Watson third as Seewer and Olsson win! MXGP of Lombardia – Race Report, Highlights and Results
Round nine of the FIM Motocross World Championship has concluded with the MX2 and MXGP action for the MXGP of Lombardia.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Seewer reached an incredible career milestone as he claimed his first MXGP overall victory as he stood on the top step of the MXGP podium, while in MX2, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen made an epic return to the podium with his first overall victory of the season.
The day started off with the Free and Time Practice sessions, with Maxime Renaux of Yamaha SM Action M.C. Migliori J1 Racing who topped the session with a 1:54.223 lap time. Meanwhile in MXGP it was the defending world champion, Tim Gajser from Team HRC who was fastest with a 1:51.139 lap time.
The riders then geared up for their first races of the day from the second Italian triple-header here in Mantova.
In the opening MXGP race it was Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Seewer with the first FOX Holeshot of the day, as he led Prado and Brian Bogers from Marchetti Racing Team KTM.
Meanwhile Gautier Paulin of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing and Mitch Evans from Team HRC went down in the first corner, with Paulin riding into the pits. Though the Frenchman quickly re-joined the race but was quite far down the field with a lot of work to do in order to get back into the points.
Seewer then continued to lead the way, with Prado second and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli finding a way through into third ahead of Bogers, with Glenn Coldenhoff of Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing Team doing the same to steal fourth on the opening lap.
Prado then set the fastest lap of the race, going 1.6 seconds faster than Seewer who continued to lead the way by just 1.2 seconds. While his teammate, Paulin, was moving fast, as he caught on to the back of the field to begin his fight through the pack.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing pilot Arminas Jasikonis got out of the gate around in the top 10 and was making his way through as he caught on to the back of the PAR Homes RFX Husqvarna of Evgeny Bobryshev as the two began to battle. The tall Lithuanian was eventually able to make the pass and then set his sights on Bogers, who had dropped to 6th.
As Gajser struggled to find a way to pass Alessandro Lupino of Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing for 12th, the battle at the front was close as just 4 seconds separated Seewer, Prado and Cairoli, with 16 minutes plus 2 laps on the clock.
Making a good recovery, Paulin moved into the top 20 on lap 6 to get himself back into point scoring positions, as his teammate, Seewer, set the fastest lap of the race – a 1:54.504 and continued to lead the way.
Seewer had clearly found a good rhythm in the race as he followed with another fastest lap and that time extending the gap to Prado, as 2.7 seconds separated the two.
On lap 10 of the race the top 10 was led by Seewer, as Prado, Cairoli, Coldenhoff, Calvin Vlaanderen of Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing, Jasikonis, Desalle, Bogers, Van Horebeek and Gajser followed behind.
Gajser then put on a late charge, as he passed Febvre for 10th, then stole 9th from Bogers and went after Van Horebeek. With just 3 laps to go, the Slovenian moved himself in 8th where he eventually finished the race.
Things at the front of the field didn’t change in terms of positions, as Jeremy Seewer went on to win the first race of the day, with Prado second and Cairoli third.
In race two, it was Prado who claimed his 8th FOX Holeshot of the season, as he led Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre, Gajser, Paulin and Seewer.
Meanwhile Cairoli had a bad start to the race and was showing down in 19th position.
The race began with drama, as Seewer crashed out of 5th while trying to pass Paulin and eventually re-joined in around the top 10. Though at the front of the field, Febvre was starting to push for a pass on Prado as he set the fastest lap of the race and the two then pushed each other for the next few laps.
Coldenhoff then showed his intentions for the race as he clocked the fastest lap of the race on lap 3, while behind were Paulin, Gajser and Febvre.
Further down the field and the race 1 winner, Seewer, found a way to get around the number #25 of Clement Desalle from Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team for 19th with 17 minutes plus 2 laps to go of the race.
Febvre then pushed for the lead, though he got caught out by Gajser who swiftly moved into second before going after Prado for the lead. Seewer was also moving up the field as he passed Lupino for 8th.
Jasikonis then went down and out of 6th place, with the Husqvarna rider being taken away by the medics to the nearby hospital for further checks.
Gajser then pulled away from the group as he extended the lead to 5.8 seconds, with Prado second and Febvre still third. Paulin were also there with Coldenhoff and Seewer.
Cairoli’s bad luck continued as he was forced to come into the goggle lane while in 12th, losing 2 positions in the process, which was not the race he had hoped for.
Eventually Gajser crossed the line to take the win in the 2nd MXGP race, with Coldenhoff and Seewer inheriting 2nd and 3rd, with Prado, Paulin and Febvre receiving a penalty for not respecting a waved yellow flag which saw them drop some positions changing the final podium standings.
In terms of the overall, Jeremy Seewer took an incredible career first MXGP overall victory, with Glenn Coldenhoff taking second overall and Jorge Prado on the third step of the podium. Jeremy Seewer’s last GP win is back in 2017 when he stood at the top step on the podium at the MXGP of Sweden, Uddevalla in MX2 class.
With an 8th and a race win, Gajser now leads the MXGP Championship by 5 points over Antonio Cairoli and Jeremy Seewer just a further 11 points behind.
Jeremy Seewer: “I just won my first MXGP. Amazing. It’s in the books and it’s a big milestone in my career. Everybody dreams of winning an MXGP round, especially at the level we are racing right now, so it’s amazing. Especially the first race, I won the start then led every lap to the finish. The second race it didn’t go as planned but still I was lucky today, I was at the right place at the right time and now celebrating an overall”.
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), 34:47.314; 2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:08.181; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:09.474; 4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GASGAS), +0:27.128; 5. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:38.568; 6. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:42.921; 7. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:59.329; 8. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +1:02.369; 9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +1:04.623; 10. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:05.449.
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:56.930; 2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GASGAS), +0:14.380; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:37.000; 4. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:05.102; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:09.027; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:11.713; 7. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:42.966; 8. Henry Jacobi (GER, Yamaha), +0:44.918; 9. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:45.982; 10. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:50.083.
MXGP – GP Top 10 Classification: 1. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 45 points; 2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GAS), 40 p.; 3. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 40 p.; 4. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 38 p.; 5. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 28 p.; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 27 p.; 7. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 26 p.; 8. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 26 p.; 9. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 23 p.; 10. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 23 p.
MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 316 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 311 p.; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 300 p.; 4. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 277 p.; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GAS), 273 p.; 6. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 263 p.; 7. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 248 p.; 8. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 230 p.; 9. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 224 p.; 10. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 222 p.
MXGP – Manufacturers Classification: 1. KTM, 401 points; 2. Honda, 353 p.; 3. Yamaha, 339 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 299 p.; 5. GASGAS, 287 p.; 6. Husqvarna, 254 p.;
In the opening MX2 race of the day, it was F&H Kawasaki Racing Team’s Mathys Boisrame who claimed his first FOX Holeshot of the season with a flying start. Though Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle wasted no time, as he quickly jumped into the lead with Ben Watson of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing also getting a good start and battling at the front in P3.
Though his teammate, Jago Geerts, was not having the same kind of luck as he was down outside the top 10 with quite a bit of work on his hands. Vialle then continued to lead the way, with Renaux in second and Boisrame, Watson and F&H Kawasaki Racing’s Roan Van de Moosdijk rounding out the top 5.
Watson then got caught by Van de Moosdijk, which dropped him down to 4th and then Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen was the next rider to pass the #919, as he dropped to 5th.
Vialle then went on to set the fastest lap of the race – a 1:57.083, while Van de Moosdijk started to close in on his teammate and eventually passed him for 3rd. All while Geerts was making a good recovery as he caught on to the back of Watson and managed to pass him a couple of laps later.
Riding a race of his own, Vialle then extended his race lead to 10.336 seconds over Renaux, who was being caught by Van de Moosdijk and Olsen. There was then two separate battles in the race as Renaux, Van de Moosdijk and Olsen battled for 2nd while Boisrame, Watson, Geerts and Jed Beaton from Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing fought for 5th.
Beaton then made a little mistake as he exited the pitlane corner, and was being caught by the Honda Racing Assomotor rider Stephen Rubini, who had just passed Bailey Malkiewicz of Honda 114 Motorsports for 9th in the race.
Back at the front, the battle for 2nd continued with Renaux, Van de Moosdijk and Olsen, all separated by just a couple of seconds, with just a few laps to go.
Geerts then made a mistake, fell out of 6th position and looked to have picked himself up in 11th position, as Olsen started to apply the pressure onto Van de Moosdijk, eventually managing to pass him and move into 3rd with just 2 laps to go. And he quickly got Renaux too, putting on a great charge towards the end of the race.
Eventually, Vialle crossed the line to with the opening MX2 race with a nice 6.233 second margin to Olsen who was 2nd and Renaux hanging on to 3rd.
In race two, it was Watson who claimed the second FOX Holeshot of the day as he led Conrad Mewse of Hitachi KTM fuelled by Milwaukee, with Beaton, Geerts and Alvin Ostlund from Honda Racing Assomotor rounding out the top 5.
Though Beaton was looking impatient early on as he fought for a way past Mewse, while Watson led 2.116 seconds ahead. Race one winner, Vialle, didn’t have the best start to the race and was sitting in 7th place, just ahead of Renaux and Olsen.
Beaton then made a swift pass on Watson to move into the lead, setting the fastest lap of the race on lap 2 of the race. Geerts then found a way past Mewse for 3rd and was having a much better ride this time around.
Watson then stepped it up a gear as he set the fastest lap of the race and was starting to go after the win once again by which point just 1.2 seconds separated 1st and 2nd in the race.
Further down the field Geerts found himself in trouble as he crashed out of 3rd and was back up in 9th going after Olsen who was in 8th just ahead. He was eventually able to pass the Husqvarna rider and set his sights on the riders ahead and Mikkel Haarup of F&H Kawasaki Racing was his next victim. He passed the Dane moments later as Olsen looked to do the same.
10 minutes on the clock and the top 10 was made up of Beaton, Watson, Mewse, Ostlund, Renaux, Vialle, Geerts, Olsen, Haarup and Van de Moosdijk.
Geerts then went after Vialle, who he also passed and then caught on to the back of Renaux. Renaux made a mistake which allowed Geerts to get a better drive and pass him for 5th. And the passes just kept on coming as he moved into 4th.
As the race progressed, Vialle found himself in trouble and was slowly crawling down the order, as he came under fire from Van de Moosdijk, and Isak Gifting who was making his debut on the Diga Procross GasGas Factory Juniors for his first race in MX2.
As Renaux tried to fend off Van de Moosdijk, Geerts found himself in more trouble as he crashed out once again. Though in the end it was Jed Beaton who claimed a career first race win in MX2, with Ben Watson finishing 2nd and Conrad Mewse 3rd.
In terms of the overall, Thomas Kjer Olsen made his much-awaited return to the top step, while his teammate joined him on the podium finishing 2nd overall and Ben Watson having a good day to stand on the third step of the box.
Despite missing out on the podium, Tom Vialle continues to lead the championship now by 30 points over Geerts and Renaux.
Thomas Kjer Olsen: “I’m pretty surprised. I went into the race not really knowing that I was on the podium, it was just a crazy battle out there and I’m really happy about my riding. I wanted to be up there in the front and that’s what we will work on for the next race. I had a rough few races and the confidence was not really there but I felt this week just went better and better. I got my confidence back on the bike that I had last year and the confidence that I should have had from the beginning. I’m just super happy to get this overall as it’s been a long time since I’ve been up there and it’s an amazing feeling”.
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 35:59.768; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:06.233; 3. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:09.380; 4. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Kawasaki), +0:12.507; 5. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:25.703; 6. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:26.477; 7. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:27.061; 8. Stephen Rubini (FRA, Honda), +0:29.091; 9. Isak Gifting (SWE, GASGAS), +0:37.015; 10. Bailey Malkiewicz (AUS, Honda), +0:43.304
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), 35:28.853; 2. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:01.071; 3. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +0:09.445; 4. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:18.919; 5. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:24.786; 6. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Kawasaki), +0:25.755; 7. Alvin Östlund (SWE, Honda), +0:26.934; 8. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:27.753; 9. Stephen Rubini (FRA, Honda), +0:30.432; 10. Isak Gifting (SWE, GASGAS), +0:34.383.
MX2 – GP Top Classification: 1. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 40 points; 2. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 39 p.; 3. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 37 p.; 4. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 36 p.; 5. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 33 p.; 6. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 32 p.; 7. Stephen Rubini (FRA, HON), 25 p.; 8. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 23 p.; 9. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 23 p.; 10. Isak Gifting (SWE, GAS), 23 p.
MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 386 points; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 356 p.; 3. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 295 p.; 4. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 286 p.; 5. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 243 p.; 6. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 228 p.; 7. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 228 p.; 8. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 198 p.; 9. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 185 p.; 10. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, YAM), 164 p.
MX2 – Manufacturers Classification: 1. Yamaha, 409 points; 2. KTM, 402 p.; 3. Husqvarna, 318 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 315 p.; 5. Honda, 208 p.; 6. GASGAS, 104 p.