The MXGP of Trentino proved the closest fought racing of the 2019 season thus far, as Tim Gajser claimed the MXGP overall with a duet of wins, while and Jorge Prado took the win in MX2 to close in on class leader Thomas Kjer Olsen.
Trentino hosts perhaps the most tranquil and serene circuit in the world, but the action was intense with all out battles. The venue set along Italy’s snowcapped dolomites filled with tens of thousands of fans all cheering with enthusiasm for what are the best motocross racers in the world.
As the first sessions hit the track and the stars of MXGP took to Trentino the crowd came to life. The majority of the fans cheering were for Italian motocross hero Antonio Cairoli but Cairoli’s main competitor, Tim Gajser had his own fans who made the trip from neighboring Slovenia cheering just as passionately.
There was also a very strong showing from Australian Mitch Evans in the MX2, where he claimed a consistent 6-7 result and 29 championship points. That moves him into eighth on the overall standings after four rounds.
“I’ve not raced at Trentino before but it’s a cool track. It just took me a while to learn it. I tweeked my knee in the qualifying race and that made it a struggle to come through the pack as it was a little one-line out there. But no excuses, I know what I need to do to improve. For the races, I strapped up my knee and pushed through the pain and got good starts. From 24th in the qualifying race to seventh overall today, I couldn’t be any happier and really pleased with how Sunday went.”
Fellow Aussie Jed Beaton took a 12-13 result and 17-points, and he now sits 13th in the overall standings.
Jed Beaton – P12
“I feel like it’s been an ok weekend for me. Things started off a little slow on Saturday and certainly not how I wanted it to go. But Sunday was much better. Two poor starts held me back in both motos though. I felt like my riding was good, but I have to get out the gate better. We have a good break now in the championship, so it gives me plenty of time to keep working and to focus on improving ahead of the re-start of the series.
When MXGP Race 1 got underway Cairoli took the Fox Holeshot and lead but Gajser was in around 5th. Cairoli’s fellow Italians, Alessandro Lupino, and Ivo Monticelli were 2nd and 3rd ahead of Gautier Paulin.
Gajser was quick to make moves taking 4th from Paulin in turn 3 then he took 3rd from Monticelli in the next turn before getting past Lupino for second in the first half of the opening lap. Gajser’s high tempo put him just behind Cairoli where he latched on and eyed the lines of the Sicilian.
Monticelli meanwhile took 3rd from Lupino who dropped another spot to Paulin not along after. Paulin then worked his way past Monticelli to get into 3rd but Cairoli and Gajser were already long gone.
Cairoli held the gap to Gajser at about 2 seconds for multiple laps but Gajser closed in as the laps ticked away and dropped the gap to within 1 second to apply pressure to the 9-time world champion.
On the 16th lap of 19 a bobble from Cairoli was all that Gajser need to take the lead away right in front of the Slovenian fans who cheered at the top of their lungs. Cairoli tried to retaliate quickly but a confident scrub and look from Gajser kept the Sicilian at bay.
In the remaining three laps Cairoli continued to push to get Gajser back but it didn’t work and the Slovenian crossed the line only 1.081 seconds ahead much to the pleasure of not only himself but, also the corner lined with his fans! Paulin took 3rd another 53 seconds further back of the leaders with Arnaud Tonus 4th and Monticelli 5th.
Race 2 was off to a good start for Gajser taking his first Fox Holeshot of the year. Cairoli was close in 2nd with the two Wilvo bikes of Paulin and Tonus again 3rd and 4th. Tommy Searle was in 5th a short moment before losing spots to Max Anstie, who didn’t finish race 1 and Ivo Monticelli.
All eyes were on the two at the front with Gajser creating a slight gap only to be taken back away by Cairoli. On the ninth lap a miscue from Gajser saw the #222 of Cairoli go past along Pit Lane and across the finish line.
With the Italian crowd on their feet Cairoli tried to pull away from the Slovenian but Gajser wasn’t having any of it as he took the lead back 5 laps later in the same spot which he had lost the position earlier.
With 2 laps to go Cairoli returned the favor again in front of pitlane to the Italian fans roar and the teams nervous yet enthusiastic looks. Two mistakes from Cairoli would however decide the race as the pair pushed the limits of both each other and their factory race machines. Cairoli’s first mistake took him out of the preferred line and the next only a few meters later resulted in him losing the bike and lead.
Cairoli got back up but Gajser was in the clear leading the final two laps to the win, his first since Leon, Mexico in 2017. Gajser’s emotion excitement and pure joy were unmistakable as he dropped his bike and ran thank the Slovenian fans lining the fences for the support. Cairoli finished 24 seconds later and congratulated Gajser as the headed to the podium joined by Paulin in third.
The amazing racing and perfect weekend capped off by winning at Trentino for only the second time in his career, the first was actually his first ever MX2 win back in 2015, left both Gajser and Team HRC ecstatic.
“It is just unbelievable and it is my first win in more than a year. To be here in Arco is always special, to race in front of so many people, so many fans. Today we had two great races with Tony battling, we were both pushing. I’m just so happy and thankful that we won that overall. The fans, they just push you on because every lap you can hear them cheering for you, it’s just an unbelievable feeling here.”
“It is a positive weekend overall but I’m not happy with my second moto because I took a risk and crashed when I should have had the GP. A crash is always possible in motocross but we should take care not to get injured and it was close today. I’m disappointed by that but I’m happy to make the podium again: that’s four this season with three wins and a second place so it is difficult to be negative about how it has gone.”
“It’s always great to be on the podium, I’m actually happy about the riding and being on the box at the end of the day, but definitely, Tim and Antonio were faster today. So, we need to improve, we need to step up to the challenge and ride with them, be in that fight because as a racer when you fight for a win like that is unbelievable, it’s nice, it’s fun. The crowd was awesome here in Italy, the fans were crazy and I wasn’t in the battle but I was hearing the crowd from everywhere, actually every corner, so it was kind of special but congrats to these guys today!”
Arnaud Tonus – P4
“It’s hard to explain how I feel after the struggle I have been faced with over the last week. It’s pretty unbelievable. I am so happy I was able to fight through it and find some inside strength. I didn’t tell anyone I was unwell because I didn’t want it to affect me mentally. 4 – 4 this weekend is absolutely amazing after the struggle, so I am just very thankful to the team who have stuck behind me through my hardest times, so I can not thank them enough. It has given me a lot of motivation going into the next races.”
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten
Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:13.822
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:01.081
Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:53.919
Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +1:00.314
Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), +1:03.786
Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +1:05.635
Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +1:06.887
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +1:07.631
Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +1:13.322
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +1:20.698.
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten
Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:11.454
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:24.305
Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:53.333
Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:57.384
Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:58.712
Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), +1:18.314
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:18.657
Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:25.075
Brian Bogers (NED, Honda), +1:31.843
Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +1:36.522.
MXGP Overall Top Ten
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 50 points
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 44
Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 40
Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 36
Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), 31
Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 28
Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KAW), 26
Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 24
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 21
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 20
MXGP Championship Top Ten
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 191 points
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 175
Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 142
Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 120
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 113
Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 112
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 98
Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 88
Julien Lieber (BEL, KAW), 79
Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 71
Even though the MXGP class hosted many of the fan favorites the atmosphere for the MX2 races was just as electric. MX2 racing started off with Jorge Prado taking his 4th Fox Holeshot of the year and leading Darian Sanayei. Prado’s rookie teammate Tom Vialle was 3rd followed by Iker Larranaga and Jago Geerts.
Thomas Kjer Olsen was in 5th position before he fell on the first laps then and had work his way back into the lead group. Sanayei faded quickly as he continues his battle with Epstein Barr virus.
Henry Jacobi got past Larranaga in the first half of the race and the Spaniard continued to lose spots as the action went on including one to Olsen who then took back the 5th position he fell out of earlier from Mitch Evans.
Prado was long gone in the lead and took the race win by over 12 seconds while Geerts made a last lap pass into second for the second weekend in a row. Vialle came across the checkers in 3rd followed by Jacobi, Olsen, and Evans.
MX2 Race 2 was off to another picture-perfect Prado performance with the Fox Holeshot, now his 5th of 2019, and 19 laps in the lead. The racing behind Prado was intense though after a first turn pileup.
Vialle again was 2nd at the start of the race and had Jacobi along with BUD Racing Kawasaki’s Brian Moreau right in tow. Geerts was in 6th at the beginning but passed Olsen and got into 4th a few laps in.
Henry Jacobi made a mistake and dropped from 3rd to 6th which put Geerts in the position to pass Vialle we he did at the halfway point. Olsen also made it by the young Frenchman to get into 3rd. Ben Watson got into 4th then put a last lap pass on Olsen to finish 3rd.
Prado’s domination was impressive taking the Qualifying win yesterday, the two race wins today and the overall, all by substantial margin. Geerts’ 2-2 put him on the podium for the second round in a row while Vialle’s 3-6 took the final podium position, his second this season as well.
“Three years racing in MX2 here and three victories: there must be something at this track for me! I felt comfortable and we have been training hard after the time-off with the injury and a bit more riding time. I was happy coming here. The qualification heat gave me confidence and two very good starts today was really important on this track because it is tough to pass. Good riding and a good result. I’ll just try to keep on doing what I’m doing and avoid the mistakes.”
“It was a really good weekend for me, I had top five starts so that was a really positive and the riding was good, I felt good on track all weekend and ended up second overall. I’m really up with the results…I’ve been working hard at getting better on hard pack tracks.”
“A second podium in four GPs is unbelievable. When they called me to come in after the finish line I thought they had made a mistake! I was a bit disappointed a few moments before because I thought I’d lost it. I was so happy to learn I was third and was actually happy with my riding the whole weekend considering this was my first visit to this circuit. I love trying new tracks and new ground and it played into my favour today.”
Thomas Kjer-Olsen – P5
“It’s not been the perfect weekend here, but I’m still leading the MX2 championship and I think I showed some good speed. Everyone knows this track is really difficult to pass on and I experienced that in the first moto. The second race was better, but after running third for so many laps it’s tough not getting a top three result. But finishing 5-4 gives me good championship points. I’ll keep working hard during the weeks off to be 100% ready for the next GP.”
Finishing 12th overall Jed Beaton placed just outside the top 10 in each moto in 12th and 13th following less than perfect starts.
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 35:17.013
Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:12.125
Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:14.130
Henry Jacobi (GER, Kawasaki), +0:31.658
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:33.302
Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:38.284
Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:39.054
Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:44.903
Michele Cervellin (ITA, Yamaha), +0:47.005
Bas Vaessen (NED, KTM), +0:50.563
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 34:49.733
Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:02.862
Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:06.293
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:09.387
Henry Jacobi (GER, Kawasaki), +0:19.496
Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:21.773
Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:33.318
Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:37.485
Brent Van doninck (BEL, Honda), +0:38.333
Davy Pootjes (NED, Husqvarna), +0:47.400.
MX2 Overall Top Ten
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 50 points
Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 44
Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 35
Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 34
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 34
Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 34
Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 29
Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 26
Bas Vaessen (NED, KTM), 21
Michele Cervellin (ITA, YAM), 21 p.
…12. Jed Beaton 17 p
MX2 Championship Top Ten
Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 170 points
Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 150
Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 147
Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 129
Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 125
Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 121
Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 107
Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 89
Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 89
Davy Pootjes (NED, HUS), 76
…13. Jed Beaton 54
EMX250 Race 1 on Saturday started in dramatic fashion as riders piled up in both the first and second turn. Kevin Horgmocame away unscathed and held the lead early but Stephen Rubini moved to the premiere positionin the second lap.
Rubini led the way while the championship leader, Alberto Forato, was back in around 4th. Forato made passes on both Pierre Goupillon and Horgmo to get into 2nd.
Horgmo fought the Italian back and led the next lap across the finish but then returned to 3rd another lap later. Forato was in pursuit of the lead and Rubini until the Frenchman lost the lead on his own accord.
Forato graciously accepted the gifted lead and never looked back taking the win by 11.6 seconds over Rubini. Horgmo took 3rd while Goupillon and Giuseppe Tropepe rounded out the top 5.
Sunday’s race 2 was led by Rubini after the start but he had Forato making quick passes behind him to apply pressure from 2nd. On the 2nd official lap Rubini was passed down the Pit Lane straight parallel to the start by Forato to the home crowd’s cheers but Forato then fell handing Rubini the lead straight back.
Forato got back up and immediately went back to work seemingly unphased taking the lead role back by the next time across the finish. Goupillon was watching the battle for the lead from slightly further behind in before eventually getting passed by Tropepe for 3rd position.
At the finish Forato carried on his dominant and perfect season with his 4th race win in 4 races and second overall. Rubini finish both second in the race and 2nd overall while Tropepe took the final podium spot.
“For sure I feel very good because the home GP is always fun. Here there is a lot of fans and a lot of friends came too. I got 1st and 1st so it couldn’t be any better.”
EMX250 Overall Top Ten
Alberto Forato (ITA, HUS), 50 points
Stephen Rubini (FRA, HON), 44
Giuseppe Tropepe (ITA, YAM), 36
Pierre Goupillon (FRA, HON), 33
Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 31
Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KTM), 31
Karlis Sabulis (LAT, KTM), 28
Ruben Fernandez (ESP, YAM), 28
Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 28
Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 18
EMX250 Championship Top Ten
Alberto Forato (ITA, HUS), 100 points
Stephen Rubini (FRA, HON), 80
Pierre Goupillon (FRA, HON), 67
Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 63
Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 59
Ruben Fernandez (ESP, YAM), 57
Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KTM), 53
Giuseppe Tropepe (ITA, YAM), 51
Karlis Sabulis (LAT, KTM), 50
Josh Gilbert (GBR, HON), 33
EMX125 was clear cut with Mattia Guadagnini leading every single one of the 15 laps. Guillem Farres Plaza was the closest to Guadagnini as he ran in 2nd for the first 7 laps.
Tom Guyon was the man on a mission however as he came from 7th to take over Plaza’s 2nd position at the halfway point. Kay de Wolf was third until Guyon passed him on the way to 2nd.
When the checkered flag went out Guadagnini was the winner followed by Guyon, Plaza, De Wolf, and Jorgen-Matthias Talviku.
Sunday saw the sound of two strokes brought life to the circuit for race 2 as the first event on track. The earlier winner, Guadagnini was off to another dominant performance, leading the first laps of race 2 ahead of De Wolf and Simon Laengenfelder.
Laengenfelder got up to 2nd position with De Wolf dropping to third ahead of Guyon who went past both the next lap. Just as quickly as the #516 WZ-Racing machine slotted into 2nd it was shuffled back to 4th before returning to 3rd another lap later.
For the final 6 laps each of the rider in the top seven held their positions meaning that Guadagnini scored the overall with 1-1 finishes and he extended his points lead in front of the home fans. Guyon and De Wolf meanwhile rounded out the podium going 2-2 and 3-3 respectively.
“It was a perfect weekend, I had two good starts and then took the lead in the first lap. I had a good feeling on the bike and the track plus there are a lot of friends here and to win in Italy is something special, it was so good!”
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