Grand Prix of Trentino – Round 16
MXGP rolled into Pietramurata over the weekend for the 2020 MXGP of Trentino, the first of the final three rounds to be held in Italy, with plenty of surprises in store, including a new race winner of 2020 in MXGP.
Antonio Cairoli claimed his 92nd GP victory on home soil, while championship rival, Tim Gajser, was forced to settle for second, after taking a comfortable race win in the first heat but struggling to get a good start in the second race which made things tough. But it was Clement Desalle of Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team who was the man of the day, as he made his first podium appearance since the MXGP of the Netherlands in 2019. The Belgian took an incredible race win in the second race, to confirm his spot in third on the box.
Gajser (626) currently leads the MXGP standings from Cairoli (553) and Jeremy Seewer (535), with Romain Febvre fourth on 487, and Jorge Prado fifth on 476.
In MX2, Jago Geerts made his return to the top step of the podium, following some tough races during his home rounds in Lommel. Geerts took a fourth in race one, and a race win in the second heat which gave him the advantage for the overall.
Joining him was Thomas Kjer Olsen, who proved that he has the speed to win races in Pietramurata, as he claimed the victory in the opening heat and then a fourth in race two, for second overall on the day. The last rider to take to the podium was the championship leader, Tom Vialle who finished the races second and third, after a couple of small mistakes, including the crash in the second heat, which cost him the race win.
Australian Beaton held strong to claim a solid third place in moto one after an impressive turn of speed during the early stages of the race. Coming together with another rider in the first turn resulted in a poor start for Beaton in race two, and he had to fight back into 10th by the end of lap two, before advancing to eighth by the halfway stage of the race. Unfortunate to lose a position in the closing stages of the moto, Jed’s ninth-place finish rewarded him with fourth overall.
Jed Beaton – P4
“It’s been a decent day for me. Overall, I feel really good on the bike, it was just a shame that I clipped someone at the start of race two. I felt great in race one, really comfortable and was on the pace, but third was the best that I could do in that one. I was looking forward to another good result in race two but it wasn’t to be. Two more rounds here though and I’m ready to get in the battle again.”
Fellow Australian Bailey Malkiewicz had a mixed weekend, with a strong Race 1 result, finishing in 12th for nine championship points, however 24th in Race 2 meant he had to settle for 18th overall.
Vialle now leads the MX2 standings on 693, with Geerts on 620 and Maxime Renaux third on 505. Thomas Kjer Olsen is fourth, a point ahead of teammate Jed Beaton, the duo on 489 and 488 respectively. Malkiewicz now holds 16th.
MXGP Race 1
In the opening MXGP race it was Gajser who claimed the first Fox Holeshot of the day, as he led Cairoli, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Arnaud Tonus and Jeremy Seewer, and Alessandro Lupino of Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing.
Meanwhile, Brian Bogers of Marchetti Racing KTM, Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre and Evgeny Bobryshev of PAR Homes RFX Husqvarna, were among the riders who went down in the first turn.
As Gajser and Cairoli checked out of the race, Seewer was working away at his teammate, Tonus for third. It took six laps to get around him, by which point the top two were too far ahead for him to have a chance to go for higher positions, which meant Seewer had to settle for third.
Febvre was making good progress as he got himself back into points after the first corner crash, though he went down once again which meant he had to re-group again. Eventually he finished the race in 14th.
Gajser though edged out lap after lap, to eventually win the race by 7.891 seconds over Cairoli, with Seewer crossing the line in third, a further 22.214 seconds down.
Things got interesting towards the end of the race, as Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin put on a late charge to pass Lupino for 5th on lap 14 and then he also got Tonus for 4th with two laps to go.
MXGP Race 2
In the second heat, it was Cairoli who claimed his first Fox Holeshot of the season, though the Italian lost a bit of ground in the second corner, which allowed Seewer to sneak through into the lead.
Seewer didn’t lead for long, as he crashed out, which allowed Desalle to take first place. The Swiss was able to quickly pick himself up to re-join the race in 5th.
Gajser had a tough start to the race and was down in 7th on the opening laps, though made a couple of good passes on Lupino and JM Honda Racing’s Dylan Walsh, to get onto the rear wheel of Seewer and Paulin.
Paulin, Seewer and Gajser then had a nice three-way fight for 3rd and after 9 laps of trying, the Slovenian was eventually able to pass Seewer to move into 4th, though he couldn’t quite get Paulin, who managed to hold on to a solid 3rd place.
But all eyes were on the two leaders, Desalle and Cairoli. The pair held a nice tight gap throughout the race, with the close battle giving us all flashback moments to the days when the Belgian and the Italian fought one another for world titles. Though Desalle was able to ride a calm and controlled race to take his first race win since MXGP of Russia in 2018.
With two GP’s remaining, Gajser continues to lead the MXGP Championship by 73 points, over Cairoli and Seewer, who is a further 18 points down in third.
Antonio Cairoli – P1
“I’m really happy to win the overall and to ride with Clement in the second moto; it was like a few years ago when we used to fight for the title! We were riding fast today. It’s always good to win in Italy but it’s not the same without any public so thanks to all those who were supporting from home. We’ll try to do our best for the rest of the championship. Tim is far ahead but we’ll try to enjoy the last two races and see what happens.”
Tim Gajser – P2
“Overall I am quite happy with how things went. The first race was almost perfect, getting the holeshot and then making a gap at the beginning. Tony was pushing to start with but I managed to increase the gap every lap and controlled the race to take the win. In the second race I messed up the jump out of the gate and had a couple of difficult moments in the first lap as I battled through the field. I tried to take it easy at the beginning, not rush things and not make a mistake. In the end I came back to fourth place which was good enough for second overall. I did try everything to make the pass for third, which would have been good enough for first but I couldn’t quite make it happen. It was still a good result though and there are four motos left to go, so I will keep focused and try do my best.”
Clement Desalle – P3
“It’s a really nice moment. I have continued to believe in myself and back at the truck after the first moto I even said to my team that I felt I could be fourth or fifth; mathematically even perhaps the podium was possible. That second moto will stay in my memory for a long time. I got a good start in third; I could pass Toni in a corner and then Jeremy made a mistake and I was leading. It’s a feeling I didn’t have for a long time; it was so nice and I appreciate it. I took it lap-by-lap. In the beginning I was making some mistakes in one sector; I didn’t have a good line there at first but I found a better one. After that I was really happy with my riding; I found a good rhythm and stayed focused. Toni came back at me some laps but I went again and with a few laps to go I realised that perhaps I could do it to the end. I gave what I had and I did it ! I’m super happy; such a nice feeling. I will take the next two GPs race-by-race but for sure I know what I can do and I would like another podium and another race win.“
Gautier Paulin – P4
“We are in good shape, with the bike, and myself too. No regrets today, I had really good rhythm, it was really tough to pass. I woke up a little bit too late in first moto to get back to third place. I came really close to Jeremy (Seewer) but it was too late to attack. In the second race I had quite a good start. I came close to the podium and I did everything I could to make the box, unfortunately it didn’t work out, but I still feel really good. It was a really good race. I know we can’t always make the podium, but the riding was strong, and I leave here happy today. We still have two more times to enjoy Trentino so there is still a lot to look forward to.”
Jeremy Seewer – P5
“I threw away a podium or a really good result in the second moto when I crashed out of the lead, but overall it was a super solid day. I had good results with no big mistakes, it’s a fast track and everyone is running quite a similar pace. Fourth or fifth overall is not where I want to be, I want to be on the podium and battling up front, but still some solid points.”