Hunter Lawrence posts career best result at German MXGP with second overall in MX2
Antonio Cairoli takes out the MXGP round thanks to his qualifying victory
The technical circuit of Teutschenthal played host to the MXGP of Germany and marked two race days which started with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli and Kemea Yamaha MX Official Team’s Benoit Paturel leading the field and winning their respective qualifying races.
The MXGP of Germany concluded with a veteran performance, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli took his 80th career GP overall keeping the red Plate for France. Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer edged out the competition with his second career MX2 overall, while Aussie teammate Hunter Lawrence took second overall thanks to his third and fourth results, a personal best.
In addition to MXGP and MX2 there was some new racing action in the form of EMX300 and the Honda 150 European Championship. In EMX300 Race 1 Brad Anderson rode smart and won with a gap of 19 seconds over last year’s champion, GL12 Racing’s Mike Kras who was followed by Erik Willems. In the Honda 150 class Race 1 victory was claimed by Italian Andrea Adamo in front of Luis Outeiro and Anton Nordstrom Graaf.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli started the qualifying session in second but he moved into the lead on lap 3 after a mistake by Gajser. Cairoli was wise in his line choices and he found a fast yet smooth way around the circuit. From the other side of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing garage Jeffrey Herlings came from 6th on lap one and passed his way all the way up to second including a pass on the final lap.
Herlings by the end of the race was only 3.1 seconds behind Cairoli and he looked like he still had plenty in the tank. With Herlings’ season starting to come together his second gate pick set him up well for Sunday. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin was looking for a good start to the weekend after his victory in Valkenswaard was followed by 5th in Latvia. Paulin had indeed a good start and he was in behind Cairoli the majority of the race but he was passed on the last lap by Herlings after a battle. All in all Paulin’s third in qualifying is a positive one and it gets him lined up for another chance at the podium.
When it comes to Yamaha riders the last week has been a little rough with Simpson out with an injury and Tonus recovering from a fall, however today the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing riders of Jeremy Van Horebeek and Romain Febvre were battling up front. Van Horebeek led the way for Febvre but not by much, at one point Febvre passed his teammate before relinquishing the spot shortly after. The two Yamaha boys finished 4th and 5th with Febvre behind Van Horebeek.
On the other end of the spectrum was the Team HRC mates of Tim Gajser and Evgeny Bobryshev. For Bobryshev his day came to an end in the Time Practice session where he crashed and fractured his collarbone. Gajser had the second fastest lap in Time Practice which he followed with a Holeshot in the Qualifying Race but on the 3rd lap he fell and later pulled out of the race. For HRC, Gajser will be their lone MXGP rider and he will race tomorrow.
For Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl this is his home GP. Nagl didn’t have the best result in qualifying race with 11th but he will look to improve for tomorrow.
Antonio Cairoli’s fight back to the top of MXGP is one he is winning, scoring his 80th victory of his career in Germany, extended his championship lead to 44 points. To start both races Cairoli took the FOX Holeshot but in the first half of race one he lost the lead after struggling to find the fast lines and he finished second.
Cairoli knew coming into race 2 if he would win the race than the overall was his and that is exactly what he did finishing nearly 6 seconds ahead of 2nd place.
“It always feels amazing to win. Last year here I did it with more technique because the track had more ruts so it was a bit slower. This year was nice, very good ground and another technical level but the speed was a bit higher. I was able to push the whole moto so I’m very happy with this GP win. I have a good feeling with this track. I’ve had some good races here and I remember well the Motocross of Nations. It is a special place for me and one of my favourite hard-packed tracks. I think the ground is a bit similar to my track at home.”
The “Bullet”, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings, came out with a bang in race 1 as he passed Cairoli early and led through to the checkered flag. Herlings season is starting to come around but one thing that plagued him early this year was his starts and in race 2 a start outside the top 5 hindered him once again. Making his way forward and into second took much longer in race 2 and Herlings was unable to close the gap Cairoli had built.
“We have been very consistent the last couple of races and I feel like there are a lot of things possible in the world championship; I am not talking about the title but maybe to get some more positions towards the podium spots. I’ll keep working and keep charging. I feel like where I want to be. The speed is so high and you need to be focussed.”
Another rider who challenged Herlings in Teutschenthal was Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin. Paulin fought for position with Herlings in both races but in race 2 put in a late charge to catch the #84 but by the end it was too little too late for Paulin. Two third place finishes placed the Frenchman back on the podium before heading to his home GP next weekend.
“Earning one more podium result is a good reward for the hard work all Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team members are putting in. Not getting a good start in moto one I had to push really hard taking some risks in the first few laps. Making some good passes I quickly found myself in third but Cairoli and Herlings had already created a small gap in the lead and it was impossible to battle with them. Then in moto two my start was a lot better. Getting a really good pace after the second half of the race I managed to get close to Herlings and we had a good battle for second. Losing a bit of time passing some lappers I ended up getting third again in moto two. I’m really happy with my speed and can’t thank all our team enough for their hard work and dedication.”
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle is becoming a consistent face in the top 5 of MXGP. Desalle had another good weekend of racing as he went 4-4, placing fourth overall and scoring 36 championship points. The number 25 is also 4th in the championship standings coming out of Germany and into France.
“I started my weekend step by step, as the track was really strange on Saturday due to the rain, and I have to say that they did a good job this weekend considering the conditions. I had good starts again this weekend and that’s very positive; in the first moto I was third but got passed by Paulin and Herlings when I made a small mistake. I came back on Paulin and I was feeling faster than him but I couldn’t overtake him, which was frustrating as a top three was possible. In the second moto I was third behind Cairoli and Paulin and had a good rhythm, a good speed and a good feeling but Herlings was really fast and passed me. I came back on Paulin again but I made another small mistake, lost my rhythm and again had to be content with fourth. The level in the MXGP is so close that we work on any small detail to make a difference, and after each race we talk with the staff to find where we can make minor changes to the settings to be back on the podium.”
Behind Desalle was the second French rider in the top 5, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre who has struggled so far this season but triumphed this weekend comparatively with 7-5 finishes. Febvre showed speed both days qualifying 5th and battling with team mate Jeremy Van Horebeek among others. Van Horebeek who is 5th in the championship standings finished 5th in race 1 and he was in the same position in race 2 until he fell picking himself up 20th and finishing 15th for 10th overall.
Team HRC rider Tim Gajser showed some serious determination and toughness fighting through pain today. The 20 year old Slovenian’s qualifying crash aggravated his already sore body. With the championship in mind Gajser pushed his way to 11th overall with 12-10 finishes.
“This has been a tough weekend. Thinking about it, it has probably been one of the toughest weekends I have ever had. I have never ridden with so much pain before. I tried to take a good start, which was not easy to do in the position I was in. Then I just tried to pass as many guys as I can to take as many points as I can. At the end of the day I am quite happy that I took 12th and 10th riding with so much pain, atleast I took some solid points. I want to be upfront so I will go home now and see my doctor and I hope I can be ready for France.”
German rider, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl, was motivated by his home GP fans and after a 10th in race 1 the hometown hero improved his start and finished 8th in race 2 for 8th overall.
Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer has struggled with mistakes the past few races but he has had the speed and today it showed as he won his second career overall, the first in Europe.
Seewer was 5th on the first lap of race 1 and he came out on a mission passing one competitor after another including his title rival in straight up racing fashion. In race 2 the Swiss rider nearly went down after landing on the back tire of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado Garcia.
“I had such a good feeling all day, I had good starts on my RM-Z250 which allowed me to fight for the win, and that’s what I did in the first moto. I had good speed and made no mistakes which allowed me to catch-up and pass Pauls Jonass despite him having quite a good lead at the beginning. In the second race I had a battle early-on in with Jorge Prado Garcia and he made it difficult and I even lost a few positions after a mistake. I fought back though and got up to fourth and that was good enough to win the GP. Hunter, being second, makes it even more amazing for the whole team and it gives everyone such a boost. It’s a long season but to have moments like this is great for everyone.”
A new Suzuki rider found his way to the podium, Seewer’s Suzuki World MX2 team mate Hunter Lawrence. Lawrence won here last year in EMX250 and he rode the best ever in his MX2 career on his way to 2nd overall. 4th in race 1 and 3rd in race 2 he battled throughout both consistently moving forward without error.
“It’s such an awesome feeling to go one and two for Suzuki and a great way to round off the weekend. In the first moto I was fourth and then second moto I was third so my best moto finishes; and of course my first podium. I’m so happy and I can’t wait to ride next weekend now. We finally put all the pieces of the puzzle together and it’s just a nice refresher for everyone in the Suzuki World team who all work so hard. When I crossed the line I had no idea what the points situation was and I was actually a little disappointed because I felt I could have even finished higher, but when Jeremy crossed the line and Harry Everts came up to us and told us, it was really cool, a really special moment.”
Rounding out the MX2 podium was red plate holder and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Pauls Jonass. Jonass clearly has his starts dialed, he took both Fox Holeshots, but he struggled to find rhythm or comfort on today’s rutted circuit. Falling off the lead pace both races finishing 2nd and then 5th, the Latvian was surprised he reached the podium.
“I got two holeshots and led the first one until a tip-over. I lost a bit of confidence with the track and made some mistakes so to still finish second was really good. Teutschenthal is not my favourite track and doesn’t suit my style so well and I didn’t find the flow in that second moto. I tried to improve but was fighting the track a bit. Anyway third overall and only losing five points in the championship was not so bad. We’ll look forward to the next GP and getting those back.”
The two Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing riders of Thomas Covington and Thomas Kjer Olsen swapped luck in Germany. In race 1 it was Covington who faced adversity starting 31st and clawing his way through the pack to 14th. In race 2 Olsen would crash and salvage a 12th place.
“I’m really happy with the victory in moto two. We showed the speed was there this weekend and if we had a better result in moto one, we could have done even better in the overall. The GP started well for us. I got off to a good start in the qualifying moto and was leading it before a small crash dropped me to fifth. Taking advantage of my good gate pick I had a good start in moto one but soon after we got together in a corner with some other riders and I ended up on the ground. Quickly resuming the race I made many passes to cross the line in 14th. Things were a lot better in moto two. I got a good start and after spending some time behind Jonass I managed to find some good lines and pass him for the lead. The track was tough and it was really easy to make mistakes. Fortunately I kept it on two wheels and managed to get the win. We’re sixth now in the championship and our goal is to continue battling for race victories in every moto.”
While race 1 was bad for Covington it was good to Olsen as he took third. The yin and yang continued when Covington charged into the lead and won race 2. After the drama was all said and done Covington took fourth overall while Olsen took 5th.
“Once again we showed the speed is there and I’m really happy with where we’re at right now. If I manage to remain more consistent and avoid mistakes, I know everything is possible in the remainder of the championship. I had a good start in the opening moto and my speed was quite good. Right before the halfway mark I made some passes for third and then retained third until the end of the moto. My start was good in the second moto too. I was riding well in fourth place but lost the front in a deep rut and ended up crashing. Quickly re-entering the race I soon had a second fall that dropped me to 12th at the chequered flag. Overall, I’m happy with our race pace. The goal now is to keep working hard to eliminate mistakes. I’m already looking forward to the following round in France.”
It was also an up and down story for Husqvarna Maurer-GEP Racing’s Brian Hsu who at his home GP finished 5th in race 1 but 30th in race 2 for 13th overall.
HRC MX2’s Michele Cervellin had one of the best weekends of his career, he qualified fourth yesterday and followed it up with two top five starts and 6-8 finishes today for 7th overall.
In race 1 Brad Anderson good start and after a weekend ending mistake by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Yentel Martens, Anderson moved in the lead where he rode smooth and consistent winning the race by 19 seconds.
Behind Anderson was last year’s champion, GL12 Racing’s Mike Kras. Kras passed his way up to second in race 1. Race 2 had Kras 3rd on lap one and he wasted no time as he moved into the lead on the following lap. After leading 6 laps Kras was passed by Anderson but was only 0.879 seconds behind at the finish.
Belgian Kenny Vandueren had a stellar start in race 2 just losing out on the holeshot to Manuel Iacopi. Vandueren dropped two positions and finished 4th while Iacopi took the last spot in race 2’s top 5 after his holeshot.
The top four were the exact same in race 2 as in race 1 going Anderson, Kras, Willems, and Vandueren. The odd man out of the consistent top five was Andero Lusbo who had a strong race one but had a poor start and was 18th on lap 1 of race 2. Lusbo found a way to charge through the pack to get up to 9th, scoring him 12 championship points and when tallied with his earlier 5th he ended the weekend 5th overall.
EMX300 Presented by FMF Racing Race 1 Top Ten
1. Brad Anderson (GBR, KTM), 31:01.301; 2. Mike Kras (NED, KTM), +0:19.374; 3. Erik Willems (BEL, Husqvarna), +0:28.352; 4. Kenny Vandueren (BEL, KTM), +0:59.148; 5. Andero Lusbo (EST, Yamaha), +1:13.028; 6. Patrick Vos (NED, KTM), +1:21.358; 7. Alessio Della Mora (ITA, Husqvarna), +1:23.081; 8. Frantisek Smola (CZE, CZ), +1:36.925; 9. John Cuppen (NED, KTM), +1:44.669; 10. Mathias Plessers (BEL, KTM), +1:45.004.
EMX300 Presented by FMF Racing Race 2 Top Ten
1. Brad Anderson (GBR, KTM), 29:53.804; 2. Mike Kras (NED, KTM), +0:00.879; 3. Erik Willems (BEL, Husqvarna), +0:28.195; 4. Kenny Vandueren (BEL, KTM), +0:37.538; 5. Manuel Iacopi (ITA, Yamaha), +0:40.439; 6. James Dunn (GBR, Yamaha), +0:44.959; 7. Christopher Valente (SUI, KTM), +0:45.661; 8. Thomas Marini (SMR, Husqvarna), +0:46.443; 9. Andero Lusbo (EST, Yamaha), +0:52.705; 10. Stefan Hage (NED, KTM), +0:57.905.
The CRF150R riders tackled a series of sighting laps, before taking to the line for their second and final race. All eyes were, of course, on Andrea Adamo and Luis Outeiro, as both riders were poised to duke it out for the first overall victory of the new season. Adamo put himself in the best position possible when the gates dropped, as he slid into the lead immediately and again attempted to establish an advantage.
Outeiro stalked his rival from the drop of the gate, but lost touch at around the halfway mark. The laps began to wind down and, at that point, Outeiro inched closer to the first position. Adamo showed wisdom beyond his years at the head of the field though, as he remained composed all the way to the chequered flag. That, of course, left him as the overall winner at the first round of the Honda 150 European Championship and with the red plate firmly in his grasp.
Outeiro again put in a valiant effort, but came up just short and had to settle for the runner-up position. The forty-four points that he acquired set him up well for the second round, the Grand Prix of Portugal, at the beginning of July. Anton Nordström-Graaf is in a similar position, as he recorded a brace of thirds across the weekend.
Lynn Valk improved on her position from the previous race, much to the delight of the Dutch fans who made the short trip across the border, as she claimed fourth and the same position in the overall classification. Peter Konig, the best-placed rider from Germany, took advantage of a mistake that Rasmus Moen made to steal fifth overall.
After applying the various skills that they have acquired since they joined the programme, the CRF150R riders will go away and refine their skillsets ahead of the second round that will take place at the Grand Prix of Portugal in a little over a month.
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