The sun shone down on the Uddevalla circuit for Round 16 of the MXGP championship, with Jorge Prado laying claim to the MX2 championship in front of a large Swedish crowd.
It wasn’t all Prado’s day however, with Tom Vialle taking the round win, his first in the MX2 class on the back of a 2-2 result, while Calvin Vlaanderen was second for the round, with Prado third, still on the podium. Aussie Mitchell Evans finished 11th in Race 1, improving to seventh in Race 2, while New Zealand’s Dylan Walsh went 10-9.
Glenn Coldenhoff won his second GP of the season in MXGP ahead of Tim Gajser and Pauls Jonass.
MXGP Race 1
Jeffrey Herlings marked his return not only with a pole position from Saturday’s qualifying, he took the FOX Holeshot and led the opening MXGP race from Glenn Coldenhoff, Pauls Jonass and Romain Febvre. Gajser was quickly into second place after passing Coldenhoff while Jeremy Seewer slipped over in the first lap.
Gajser was all over Herlings, but the Dutchman remained calm and in the lead at this debut after a few weeks off the bike. Gajser went down in a corner and dropped back to fourth place giving Herlings a major lead. After two laps the lead was more than two seconds as Coldenhoff and Febvre battled for second place.
Herlings held the control of the race, but wasn’t getting far away from Coldenhoff while Febvre and Gajser closed in on the Dutch riders while Jonass remained in fifth place. Coldenhoff moved into the lead on lap 10 after Herlings’ mistake and Febvre was also all over Herlings. Febvre and Gajser both went past Herlings, who started to really struggle with arm-pump.
After 12 laps Coldenhoff continued to lead followed by Febvre, Gajser, Jonass, and Herlings in fifth place found himself fighting with Arnaud Tonus for fifth when suddenly Herlings crashed and Tonus ran into him and both went down. Herlings got going again, although Tonus was done for the race as his bike started blowing smoke. Herlings decided to retire from the race.
Coldenhoff and Febvre battled side by side in the last laps but Coldenhoff managed to hang on and he won his third race of the season ahead of Febvre and Gajser.
MXGP Race 2
The second MXGP gate dropped and Febvre took the FOX holeshot followed by Gajser, Tonus, Seewer, Jonass, Tommy Searle, Gautier Paulin, Herlings and Coldenhoff.
Febvre and Gajser were pushing hard to ensure the lead as the French held only a bunch of seconds lead over the Slovenian after five laps while back in the leading pack Seewer and Coldenhoff battled for fifth place. Finally, on lap nine Coldenhoff moved past Seewer while Gajser was still looking for a way past Febvre.
Gajser went for a wild pass on Febvre, but the Frenchman managed to remain in the lead. In the meantime Herlings managed to reach the sixth position after a start in 8th as Tonus dropped back in the field in seventh. On lap 13 Gajser eventually moved into the lead followed by Jonass, Coldenhoff and Seewer.
JWR Yamaha rider Kevin Strijbos moved into 10th place in the late stages of the race and Herlings was closing up on Seewer for fifth position. Febvre crashed down hard and was forced to a DNF; Febvre has been taken to the hospital for further examinations.
Coldenhoff was all over Jonass in the last lap and was fighting hard for the overall victory. Coldenhoff went through Jonass ensuring a second GP win of the season while Gajser won his 16th race of the season from Coldenhoff and Jonass.
Glenn Coldenhoff won the MXGP of Sweden ahead of Tim Gajser and Pauls Jonass.
Glenn Coldenhoff – P1
“It was a tough weekend but I’m very satisfied. Jeffrey was in front of me in the beginning of the first race, and it is really difficult and Febvre was close at the end and I got a little nervous, but I kept it on for the win. I’m very happy about my riding now”
Tim Gajser – P2
“Overall I was quite happy with the weekend. In the first moto I had a solid start and was in second place, but then I made a mistake and two guys passed me. It was really difficult to pass them back but I was able to finish in third. The second moto went a lot better, with another good start putting me in second once again. My riding was good and I was feeling comfortable but I didn’t want to pass him too early in the race because I saw that we had a good pace and I didn’t want to give him any lines. Then with five laps from the end, I made a push to pass him and I made it happen, immediately pulling out a gap. I could then see the battle behind and I could see the battle for second, so I knew when Glenn passed Pauls that I would finish second overall. Still, it was a good performance and I’m happy with the day.”
Pauls Jonass – P3
“I’m really happy with my performance today – it feels great to be back on the podium again. It makes all the hard work by myself and the whole of the team worth it and it shows we are definitely making progress, which was the goal this season. My starts were better this weekend, which helps a lot at this track, and I was then able to keep a good pace and stay with the top guys. The bike was great all weekend – we were able to make some changes to the suspension settings, which helped a lot here in Sweden. There was a lot of Latvian fans here this weekend and they made it feel like a home race for me, so thanks to them and I’m glad I was able to give them a good result.”
Jeremy Seewer – P4
“This weekend I am taking away a lot of positives, but also a lot of negatives. I am extremely happy to come out of this weekend alive because I felt like the track was really sketchy. I didn’t feel good on the track, I felt quite far off from my level, although I did feel better in the races today even though I crashed twice in the warm-up trying to find the limit. I got two good starts, I crashed in the middle of a Yamaha sandwich in the first race and came back to seventh, which for me was a good finish, especially on this kind of track. In the second race, I got another good start but I immediately felt uncomfortable on the sketchy track, so I just rode smart with no mistakes, playing with the bumps and took absolutely no risk. I did not even know where I finished because so many guys crashed. So, I am just happy to finish safely.”
Gautier Paulin – P6
“The rain coming into this weekend was good for the track. The track was nice and my bike was working good. I had a really good start in the first race, but then I stalled the bike in front of the pit lane and that cost me a few places. The second moto was a bit harder. My start was not as good and I struggled to make some passes and move forward, so I finished around eighth, I think. Anyway, we keep moving forward.”
Arnaud Tonus – P7
“It was a tough day. First race was going alright but I had bad luck with Jeffrey (Herlings) crashing in front of me, and my bike got stuck there. That was a shame. I only finished 12th. In the second race I rode really good the whole moto and crashed at the end and that was also a shame. Another tough weekend. There has been a few in a row now but all I can do is learn from it and come back next weekend.”
“The problem was that I took the holeshot! Yesterday [leading] was fine for twenty minutes but in the first moto I was really struggling with arm-pump. We made some changes to the bike to have the suspension a bit softer because I was not at my normal pace. I led for the first twenty and then couldn’t hold on so well and had a small tip-over. Another rider hit my bike and damaged it pretty bad so I couldn’t finish, which was a shame because I think I could have been fifth-sixth. In the second moto I didn’t get a holeshot: which was pretty good because I don’t feel comfortable leading yet. I was around 8th and worked my way up to 4th. Together with 1st yesterday it hasn’t been bad practice for less than two weeks on the bike. We can still work for a few more races until the ultimate goal in Assen.”
Arminas Jasikonis – P12
“It was a really tough day for me here in Sweden. Qualifying went okay and the bike felt good, I was just suffering with my stomach a little and didn’t have the strength to push any harder. It’s a shame because there were a lot of Lithuanian fans here today to support me. There’s two weeks now till the next round, so I hope to come back stronger in Turkey.”
Jorge Prado led the field into the first lap of the opening MX2 race but it was team-mate Tom Vialle who took the FOX Holeshot. Behind the two KTM riders were Henry Jacobi, Calvin Vlaanderen, and Dylan Walsh in fifth. Prado quickly pulled away from the pack and Vialle made a gap between himself and Jacobi.
Sanayei nearly crashed and let Vlaanderen go past after the South African rider had lost a few places. Jago Geerts and Thomas Kjer Olsen did not have fantastic starts as they were in 13th and 14th respectively.
Two laps in and the lead was just a second and a half as Vialle tried to keep his team-mate in sight. Third was Jacobi, then Walsh and Vlaanderen while Sterry was riding comfortable and moved into sixth place and Vlaanderen was back into fourth spot after passing Walsh.
After six laps Prado continued to lead Vialle by a little less than two seconds, as Sterry and Maxime Renaux passed Walsh, dropping the New Zealander to seventh place. Geerts went down and dropped back to 16th place.
Jorge Prado won the first race at the MXGP of Sweden ahead of Vialle and Jacobi and it was enough to ensure his back-to-back title in MX2 with other two rounds left. Jorge Prado had his greatest career results in 2019 as the Spaniard has in his pockets 12 pole positions, 470 laps led, 27 race win and 14 GP win out of 16 rounds at only 18 years old.
MX2 Race 2
After a long celebration on Prado’s second title, the gate dropped for MX2 race 2 and Vialle took the second FOX Holeshot of the day while Darian Sanayei led the race from Sterry, Vialle, Prado, and Jacobi.
Vialle then moved into the lead in the opening lap, and Prado was just as quickly into third place. After a lap Vialle lead the top five followed by, Sterry, Prado, Sanayei and Vlaanderen but Prado made a mistake and fell in a corner and dropped back to sixth position.
Two laps in and Vialle held a two-second lead over Sterry, with Prado dropping back to eight position as he struggled with the clutch. Vlaanderen moved into third place and Jacobi seemingly picked up an injury out of the race twisting his knee.
After four laps Vialle led by two seconds from Sterry, then came Vlaanderen, Sanayei, Walsh, Geerts, Prado, Renaux, Olsen and Evans into the top ten.
Geerts crashed and dropped a bunch of places on lap five and found himself in 11th place while Prado moved up to sixth. On lap nine Sterry and Vlaanderen moved closer to Vialle and the top three battled hard for the race win. Prado moved into fourth place and was 20 seconds off Vialle.
Vlaanderen moved past Sterry and Vialle turned up the heat and moved to five seconds away from the South African. Vlaanderen moved into the lead as Vialle made a mistake and dropped to second.
Vlaanderen won his first MX2 race of the season from Vialle and Sterry while Tom Vialle ensured his first GP win in MX2 with his 2-2 results. Calvin Vlaanderen was second overall with 4-1 and third was 2019 MX2 Champion Jorge Prado with a 1-4.
Tom Vialle – P1
“A fantastic weekend for us – both for me and for Jorge. I felt good in the first race and pushed a lot to follow Jorge and when I took the holeshot in the second race I waited until three laps before I looked behind and Jorge wasn’t there. After Imola this was the best reply. Last weekend was really bad, for the championship standing also, and I learned a lot from my mistakes and made it better this weekend.”
Calvin Vlaanderen – P2
“It’s definitely a good weekend for me again and since my injury I think I’ve been top five in every single overall so that’s quite cool too. Also at the beginning of the season I was tied-third a couple of times so I think I’ve had a really consistent season, if not for the injury. Today was good day though, even if I was struggling a bit in the first moto. I felt much more comfortable yesterday in the qualification race whereas today in race one I was fighting the track. The second moto I felt better and I passed a couple of guys in the first lap to move into third which made things easier. Then the two guys in front made mistakes which I was able to capitalise upon and take another moto win. Now I want to keep this form going and finish off these last two rounds at the same high standard.”
Jorge Prado – 2019 MX2 World Champion
“It has been a perfect season. I won every GP I raced up until now and many motos and many qualifying races. I was feeling very good this year with the bike set-up and physically. My start was OK in the second moto but then I made a small crash and bent the clutch lever. I had to deal with a race without a clutch and passing riders was tough in the beginning. I had to get used to it. I got better and better and at the end of the moto I made very good laps. I was so close to getting Adam on the last lap. I think it was one of the best races of the year and I felt very comfortable in that second moto. I liked the track a lot and it was prepped very well this weekend. Overall I think I made a clear step from last year to this year: I was riding better. I’m very happy. No mistakes. It’s important to be like that and to keep consistent in a long championship.”
Adam Sterry – P4
“I’m a little frustrated to again just miss the podium and to finish fourth in the GP but I was really happy with my riding. Particularly in the second race I had good lines and was riding very easy in second position behind Vialle; maybe it felt too easy as I made a small mistake when I didn’t see a rut in the shadows. I went down and after that I was too far back to catch Vialle and take a podium; that was my mistake. I’m disappointed but I was happy with my speed and my riding and there are still two more GPs to get that elusive podium.”
Thomas Kjer Olsen – P6
“It’s been a tough weekend here in Sweden. Qualifying didn’t go so well – I didn’t get a good jump out the gate and was on the back foot for the rest of the race. I moved up into the top 10 but then had a really odd crash and hurt myself pretty bad. My gate pick for Sunday wasn’t good and I was a little sore from the crash, but I was still really motivated for Sunday’s races. My start wasn’t too bad in the first moto, but I still had to work really hard to make up places and the Swedish track was really tricky to pass on. I got eighth at the finish but that just made me even more determined for the second race. I got a better start in moto two and absolutely gave it my all out there. My pace was good and the bike was working great – I did get up to sixth and was trying to chase down the two guys ahead, but they were riding well too, and I had to settle for sixth. It’s a little frustrating because I know I had the speed to do better, it just wasn’t my weekend.”
“It was a pretty good weekend for me with two solid moto’s. I got my first holeshot in the second moto, which was really nice. I made a mistake and crashed after a few laps but I managed to fight back to fifth. The most important thing is that I took back third position in the championship, and now my goal will be to defend that.”
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