MXGP has returned for two back-to-back rounds, the first of which was the MXGP of Indonesia in Palembang, where it was Tim Gajser once again dominating the big bikes, with Jorge Prado likewise taking another round win, as the two continued to dominate, and in the very tough heat of Indonesia both red plate holders also built on their series points leads.
Around the very unique circuit in Palembang, both Gajser and Prado didn’t have it all their own way, both losing a race, Gajser going 1-2 and Prado also 1-2, however the final tally saw the pair do enough to claim the red plates into Semarang, also in Indonesia next weekend with a confident feeling.
Aussie Jed Beaton also had a strong weekend going 5-5 in MX2 for fifth overall for the round and tenth overall, while in MXGP Lewis Stewart went 15-14 and Adam Coles went 16-15 to claim 15th and 16th overall for the round, respectively. Mitch Evans crashed in MX2 Race 1 and sat out the remainder of the weekend.
On a regular basis Tim Gajser led into the first lap of the opening MXGP race taking the FOX Holeshot, followed by Jeremy Seewer and Glenn Coldenhoff. Also, up front were Max Anstie, Romain Febvre, Arnaud Tonus and Gautier Paulin while Arminas Jasikonis crashed and dropped back to 15th place. Anstie moved past Coldenhoff for third, and Jasikonis was able to get back into 13th.
Running a little harder Gajser moved to more than five seconds away from Seewer and Anstie started to put pressure on the second placed man. Febvre closed in to Coldenhoff while Anstie was on Seewer but as the French was frustrated as he made a mistake, Anstie passes Seewer for second but he was seven seconds behind Gajser, who seemingly was cruising up front and around the same time Jasikonis was all over Bogersfor 11th.
Five laps to go Febvre was charging in Coldenhoff for a long while managed to go through. Light rain began as the race continued. Gajser though wasn’t having any problems up front, and everyone held their positions. Gajser was victorious at race 1 in Palembang, winning it from Anstie and Seewer.
At the start of the second MXGP race it was again Gajser in the early lead taking his fifth FOX Holeshot of the season, followed by Anstie, who crashed in the first lap and dropped back to 10th place. Tonus was also in trouble as he trailed near last and then couldn’t get his bike going again.
Seewer was second, then Febvre, Paulin, Coldenhoff, Bogers and Jonass. Monticelli also crashed and went back in 19th place. After two laps the lead by Gajser was nearly three seconds and Febvre had moved past Seewer and was running hard to catch the leader.
On lap 3 Gajser made a mistake and Febvre and Seewer both went past and dropped the Honda man to third place, but the red plate owner was quickly back past Seewer, although Febvre held a six second lead after eight laps.
Coldenhoff passed Paulin and Seewer at the last laps to finish Race 2 in third place, and Anstie was onto Paulin to fight for fifth position while Febvre was miles ahead of Gajser. That left Febvre wining his first race of the season and the first after the 2017 MXGP of Sweden, ahead of Gajser and Coldenhoff.
Tim Gajser took the overall win with his 1-2 results while Romain Febvre took second and his teammate Jeremy Seewer rounded up the podium.
Tim Gajser 1-2
“All day I really enjoyed riding the track. In the first moto I grabbed the holeshot and made a little gap and controlled the race. I had a lot of fun out there and managed to win the first moto. In the second race I didn’t have the best jump out of the gate so I got closed off on the straight, but as they ran wide, I was able to cut inside and take another holeshot. On the fourth lap and went off the track, and my rear tyre spun on the dusty ground and I had a little crash. I re-joined the race in third place, but managed to pass Jeremy immediately. I saw that Romain was riding a really good pace out front so I decided to settle for second place and to win another overall. Obviously I’m still happy with how the day went and my standing in the championship.”
Romain Febvre 4-1
“It’s been too long since I last won a race. It’s been hard and I have wondered what I am doing, but finally it’s in and I have done it, but still I am second overall, and I would like to win the Grand Prix. It’s always nice to win races, but I want to stand on the top step of the podium. It feels like it has been so close this season, but I miss it by just a little bit. I hope that it is coming, and I look forward to going to Semarang next weekend because I like the track there, it is fast and nice to ride, so I hope for good weather, good starts and then it will be good.”
Jeremy Seewer 3-4
“I’ve been really consistent this season and this is what I have wanted to do. I have shown at the last GP’s that I am a threat to the podium, just some small mistakes cost me coming into here. I have had many good races this year and I feel good on the bike. I am really happy with my consistency even though I didn’t start the season the way I wanted to. I am happy I got on the podium here in such tough conditions, I managed to post two good results with two good starts. I know that there are places that I can improve, and I will work on these, but for now I am happy that I am here and I am happy with the way things are going.”
Gautier Paulin 7-5
“The weekend started well. The track was cool and really tacky, I managed to post the fastest time. In the first race I didn’t get the best start and we are all really close in speed on the track, so it was difficult to pass. At one point the guys got away and I secured seventh. The second race was challenging because I had a small issue on the sighting lap, so I started a little bit stressed out. I got a normal start, I was third around the corner and I finished fifth although I had a small issue with the front brake, but no excuse, I felt good on the bike so I am really looking forward to the next round. We will keep our head up and continue to push. I really want to thank the Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP team for all of their hard work and support.”
Pauls Jonass 7-8
“I made a mistake in the qualification race on Saturday and crashed heavily on my shoulder, which made the whole weekend difficult for me. It’s really frustrating as I felt good on the track. I guess I was lucky it wasn’t a serious injury, but I banged my shoulder hard and that made it tough today – I didn’t have the power I needed for the ruts, braking bumps and landings from the jumps. But I did the best I could. I got a decent start in the first race then went a little wide in the second turn. After that I couldn’t push like I wanted to because of my shoulder. I made a few passes but eighth wasn’t what I wanted. Race two was similar – I couldn’t go any faster. It was a little bit of surviving, getting the most championship points possible. I’ll rest now and go again next weekend.”
Brian Bogers 12-8
“The day didn’t really go as I wanted, especially the first moto. The first five or six laps felt okay and I was riding with the fast guys but then the heat hit me really bad and I couldn’t push anymore. I felt pretty bad about that so I really wanted to try harder for race two. I got out of the gate really well and from the beginning I was pushing even harder than the first moto. I didn’t want to save myself because that isn’t a good mindset and it seemed to work because even when I got a little tired with the heat, I could still keep pushing. I ended up with a twelfth and an eighth for eighth overall so that’s not too bad but I still want to do better.”
Tony Cairoli – Injury Update
“It is sad to finish the championship this way and it hasn’t happened too many times in my career. When I tried to ride last week I knew I had some problems but I wanted to stay positive about the recovery. I had more scans in Belgium and the injury was much worse that we thought so they told me to have surgery right away and it was the best solution to get healthy again in the fastest way. Thanks to the team and to the fans for the support. I hope to visit a few races before the end of the season and will now concentrate on getting better.”
At the opening MX2 race with no surprise Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado took the FOX Holeshot from Tom Vialle, Maxime Renaux and Calvin Vlaanderen while Mitchell Evans and Mitchell Harrison crashed in the start straight after coming together and were last and second last.
Evans crashed again and dropped out of the race and soon after Jago Geerts also crashed out in the waves and dropped out of the top ten with a DNF result.
Prado meanwhile controlled the race with Vialle on the chase , but then on lap 11 Prado slipped over loosing the front and Vialle took the lead and a five second lead at that. Renaux remained in third place and Vlaanderen fourth, while the two Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jed Beaton and Thomas Kjer Olsen fought over fifth position.
Prado took the ground with the willing to win and succeeded as he pulled in the five seconds head of Vialle and passed him on lap 16 taking the lead. Prado won the opening race from Vialle and Renaux.
The second MX2 race was a bit more unpredictable as Tom Vialle pushed Prado wide in the first corner and took the FOX Holeshot, while behind came Geerts in third, then Olsen and Beaton. Despite big pressure from Prado the leader remained calm and held the lead into the second lap, and Geerts even worked his way past Prado for a short time.
Geerts was all over Vialle for the lead and Prado was riding in third place watching the French and the Belgian fighting for the top spot. Jago Geerts took the lead, and Olsen pushed Prado as the Spaniard dropped to fourth place. Amazingly Beaton also moved past Prado and the red plate owner dropped to fifth place.
After four laps Geerts led from Olsen, Vialle, Beaton, Moreau and Prado dropped to sixth position. Prado was able to work his way past Moreau, but still held down fifth place and was five seconds off the lead rider Geerts.
Geerts remained solid in the lead, as Prado passed Beaton for fourth place and set up Vialle for third place soon after. Geerts slipped over, dropped to fifth, and handed the lead to Olsen. After 15 laps it was Olsen, Vialle, Prado, Beaton and Geerts. Prado moved into second place after passing Vialle and was pushing to get to Olsen.
Thomas Kjer Olsen won his third race of the season, which gives him the third step of the podium followed by Jorge Prado who wins the GP with his 1-2 results and Tom Vialle.
Jorge Prado 1-2
“I had a great start in the first moto and good pace without pushing but then I made a mistake at the end of the waves and hit the floor quite hard. Tom passed me and started to pull away so I had to use a lot of energy to catch him and in the end I was happy with the win. In the second moto I don’t know what happened when I got into the lead. I ran off the track and was losing positions all the way back to seventh. When I could finally get going and pull back to second Thomas was a bit too far away and I was on the limit with my energy. Anyway, it is another GP win and great for the championship. I have good memories of Semarang last year, so let’s keep going.”
Tom Vialle 2-3
“Today was very good and I felt great on the track. Fast starts again and a lot to be happy about. When Jorge crashed in the first moto I moved into the lead but started to feel a little bit tired after three laps. The last five minutes were tough and Jorge passed me again. I tried to follow but it was hard work! The rhythm in these races are very high in the first laps so it is important to get good starts and this is another thing to be pleased with this year.”
Thomas Kjer Olsen 6-1
“I really am pleased with winning the second moto. I was frustrated with my result in the opening race, I know I could have done a lot better but I wasn’t able to get a good rhythm, maybe because I was trying to be too conservative because of the heat. So I wanted to show what I could do in the second race. I just gave everything and felt really good. I got a good start, made some passes and kept pushing. The race was so different for me compared to the first moto. Finishing the GP with a win, and a podium result, is great. Now I’ll rest and relax a little before the next race, which I’m looking forward to.”
Jed Beaton 5-5
“It’s been another good GP for me. I felt like Germany was a really good step in the right direction, and that I was finally managing to put things behind me and deliver the pace I know I can. I kind of kept that momentum going here with two more strong results. It was a tough GP, we all knew the heat wasn’t going to be too much fun, but both races went well for me. I’m pleased things are moving in a good direction now, hopefully next weekend will be another positive weekend, too.”
Henry Jacobi 10-8
“It was a very hard day for me; coming here with a little cold I didn’t feel good on the bike. Having the eighteenth gate pick didn’t help me for the starts, and I also made a couple of mistakes in both races but I fought really hard to score two top ten results.”
Calvin Vlaanderen 4-13
“It’s really good to be back at the GPs and I’ve missed it a lot to be honest. I’m still physically not 100% and it shows in my racing but I’m really happy to be back racing and to be here with the whole team. Today I had quite a positive day and even though I wasn’t able to end on a good note, I’m still taking it as a good overall performance. In the first race I got off to a good start and was immediately in fourth place, I found my own groove, riding good laptimes the whole race and I finished fourth which was very good. In the second race I also got a good jump but I was pushed wide in the first corner and was way back in the pack. I made some good passes the first couple of laps and was coming through well but then I made a mistake at the end of the pitlane and hit my ribs with the handlebars as I went off the track. After that I couldn’t even see the guys in front so I just wanted to put in some consistent laps for my own fitness, and I ended up in 13th.”
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