The MXGP of the Czech Republic made its returned in the Motocross World Championship over the weekend, with KTM proving the front-runners, with Jorde Prado and Mattia Guadagnini claiming the class victories in MXGP and MX2 respectively.
Aussie Jed Beaton finished fourth overall in MX2, while Wilson Todd was tenth, both in the MX2 class. The result leaves Beaton sixth in the MX2 standings, with Todd 12th.
MXGP Race 1
In the opening MXGP race, it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado who took his fourth Fox Holeshot of the season and led the race ahead of Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Watson and Glenn Coldenhoff, who were ahead of Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre.
Meanwhile Ivo Monticelli from Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team had a shocker of a start, as he hit the start gate and took a while to get going.
Throughout the race, Prado and Gajser kept things closed and remained within one a half seconds of one another, while Watson was having a great ride in third ahead of his teammates.
As the race progressed though, Watson was coming under immense pressure from the guys behind him, as he lost on positions to Coldenhoff, Febvre, Seewer and Antonio Cairoli of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing who passed the Brit on lap nine.
Watson then lost another position to Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass who was fighting his way well inside the top ten, though a couple of laps later, the Latvian had a bike problem which forced him to DNF the race.
With a couple of laps to go, Gajser was starting to push more to take the win from the #61 of Prado, though it was not enough as the Spaniard secured the race win ahead of the Honda rider, with Febvre finishing third ahead of Coldenhoff and Seewer.
MXGP Race 2
As the gate dropped for race two, it was once again Prado who led the way with another Fox Holeshot under his belt. Though his teammate, Cairoli wasted no time to take away the lead and get himself in front.
The two factory KTM’s were followed by Seewer, Coldenhoff and Gajser, as Monticelli had a much better start in the race and was running in sixth place.
Gajser then muscled past Coldenhoff for fourth position and then started to apply the pressure onto Seewer who managed to catch onto the back of Prado.
Three laps later after getting into fourth place, Gajser crashed out and had to head into pitlane to fix the clutch lever that was jammed in his hand guard. The Slovenian re-joined the race way down the order in around 30th and had a long way to go to get back up to 15th where he finished the race.
Seewer then took second from Prado as Cairoli continued to lead, all while SS24 KTM rider Shaun Simpson was having a mega ride in sixth position.
Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing’s Calvin Vlaanderen was searching for a way around Simpson, though made a small mistake which sent him over the bars with just a few laps left to go. He didn’t finish the race.
Febvre was looking good as he got Alessandro Lupino of MRT Racing Team KTM for eighth and set his sights on higher positions, though not long after crashed out and finished the race in 10th.
In the end, it was Cairoli who secured his third race win of the season, with Seewer second, Prado third with Coldenhoff and Monticelli rounding out the top five.
In terms of the podium, it was Jorge Prado who won the overall Grand Prix, with Antonio Cairoli second on the box, continuing his podium streak, with Jeremy Seewer getting his first podium finish of the season.
While Gajser lost valuable points today, he still leads the championship by 11 points ahead of Cairoli and Prado, as the pair move up the rankings.
“I gave everything I had. So, it was a great weekend. You know I am getting every weekend better and better. This second race was very rough for me, just physically was tough. You know just to hold on to the bike was difficult, so I just did my best, tried to ride it smoothly and not make any mistakes, which was very difficult on a track like this. But you know, first win of the season, first race win of the season as well. I can’t ask for more. It was not the start of the season that I expected, I expected to be better, I had small things that I needed to put together but it’s nothing too crazy and we are working on it, so I think we’re heading in the right direction as you can see this weekend, next one is Lommel, good memories, so let’s go forward.”
“Overall, I am happy about everything, because my goal is to finish on the podium every weekend. I messed up in Russia, this is something I still regret a little bit. I struggled a lot with the track as always in Loket. The start is so important and in the first race I was eighth or ninth in the start, then I tried to make some passes and it was difficult as Jeremy and Glenn were also really fast. I finished sixth which is for sure not what I want, but it’s racing and this year I’m feeling really good and I’m enjoying the racing, looking forward to the next one, looking to keep consistent on the podium. I don’t look at the championship, it’s not my thing at the moment, I just want to take it race by race, and enjoy the training as I changed my schedule a little, in the past I used to ride a lot, now I ride one time a week and race, it’s working well and I’m enjoying it. Of course, Lommel is tough, we will struggle physically but I really enjoy it when it’s rough.”
“The start to my season wasn’t at all what I expected, just before we started, I was in good shape and stuff but I tested positive for COVID, so it was tight for Russia to make it and that explains my results. But I am happy to be back, I started to feel better already but last weekend was just a bit off, in the start of the second race, luckily, I wasn’t hurt as a few riders ran me over which is fine. I’m really happy to be back on the podium, especially that second race, good start and made a key pass on Jorge, I just used his small mistake to catch him and rode to second without a problem. Lommel is like a home GP for us all, as most of the GP riders live around there, so I’m looking forward to that, it always gets rough and it’s exciting to race there.”
“I’m okay. The first race was good, I was quite happy with it. The second race, I had a good start and made some quick passes in the beginning and then the third or fourth lap I just landed, and the bike went sideways so I had a big one. Obviously, some bad luck because my clutch lever went into the hand guard so I couldn’t really use the clutch and had to go to pitlane. In the end I re-joined the race but managed to save some points as I came back to fifteenth. Obviously, I’m disappointed but that’s how it is, and it happens so we move forward. Last year changed a lot. Obviously before when we went to Lommel I wasn’t so great there but in the last two years we put in a lot of work in the sand to improve myself a little bit and I’m looking forward to going there. Of course, I don’t train there at all but I like the track and I will do my best.”
In the first MX2 race, it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Mattia Guadagnini who took the Fox Holeshot ahead of Bike it MTX Kawasaki rider Wilson Todd and Tom Vialle of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jed Beaton and Kay De Wolf had a good start in the race, as they were running fourth and sixth, with Honda 114 Motorsports Ruben Fernandez in between the pair.
Beaton was eventually able to get around Todd for third, while the championship leader, Maxime Renaux of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing was struggling down in 17th.
De Wolf then caught onto the back of Todd as he went after top positions and by lap, the youngster was ahead of the Aussie.
Renaux then managed to fight his way inside the top 10, as he went after his teammate Thibault Benistant of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing, with F&H Kawasaki Racing’s Roan Van De Moosdijk lurking in the background.
Guadagnini continued to lead the race, as Vialle closed in ever so slightly with the pair keeping a healthy two to three second gap throughout the race.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jago Geerts didn’t have the best opening race, as he struggled outside the top 10, to eventually finish the race in 12th.
In the end it was Guadagnini who managed to keep Vialle at bay to win the race, while Vialle secured a positive result after his injury struggles to finish second ahead of Beaton, Fernandez and Renaux, with De Wolf dropping to sixth. Australia’s Wilson Todd was seventh.
MX2 Race 2
In the second race, it was Benistant who grabbed the second Fox Holeshot ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Rene Hofer, Renaux, Guadagnini, Geerts and Fernandez.
Meanwhile Vialle and other riders, got caught up in a crash on the start, with the Frenchman carrying on for eight laps before crashing once again and retiring from the race.
Also having a tough start were Beaton and De Wolf as they sat down in 10th and 13th, eventually managing to get up to 8th and 9th by the end of the race – not the result they were probably hoping for after the success of race one.
Benistant continued to lead, as Guadagnini edged closer to Hofer for third, while F&H Kawasaki Racing’s Mathys Boisrame stole a position from Beaton.
As Renaux chased down his teammate for the win, he tucked the front of the factory Yamaha and ended up crashing, losing around six seconds as a result, but managing to keep his second-place position.
Geerts was looking to make up for the tough first race as he chased Fernandez fifth and eventually was able to pass him to move up a spot, while Van de Moosdijk also sensed his opportunity to do the same as he took sixth from the Spaniard, and his teammate, Boisrame did the same a lap or so later.
Guadagnini then went down and lost out a position to Geerts which worked in Renaux’s favour for the championship, as Geerts continued his climb to the top with a pass on Hofer for third, making it a Factory Yamaha 1-2-3.
In the end, Benistant was the race winner with Renaux second and Geerts third. Hofer place fourth, ahead of Guadagnini. Jed Beaton was eighth, while Wilson Todd was 11th.
Mattia Guadagnini went on to take his second overall win of the season, with Maxime Renaux finishing second and Thibault Benistant securing his first MX2 podium, as he took to the third step of the podium.
Renaux continues to lead the championship by just two points over Guadagnini who is second, while Fernandez is third. Jed Beaton is now sixth, with Wilson Todd 12th.
“The first victory is always the first, more emotional and a bit different but I’m so happy to be back on the top of the box. Today went really well, I did not have the best qualifying ride, but I got the holeshot in the first race and a win. It was not easy but for sure when you’re up front you can ride alone and nobody in front. So, I just managed to take the win and it was good. Then second race I had a good start again but then I was fourth and tried to push up again to pass Rene, then I had a small crash that cost me not so much time but I lost fourth position, I was fifth and then just managed to finish fifth and it was enough to take the overall, looking forward to Lommel. Yeah, Lommel is not my favourite track, but I had some good memories. I can ride good in sand, not like last week, but normally yes. I am looking forward to race there and hope to be back on the podium for sure and try to be at my best as always.”
“Yeah, like you said, two different races. The first one, I was really happy with my riding and also the flow on the track. Got a really bad start around twentieth place and then I fought my way through the pack, and it was enough to get fifth place. It was not the best result, but I was happy with the riding. The second race I got a good start in third, and then I passed to second and tried to follow Thibault, maybe make a late charge in the race but then I lost the front and had a crash.I just made a lonely race after that, I saw Mattia crashed also, so I had some space let’s say and I did not push too hard. So, second was really good and also second overall and red plate, so that was a good day overall. It’s always nice to have the red plate on the bike. Actually, I don’t have any pressure on that, I just enjoy the colour and the bike and that’s it. So yeah, I hope to keep it as long as possible.”
“It is my first podium in MX2, so I am really proud about this, about the second race with the holeshot and to keep the lead until the end. First race, I was not feeling so good and started a little more difficult, so I did not push so much and in between the races, we changed a little bit on the bike, so the second race I was feeling really good and I was able to keep the first place. Yeah, for the moment it is quite okay [the rookie season], I still need to take some experience and be more in the front on the start let’s say. Because until now I did one race on and one race off, so I need to improve on this and I hope we will continue like this.”
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