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Prado and Everts victorious at the MXGP of Trentino – Race Report & Results

Prado and Everts victorious at the MXGP of Trentino – Race Report & Results

One of the classic venues of the MXGP World Motocross Championships, the incredible Crossodromo “Il Ciclomino” near the town of Arco, hosted the fourth round of the series this weekend in front of a full crowd of exuberant fans from all across Europe! Following Saturday’s dramatic RAM Qualifying Races which saw problems for both red plate holders, the tension was mounting to see if the chasers could continue to cut back the points lead in Sunday’s Grand Prix races.

Words and Images by Infront Moto Racing

Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing team leader Jorge Prado had issues on Saturday which left him with zero point from the RAM Qualifying Race. His pursuers smelt blood and struck first as Romain Febvre for the Kawasaki Racing Team and Tim Gajser for Team HRC both overtook the reigning Champ in race one. However, a poor start for the Slovenian and a crash for the Frenchman allowed the Spaniard to win race two, and the overall for the fourth Grand Prix in a row.

In MX2, red plate holder Kay de Wolf took another dominant win in race one for Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing, but a first corner crash left him out of the overall picture. His chief Championship rival, Simon Laengenfelder, took the second race win from a clear holeshot for Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing, but it was Liam Everts who took the overall Grand Prix with a solid 3-2 scorecard, the first GP win of the year for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing.

Even with the 17th gate pick, there was no denying Jorge Prado the amazing start that he is so good at, and he claimed the Fox Holeshot Award for the fifth time this season, just holding off Febvre, as Gajser quickly moved past both Benoit Paturel on the De Baets Yamaha and Valentin Guillod on the Team Ship to Cycle Honda to get to third!

The reigning World Champion looked like he was making his usual swift getaway, but Febvre closed in and pressurised the Spaniard into a mistake which allowed the Frenchman through on lap seven! Gajser was not out of the equation either, and two laps later, in direct sight of the hillside packed with his travelling fans, cut inside the red plate holder in a solid move that Prado had no answer to, sending the noise level up several notches!

Behind the top three, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings took his time to get going and battled through from 9th at the end of the first lap. Passing his countryman Calvin Vlaanderen on the lone Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP machine, and finally Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jeremy Seewer with three laps to go, “The Bullet” finished the race in fourth.

In the closing stages of race one, Gajser reeled in Febvre, sending his supporters wild as he nearly made a move for the lead in the very last corner! Ultimately the Kawasaki man held on to take his first GP race win of the year, while Tim’s second place knocked the points lead down to just six going into race two!

Once again, however, the reigning Champion fired into the lead, making it six Fox Holeshot Awards for the year already, in race two, but Febvre was right with him again! Herlings span sideways and to the floor exiting turn two, and would face a long charge through the pack, ultimately finishing seventh, and sixth overall.

Vlaanderen was in a strong third, and was looking to challenge Febvre, but the Frenchman dropped his lap times to chase down Prado again, nearly passing him after the big uphill triple jump before the Spaniard closed the door! On lap six, he pushed the Kawasaki’s front wheel just too hard into a right hander and it broke away to put him on the ground!

Prado eased away, playing with the track and building his lead to a maximum of five seconds over a rapid Vlaanderen, who closed to two seconds at the flag for his best result yet on the factory Yamaha. Seewer’s third was also his best of the year so far, as Gajser and Febvre could not advance any higher than 4th & 5th respectively, and they would have to settle for the bottom two steps of the podium.

So from the difficult start to the weekend, Prado still comes away with the Grand Prix win, the 42nd of his career and his 11th in the MXGP class. More importantly, no-one else has managed to beat him to the top step all season and he now leads the Championship by 13 points from Gajser, with Febvre a further 32 behind, in third.

Jorge Prado: “Starting from P17 wasn’t easy but I’m a good starter so I had to prove it today. First race I didn’t really have a good flow, I tried but it was sketchy and the guy were riding better than myself and finished in front of me. In the second race, with a little bike adjustment that we made together with the team I felt better and everything clicked. Such a good start in second race with a good battle with Febvre until he fell. Another win and in difficult condition where we had to turn it around so great job guys!”

Romain Febvre: I was pushing in this second because I felt I was faster. Trying to make some pass was difficult but yeah, I tried my best and also I was careful on that corner but I lost the front and went back to fifth. I was close to Tim (Gajser) sometimes when I tried to catch him but not easy to make a difference. So, a little bit disappointed of course to not win the GP as I won the RAM Qualifying and Race 1 but I’m on the podium and I scored good point over the weekend. Let’s go for the next round!”

Tim Gajser: “It’s okay, I’m happy to be on the podium and I scored good points for the Championship but I definitely wanted more. Second race I didn’t get the fastest start and almost crashed in the first corner and banged bars in the first laps as well but I managed to get back to 4th. It was not an easy race; it was not easy to pass either but anyway happy to be here. Let’s go to Agueda for the next one and I’m looking forward to it. The fans were amazing here today and a huge thank you to all to come here to support me.”

MXGP – Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), 35:02.471; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:00.387; 3. Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:18.031; 4. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:24.651; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Kawasaki), +0:26.649; 6. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:33.245; 7. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Honda), +0:55.858; 8. Pauls Jonass (LAT, Honda), +1:02.460; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Fantic), +1:06.503; 10. Ben Watson (GBR, Beta), +1:14.559

MXGP – Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), 35:03.734; 2. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:02.042; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Kawasaki), +0:07.956; 4. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:11.825; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:18.595; 6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Fantic), +0:30.167; 7. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:46.646; 8. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:56.321; 9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Honda), +1:00.355; 10. Pauls Jonass (LAT, Honda), +1:02.018

MXGP Overall – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 45 points; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 41 p.; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 40 p.; 4. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 37 p.; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, KAW), 36 p.; 6. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 32 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, FAN), 27 p.; 8. Valentin Guillod (SUI, HON), 26 p.; 9. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HON), 24 p.; 10. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 23 p

MXGP World Championship – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 219 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 206 p.; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 174 p.; 4. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 164 p.; 5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HON), 142 p.; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, KAW), 141 p.; 7. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 131 p.; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, FAN), 118 p.; 9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, HON), 88 p.; 10. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, HON), 82 p

MXGP Manufacturers – Top 10 Classification: 1. GASGAS, 219 points; 2. Honda, 210 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 187 p.; 4. KTM, 164 p.; 5. Yamaha, 154 p.; 6. Fantic, 118 p.; 7. Beta, 81 p.; 8. Husqvarna, 9 p

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing had taken the RAM Qualifying Race win with Andrea Adamo, but for the fifth time this season it was his teammate Sacha Coenen who fired into the lead from the start, chased by Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 rider Thibault Benistant and Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s red plate holder Kay de Wolf!

An aggressive move from De Wolf put him past Benistant, but it took him until lap five to make a move on Sacha, as the young Belgian seems to be building his confidence running at the front. It wasn’t until lap 12 that Benistant got through into second, and the corner after Adamo pushed past saw the Champ argue with the bank and drop to an eventual 8th! Sadly, just as it looked like Sacha would claim a top three finish, he suffered a bike issue which left him unable to finish.

Mikkel Haarup was in a great third for Monster Energy Triumph Racing, but a strange issue slowed him dramatically on the final lap, and he dropped to an eventual 9th, leaving Liam Everts to claim third, just reward for a consistent push through the pack from outside the top ten, with Rick Elzinga a season’s best fourth for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2, and Camden McLellan salvaging fifth for the Triumph team.

In the end, no-one had an answer to De Wolf who won by 3.7 seconds from Benistant, and as Simon Laengenfelder could only muster 8th place for Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing, the championship lead stretched to 38 points for the Dutchman! His teammate, Lucas Coenen, rode through the pain of a shoulder injury to finish in 10th position.

Laengenfelder was desperate to make amends in race two, and fired into the lead to claim his first Fox Holeshot Award of the season. To help his cause further, the points leader De Wolf was picking up his bike in turn one, part of a pile-up that also involved Sacha Coenen, Elzinga, and Laengenfelder’s teammate Marc-Antoine Rossi.

The German took a leaf out of his teammate Prado’s book with a blistering display of speed that left his pursuers with no hope of catching, and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 rookie Andrea Bonacorsi was a stunning second around the first lap to the delight of his home fans! It took Everts 13 minutes to get past the reigning EMX250 Champion, and the top three stayed the same from there!

De Wolf charged through to an eventual 8th, just one place ahead of his teammate Lucas Coenen, who lost third in the series by a single point to Benistant. Both of the factory Husqvarna men hit the floor in the last ten minutes, but Adamo fared little better, unable to climb any higher than sixth, behind Haarup in fifth.

Benistant’s fourth position left him second overall, his first taste of podium for more than ten months. Bonacorsi scored his first ever top three finish in a GP race, but it was Everts who enjoyed the GP victory for the fourth time in his career, and for the third time with a 3-2 card, and he will be extremely happy to climb to 7th in the table after missing the first round with his thumb injury.

Laengenfelder has closed the gap to 26 points behind De Wolf, and whilst none of the current MX2 line-up has won in Portugal, the Dutchman will draw confidence from his podium there last season as the pack try to chase him down at the next round!

Liam Everts: “I’m lost for words; I really didn’t expect to win it. I wasn’t riding the best in the second race, I felt nervous but now that is done it feels right to get that out of the way and win here in such a special venue.”

Thibault Benistant: “Finally I’m on the box. It took some time but it’s a great feeling. I had some timings on Saturday but I would still like to rider a bit freer. But I’m happy and the positive is that it’s getting better and better every weekend and I’m slowly getting where I want to be.”

Simon Laengenfelder: “The second race was great and I showed what I can do after a good start and I finally got the job done. I was feeling good and making good laps and I thught I had good speed. I was not very happy about the first one but I’m on the podium which is really good.”