Hunter Lawrence wraps up MXGP season with MX2 Podium
Jed Beaton podiums in appearance as stand-in rider with HRC
Thomas Covington takes MX2 round win
Pauls Jonass wins MX2 Championship to make it a KTM double across MXGP and MX2
MXGP 2017 – MXGP of Pays de Montbéliard
Hunter Lawrence finished off the MX2 season on a high note, taking his first ever moto win, and finishing second overall for the round at the MXGP of France. This was despite incredibly challenging conditions on track, with the Suzuki World MX2 Team member taking his RM-Z250 to fourth in the first moto, while he pulled out all the stops in moto 2 to take the win.
For Lawrence though it was a great ending to what was a very promising rookie MX2 campaign.
“I came into today really happy because I had first gate pick after winning qualifying yesterday. In the first moto it was quite wet, as a lot of rain fell so it was really muddy and slippery. It was really difficult conditions. I got a decent start though, and made some passes to come up to fifth and then fourth quite quickly. However, I couldn’t make a dent in the guys in front and finished fourth. In the second moto I went for the start, put it all in, and my RM-Z250 came out well on the inside and I held on to come out in the lead. I just then put my head down, put in my own laps and increased my lead and was really happy with how it all went. I’m really happy for the win and to end the season on a high note. I was pumped because Thomas Covington was closing in at the end because I was just trying to get it over the line at that stage. Leading a race is a whole different ball game from coming through the pack but I enjoyed it and now I get to look forward to the Motocross of Nations.”
Jed Beaton took an incredible third place overall on the new CRF250RW at the final MXGP of the season in Villars Sous Ecot. With track conditions similar to that of qualifying, the first race was a spectacle, with only the top six riders making it round the track.
Beaton was one of those riders after an excellent start meant he quickly got into fourth place and out of trouble. The Aussie tussled his Honda through the mud, staying smooth and controlled in the treacherous conditions. His consistency was rewarded as he took third place, gapping fourth by 20 seconds.
In the second race, another good start got him into the top five and he sat just inside this for the majority of the race. Then; on the last lap, Beaton passed Seewer for fourth which was enough for him to take third overall, his best result in his racing career to date.
“My Saturday went pretty good, I had a good qualifying race which meant I had a good gate pick and that helped a lot. My starts this weekend were a lot better too. I was a bit lucky with Seewer crashing on the last lap of the second race as that enabled me to get third overall. I wasn’t originally going to race in MX2 this weekend but thankfully Carglass Honda released me and allowed me to take up the opportunity and I am really grateful for that. To get third overall in my fourth ever MX2 race is a really awesome feeling, it was awesome to see the team so pumped about it and they have been so good at setting the bike up for me as I only raced it for the first time in Assen last weekend.”
MXGP 2017 – MXGP of Pays de Montbéliard
The final round of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship is complete from the Villars sous Ecot circuit in France. Thousands of French fans braved the weather to see the gladiators of MX2 race the MXGP of Pays de Montbéliard,with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass crowned the 2017 MX2 World Champion after Race 1.
When the MX2 racing started many looked to the #41 of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass as he had the chance to clinch the 2017 MX2 Championship in race 1.
However the race started out challenging for Jonass when after taking the FOX Holeshot he collided with another rider and went down. Pauls struggling to get his bike up and going again and just when he did he fell once again in the next corner.
As Jonass picked up his bike again the field was gone and it was led by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Covington and Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer.
Covington and Seewer were first followed by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen. Olsen however had a pair of falls drop him back to a 7th place finish.
Jonass meanwhile was recovering from his errors and though he only needed a 12th to win the title by the end he made his way up to 5 behind Covington, Seewer, HRC MX2’s Jed Beaton, and Team Suzuki World MX2’s Hunter Lawrence.
Race 2 started with a Fox Holeshot for Thomas Covington over HSF Motorsports Brian Bogers and the #96 of Lawrence. Lawrence passed both Bogers and Covington on the second lap to take the lead.
HRC MX2’s Jed Beaton had another good race and was 5th the first laps while Jonass again had a bad start this time spinning off of the gate. Jeremy Seewer started the race 4th but by lap 5 was second behind Lawrence but 3 laps later Covington was again finding his rhythm and made it back by Seewer. Seewer on the next to last lap fell and dropped to fifth behind Beaton as Jonass who started in 9th made his way to 3rd.
Thomas Covington finished second in the race but won the overall.
“It’s just great to end the season with overall victory in such demanding conditions. It was a perfect confidence booster for the coming season. I got the holeshot in the opening moto and that felt great. My goal was to keep it on two wheels while trying to retain a safe gap to the rest of the field. The track was rough and quite difficult to ride. A few laps before the finish I got stuck in a rut but luckily my gap was big enough to secure the moto win. In moto two I got another holeshot but quickly got passed by a couple of riders. I kept my head down and managed to make a few passes for second at the line.”
Hunter Lawrence took his first career race win and second overall.
“It was good to get the first pole position yesterday because normally my Saturdays are terrible so it was good to get that monkey off my back. I made some passes (in race 1) and then backed up my (pole position) result with a win in race 2.”
Jed Beaton took his first career podium while filling in on the HRC bike.
“I’m just thankful to be able to fill in and have the opportunity to race MX2. I got a bit lucky with Jeremy (Seewer) crashing on the last lap to get on the podium, but I’m all in all happy with this weekend and how my season went.”
Pauls took 5th overall but is the new MX2 World Champion in season that has been demanding physically and mentally he has proven to be the strongest.
“It has been my dream since I started riding to be world champion and I accomplished that in the first moto. I made it tough for myself by crashing in the second corner then got up, cleaned everything and crashed in the next corner! I started from dead last but could finish fifth for the championship. My motivation was a bit down for the second moto but I was feeling good by the end and started to ‘go’. Fifteen podiums from nineteen is a pretty good season and I’m looking forward for some holidays! I’m also happy to finish the year without injury so we can go straight into preparing for 2018 after some time off.”
Jonass came into the season after missing the end of 2016 with injury and since has matured into not only a fast rider but a consistent and smart one. Jonass reached the podium 15 of the 19 rounds in vastly different conditions around the globe and is well deserving of the World Champion title with 7 Pole Positions, 14 heat wins and 6 GP wins with the last coming at the MXGP of Czech Republic. Congrats on your title from the entire motocross community Pauls!
Coming away with a hard fought and well deserved second in the championship was Jeremy Seewer.
“We had another mud race this weekend, a really bad one for us as there was a lot of rain yesterday and today again this morning. I wasn’t feeling right with the track, with all the hills and the mud and all the ruts. I got a good start in the first moto though which really helped; Covington was a bit faster, he made no mistakes so I was happy with second place. Then in the second moto I got too much wheel-spin on the mesh which was just strange because I did exactly the same start in the first moto and didn’t get any spin. I was far back on the start-straight because of this but I made a lot of quick passes and got it back to fourth and then set about passing Covington.
I got up to second before Covington passed me back after a couple of poor laps. I kept pushing though and at the end of the race I saw an opportunity to win the GP, so I gave it everything I had to pressure him into a mistake but coming down the steep downhill my front wheel slipped away and I had a crash. I didn’t hurt myself, but the bike made a couple of flips. I thought it was worth it to try and win the GP, it just didn’t quite work out ok. A big thanks to the whole Suzuki World MX2 Team, they put in a lot of work to get me to the front of the pack each weekend and get me challenging for the title. I’m disappointed with second overall in the championship but Jonass rode great all year, so congratulations to him. I went to him after the first moto just to say to him “well done” because he did really well with the pressure and rode consistently fast the whole season long.”
Third in the 2017 MX2 title chase was the rookie, Thomas Kjer Olsen.
Thomas Kjer Olsen
“The track was very rough. In the opening moto I was racing in third place for the biggest part of the race but made a mistake and fell with eight minutes to go. Overall, it wasn’t a bad moto and I managed to secure seventh at the end. Then in moto two I didn’t get the best of jumps at the start and had to start from the back of the pack. It wasn’t my best race for the season and I finished 12th. Looking back to this season, we had some great moments. It was my first full season in the MX2 class and already I’m looking forward to 2018. We have a long winter ahead of us and my goal is to keep working to improve in all aspects of my riding and racing.”
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten
- Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), 36:11.422
- Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:08.614
- Jed Beaton (AUS, Honda), +0:20.237
- Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki), +0:53.472
- Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +2:11.199
- Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +2:16.250
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), -1 lap(s)
- Ben Watson (GBR, KTM), -1 lap(s)
- Alvin Östlund (SWE, Yamaha), -2 lap(s)
- Magne Klingsheim (NOR, Kawasaki), -2 lap(s)
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten
- Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki), 34:29.429
- Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:06.026
- Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:31.358
- Jed Beaton (AUS, Honda), +0:32.182
- Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:36.050
- Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:46.028
- Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), +0:48.764
- Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), +1:04.132
- Stephen Rubini (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:10.619
- Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), +1:14.259
MX2 Overall Top Ten
- Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 47 points
- Hunter Lawrence (AUS, SUZ), 43
- Jed Beaton (AUS, HON), 38
- Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 38
- Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 36
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 23
- Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 21
- Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 21
- Darian Sanayei (USA, KAW), 20
- Alvin Östlund (SWE, YAM), 20
MX2 Championship Top Ten
- Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 771 points
- Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 732
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 579
- Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 532
- Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 504
- Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 490
- Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 460
- Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 407
- Hunter Lawrence (AUS, SUZ), 395
- Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 309 p
- KTM, 848 points
- Suzuki, 766
- Husqvarna, 728
- Yamaha, 623
- Kawasaki, 414
- Honda, 370
- TM, 156 p