Round 12 of the FIM Motocross World Championship took place over the weekend at the MXGP of Asia in Indonesia, heralding the second Indonesian round, this time in Semarang, where Tim Gajser topped the MXGP class for Honda, on the back of a perfect 1-1 result, further extending his considerable championship lead.
The move makes Tim Gajser the most successful Honda MXGP racer in history for wins in a row, after taking seven consecutive wins in the MXGP class.
In the MX2 KTM’s Jorge Prado also proved unstoppable, claiming the 1-1 result to clinch yet another round win, from fellow KTM rider Tom Vialle once again. Aussie Jed Beaton closed out the weekend in seventh following a 4-11 result, just falling outside the top 10 in Race 2, and holds 10th overall in the standings.
Tim Gajser’s performances were nothing less than amazing – the Slovenian was looking confident as he led the MXGP field into the opening lap of MXGP first race taking his sixth FOX Holeshot of the season. Then came Pauls Jonass, Jeremy Seewer, Romain Febvre, and Arminas Jasikonis in fifth.
After a lap the lead by the HRC rider was more than a second and riders were swapping positions throughout the field. Jeremy Van Horebeek moved into seventh, then back to 11th, and Gautier Paulin dropped from seventh to 10th.
After four laps it was Gajser with a two second lead, then Jonass, Seewer, Jasikonis and Arnaud Tonus fifth. Febvre went down hard while battling with his teammate Seewer and was forced to go out of the race after bending his front end. Jonass closed up on Gajser, but then Gajser quickened his pace and was two seconds up after six laps.
Gajser continued to control the race up front and on lap nine he was still around two seconds ahead of Jonass, with Seewer third, Jasikonis fourth and Tonus fifth while Max Anstie had moved past his team-mate Ivo Monticelli for eighth position.
Jonass went down hard and dropped out of the top ten with an eventual race 1 disqualification result as he re-joined the race after leaving the track for ‘outside assistance’ while Tonus managed to pass Jasikonis for third.
After 13 laps the lead by Gajser was more than six seconds over Seewer, with Tonus third, Jasikonis fourth and Glenn Coldenhoff fifth. Seewer crashed up the hill on lap 14 and handed Tonus the second place. Seewer then found himself in third place while Coldenhoff closed in on Jasikonis, until he succeeded to overtake. Gajser would win the opening MXGP race from Tonus and Seewer.
In the second MXGP race, it was Seewer who took the FOX Holeshot out front early ahead of Gajser, Jasikonis, Jonass and Tonus. Gajser was pushing hard to get into the lead and did just that after half a lap of the race.
On lap two Jasikonis nearly crashed, but saved it, and Febvre also got sideways, but didn’t lose a position. Coldenhoff went past Jasikonis, and after three laps it was Gajser with more than two seconds over Seewer, with Tonus, Jonass, and Paulin inside the top five.
Van Horebeek crashed and dropped back to 12th and by four laps in it was Gajser ahead of Seewer, Tonus, Jonass and Paulin. Six laps in and Gajser still held the lead, while Tonus made a mistake and Jonass moved into third place.
Tonus wasn’t about to hand third place to Jonass and fought back and was right on the back wheel of the Husqvarna rider. Jonass moved forward Seewer and so did Tonus. A great battle for second place became the feature of the last laps of race 2. At the end of Race 2 it was Gajser who won his 15th race of the season followed by Jonass and Tonus.
Gajser has won the MXGP of Asia with another perfect performance and 1-1 results. With his seventh Grand Prix win in a row the red plate owner has become the most successful Honda rider of all time for GP wins in a row. He also extended his points lead to 173 points over Jeremy Seewer who is now second in the points.
Second overall for the round was Arnaud Tonus and third was claimed by Jeremy Seewer.
Tim Gajser – P1
“I was having fun on both days this weekend. Unfortunately yesterday I had a crash in timed practice and I hurt my right ankle a little bit, but other than a bit of pain yesterday, it was certainly a great weekend again. In the first moto I had a great start, taking the holeshot and leading the whole race. In the second one, I started third and made quick pass, and then made another one a bit later in lap one before making a gap to control the race. I was really having fun out there although the track was a little slippery in some places, but I still got two moto wins so I can’t complain! I’m trying not to put pressure on myself on each weekend and I know if I can have fun, I can ride really fast and that seems to be working right now. It is also an honour to have the biggest win-streak for a Honda rider in world motocross, a lot of really talented riders have ridden on this great brand and it is amazing to have achieved this. I hope I can keep it going for as long as possible, and I must also thank Team HRC for helping me out so much and giving me all the support I need in order to do this.”
Arnaud Tonus – P2
“It feels great to rebound from a tough weekend in Palembang a few days ago, and especially on this track. It was very hard to find the flow and a good feeling. It was very slippery, and it took me a while to feel good out there. I felt better today than yesterday. We changed quite a lot of things on the bike ahead of practice today and I already felt better, which helped a lot. It was important to take your time today. I really went step by step because it was too easy to make a mistake out there. Overall I am super happy.”
Jeremy Seewer – P3
“It was a tough track. Yesterday I struggled a bit. I think the track crew did a good job on the track compared to yesterday because I know how tricky it is to prepare dirt like this. I am really happy on the podium for the second time in a row, it is really good for my confidence. Today I just wanted to go home healthy, I didn’t want to take any risks out there, so I settled for a place on the podium and I am happy with that. “
Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 243
…26. Lewis Stewart (AUS) 29
…29. Adam Coles (AUS) 22
…40. Joel Milesevic (AUS) 9
The start of MX2 Race 1 was unpredictable; a minor surprise went on as it wasn’t Prado who led into the opening lap of the first MX2 race as Thomas Kjer Olsen took the FOX Holeshot and would lead for the opening lap, followed by Jorge Prado and Tom Vialle. Brian Moreau was fourth, followed by Mathys Boisrame, Jago Geerts and Henry Jacobi.
Prado was able to move into first place on lap two, and a lap later Vialle also moved past Olsen to relegate him to third place. Jed Beaton was also looking strong, right behind Vialle and Olsen. After four laps the lead by Prado was more than a second over Vialle, and Olsen was a further two seconds back in third place.
Six laps in the lead was extended to two seconds between Prado and Vialle, and Olsen was five seconds off the leader in third place. After nine laps Prado was still two seconds ahead of Vialle, but 10 seconds ahead of Olsen and 15 seconds ahead of Beaton.
Back in fifth place Mathys Boisrame was riding smooth while Calvin Vlaanderen, who was on the move, passed the Frenchman and moved into fifth place. Geerts also got back past Jacobi, but then crashed allowing the German to move ahead. The lead by Prado was nine seconds after 14 laps, with Vialle second and Olsen third. Prado started cruising near the end and won easily from Vialle and Olsen.
When the gate dropped for MX2 Race 2 it was Jacobi who took the FOX Holeshot and led the second race ahead of Prado and Vialle. A significant crash happened in the first corner and Olsen and Bas Vaessen where out of the race with badly bent bikes.
Prado took the lead at the end of the first lap and behind him were Vialle and Jacobi. After four laps Prado was five seconds ahead of Jacobi, with Vialle right on the back wheel of the German rider. Vialle brushed past Jacobi and the two collided, while Vlaanderen was very close in fourth place.
Maxime Renaux moved into fifth place while Jacobi found himself in fourth when Vlaanderen passed him. Jacobi continued to drop back as Renaux passed and moved into fourth position. Vlaanderen was charging hard as he moved second after managing to pass Vialle. Renaux was also on the charge as he moved past Vialle soon after.
Renaux moved into second place as his best career result in MX2, even if Vlaanderen was pushing hard to get him back. Prado still led with 12 seconds and won his 20th race of the season from Renaux and Vlaanderen.
Jorge Prado won the MX2 class at the MXGP of Asia, with the Spaniard scoring 1-1 results and extended his championship points lead over Thomas Kjer Olsen to 78 points. Second overall at Semarang was Tom Vialle and third overall went to Calvin Vlaanderen.
Jorge Prado – P1
“I made two very good motos today and felt better in the second one. I had a good flow and lap-times for half of the race and then started to feel a bit dizzy so I slowed down and kept riding. So I’m happy for the weekend. The track preparation was better today; there were more ruts and it was more fluid. I saw that Thomas crashed in that second moto so I hope he is OK and we can return to our battles at the next GP.”
Tom Vialle – P2
“The first race was really good for me because I could just follow Jorge and keep the speed. I made a mistake with five minutes to go and that decided it. I didn’t have the same rhythm in the second race and in the end just controlled my position to make sure of the podium. I just had trouble to find the right lines, so to take fourth and second overall meant a good day.”
Calvin Vlaanderen – P3
“In one way this podium was a bit of a surprise, but in another way, I feel like I’ve ridden well enough this year to have deserved to be on the box before. Obviously it is only my second race back from injury so I feel like I can improve even further both in speed and in my physical condition but I did feel really good this weekend. I tried to save a little bit of energy from yesterday, to make sure I could ride better today and it worked out well. I could push in both motos, which I couldn’t last weekend so already I have improved in one week so I just want to continue building and building. It was fun to be out there, with some good battles in both races and I enjoyed the whole weekend.”
Henry Jacobi – P5
“My first start was not so great and I had to ride hard for thirty minutes to finally get a seventh place. In the second race I got the holeshot and battled in the top three for a few laps but after I nearly had two big crashes I lost my rhythm and confidence.”
Jed Beaton – P7
“It’s certainly been a mixed GP for me and the team. I really felt like I could challenge for the podium today, but the second moto put an end to that. The track had some tricky places but generally I felt good and found a nice rhythm. There weren’t so many line choices, so keeping mistakes to a minimum was really important. I got a good start in the first moto and made my way through into fourth behind Thomas. I really wanted to catch him, but I just ran out of laps. But I finished the race feeling good. The second race was frustrating. A local rider fell in front of me on the first lap and I had nowhere to go. I certainly wasn’t able to show what I had after that. Now these two fly-away races are done it’s back to Europe and Loket.”
Jago Geerts – P9
“It was a difficult weekend for me. The track was difficult, and I thought they put too much water on the slick places, which was pretty sketchy. I didn’t get really good starts and I crashed in both races. I made some small changes between the first and second races, and that was a bit better, but I still crashed. So now I am just looking to bounce back in Loket.”
Thomas Kjer Olsen – P10
“I guess it’s been one of those weekends where things should have finished a lot better than they did. The second moto ended at the first corner. Of course, I’m disappointed, but also pleased that I could walk away. It was a big hit. The first moto was a positive start to the GP. It was great to get the holeshot, my first in some time, but I didn’t feel too comfortable with the track. Jorge and Tom were both riding well so I pushed for third. Back to Europe now and onto Loket in two weeks.”
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