Round 9 – MXGP of Lombardia, Mantova
Round nine of the FIM Motocross World Championship concluded with the MX2 and MXGP action for the MXGP of Lombardi, with Jeremy Seewer reaching an incredible career milestone as he claimed his first MXGP overall victory and stood on the top step of the MXGP podium
Jeremy Seewer took the overall victory, with Glenn Coldenhoff taking second 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 eighth and a race win, Gajser now leads the MXGP Championship by five-points over Antonio Cairoli and Jeremy Seewer is just a further 11 points behind.
Australian Mitch Evans had a rough weekend in the MXGP class, with a crash in Race 1 leaving him unable to finish the race, while Race 2 saw him return to claim ninth. He leaves Lombardia in 11th overall in the standings.
In MX2, Thomas Kjer Olsen made an epic return to the podium with his first overall victory of the season, with teammate Jed Beaton only a single point off the round overall. Ben Watson was also having a good day, standing 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, while Beaton sits in fourth, just nine-points off Renaux.
“I can’t explain how happy I am to have won the second moto today. I had a great start in race two and got into the lead early on lap three. I then had a clear track and just focussed on my lines. As the race wore on I got a little nervous but kept it together. I did make a few mistakes but held on for the win. It’s been a tough year until this point and it’s all coming together now. The team have been great and I’m so happy and pleased for them, too. I’m looking forward to Wednesday now.”
Bailey Malkiewicz went 10-23 in the weekends races, while Nathan Crawford went 30-16, with the two Aussie riders now 15th and 21st in the standings respectively.
In the WMX Courtney Duncan had a mixed weekend, claiming the first race win, before a massive crash in Race 2 snapped her ‘bars, ending what seemed like a dominant performance, that would have handed her another overall win and extended the championship lead.
Instead Larissa Papenmeier took the overall with consistent second places, while Nancy Van De Ven took the Race 2 win. Papenmeier now leads the standings from Van De Ven by 10-points, with Fontanesi in third, a further three points behind. Duncan is now fourth, with only four-points separating second through fourth, and 14-points to first.
MXGP Race 1
In the opening MXGP race it was Jeremy Seewer with the first FOX Holeshot of the day, as he led Prado and Brian Bogers. Meanwhile Gautier Paulin and Mitch Evans from Team HRC went down in the first corner, with Paulin riding into the pits. 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 Antonio Cairoli finding a way through into third ahead of Bogers, with Glenn Coldenhoff 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.
Arminas Jasikonis got out of the gate in the top 10 and was making his way through as he caught on to the back 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 sixth.
As Gajser struggled to find a way to pass Alessandro Lupino for 12th, the battle at the front was close as just four 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, Jasikonis, Desalle, Bogers, Van Horebeek and Gajser followed behind. Gajser then put on a late charge, as he passed Febvre for 10th, then stole ninth from Bogers and went after Van Horebeek. With just 3 laps to go, the Slovenian moved himself in eighth 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. Mitch Evans struggled to recover from going down in the first corner, finishing 18th.
MXGP Race 2
In race two, it was Prado who claimed his 8th FOX Holeshot of the season, as he led 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 fifth while trying to pass Paulin and eventually re-joined 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 for 19th with 17 minutes plus 2 laps to go of the race.
Febvre 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 went down and out of sixth 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 two positions in the process, which was not the race he had hoped for.
Eventually Gajser crossed the line to take the win in the second MXGP race, with Coldenhoff and Seewer inheriting second and third, 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.
Mitch Evans had a much improved race, finishing ninth, without the dramas of an early crash setting him back, as happened in Race 1.
Jeremy Seewer – P1 (Overall)
“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.”
Glenn Coldenhoff – P2
“Second overall is a good result, for sure. I’d have liked to have been at the front of the battle rather than at the back of it, but it is what it is. I had a good feeling today which is important. It’s quite hard to pass on this circuit and everyone is similar in speed but luckily I had decent starts and was able to move forwards, especially in race two. The first moto was ok but once I was into fourth, I fell into a rhythm behind Cairoli and was unable to make a pass. Overall, good points, second overall after a couple of guys jumped on a yellow flag and up to fifth in the championship. I’m looking forward to Wednesday.”
Jorge Prado – P3
“The victory was in my hands today. I feel I deserved it. It was a very good day and to win twice in this very tough class in my first year is something to be happy about. I sweated my shirt in that second moto to stay in second place. My speed wasn’t quite as good as the first moto but I’d made steps in recent weeks with my physical condition and the bike was working so well. I can take confidence from the way we finished.”
Tim Gajser – P4
“The first race didn’t start very well as I was back in the pack and it was tough to come through the field and pass the riders as everyone is very fast. I managed to come back to eighth but I was a little disappointed because I know that the start makes all the difference. For the second race, I put a lot of focus on the start and I managed to come out of the first corner around fifth and then I made a couple of quick passes which put me into third. I was following Romain and Jorge for around 15 minutes, before I was able to make two passes to get myself into the lead. I pulled a good gap, controlled the race to take the win and I’m super happy with how it turned out. Obviously getting the red plate is a big bonus and I will try my best to hold onto it until the end of the season.”
Clement Desalle – P5
“Not a bad weekend for me with fifth overall! My starts were average but in the first moto I made some good early passes; then I lost two positions due to a mistake but I passed a few guys again to finish seventh. I changed my strategy for the second start but that was not such a good idea; I was eleventh, came back seventh and finally was classified fifth overall. The most important aspect of the weekend is that I’m happy with my riding; I have no more pain in my back and the feeling is better so that promises well for the upcoming races.”
Mitch Evans – P13
“It wasn‘t the greatest day, although qualifying went quite well. I wasn’t feeling overly comfortable on the bike as I hadn’t ridden since Tuesday as I’ve been unwell but I was happy with qualifying. Unfortunately in race one I crashed in the first turn and then crashed a couple of laps later and was fighting all moto long to score some points. In moto two I didn’t get the best start either but didn’t crash, so I was still in a position to get a top 10 finish. I fought through to ninth and felt a lot better but I need to work on my starts and then I’ll be able to battle with the guys at the front of the races.”