Jed Beaton shows promising start in Loket to qualify 18th
Hunter Lawrence qualifies 16th on return from injury
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass came across the finish line in first every one of the 13 laps. Jonass’ good start allowed him to focus and gap the competition by 11.5 seconds.
While Jonass led, his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Teammate Jorge Prado Garcia was right in tow and fending off the relentless Rockstar Energy Husqvar Factory Racing rider, Thomas Covington.
The American, Covington wasn’t alone either at first it was his fellow countryman, Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Darian Sanayei.
In his first race back since Ottobiano, Sanayei had a strong performance even after being passed by Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team’s Benoit Paturel.
Across the finish and past the checkered it was Prado who withstood the charges of Covington to finish 2nd followed by the American, Paturel, and Sanayei.
LRT KTM’s Julien Lieber was initially battling in the top three but made a mistake and went off track and he finished 15th.
Hunter Lawrence is making his return from injury after missing the last two rounds and despite his lack of race-fitness, the Australian put on a good display in today’s qualification race.
“It was only my third day back on the bike after my back injury and it went alright. I took practice and timed qualifying slowly, bit by bit, lap by lap and ended up 13th which I was quite happy with really. After just two days of riding on Wednesday and Thursday, I was honestly thinking not to race as I felt so slow and out of race shape. However I’m glad I’m here and my back feels fine. In the qualifying race we got caught up in the circus of the first turn with riders going left, right and centre and crashing. That made it difficult of course and I think I came from around 30th to 14th so we only lost one position from qualifying to race day. Definitely some positives to take out of it and I hope that tomorrow I can get some more feeling back and race a bit more like I was before the injury.”
Jed Beaton made his debut today for HRC on the CRF250RW in Loket and had a strong finish in his first MX2 race inside the top 20.
After a poor start, Beaton found himself in 26th place in the first lap. The Aussie wasn’t deterred by this though and fought his way through the pack to take an 18th place finish in qualifying.
“Qualifying wasn’t too bad for me today. Timed practice was pretty good for me, I was sitting in 10th until the last five minutes so I was happy with that. I was a bit off the game on the start of the qualifying race and wasn’t expecting the gate to drop that early so I missed it. I managed to come back to 18th so it wasn’t so bad. I know what i have to work on for tomorrow, so hopefully I can improve. I feel really comfortable on the bike so it is easier to go a lot faster. Tomorrow my focus is to get a good start, get some clean laps and keep it consistent.”
Roger Harvey HRC General Manager
“Jed rode very well today considering this is his first experience In an MX2 race, at a new track, with a new bike. He knows that he had a weak start today but that can be worked on so I am really looking forward to seeing what he can do tomorrow.”
The winner of the last 2 GPs, Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer suffered a bad start in outside the top 20, then made a mistake dropping him even further to 31st before coming back to finish in the 21st position.
MX2 Qualifying – Loket 2017
- JONASS Pauls LAT Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
- PRADO GARCIA Jorge SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +11.51
- COVINGTON Thomas USA Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +13.18
- PATUREL Benoit FRA Kemea Yamaha Yamalube Racing Team +21.03
- SANAYEI Darian USA Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki +26.19
- MEWSE Conrad GBR Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +27.79
- BOGERS Brian NDL HSF Logistics Motorsport Team +28.79
- WATSON Ben GBR Hitachi Construction Machinery KTM UK +33.16
- VAESSEN Bas NDL Team Suzuki World MX2 +37.87
- VLAANDEREN Calvin NDL HSF Logistics Motorsport Team +40.59
- KJER OLSEN Thomas DEN Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing +42.20
- HSU Brian GER Husqvarna Maurer-gep Racing Team +43.45
- HERBRETEAU David FRA F&H Racing Team +44.83
- LAWRENCE Hunter AUS Team Suzuki World MX2 +45.44
- LIEBER Julien BEL LRT KTM +46.69
- JACOBI Henry GER STC Racing +49.36
- LARRANAGA OLANO Iker SPA Husqvarna 8Biano Racing +50.72
- BEATON Jed AUS Team HRC +54.45
- TROPEPE Giuseppe ITA Husqvarna 8Biano Racing +58.78
- MONTICELLI Ivo ITA Marchetti Racing Team KTM +59.84
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli started qualifying strong, nearly grabbing the holeshot but was just beat out by Team HRC’s Tim Gajser. With Gajser in the lead Cairoli latched on but was surprisingly passes by last years overall winner, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl.
While Cairoli and Nagl battled Gajser pulled a slight gap over the pair. Behind the top three was the other Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders, Glenn Coldenhoff and Jeffrey Herlings. Coldenhoff started the in 5th but moved into fourth after Suzuki World MXGP’s Arminas Jasikonis fell out of the position. Jasikonis would remount but only make it back to 18th.
Herlings didn’t have quite the start as Coldenhoff but made up for it with a late charge. Herlings managed to pass for three positions in the last three laps first on Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team’s Romain Febvre, then Rockstar Energy Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin, and finally Coldenhoff for 4th.
Back at the front Cairoli found a way around Nagl on lap 7 and quickly closed on Gajser. Gajser eventually left the door open and Cairoli took the lead on lap 9 which he would grow to over 5 second by the finish 5 laps later. Cairoli in the press conference said : “ Today was better than years before there were more berms and you could make some different lines. It’s nice to have a good start and it’s also really important on this track. We are starting to the look at the championship so it is really important to get good points and we know it is not always possible to win, but will try to take as many points as possible tomorrow.”
Team Suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos is back in action after suffering some injuries recently. The injuries however didn’t show as he had a strong start and finished 10th. Strijbos in the press conference said: “It was not easy but I got a good start in the qualifying race, I was in 6th and ended in the top ten. I like the track every time I come here, hopefully I will have a good race and get in the top 10 or even the top 5 tomorrow.”
MXGP Qualifying Race Top Ten
- Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 25:12.952
- Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:05.438
- Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:07.923
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:09.109
- Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:10.399
- Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:11.225
- Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:15.774
- Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:16.817
- Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:25.360
- Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:28.882