Jeffrey Herlings takes MXGP clean sweep in Latvia, Olsen takes MX2 win
Hunter Lawrence has a tough weekend but takes a top 10 finish and 16th overall
The second day of the MXGP of Latvia roared to life with the start of the points paying races. The MXGP of Latvia in Kegums will be forever etched into the minds of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen as each recorded their first career overall wins in their respective classes.
Meanwhile Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli and local hero Pauls Jonass will go to the MXGP of Germany in two weeks time holding the Red Plate.
It was a tough weekend for Hunter Lawrence who despite making progress through the field had to settle for 16th overall for the round, with a 26th place in the second Moto after sliding out.
“I made it as difficult as possible for myself by starting from around 30th position but then made my way up to 10th so I was really happy with how I rode. I think I probably would have got the award for most passes in that race for sure, so my speed and ability on the track were really good. Second moto I had a bit of a better start and was again clicking off the positions, moving up inside the top 20 again but I slid out with another rider and lost some time. I got back up again, continued to make some more passes but on the big step-down I cross-rutted which sent me over the bars. It was a pretty big crash but I picked the bike back up and I felt fine after a couple of laps but it’s a disappointment to finish that way after showing so much speed during the races. Thankfully though I live to fight another day so we’ll keep working and won’t ever give up.”
Jeffrey Herlings takes a double win in the MXGP premiere class
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Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings had a weekend of first, first in Saturday’s Qualifying Race, first in Race 1, and first in Race 2, which when combined gave him his first career overall victory in the premier MXGP class.
Herlings literally could not have had better results, from the fastest in each practice to the last checkered flag he dominated.
“We were fastest all weekend long and it was the cherry on the cake [to [to go 1-1] have more confidence with this result and it means a lot; it felt like a long time since my last win! This is a boost but Teutschenthal is a new weekend and I will hope to get the best out of it.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli will leave Latvia with a new addition to his KTM, the red plate. Cairoli’s consistent ability to charge toward the front, after not the best of starts, is proving crucial in the competitive MXGP championship.
While Cairoli may not have had the weekend he was looking for second overall and the points lead is nothing but impressive.
“I’m OK with the weekend and expected a little bit of a better result but my opponents did even worse than me so for the championship it is good. I always want to fight for the win but today was not possible and I wasn’t happy with my starts or the first moto. In the second race I came back to second after seeing some very scary crashes from riders around the track. I was riding carefully and could see that Jeffrey was very fast. This was OK for the championship and can begin to see a bit of a bigger picture. I’m happy and we go to Teutschenthal which is a track I always like.”
Team HRC’s Evgeny Bobryshev returned to the podium this weekend with a 3-4 for 3rd overall in front of several Russian fans who made the trip. Bobryshev has been looking like he has podium speed lately but he has faded in the later stages of racing.
“Everything went well today and I finished on the podium which is always good to finish on the box. In Valkenswaard I had some health issues so I had a difficult week in the lead up to Kegums as i have been recovering. I really like the ground here and the layout of the track but today the track was actually really rough especially in the second moto! I like that this is close to my home as I have alot of fans that come and support me and it is good to deliver a result for them. I am really looking forward to getting my fitness back and moving to another race. I hope my team mate Tim is OK from his big crash today.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle had a spectacular Race 1 where he grabbed the FOX Holeshot and he lost out only to the unstoppable #84. Desalle was also passed by Bobryshev in race one but the Belgian showed some fight and returned the favor only one lap later. In race 2 he finished 5th for 4th overall.
“After a tough race in Valkenswaard two weeks ago it’s great to have a good weekend here. I couldn’t train as usual after Valkenswaard as I had pain in my ribs, and I only qualified in eighth position on Saturday but I got a holeshot in the first GP moto. That was good; I made a small mistake after a few corners and Herlings passed me but I was still second and battled with Bobryshev. He passed me once but I passed him straight back and then I made a gap on him to secure my second position. My second start was not as good as the first one as there was a small problem with my gate but I soon came back to sixth and finally finished fifth as another rider crashed. I scored the same points as Cairoli and Bobryshev but missed the podium as their result in the second race was better than mine, but it was a good GP for us.”
Last GP’s winner, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin put together a top 5 finish after placing 7th in both races. Paulin did fall in race 2 but will most likely be disappointed with the result of the weekend.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser came into the weekend with the points lead and battled from the back of the pack in Race 1 going from 36th up to 14th. In race 2 Gajser was running second before a mistake took him out of the race. The 14th and DNF has taken Gajser out the points lead he has worked so hard to achieve. Gajser was evaluated by medical staff onsite, he is reportedly unscathed and in good spirits.
Suzuki World MXGP’s Arminas Jasikonis has been impressive lately and is noticeably improving. The Lithuanian rider took his first Fox Holeshot in MXGP Race 2 today then he led the first 4 laps. Jasikonis finished a strong 3rd in Race 2 and finished 10th overall.
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:09.136
- Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:13.921
- Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:16.063
- Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:16.389
- Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:35.413
- Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:40.139
- Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:44.288
- Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:45.039
- Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:51.342
- Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:54.345
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:23.826
- Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:17.846
- Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Suzuki), +0:23.847
- Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:35.475
- Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:43.502
- Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:47.908
- Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:49.886
- Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:53.082
- Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:55.160
- Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:59.601
MXGP Overall Top Ten
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50
- Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 38
- Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 38
- Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 38
- Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 28
- Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 27
- Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 23
- Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 23
- Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 22
- Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, SUZ), 20
MXGP Championship Top Ten
- Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 258
- Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 241
- Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 220
- Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 214
- Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 210
- Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 204
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 174
- Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 147
- Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 139
- Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 133
- KTM, 282
- Honda, 275
- Yamaha, 240
- Husqvarna, 229
- Kawasaki, 210
- Suzuki, 152
Thomas Kjer Olsen takes the MX2 round win in Latvia
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Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen was on a mission this weekend. Olsen started the GP by winning the Qualifying Race and Race 1 in an impressive display.
Race 2 was more of a challenge as Olsen started in 8th place and with Pauls Jonass out front he knew he needed 2nd to claim the overall a feat he accomplished.
“It was an unbelievable GP for us. From winning the qualifying race to getting a clear victory in moto one and then battling our way to second in moto two for the overall win, I can truly say I’m very happy with how things evolved in Latvia. Since the beginning of the season we’ve been making steady progress and that clearly shows in our results. Together with the overall victory I’m also really happy that I managed to do my own races. I remained calm and focused and even when I had to make some crucial passes in moto two I took my time and made it happen when I had to. This victory had been a great confidence booster. The pressure for a victory is off now and we will continue taking one race at a time.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass grew his points lead once again this weekend. In race one Jonass looked as if he was going to finish 2nd but on the last lap he was passed by the #91 Suzuki.
In race 2 the determination of Jonass to win in front of his home fans was evident as he charged throughout. Jonass went 3-1 for second overall.
“It is a little bit of a pity I didn’t win and in the first race I was passed on the last lap, which was disappointing and put some pain in my heart! At least I could win the second moto in front of my home crowd and come across the finish line first. I didn’t expect so many fans and Latvian flags and it was so nice to ride here. I had a bit more pressure on my shoulders but I enjoyed it. I was a bit sick the week before and I felt it this weekend but they helped push me through. I’m really happy for Jeffrey also to take his first win in MXGP and we extended our lead in MX2 a little bit.”
HSF Logistics Motorsport’s Calvin Vlaanderen nabbed the final spot on the overall podium with his 5-4 finishes. Vlaanderen made a pass on during the last lap which was for the podium.
“I can’t really explain the feeling, it is so nice. Actually since I crossed the finish line I can’t remember the podium it has all just been a blur for me. It’s been an unbelievable feeling getting my first podium.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado Garcia just missed the podium as he was the rider which Vlaanderen passed on the final lap of Race 2. Prado took the FOX Holeshot in both MX2 races and he lead each briefly before falling back. Prado scored the same points as Vlaanderen but his 4-5 put him 4th overall.
“I think I did a good job – not super-good but good enough and it was important not to crash and keep learning. I’m getting stronger but I’m a little bit sad about my fitness today because I know it is better than what I showed. The track was really rough and people were making a lot of mistakes; I didn’t make so many and saw some others crash really hard. I came out safe so I am happy. I think I have the speed but I need to be a bit more consistent with my lap-times and be more confident in myself.”
The final spot among the top 5 overall belongs to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Conrad Mewse. Mewse has really started to turn his season around after struggling to score any points in the first three rounds of the championship to now a top five overall with a 3rd in Race 2.
Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer had a gritty performance in Race 1 after falling while trying to catch Jonass, he somehow regrouped and charged up to the #41’s back wheel again.
Seewer was going inside to outside trying to find a way past Jonass and finally did on the last lap with only 2 corners remaining. However in Race 2 Seewer slid out in the first turn and then crashed again not long after causing his bike to become unrideable.
LRT’s Julien Lieber is another rider who crashed in race 2 while he was running second. Even though Lieber’s crash was quite spectacular he managed to collect himself quickly and still finish in 8th for a 7th overall.
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), 34:37.013
- Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:02.597
- Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:03.143
- Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), +0:20.618
- Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), +0:23.215
- Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:30.975
- Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), +0:35.161
- Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:39.912
- Conrad Mewse (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:47.757
- Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki), +0:59.888
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten
- Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 35:08.557
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:02.693
- Conrad Mewse (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:08.528
- Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), +0:13.497
- Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), +0:18.349
- Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:21.218
- Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), +0:32.438
- Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:36.046
- Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:39.299
- Alvin Östlund (SWE, Yamaha), +0:41.850
…26. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki)
MX2 Overall Top Ten
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 47 points
- Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 45
- Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), 34
- Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 34
- Conrad Mewse (GBR, HUS), 32
- Darian Sanayei (USA, KAW), 28
- Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 26
- Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 25
- Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 22
- Alvin Östlund (SWE, YAM), 19
…16. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki)
MX2 Championship Top Ten
- Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 287 points
- Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 245
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 235
- Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 223
- Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 198
- Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 166
- Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 155
- Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 152
- Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), 133
- Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, KAW), 123
…15. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki), 99
- KTM, 329 points
- Husqvarna, 263
- Suzuki, 254
- Yamaha, 229
- Kawasaki, 192
- Honda, 114
- TM, 104
Josia Natzke wins EMX250 as Brian Strubhart Moreau takes EMX125 double
The first results in Latvia came from the EMX250 and EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing championships. New Zealander Josiah Natzke and Frenchman Brian Strubhart Moreau were the two crowned winners both of them for the first time in 2017 season.
Hitachi KTM UK’s Josiah Natzke took control of the first race of the 3rd round early leading every lap, creating a gap, and then cruising to a comfortable race win. Race 2 started out front but wisely settled for second to claim the overall.
“I got the holeshot in Race 1 and I had a nice gap with Jago behind me, then he went down which created a nice comfortable lead and I really don’t know what happened, I was just able to grow the lead out each lap, it was the perfect race. It’s a pretty great feeling.”
Finishing behind Natzke was the Italian Morgan Lesiardo aboard his #44 KTM. Lesiardo took second in the first race after making several passes. Then in Race 2 he would both start and finish in 3rd. The combined results gave him the 2nd overall but more importantly the points lead and the red plate.
Sahkar KTM’s Jago Geerts was battling up front in race one but eventually finished in 5th. The night to think over what could have been fueled Geerts into winning Race 2 were he passed race one and overall winner Natzke.
F&H Racing’s Ruben Fernandez was 2nd the majority of Race 1 until being passed by Lesiardo. His 3-7 results placed him 4th overall.
The last of the top 5 was Carglass Honda Racing’s Jed Beaton who rode very well in Race 2 on his way to 4th after his 8th in race one.
Last race’s winner Miro Sihvonen remains second in the championship after missing this weekend’s race due to an injury.
EMX250 Race 1 Top Ten
- Josiah Natzke (NZL, KTM), 31:04.176
- Morgan Lesiardo (ITA, KTM), +0:05.166
- Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Kawasaki), +0:08.087
- Simone Furlotti (ITA, Yamaha), +0:14.329
- Jago Geerts (BEL, KTM), +0:18.799
- Alberto Forato (ITA, Honda), +0:22.116
- Zachary Pichon (FRA, Suzuki), +0:27.817
- Jed Beaton (AUS, Honda), +0:28.518
- Karlis Sabulis (LAT, Yamaha), +0:33.721
- Ken Bengtson (SWE, Yamaha), +0:37.626
EMX250 Race 2 Top Ten
- Jago Geerts (BEL, KTM), 29:36.657
- Josiah Natzke (NZL, KTM), +0:05.260
- Morgan Lesiardo (ITA, KTM), +0:08.879
- Jed Beaton (AUS, Honda), +0:14.346
- Alberto Forato (ITA, Honda), +0:22.441
- Ken Bengtson (SWE, Yamaha), +0:30.024
- Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Kawasaki), +0:31.346
- Jere Haavisto (FIN, KTM), +0:44.572
- Todd Kellett (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:47.446
- Michael Sandner (AUT, KTM), +0:58.925
EMX250 Overall Top 10
- Josiah Natzke (NZL, KTM), 47 points
- Morgan Lesiardo (ITA, KTM), 42
- Jago Geerts (BEL, KTM), 41
- Ruben Fernandez (ESP, KAW), 34
- Jed Beaton (AUS, HON), 31
- Alberto Forato (ITA, HON), 31
- Ken Bengtson (SWE, YAM), 26
- Simone Furlotti (ITA, YAM), 23
- Todd Kellett (GBR, HUS), 18
- Kim Savaste (FIN, KAW), 16
EMX250 Championship Top 10
- Morgan Lesiardo (ITA, KTM), 112 points
- Miro Sihvonen (FIN, KTM), 90
- Simone Furlotti (ITA, YAM), 86
- Ruben Fernandez (ESP, KAW), 74
- Nick Kouwenberg (NED, YAM), 73
- Ken Bengtson (SWE, YAM), 69
- Karlis Sabulis (LAT, YAM), 66
- Jago Geerts (BEL, KTM), 64
- Alberto Forato (ITA, HON), 63
- Jed Beaton (AUS, HON), 54
- KTM, 143 points
- Yamaha, 118
- Kawasaki, 107
- Honda, 83
- Husqvarna, 63
- Suzuki, 28
With a massive list of entries BUD Racing Monster Energy’s Brian Strubhart Moreau was the fastest competitor this weekend after he went by Gianluca Facchetti for the race 1 win on lap 6 and did the same in race 2 to Sergi Notario.
Creymert Racing’s Kevin Horgmo took the second spot on the overall podium. Horgmo moved from 3rd to second in Race 1 and from 6th to 4th in race 2. Horgmo is also now 3rd in the points.
Jezyk Racing Team’s Sergi Notario rebounded from a 10th in Race 1 to 2nd in Race 2. Notario took 4th in both Valkenswaard races and his 3rd overall here in Latvia positions him 4th in the championship standings.
Yamaha Europe EMX125’s Thibault Benistant became the second French rider in the top five with 4th overall thanks to his consistent 5-5 finishes.
Isaak Gifting took the remaining top five spot in the EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing overall classification also due to his consistency. Gifting finished 6-6 for 5th overall and a combined 30 points out the 50 possible.
EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Race 1 Top Ten
- Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, Kawasaki), 30:34.834
- Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KTM), +0:03.279
- Gianluca Facchetti (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:11.331
- Matteo Puccinelli (ITA, KTM), +0:17.079
- Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:19.540
- Isak Gifting (SWE, KTM), +0:33.115
- Jeremy Sydow (GER, KTM), +0:35.336
- Marcel Stauffer (AUT, KTM), +0:38.066
- Andrea Zanotti (SMR, KTM), +0:42.255
- Sergi Notario (ESP, KTM), +0:44.618
EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Race 2 Top Ten
- Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, Kawasaki), 29:48.522
- Sergi Notario (ESP, KTM), +0:04.627
- Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:08.353
- Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KTM), +0:09.745
- Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:11.975
- Isak Gifting (SWE, KTM), +0:13.615
- Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, TM), +0:40.134
- Filip Olsson (SWE, Husqvarna), +0:46.394
- Marcel Stauffer (AUT, KTM), +0:46.930
- Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), +0:47.847
EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Overall Top 10
- Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, KAW), 50 points
- Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KTM), 40
- Sergi Notario (ESP, KTM), 33
- Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 32
- Isak Gifting (SWE, KTM), 30
- Marcel Stauffer (AUT, KTM), 25
- Mikkel Haarup (DEN, HUS), 24
- Gianluca Facchetti (ITA, HUS), 24
- Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 21
- Filip Olsson (SWE, HUS), 19
EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Championship Top 10
- Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, KAW), 92 points
- Mikkel Haarup (DEN, HUS), 74
- Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KTM), 71
- Sergi Notario (ESP, KTM), 69
- Gianluca Facchetti (ITA, ARC), 55
- Tim Edberg (SWE, YAM), 49
- Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 44
- Paolo Lugana (ITA, TM), 40
- Alessandro Manucci (ITA, HUS), 36
- Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 33
EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Manufacturers
- Kawasaki, 92 points
- Husqvarna, 90
- KTM, 82
- Yamaha, 68
- TM, 45
- Suzuki, 9