MXGP of Germany, Teutschenthal – Round 11
The MXGP kicked back into action for the first time following the Motocross Of Nations, with the MXGP of Germany marking round 11 on the calendar, as racers took to the track at Teutschenthal. Team HRC’s Tim Gajser took back the series lead in MXGP as he made his return to the top step of the podium following a shoulder injury.
In MX2 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Maxime Renaux finished the weekend with an overall victory to extend his title lead, as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle was handed a two-place penalty in race two.
For the Aussies, top performer was Jed Beaton who raced to a hard-earned fifth overall in Germany. Capitalising on a strong start in race one, the Australian ran up front with the leading riders and moved into fourth position with five laps to go. With the top three just out of reach, Beaton brought his FC 250 home in a well-deserved fourth place.
Lining up for race two with a strong chance of an overall podium result, Jed once again enjoyed a great start. Completing the opening lap in fifth place, the 23-year-old advanced to fourth on lap four where he would remain until the closing stages of the moto. Losing just one spot to Rene Hofer, Beaton secured fifth in the moto for fifth-overall.
Jed Beaton – P5 MX2
“It wasn’t a bad weekend overall. My starts have been really good recently, which has really helped. Starting up front makes things a lot easier as you can stay out of trouble for the most part and ride your own race. It was a difficult track today. Some parts were really fast and a little sketchy and then in other parts the ruts were really deep. Everyone seemed to be on a similar pace so my good starts really made a difference today and I was able to put two solid races together.”
Bike It MTX Kawasaki’s Wilson Todd had a day of mixed fortunes. The Australian was running twelfth early in race one until he bent the gearshift pedal in a deep rut and was forced to pit for repairs. He showed admirably what he was capable of in race two as he converted another twelfth-placed start into seventh at the finish, for P14 overall.
“I had a tough first moto. My start was OK but there were a lot of deep ruts and the gearshift got pushed up; I was stuck in second gear so I had to pit to fix it. The second race was not too bad; I sat back for a while but then I worked forward for seventh with good speed.”
MXGP Race 1
In MXGP, the action was unbelievable, and it only confirmed how strong and unpredictable the MXGP class is this season, with the top five championship contenders having close battles in both races.
In race one, it was a Red Bull KTM Factory Racing top three out of the gate as Jorge Prado took the Fox Holeshot from Jeffrey Herlings, Antonio Cairoli and Gajser. Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass and Brian Bogers also started well with the pair sixth and seventh.
Herlings then took away the lead from Prado, as Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre got himself into third behind the pair and started to look for a way to pass Prado for second.
Gajser then caught onto the back of Cairoli as he searched for a way around the Italian, eventually making a pass stick a couple of laps later. Though while this was going on, we saw Prado make a move on Herlings to take over first position.
The Spaniard then stretched over Herlings, as Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff pushed Jonass for sixth. His teammate Jeremy Seewer was also looking to make a move on Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing’s Calvin Vlaanderen to move into the top 10.
Febvre then edged closer to Herlings as he searched for an opportunity to make a pass, but after several attempts could not get the job done and was caught out by a hard-charging Gajser who took away third. The Slovenian then went after Herlings who was urged onto the back of Prado and that’s when we saw the intense battle for the win.
There was virtually nothing in it as Prado and Herlings crossed the line, with Prado securing the race win but colliding with his teammate mid-air, which took both down. Herlings was able to walk away from the incident, while Prado had to take a trip to the hospital to receive stitches under his armpit. He did not line-up for race two.
MXGP Race 2
In race two, it was Febvre who clinched the second Fox Holeshot with Seewer, Jonass, Coldenhoff and Gajser just behind. Though a couple of corners later and after some very smart moves, Gajser was up in second.
Herlings started the second race further down the order, though was quick to get Jonass for fourth. Meanwhile Cairoli was even further down as he battled his way up from 14th. The Italian eventually finished the race in 10th.
Febvre continued to lead Gajser, Coldenhoff and Herlings, as the Bullet pushed hard to get around his fellow countryman. It took Herlings seven laps to pass Coldenhoff and after that it seemed like he was happy to settle for solid points than to push forward to get Gajser and Febvre.
Eventually Gajser caught onto the rear wheel of Febvre’s factory Kawasaki, and it took several attempts and block passes for the Slovenian to secure the lead on lap 12. He then got his head down to finish the race 12 seconds ahead of Febvre, with Herlings crossing the line third.
With a 3-1 result, Gajser made his comeback to the top step of the podium, with Herlings second and Febvre securing his fifth podium of the season. And in terms of the MXGP World Championship, the standings could not be any closer, as Gajser has take the red plate back and leads Herlings by just two points, while Febvre is third a further six points behind.
Tim Gajser – P1
“I am so happy with how things went today, to come here just three weeks after surgery and get the moto win, the overall and the red plate is more than I could have hoped for coming into this weekend. A big thank you to the whole team who worked hard to get me feeling as close to 100% as possible and have supported me throughout, I couldn’t do it without them. In both races I got good starts and that put me in a position to challenge for victory. I had good lines and although I felt I was fast enough to finish further forward in race one, third was still a good result. In race two, I had another good battle, but this time I could make the pass for the lead and win the race and it was just amazing to cross the line in first. I knew I was feeling better after two weeks of recovery since Sardinia so now, I will try to keep this momentum as we go to a new track in France next weekend. Also, a big thank you to all the fans at the track today and who have messaged me online, it really helps a lot to get that kind of support and it was great to hear so many fans whilst racing today.”
Jeffrey Herlings – P2
“What can I say? As good as it starts as bad as it ends. I’m lucky to still be racing today. I made some mistakes in the first 15 mins of the first moto but was then able to catch Jorge. We know he is not the easiest rider to pass; he defends his line and there is nothing wrong with that but jumping? My knee had a big impact and it’s 100% OK, but the trauma of the bang meant it was really sore in that second moto. This is not my favorite track so when I got up to 3rd place I did not even try to close the gap and accepted second overall. We’ll work on the knee now and I’ll look forward to France and hope to fight with the boys again.”
Romain Febvre – P3
“My speed was good today and I got good starts both motos. In the first I was behind Prado and I was faster but it was really tough to pass; then I was behind Jeffrey (Herlings) and at the same time I saw Tim (Gajser) was coming back because I was stuck. Then I made a mistake in a turn; I tried to pass him again at the end but it was not quite enough. I knew with a good start I had a chance to win the GP, and I took the holeshot in race two, but Tim was better today; I did everything I could to hold him but he had some better lines in sectors three and four and I couldn’t figure out exactly where he would be able to pass. They were good points for the championship today but still I want more and next weekend we go to France for my home GP. “
Pauls Jonass – P4
“Overall, it was a good day with decent starts and decent results. The only thing I’m lacking is a little intensity on the opening laps. My speed is good so if I can just stay a little closer to the leaders early in the races then I think I can improve my results a little. Together with the Standing Construct GASGAS team we’ve found a really good setting with the bike and with a lot of hardpack races coming up on the calendar, I’m feeling really confident for the weeks ahead.”
“It’s definitely going forward, which is positive. It’s going well physically. I feel good and I was able to make some improvements today. I know I am not in the top five where I know I should be in Timed Practice, but it’s going forward. I hope in a few GP’s I will be more upfront and battling for the podium.”
Glenn Coldenhoff – P6
“In the end, it was a positive day. We did some testing last week and we have made some improvements which I am very happy about. In practice, I still struggled a little bit, but I think we still found a good setup. I had two good starts, which is a really positive point. In the second race, I showed good intensity and felt really good with the bike. It’s a shame about the last 10 minutes of the race, somebody crashed in front of me and Pauls Jonass passed me and then Jeremy (Seewer) on the last lap, which was not the best, but I am okay with it. We made good progress and it’s our first solid result which I am happy about and I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Tony Cairoli – P7
“I knew it would be tough here because I couldn’t ride in the week due to my painful ribs. I took some medication and rode at the Nations – although the first moto crash and someone hitting my ribs again didn’t help – and I survived the weekend and we won. It was something I was missing in my career and I wanted to do it but I didn’t think too much about the reaction and the consequences and I was feeling really bad here. I was struggling with my health and I knew it would be a tough day from Timed Practice. After fifteen minutes I couldn’t really hold onto the bike that much anymore. A 5th in the first moto was OK and I was very happy with that result but the second moto was so tough and I knew it would be before I went to the gate. I just tried to make my way to the end. 10th is not what we want but I couldn’t do any more. Let’s try to recover this week and try to do what we can in France.”
Ben Watson – P11
“A pretty positive day. I didn’t feel like I was ‘wow,’ but I was solid and consistent and definitely making progress. I know I need to change ASAP when it comes to qualifying because where I need to start, I am too far out on the gate, making it difficult to get a good start. I kind of finished where I gated, it was a little bit ‘follow the leader’ in both races, but still a solid result and I am pleased with that.”
Thomas Kjer Olsen – P12
“After last weekend I was feeling really good and despite the results not showing it, there are a lot of positives from today. In the second moto I felt strong and I was attacking the track. I was in ninth and setting up a pass for eighth before I crashed. Crashing obviously isn’t positive but I felt like I was going to move further forwards in the race and it’s a shame that I went down. I feel like everything is going in the right direction and with so many races coming up, I think we can enjoy a good end to the season.”
In MX2 race one, it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle who grabbed the Fox Holeshot ahead of his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing teammate Rene Hofer and Renaux. But Hofer was quick to act as he took away the lead from Vialle before the end of the first lap.
Hofer then led Vialle, Simon Längenfelder of DIGA Procross GasGas Factory Racing, Renaux and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Thibault Benistant who started well too. But then the Frenchman went down and was way down the order.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jed Beaton started well in sixth, while Renaux started to apply the pressure onto Längenfelder for third. Though the GasGas rider was not going to back down easy as he was being urged on by his home fans.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Mattia Guadagnini was having a tough start to the race as he made his way from 18th to 14th. Eventually he was able to get back to 13th place.
By lap four Renaux was finally up in third, while Hofer and Vialle continued their close battle. The two KTM riders kept things very close and were within less than a second of one another for 11 laps, until finally Vialle was able to find a way through and make the pass stick.
While the two leaders fought for the win, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jago Geerts and Beaton were able to get around Längenfelder who dropped down to sixth position. The pair then caught onto the back of Renaux and at that point Beaton was faster than both of the factory Yamaha riders.
Vialle then got his head down and finished the race with a win, as Hofer held on to second, while Renaux crossed the line third.
MX2 Race 2
In race two, it was once again Vialle with the Fox Holeshot, this time ahead of Renaux, Benistant, Geerts and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kay De Wolf. Beaton was right there as well, as he quickly took fifth from his teammate as Hofer followed behind.
Once again, Guadagnini started the race way down the order and eventually made his way back up to 10th to score some important championship points.
Vialle then continued to lead Renaux, Benistant, Geerts and Beaton, while Längenfelder, Honda Racing Assomotor’s Stephen Rubini and Bike it MTX Kawasaki’s Wilson Todd battled further down the field.
We then saw another battle of the teammates as F&H Kawasaki Racing’s Roan Van de Moosdijk dived down the inside of his teammate Mikkel Haarup to take 11th place and then moments later made a mistake which took Haarup down. Fortunately, the Dane lost only one position to Guadagnini.
Vialle continued to Renaux by 3.718 seconds, while Hofer struggled to get around De Wolf. The two leaders pretty much checked out, as Geerts sat in a distant third, with Beaton looking to keep close.
At one point it looked like Renaux would go for the win but after failing to find a good opportunity to pass, he settled for second which meant that Vialle was the race winner, Renaux was second and Geerts third.
While Vialle crossed the line first, he was penalised two positions for not respecting waved yellow flags which as a result put him third in the race and moved Renaux and Geerts up a position. Due to the penalty, Renaux was declared the overall winner, with Vialle finishing second and Hofer celebrating his first MX2 podium with third overall.
As it stands, Renaux now leads the MX2 World Championship by 85 points over Geerts as Guadagnini drops to third in the championship.
Maxime Renaux – P1
“Today was a good day. To solid races and two solid results. The goal now is to stay steady and not take any big risks, although I did try to push for the win in the second race. Now I can take the red plate to my home round in France. I really look forward to that to have the French public there and cheering. I have never experienced that before so I am looking forward to it.”
Tom Vialle – P2
“What should have been a great weekend and started with Pole Position. It was really important to get good starts today. I enjoyed the track but it was hard for passing. I had to work to overtake Rene in the first moto and then had half the job done through the first lap in the second. I don’t know what to say about the yellow flag decision except that I didn’t see them and watching the video back you needed to be lucky to see them. Despite this decision it has been a good run of results so far and we’re looking good for my home Grand Prix next weekend. It’s nice to go back to France and LaCapelle is really technical. I’m excited already.”
Rene Hofer – P3
“I finally put two solid motos together and I’m really happy that I was able to make my first visit to the MX2 podium. I led almost the whole moto and kept quite close to Tom. Fourth in the second meant decent points and I was really excited. It’s an important moment and I’m pleased it happened at this race and this track that is not that far from my home. Together with the team we have been working hard for this, so it’s really nice it finally happened. I’m in really good shape and better than the start of the season when I was coming back from injury, so I want to keep this kind of momentum.”
Jago Geerts – P4
“I am pretty happy with the result. I was riding well but I made some small mistakes and finished fifth. I was happy with my speed but I lost my rhythm a little bit at the end. In the second heat, I was a little bit better. I know I need to keep working to find more speed so that I can battle with Tom (Vialle) and Maxime (Renaux).”
Kay de Wolf – P6
“I’m really happy with today. I qualified second, which was a little bit of a surprise but certainly good to know I that have the speed on hardpack. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the best of starts in race one, but I put it together in race two and I felt really good in that one. The track was challenging and you had to go slow to go fast as it was pretty technical with the deep ruts and lines everywhere. Overall, some more great learnings for me today and we’ll take them to France next weekend.”
Simon Langenfelder – P7
“It was such an amazing atmosphere at my home GP. The crowd were amazing all day and I could hear them all around the track so it was really special and I’m really pleased that we could have a big crowd. My starts were good in both races and in race one I finished sixth so I was really happy with that. In race two I had a good race going but I went into a really deep rut and it broke my gear lever off. I was then stuck in third gear for about half of the race, which made it difficult, but I managed to finish 11th which wasn’t so bad. Overall, I was seventh so it’s nice to be back in the top 10 and now it’s onto France.”
Mikkel Haarup – P9
“My day started good with P4, just 0.1 off pole; that was my best Qualifying of the year. The track was already pretty rough from yesterday and the ruts soon developed; I had a good flow on the track and was already very confident going into the first moto. My first start was not good but I was riding well and made some good passes to come through to twelfth; it would be nice to have a better result but from that start that was not too bad. We made some adjustments for the second race; I moved quickly into the top ten and was eighth at the finish. The track was very technical but that suits me; you had to be patient at times because of the ruts. I was very happy with my riding today; we want to get into the top five soon!“
Mattia Guadagnini – P11
“I’m not happy about today. We were all very close in qualifying and I felt OK. I didn’t start well in the first race and couldn’t find a good flow. I made a small mistake and lost some positions. Race two, the start was a bit better, my riding also, but I again had made some mistakes around mid-race distance. I couldn’t get a good feeling. I was losing too much time. A bad day. We’ll focus on the next one.”
Thibault Benistant – P12
“Today was not a really good day for me. I took two really good starts but I had some big crashes because I was attacking too much. This is something I am working on, I want to be more aggressive in the first laps, but I was pushing too much and then I crashed and had to start from last. So it was quite a difficult weekend for me.”
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