Tim Gajser & Jorge Prado dominate MXGP of Russia

MXGP 2019

Round 8 – MXGP of Russia, Orlyonok

The 2019 MXGP of Russia saw warm Orlyonok weather on a tricky track that demanded the most out of even the world’s best with Tim Gajser and Jorge Prado solidifying their MXGP and MX2 standings, as both now hold the Championship leader’s red plates after another weekend at the top step of the podium.

MXGP Rnd Russia Gajser bybavo
Tim Gajser – MXGP of Russia 2019

In MX2 in Race 1 Mitch Evans led the Aussies with a fifth place result, while Jed Beaton came home 12th, with Dylan Walsh 17th. Race 2 saw a turn-around with Jed Beaton seventh, while Mitch Evans was 10th and Dylan Walsh 13th. This left Mitch Evans fifth overall for the round and Jed Beaton tenth. In the overall standings Evans holds sixth, while Beaton is 14th. Walsh is 17th.

The weekend’s warm weather and blue skies was matched by the blue water of the Black Sea and warm welcome of Russia’s motocross fans. The picturesque location of the venue and the beautiful Russian community of spectators combined with the unexpected results made for an unforgettable weekend of racing.


Following yesterday’s qualifying results Romain Febvre lined up to the gate in pole position and when the gate dropped for today’s Race 1 the Frenchman scored his second Fox Holeshot of the year. Team HRC’s Tim Gajser shot past the #461 almost immediately after they crossed the chalk and was into the lead as the opening lap kicked off.

MXGP Rnd Russia Jeffrey Herlings RA
MXGP Start – MXGP of Russia 2019 – Image by Ray Archer

Clement Desalle got into second with a pass on Febvre along with Arnaud Tonus. The #84 KTM Factory Racing machine of Jeffrey Herlings was in fifth while Antonio Cairoli was way back outside the top 15.

Evgeny Bobryshev lost control of his Kawasaki on the main downhill section on the opening lap and crashed hard ending not only the race but his home GP. Tonus gained a spot as Desalle fell in a corner while Tonus’ teammate, Gautier Paulin, crashed out of the top ten damaging his front causing him to fall again before making his way into Pit Lane and eventually the paddock.

MXGP Rnd Russia Romain Febvre
Romain Febvre – MXGP of Russia 2019

Herlings then found himself in fourth after the fall of Desalle with Pauls Jonass and Jeremy Seewer applying pressure. Seewer first passed Jonass but then Desalle surged past both Jonass and Seewer to take over fifth.

Alessandro Lupino had a big crash and was unable to continue while fellow Italian and his friend Antonio Cairoli was stuck in 15th for 12 laps before finally making a pass on Jordi Tixier. Desalle was ejected from his bike at the end of pitlane straight with only four laps to go and was unable to rejoin the racing. Seewer took over the fourth spot while Gajser took the race win ahead of Tonus, Febvre, and Herlings. Cairoli gained two more spots in the closing laps to finish 12th.

MXGP Rnd Russia Tony Cairoli RA
Tony Cairoli – MXGP of Russia 2019 – Image by Ray Archer

The second and final race of the MXGP weekend started with a season first holeshot for Glenn Coldenhoff with Gajser and Tixier just behind. Tonus was quick to move past Tixier along with Seewer. Seewer’s teammate Febvre fell in the early portion of the race from 7th costing him 6 positions with his former 7th place spot going to Cairoli.

Jonass passed Julien Lieber to get into the top 5 behind his former MX2 rival Seewer. On lap 7 Jonass lost his top five spot to Lieber as Cairoli also went by into 6th before making it past Lieber the next lap, at the same Gajser finally made his way around Coldenhoff for the lead.

MXGP Rnd France Pauls Jonass
Pauls Jonass – MXGP of Russia 2019

Coldenhoff lost the 2nd spot to Tonus immediately before losing a handful of other spots in the following laps to Seewer, Cairoli, Lieber, Jonass, Herlings, Paulin, and Febvre. Tonus then closed in right to the back wheel of Gajser and made an attempt to take the lead but clipped a trackside haybale and fell instead.

The fall of Tonus didn’t lose him any positions, only time to Gajser that he could not recover. At the finish Gajser took his 3rd MXGP Overall in 3 rounds via double race wins, the MXGP Championship leader’s red plate, and the first ever Russian Overall GP victory for Honda.

MXGP Rnd Russia Jeremy Seewer
Jeremy Seewer – MXGP of Russia 2019

Tonus took second overall with his 2-2 finishes and Seewer scored his career first MXGP podium overall, best MXGP race finish, and put not only the second Yamaha on the podium but also joined his Swiss compatriot Tonus to make history as the first time two Swiss riders have stood on the podium in the premier category of the FIM Motocross World Championship.

Tim Gajser

“I’m feeling really good about this weekend. It wasn’t easy out there, as both motos were tough because Arnaud (Tonus) was really fast and he was always behind me pushing hard. The first race I held him off all race, and then in the second race it was the same again but with 10 minutes to go he made a mistake and that gave me the gap I needed to control the race and take the victory. The track wasn’t so bumpy but it was still tough because it was so hard and it was easy to make a mistake. Overall I’m happy, and a huge thanks to everyone at Honda, as the CRF450RW is amazing and let’s hope we can continue this run of form. Three races ago I was 40 points behind in the championship and now I have the red plate so I’m really happy about these past few weeks have gone and although it’s still early in the season and there is plenty of races ahead of us, it’s still a great feeling and I can’t wait to see the red plate on my bike in Latvia.”

MXGP Rnd Russia Tim Gajser
Tim Gajser – MXGP of Russia 2019
Arnaud Tonus

“It wasn’t easy to fight for the lead. I was happy I had some good starts so at the beginning I was already close to Tim. There were not too many opportunities to pass on this track, so I came close, and I went for it, but I ended up making a small mistake. I am happy I tried and was able to recover and still finished second. I am still super thankful to be up here on the podium three times in a row.”

MXGP Rnd Russia Arnaud Tonus
Arnaud Tonus – MXGP of Russia 2019
Jeremy Seewer

“It’s amazing to make it onto the MXGP podium. It feels like it is much harder to get here, much harder that even some of my MX2 wins. It is a lot of work to get here, there are a lot of fast guys and especially on a track like we had today where there are a lot of guys riding a similar speed. I feel like it takes time to move from the 250cc to the 450cc and to get comfortable on the bike, but in the past few weeks I have been feeling good. My crew on the Yamaha Factory team have done an amazing job, and I owe a big thanks to them for making it happen. It feels like we are moving in a really good direction.”

MXGP Rnd Russia Jeremy Seewer
Jeremy Seewer – MXGP of Russia 2019
Jeffrey Herlings

“I had a serious injury and it has been tough to get back here, mentally and physically, and with a lot of pain for a long time. I did not expect this result here today especially on this track. So to be close to the podium again feels pretty beautiful. I like the track in Latvia but I don’t have any firm expectations and I will not forget where I have come from to get to this point. Having said that we’ll always try to fight for a podium spot when we can!”

MXGP Rnd Russia Jeffrey Herlings RA
Jeffrey Herlings – MXGP of Russia 2019
Romain Febvre

“The weekend was good. Yesterday was really good to win the Qualifying Race. Last week I could not ride because I was really sick. I was lucky to feel better when I got here. In the first race I got the holeshot but I made some mistakes. I got back to third, but I hit my ankle and felt some pain, so I just secured third. In the second race I crashed and then stalled the bike and lost a lot of positions. I came back to nine, so the speed was good, but two mistakes on this type of track, I could not do better.”

MXGP Rnd Russia Romain Febvre
Romain Febvre – MXGP of Russia 2019
Pauls Jonass

“I was looking forward to coming here to Russia because I won a couple times in MX2, so I have good memories. I felt good on the track all weekend, my speed was where I wanted it to be. The track is super-fast and slick and hard to make a lot of time up, so when everyone is pushing hard it’s easy for mistakes to happen. I guess I tried to be aggressive but sensible at the start of both races. I didn’t get the best of starts, but they weren’t bad either. I made some good, quick passes and was pleased to be running in fifth for several laps in the opening moto. But I felt like the second moto was better – I kept fighting to finish sixth, which was a great way to end the GP.”

MXGP Rnd Russia Pauls Jonass
Pauls Jonass – MXGP of Russia 2019
Tony Cairoli

“A very difficult weekend and of course the crash from yesterday did not help as it meant I was totally on the outside for the gate pick. I was riding very stiff and by missing the start it is almost impossible to make a good result on this track; everybody is riding at a similar speed. We lost the red plate but the positive is that I’m not badly injured, and we saw some big crashes today. We walk away a bit banged-up but we will re-group and look to Latvia, which is a nice track, and to regain some points.”

MXGP Rnd Russia Tony Cairoli RA
Tony Cairoli – MXGP of Russia 2019 – Image by Ray Archer
Arminas Jasikonis

“Not the GP I was hoping for at all and I wasn’t riding like I can or should have been. I don’t know why but I couldn’t find a good rhythm with the track, which meant that I was riding too hard, being too physical, in both races. Because I was riding too physically, I really felt the heat in the second moto. I gave my all but not at all what I wanted, but racing can be like this sometimes. We move on to the next GP and look to do better.”

MXGP Rnd Russia Arminas Jasikonis
Arminas Jasikonis – MXGP of Russia 2019

MXGP of Russia – MXGP Results

MXGP Rnd Russia HRC Gajser bybavo
Tim Gajser celebrates the win – MXGP of Russia 2019

Source: MCNews.com.au

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