Watson on top at MXGP of Garda Trentino – Race Report, Results & Highlights
The races of the MXGP of Garda Trentino finished for the day; this has also concluded this intense season of the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship.
With the Champions being decided a round early, when Team HRC’s Tim Gajser claimed his 4th World Title in MXGP and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle secured his very first Championship in MX2, this shifted the focus onto who would finish the season off with a medal alongside the two victors.
Following today’s races, the top three finishers, in each category, were celebrated on the podium, followed by the championship top three medal giving ceremony and last but not least, the special moment that Tim Gajser was awarded the incredible MXGP Trophy.
The newly introduced trophy signifies a brand-new tradition in the world championship, paying homage to all the past, present and future world champions of the premier MXGP class. The MXGP trophy is wrapped with plagues which are engraved with all the world champions’ names from 1957 until now in the main class, and this season Gajser added his name for the third time!
The MXGP races today saw some very nice battles, especially between Gajser and Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing’s Romain Febvre, who challenged the 4-time world Champions in both of the heats, one of which he won.
Gajser finished the 2020 season with his 5th Grand Prix victory at the MXGP of Garda Trentino, with a 2-1 result. The race win in the second heat, his 15th race win of the season, gave him the advantage over Febvre, for the top step of the podium.
Febvre was forced to settled for second, after a nice race win in the opening heat, that saw him chase down Gajser, before passing him on lap 6 and the leading the race until the end, to take his second race win of the year. Then in race two, the Kawasaki rider worked hard to get around a couple of riders before catching up to Gajser once again, though this time he could not make a pass stick and eventually dropped the gap, to finish the race in second.
It was also a special day for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin who lined up for his last MXGP race of his professional racing career. The Frenchman battled well inside the top 5 in both heats and finished race one in 4th and race two in 3rd position, after a battle with his teammates Jeremy Seewer and Arnaud Tonus. He also claimed the third step on the podium, his second podium this season, on his final GP.
Additionally, Clement Desalle of Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing and Tanel Leok of A1M Husqvarna also took part in their final MXGP of their careers, with Desalle narrowly missing out on a podium spot, as he was tied on points with Seewer in 5th, and Leok finishing 21st overall.
With Gajser crowned as world champion at the previous round, this left the door open for second and third in the championship standings, which was to be decided between Seewer and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli.
Seewer had a strong first race, starting well inside the top 5 and then worked hard to get past his teammate, Tonus, for third. While Seewer finished third, Cairoli placed 6th in the race, which gave Seewer a one-point advantage heading into race two. As the gate dropped for the second heat, Seewer was able to get another good start and squeeze into the lead, before being passed by Gajser, Febvre and then eventually Paulin.
Cairoli had a dramatic start to the second race, which saw him pushed out wide in the first corner, as he hit the bank, which as a result caused unrepairable damage to his bike and forced him out of the race, meaning he could not fight for the silver medal. All while Seewer had another strong race to finish 4th and cement himself as this year’s vice world champion, for the second season in a row.
So, in terms of the podium it was Gajser who was victorious at the final round here at the MXGP of Garda Trentino, while Febvre finished second and Paulin third. While in the championship standings, it’s Gajser who claimed this year’s title, over Seewer who finished second for the second year in a row, and Cairoli third in the standings.
Tim Gajser: “I’m super happy to win my fourth title on Wednesday. Today the goal was to just go out there and have fun and we did that; we won the last overall of the year. So, couldn’t end better. I am so thankful. I want to say a huge thanks to everyone, to all my team, we were really working hard, and everybody was putting so much effort into preparing the bike, getting better and better. The beginning of the season, in March when we did the two GPs in Valkenswaard and in Matterley Basin, it was good but then we had the long break and then when we returned, I wasn’t feeling so good, I was struggling. But now, the last couple of GPs I started to find good speed and started to put consistent races together and win the title, so I’m super happy and I want to say congratulations to all the guys here, but also to Gautier [Paulin] for an amazing career, wishing you all the best in the next chapter”.
Jeremy Seewer: “It was a strange year for us, starting that early and then a big break. But, Valkenswaard was really horrible, I scored seven points and I think that’s one of the worst GPs in many years for me, so it was hard to not race for that long after a GP like that, because you would love to go back the next day and show different. Somehow, I did my homework and put many good races together after that, had some awesome races in Latvia, won my first races in Faenza and stuff like this. I definitely made a step and improved. I could battle with these guys. Overall Tim [Gajser] was the man, he put things together, especially for the last few races and he was just that little better but overall for me, I’m happy, I got second today in the championship, ok the thing I wanted was first but I can’t wait now to get back to work and for next year”.
Antonio Cairoli: “I’m really happy. It’s another season that I finish on the podium, my fourteenth season that I finish on the podium, so it’s something amazing, after so many years of racing. Of course, Tim [Gajser] was very difficult to beat this year, especially in the last part of the season, he was very strong. After Latvia, my knee was getting worse every time, so I couldn’t really train, so for me it’s really important and I lost a little bit of fitness and confidence because when the track gets rough and slippery, I need to slow down. In the end, we are all ok and that is the most important thing, ok we lost second place but we try to look forward to the next year, we have another season to see what we can do”.
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), 33:44.705; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:01.946; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:27.592; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:29.763; 5. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:36.843; 6. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:47.636; 7. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +1:00.457; 8. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Honda), +1:08.856; 9. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Husqvarna), +1:11.092; 10. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Honda), +1:12.032.
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 33:53.636; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:15.977; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:19.364; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:23.276; 5. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:27.880; 6. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:31.674; 7. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:39.182; 8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:47.984; 9. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:58.086; 10. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Husqvarna), +1:00.226.
MXGP – GP Top 10 Classification: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 47 points; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 47 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 38 p.; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 38 p.; 5. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 28 p.; 6. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 28 p.; 7. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 23 p.; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HUS), 23 p.; 9. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 16 p.; 10. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 15 p.
MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 720 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 618 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 599 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 572 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 505 p.; 6. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 476 p.; 7. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 466 p.; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GAS), 375 p.; 9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 316 p.; 10. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 298 p.
MXGP – Manufacturers Classification: 1. KTM, 764 points; 2. Honda, 757 p.; 3. Yamaha, 690 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 661 p.; 5. GASGAS, 486 p.; 6. Husqvarna, 383 p.;
The MX2 action today was just as exciting as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Ben Watson shared a race win each in the category.
Watson had the perfect end to his MX2 career with a second overall win of the 2020 season, and his career so far. Watson finished the first race third, behind Vialle and Yamaha SM Action MC Migliori’s Maxime Renaux, after some close battles with the pair and his teammate Jago Geerts. In the second race, the Brit got another good start and wasted no time to get into the lead, to then dominate every lap after that. He did however come under immense pressure from Geerts, before the Belgian crashed out of the race. A 3rd and a race win was enough to hand Watson the round victory.
Finishing second on the podium was this year’s MX2 World Champion, Vialle, who dominated the opening race of the day, as he took the race win by a 6.133 second margin, over Renaux and Watson. While in the second race, the KTM rider struggled out of the start and then had a few small crashes to eventually finish the heat in 5th, which was still good enough for 2nd on the box.
Renaux was the final rider to get himself onto the podium and he did it for the 5th time this season. The Frenchman finished 2nd and 4th in today’s race which was exactly what he needed to claim yet another podium, as well as the bronze medal this season.
In terms of the championship, Vialle claimed his maiden title a round early during the MXGP of Pietramurata and entered today’s action with the job done. While the title was decided early, as well as Geerts confirming himself as the silver medallist this season too, all that was left was the third spot in the standings, which went down to today’s races between Renaux and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jed Beaton.
For Geerts the day didn’t end so well. He started good in the opening race and was battling hard with Renaux and Watson, though could not charge through and had to settle for 4th. In the second race Geerts got another strong start and was chasing down his teammate for the win, before making a mistake and crashing out of the race, as a result picking up 0 points.
Nonetheless, Geerts finishes the season as vice world champion, with 14 race wins, 12 podiums and 6 overall victories to his name.
And of course, with a strong 2-4 result, Renaux held on to the bronze medal position after today’s race, as he finished the championship 17 points ahead of Beaton. And for Beaton, it was a mixture of a day. He finished the opening race in 7th position, behind the likes of Stephen Rubini of Honda Assomotor and Isak Gifting of DIGA PROCROSS GasGas Factory Juniors. The Australian then had a much stronger second race, as he was able to find a way past Renaux and Gifting to get himself into third, before inheriting second, as Geerts crashed out. Despite a good second race, it was not enough for the Husqvarna rider to get back into 3rd.
In MX2, it was Watson who took the final overall victory of the 2020 season, with this year’s MX2 Champion, Vialle, finishing second overall and Renaux taking to the third step of the podium. And what a year it has been for Vialle who has secured his first world title in the category, with Geerts finishing as vice world champion in 2020 and Renaux securing a medal scoring position in the standings, for third overall this season.
Tom Vialle: “It was an incredible day for me. To take my first world title was just amazing. The last two days were really good, I enjoyed them a lot. In the second race, I crashed in the start and I came back from last to fifth. I crashed again two times I think, so I was a little bit angry, I was hoping for better starts and better positions but I’m happy to finish second overall”.
“I tried to be as consistent as possible. We had a lot of races in the sand, so for me it was really important to be consistent every weekend and I tried my best every time, get a good start and ride like I do in training. I really want to thank all the team, my family, Joel Smets, as riding with the team for the last two years has been amazing”.
Maxime Renaux: “It’s been a really good season for me and the team. We made good progress since last year. I got my first race win and overall in Faenza, so that was really great feeling and then I tried to give my best and to be as consistent as possible, to fight for the podium in the championship. So, I’m really happy that we managed to do it, we are a strong team so that is also really good, and they are really happy, so we achieved what we wanted and I’m just so happy about it”.
Ben Watson: “It’s been another incredible day. I mean, the last six GP’s especially, I have been feeling good on the bike like all season, but sometimes that was not reflected in my results and I’m really happy for myself but also for the team and Yamaha, because every time they support one hundred per cent. Everything was laid out on the table for me to produce these results and sometimes they weren’t there and now as I’m leaving MX2, it’s really nice to play it back with some victories. For myself, it’s been really incredible and I’m really happy to find this step now in MX2 and go into this break, take some good rest with a really good feeling. And I’m definitely really excited to get started on the new bike now”.
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 34:05.231; 2. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:06.133; 3. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:07.118; 4. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:11.295; 5. Stephen Rubini (FRA, Honda), +0:13.465; 6. Isak Gifting (SWE, GASGAS), +0:14.807; 7. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:15.700; 8. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +0:27.320; 9. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Kawasaki), +0:36.297; 10. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Yamaha), +0:40.397.
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), 34:17.030; 2. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:00.888; 3. Isak Gifting (SWE, GASGAS), +0:14.966; 4. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:16.839; 5. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:22.542; 6. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:25.178; 7. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +0:32.737; 8. Alvin Östlund (SWE, Honda), +0:38.692; 9. Bailey Malkiewicz (AUS, Honda), +0:52.482; 10. Morgan Lesiardo (ITA, Honda), +0:52.753;
MX2 – GP Top 10 Classification: 1. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 45 points; 2. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 41 p.; 3. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 40 p.; 4. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 36 p.; 5. Isak Gifting (SWE, GAS), 35 p.; 6. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 27 p.; 7. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 23 p.; 8. Alvin Östlund (SWE, HON), 22 p.; 9. Morgan Lesiardo (ITA, HON), 21 p.; 10. Stephen Rubini (FRA, HON), 20 p.
MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 759 points; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 679 p.; 3. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 581 p.; 4. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 564 p.; 5. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 551 p.; 6. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 540 p.; 7. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 466 p.; 8. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 365 p.; 9. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, YAM), 343 p.; 10. Stephen Rubini (FRA, HON), 279 p.
MX2 – Manufacturers Classification: 1. Yamaha, 810 points; 2. KTM, 786 p.; 3. Husqvarna, 655 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 561 p.; 5. Honda, 411 p.; 6. GASGAS, 343 p.