Tim Gajser has won MXGP Round 3 in Argentina and Red Plate with the Championship lead
Pauls Jonass won MX2, with Seewer leading the standings, while Hunter Lawrence was fast but 18th overall
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser followed up on his Pole Position to win race one ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek and race two just over 5 seconds ahead of teammate Evgeny Bobryshev, taking the Red Plate heading in to Mexico.
KTM’s Pauls Jonass roared to a second MX2 win of 2017, while sixteen year old teammate Jorge Prado made the second step of the box, with Suzuki’s Jeremy Seewer completing the podium and taking the MX2 series lead. Aussie Hunter Lawrence took 18th overall, after struggling with consistency over the weekend.
When the gates dropped in Argentina, MXGP of Indonesia’s second place finisher, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff rocketed into the first turn to claim a massive holeshot over the rest of the field. Coldenhoff would get shuffled back throughout the race and would finish qualifying 11th.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser wasted no time in moving past Coldenhoff, coming to the green flag first and 20 minutes plus 2 laps later did the same with the checkered one, taking the second pole position of the season.
“Today went really good, I was feeling great on the track and the bike worked amazing too. In the qualification race I had a good start and I took the lead in the first lap and made a little gap. I was quite happy with my riding”
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek rode a fantastic qualifying race as well, being consistent for the whole session and finishing 2nd behind Gajser and ahead of the Red Plate holder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli.
Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 24:37.502
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:04.284
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:05.861
To start the MX2 qualifying race the two Red Bull KTM Factory Racing bikes of Jorge Prado Garcia and Pauls Jonass lead the way. The latvian found his way around Prado on the first lap and held the lead to the finish line grabbing his second pole position of the year.
“I got a pretty good start, I was second behind my teammate Jorge and made a quick pass on him, took a little gap, and just rode my race. This is a real motocross track, I really like the jumps and high speed corners, this is one of my favorite tracks. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow!”
Prado kept Jonass in sight and though he was unable to pass his teammate back, he held off the hard charging American rookie, Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Darian Sanayei, who finished third.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser came into Sunday in the pole position after qualifying first on Saturday. He kept true to his qualifying form and won race one ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek and race two just over 5 seconds ahead of Team HRC teammate Evgeny Bobryshev. With his performance Gajser takes over the red plate heading into Leon, Mexico.
“I am really happy and it was actually a perfect weekend. I really enjoyed the track and I know I was riding well. The crowds here were good and it was nice to hear them cheering when I came past them on the last lap. They have made a few changes to the track this year which suited me. The season didn’t start in the best way but I have been working really hard and training back at home, I never stop working and its now paying off. We are just at the beginning of the season but I aim to ride consistent and get more podiums.”
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek had his best results of the year finishing 2-3 for second overall. After a good pre-season Jeremy struggled in the first two rounds of the championship but he is now looking like a contender for wins.
Jeremy Van Horebeek
“I’ve regrouped, together with the team we made some changes to the bike and I finally feel like I am back and I am me. I am feeling really comfortable and I feel like I am ready to fight for race wins. The track was really nice, although in some places it was a bit sketchy but I want to take my hat off to the organization because they did a really good job, and also to my team and everyone around me.”
Meanwhile Team HRC’s Evgeny Bobryshev, who was admittedly not feeling very well due to a virus, fought through pain and his 5-2 results gave him his first overall podium of the year. Bobryshev passed both Desalle and Van Horebeek in race 2 giving team HRC a 1-2 race finish and both riders on the overall podium.
“I have been sick after Indonesia and I haven’t done any training as I have been in bed recovering. Because of this I really didn’t expect to come here and be on the podium. I have been hoping I would get better every day, even yesterday in qualifying I had a pain in my stomach. Today went a lot better and I was feeling better in myself. The track was the kind of track that I really like which helped me. The team made good changes on the bike from this morning so I felt good on the bike which I thankful to the team for. I am pumped to be third overall.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin worked his way forward in both races. Gautier was in 8th on the first lap of race 1 and at times, he was in a three way battle with his Husqvarna teammates but he would lead the three with a 6th place at the finish.
In race 2 he started one better in 5th on the first lap but would pass the early leader Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle for 4th which is where Paulin would finish receiving 4th overall on the weekend.
“The feeling is great on my bike at the moment. We’ve made some good progress since the start of the season so the results are slowly coming our way. I know we can do even better and this is our goal for the following GPs. In the opening moto it took me a while to get a good race pace. I ended up sixth but I was really close to the top three. Then in the second moto I had a better start and found myself battling for second place. We had some great battles and I crossed the line in fourth for fourth overall at the GP. Everybody in our team are doing a great job and I’m really looking forward to the next GP. We are in the right position now to go fight for the top in our class and this is what we’re going to do in Mexico.”
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre also made his way forward as he started 11th in race 1 but made quick work and in one lap was 7th, he then continued to move ahead for a 4th place finish. In race 2 he had a similar start with a 10th but eventually moved into 5th until a fall cost him the position and left him to finish 8th for 5th overall.
“I feel good. The first moto I started really bad, maybe sixteen, and I came back to fourth. My speed was good. In the second race my speed was good, I felt as though I could have got back to second place but in one corner I started sliding with both wheels and I couldn’t keep the bike up and I crashed and lost some positions. I need to stay on two wheels and then everything will be okay.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle looked good throughout weekend. The Belgian finished 3rd in race 1, he then rocketed out of the gate in race 2 behind Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff and then led the first 3 laps before falling back to 10th. His 3-10 finishes put him in 6th overall.
“My qualifying race was not easy as there was a crash at the start just in front of me and I had no place to go! I didn’t crash but I lost too much time, then during the race I made one mistake and finished fourteenth. My start in the first race was pretty good; I was third or fourth throughout the race and eventually finished third; it was a good race. The track changed a lot between the two races and, even though I got a very good start, I struggled with the track. I was second at the first corner and took over the lead at turn two to lead the race for several laps but I didn’t felt confident and took the decision to ride safe to finish the race.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli was perhaps the one rider who had the hardest charge. Cairoli struggled on both starts and he was positioned as low as 22nd in race one before finishing 9th and 15th in race 2 before working his way to 5th. Cairoli showed the heart of a champion and recouped valuable points.
“The weekend was very difficult mainly because of the starts and also the riders were very close together on this track and you could not make the difference; you had to take some risks to pass the others. So I had to come from the back both times and made more mistakes and crashed again. From dead-last in the first moto I came back to ninth; which was OK and I couldn’t do more. In the second I crashed after three laps and went down outside the top twenty, to come back the way I did was very good. I am so disappointed because it should have been another 1-1. The championship is still so long so we have time to get back this lead.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl traditionally does well in Argentina and though it may not be the results he was hoping for his consistent top ten finishes landed him in 8th overall.
“It feels good to see the speed is there to battle for the top. I feel that consistency was key this weekend. My riding was really good in both motos but I struggled a bit with my starts. Despite getting a good jump out of the gate, I didn’t manage to be inside the top five out of the first corner. But I stayed focused and made lots of passes in both motos. Especially in moto two I think I was 13th at the end of lap one but managed to cross the line in sixth place. Overall, I’m happy with the way things are going. The track in Argentina was kind of tricky and difficult so to get sixth overall is also a confidence booster for the coming races.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings had his best result in MXGP thus far finishing 7th in race 2 and taking 9th overall. It is clear he is determined to improve and expects to do so in the following rounds.
“With my wrist problem and hand injury it has been a tough road and this is perhaps the most demanding class in the world. This was the best weekend we had so far but it still wasn’t good enough so we’ll keep on working and getting better.”
Max Anstie was 10th overall for Round 3, mirroring his Championship position after the round.
“Overall it was a good weekend for us. We are in a very good place, considering this is just my third GP aboard the 450cc bike. The feeling on my bike is great so far and I know there’s more to come. This weekend I had lots of fun and felt good to battle with the riders up front. In moto one I got a good start and kept pushing for a spot inside the top five. I got seventh and this was my best result so far this season. Then in moto two my start wasn’t that good so I had to battle from outside the top 15 to 12th at the chequered flag. We’re taking one step at a time and we believe the top six is well within our reach.”
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten
Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 35:25.581
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:07.150
Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:10.968
Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:12.239
Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:14.082
Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:15.046
Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:18.326
Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:19.268
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:20.011
Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:31.372
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten
Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:07.642
Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:05.315
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:06.723
Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:08.878
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:17.959
Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:22.477
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:23.506
Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:26.071
Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:29.400
Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:35.513
MXGP Round 3 Overall:
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 50
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM) – 42
Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON) – 38
Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS) – 33
Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM) – 31
Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW) – 31
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM) – 28
Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS) – 28
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM) – 23
Max Anstie (GBR, HUS) – 23
MXGP Points Standings (after 3 rounds):
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON) – 106
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM) – 96.
Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW) – 91
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM) – 84
Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON) – 82
Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS) – 72
Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM) – 65
Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP) – 56
Shaun Simpson (GBR, YAM) – 55
Max Anstie (GBR, HUS) – 49
Pauls Jonas and Jorge Prado make it a KTM 1-2 in MX2
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass took the second overall and 1-1 finish of his MX2 season in Patagonia Argentina today. The Latvian started well and by the finish of both races he separated himself from the rest of the field.
“Indonesia was really disappointing for me because I had so much bad luck but here we made things right with a 1-1: I had a good feeling and great starts and was able to ride my own race without pushing too hard. I didn’t make any big mistakes and that was the goal. I took back some points on first place [in the championship] and I hope we can continue the season like this! Together with Jorge we had a few close calls, maybe too close for teammates! But it was racing, and to go 1-2 was awesome for the whole team and I’m also happy for Jorge and his first podium of the season.”
Meanwhile the other Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Jorge Prado Garcia had good starts taking both FOX holeshots. He then battled with his teammate before losing ground, his 2-3 finish put him on the second spot of the overall podium.
“I am really happy with the day and actually the whole weekend considering that I had been sick for a week and couldn’t really train like I wanted coming here. So I was a bit tired today and I don’t know what happened but sometimes when I am not feeling so good I can still make good results! This is my best result yet and I’m happy I was able to fight from the beginning until the end. Pauls was just a little bit stronger than me but I showed good speed.”
Team Suzuki World MX2 Team’s Jeremy Seewer admittedly struggled with his race 1 start, from 8th on the first lap he moved his way up to 5th. In race 2 he started 3rd and he was able to make his way around Jorge Prado Garcia’s bike but it was not close enough to challenge Jonass. Jeremy took the 3rd overall but more notably the points lead and the red plate.
“I think the first moto could have been a lot better, but we did some changes for the second race and it worked out. I want to stay on the ground, not get hyped-up too much. We got the red plate and that’s a positive point for sure to be leader after three GP’s, but I think we have to look at weak points and work on them. It is an amazing feeling though to get the red plate for the first time in my life. It’s what I’ve been working for my whole career. First the overall in Indonesia and now the red plate here; just an amazing feeling. It’s strange because I had a bad GP in Qatar, a really good one in Indonesia of course and now again, average in that first moto, so to be points leader is pretty good, I just need to keep working.”
Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team’s Benoit Paturel was impressive in race 1 and his 2nd place finish had him leading the points coming into race 2. His luck changed in race 2 though when his possibility of taking the red plate disappeared as he went down and his 9th place finish put him one spot off the overall podium for a 4th. Benoit now sits third in the championship standings.
The American rookie, Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki Racing’s Darian Sanayei had the best weekend of his MX2 career. He qualified 3rd on Saturday and followed it with 6-4 finishes on Sunday. Sanayei was 2nd in race 1 before being passed by Pature, he then slid out while trying to retaliate. The American showed some speed and looked to be a podium contender after his 5th overall.
“I was pretty disappointed in Indonesia to be ill, and I wanted to come here and show my true speed. That’s what I did in qualifying with a third position; it’s just nice to be racing at the front! My jump out of the gate was not so great in the first moto but I had a good gate pick on the inside and was able to cut under a few guys to come of the first turn third; I pushed as hard as I could to take second position, but I fell as Paturel challenged me so I finished sixth. I was around seven at the start of the second race and passed a couple of guys including Lieber; it’s always a pretty cool feeling to pass the guy with the red plate! I couldn’t quite catch Prado for third, but with a sixth and a fourth positions I finished fifth in the GP which is my best result to date. There’s a lot of positives from this weekend, and we’ll keep working hard!”
LRT KTM’s Julien Lieber came into Patagonia Argentina with the red plate but he lost invaluable ground in the championship after going down and remounting in 31st position on lap 2. He eventually passed 14 riders to finish 16 in race 1. Race 2 was a different story and he finished 5th. Lieber would end the weekend 10th overall and slip to 4th in the championship.
Aussie rider Hunter Lawrence, unfortunately didn’t have his best weekend, struggling to stay consistent on this track, ending up 18th overall, despite showing good speed all weekend.
“First race wasn’t the best start but I made some passes, then I crashed, made some more passes and then crashed again, ending up 13th. Then pretty much the same story in race two. I think my riding speed was good this weekend, but obviously I have things to work on. I need to go back to the drawing board and come back at Mexico hopefully a bit better.”
Fellow Aussie Caleb Ward had a rough weekend, following a nasty spill in qualifying, and chose not to race after warm-up on race day.
Caleb Ward – on Instagram
“The MXGPp of Argentina wasn’t great for me… I hit a massive kicker on the takeoff of a jump in the qualifying race and nose dived really badly and was going to land head first so hit the eject button and jumped over the bars. Pretty damn scary! I managed to walk away from it, but rode warm-up this morning and decided not to race. I couldn’t hold onto the bike properly and was very risky with the track being so fast and quite rough. Sorry to let everyone down but I’ll do what I can to be back as strong as possible.”
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