we can survive this then other races will be easier.”
“That has been a really good weekend for me, right from getting the qualifying win again on Saturday. I knew conditions would be tough here this year but I managed to find a really good flow in moto one. I followed Prado for half the race and then made my move, after that I managed to keep a good gap between us. In the second moto I struggled a little to run at the pace I wanted to and ended up using too much energy. I am happy to take a second podium in a row though and now I’m looking forward to the next round.”
“Nothing really went as went as I wanted today. I didn’t get the best starts in both motos. In the first race my left hand became numb after the first fifteen minutes and I don’t know why. I was struggling with the braking bumps and just managed to hold on. In the second moto I was ready to attack in the last minutes but a blister burst open and it was so painful going through the waves. Anyway, overall, I just didn’t ride my best this weekend and the speed wasn’t there. We’ve struggled for the last few weeks so now I’m looking forward to getting back on top of the podium in Indonesia. I’m not worried about the championship because I’m not at 100% at the moment and I know we’ll work on getting that gap bigger in the next few races.”
“Overall, I am happy with how things went today. I didn’t get the best start in the first moto and it put me on the back foot a little. I made my way up through the field to finish fifth. I wanted a lot more from the second race and managed to get a better start behind my team-mate. I got past him for second and that’s where I finished. I am happy with the result and pleased with my riding – I felt strong all day.”
“I did the best I could but overall I struggled big time this weekend, with what was an extremely gnarly track. I’ll keep working and look forward to the next rounds. The weekend off should benefit me as it’ll allow me to rest up a bit more and I’ll hopefully come back strong for Indonesia.”
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten
Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), 34:46.265
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:05.820
Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:09.170
Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:10.570
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:20.494
Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:25.861
Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), +0:29.474
Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +0:38.965
Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA, Honda), +0:48.240
Henry Jacobi (GER, Husqvarna), +0:53.579
…11. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda)
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 35:11.237
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:07.520
Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:13.522
Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:15.657
Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:20.559
Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA, Honda), +0:33.829
Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:45.623
Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP, Husqvarna), +1:03.780
Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, Yamaha), +1:10.120
Michele Cervellin (ITA, Yamaha), +1:22.739
…12. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda)
Henry Jacobi (GER, HUS), 200
…14. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Honda)
The Fiat Professional MXGP of Lombardia hosted fantastic racing but the Ottobiano round of the EMX250 championship provided perhaps the most intriguing races with its ultra competitive field. Taking the Overall victory via two strong races was Roan Van De Moosdijk.
Spread across two days of racing the class was filled with talent. Saturday’s early timed sessions and Last Chance Race provided us with a 40 man gate for the championship points paying races. With several Italians in the mix the fans onsite were just as interested and vocal for the pair of EMX races. Saturday’s Race 1 gave us the first taste of who could handle the sand and heat of Ottobiano but today’s Race 2 was ultimately the deciding factor.
Race 1 was perfect for Team DIGA-Procross’ Dylan Walsh who took the Holeshot and led every single lap without hesitation. Behind Walsh was Honda Redmoto Assomotor’s Mathys Boisrame with his championship leader red plate. BUD Racing Monster Energy’s Brian Moreau was next and van de Moosdijk held 4th. With only 3 laps complete Moreau crashed while chasing Boisrame which gave third to van de Moosdijk.
Later Boisrame charged forward to close the lead down to the back wheel of Walsh but a strong response from Walsh gave him the race win with Boisrame 2nd, and van de Moosdijk 3rd taking third. Creymert Racing’s Kevin Horgmo took 4th after passing his way up from 7th and Yamaha SM Action – M.C. Migliori’s Maxime Renaux was 5th.
Today’s Race 2 was led off the start by Carglass Honda’s Steven Clarke with KTM Silver Action’s Gianluca Facchetti in 3rd. Team Suzuki Germany’s Jett Lawrence started the race in 4th and quickly turned it into a break through ride. Lawrence took 2nd on lap 2 after Facchetti crashed himself out of the race. Also moving forward a position was Moreau into 3rd and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Mikkel Haarup in 4th.
2 laps later Lawrence passed Clarke and left the Brit behind over the next 13 laps. Moreau was passed for third by Haarup 3 laps after Lawrence took the lead, but later crashed out the race also allowing Moreau to reassume 3rd. Van de Moosdijk was on a massive charge through the field from 15th on lap 1 to pass Moreau 4 laps prior to the finish.
Jett Lawrence took his first ever race win with Clarke 2nd, Van de Moosdijk 3rd, Moreau 4th, and previous championship leader, REVO Huqvarna UK’s Mel Pocock in 5th. In the Overall classification it was Roan van de Moosdijk’s consistent 3-3 that took the win over Walsh and Lawrence. Boisrame took 4th and grew his points lead over Pocock by another 6 points.
“A good weekend for the championship, I am happy for the result this weekend at Ottobiano. It was a good first race, with a good start and good feeling and that enabled me to finish in second place. The second race was difficult because of the pressure from my title rivals but overall I am glad to have increased my lead by six points at the top of the EMX250 class. There is now a bit of a break before Lommel but I will do some more sand training and hope to continue my good form!”
EMX250 Race 1 Top 10
Dylan Walsh (NZL, Husqvarna), 30:24.695
Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Honda), +0:01.662
Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Yamaha), +0:02.250
Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KTM), +0:03.290
Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:07.182
Martin Barr (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:07.507
Karlis Sabulis (LAT, Yamaha), +0:19.055
Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:22.737
Mel Pocock (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:25.141
Jett Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki), +0:25.426
EMX250 Race 2 Top 10
Jett Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki), 29:49.846
Steven Clarke (GBR, Honda), +0:06.788
Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Yamaha), +0:20.621
Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:23.739
Mel Pocock (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:26.354
Karlis Sabulis (LAT, Yamaha), +0:27.677
Dylan Walsh (NZL, Husqvarna), +0:38.322
Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:42.013
Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Honda), +0:44.148
Josh Spinks (GBR, KTM), +0:46.862
EMX250 Overall Top 10
Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, YAM), 40 points
Dylan Walsh (NZL, HUS), 39
Jett Lawrence (AUS, SUZ), 36
Mathys Boisrame (FRA, HON), 34
Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, KAW), 31
Karlis Sabulis (LAT, YAM), 29
Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 29
Steven Clarke (GBR, HON), 28
Mel Pocock (GBR, HUS), 28
Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KTM), 25
EMX250 Championship Top 10
Mathys Boisrame (FRA, HON), 228 points
Mel Pocock (GBR, HUS), 209
Martin Barr (GBR, HUS), 196
Steven Clarke (GBR, HON), 183
Dylan Walsh (NZL, HUS), 180
Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, KAW), 158
Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, YAM), 155
Mikkel Haarup (DEN, HUS), 142
Tom Vialle (FRA, HUS), 136
Pierre Goupillon (FRA, KAW), 132
The Women of Motocross took to the Ottobiano circuit this weekend for the 4th round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship and taking the overall win for her first time this year was Nancy van de Ven.
The Italian fans proudly watched as the defending champion, Kiara Fontanesi, fought her way to the podium at the home race against a handful of strong competitors. The spectator hill alongside the circuit was full of passionate and cheering fans both days adding to the close racing and Championship battles.
Saturday’s Race 1 was led by the first round winner and former red plate holder Larissa Papenmeier but she was closely followed by Fontanesi. Current points leader, Courtney Duncan was 3rd and Nancy van de Ven was right behind. At the end of the second lap however it was Fontanesi who took the lead from Papenmeier.
Duncan fell early in the race and had to work her way back forward but by lap 9 was closing on Van de Ven who felt the pressure and pushed to second in an attempt to put Papenmeier as a buffer. Duncan however not only passed Papenmeier but also found her way around Van de Ven. Duncan then charged up to the lead of Fontanesi and made a pass but Fontanesi was able to retake the spot then take the home race win over Duncan, Van de Ven, and Papenmeier with Shana van der Vlist in 5th.
Sunday’s Race 2 was the first event on the track and while temperatures in general where higher, the earlier timing of the race helped keep the riders cool. When the gate fell it was again Papenmeier who rocketed off of the start with all the contenders just behind.
Papenmeier had Duncan chasing her along with Van de Ven and Fontanesi in the top 4 the first lap. The 3 Yamaha riders pursued the Suzuki of Papenmeier for the first 5 laps but all three were able to shift the German back on lap 6.
With Van de Ven in the lead Duncan kept applying the pressure and drove the pair forward creating a gap over Fontanesi and Papenmeier. Duncan was unable to pass Van de Ven in the end as the #85 took the race win with Duncan second, Fontanesi 3rd, and Papenmeier 4th. In the Overall Van de Ven’s 3-1 topped Fontanesi’s 1-3, and Duncan’s 2-2 while Papenmeier’s consistent 4-4 resulted in 4th and Shana van der Vlist’s 5-6 took the final spot in the top 5. Duncan will head to the next round in Assen with a 21 point championship lead.
“Italy was not my best weekend. First moto I made a small mistake on the opening laps which made me really have to work for it. I made my way back to second right behind the leader. It was frustrating because I felt I let that win slip away but we didn’t give up and limited the points damage, so from that side I’m happy. Moto two we were up first thing so the track was completely flat and very fast which didn’t favour me but no excuses. It shows I need to be better in the easier conditions and really work on my intensity in the first half of the race, as I feel like those are two of my weak points at the moment. However 2-2 on a difficult weekend we can be happy with and actually I extended my lead from 15 points to 21 in the standings, so from a championship perspective that’s a real positive. Obviously we can be better but I like the position I’m in and excited about the final two rounds.”
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