PHOTO-TEXT-VIDEO | MXGP & Youthstream
The 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship's round 4 was a spectacular one at the MXGP of Leon-Mexico, especially for the winners, Team HRC's Tim Gajser and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Thomas Covington.
2017 MXGP Of Leon-Mexico | MX2 Race Report
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Thomas Covington showed he was ready to compete after qualifying 1st on Saturday. Race 1 was slightly more challenging for the American than his qualifying race as he finished 4th. At the start of race 2 Covington grabbed the Fox Holeshot and after battling with Jonass showed that his qualifying win was no fluke, winning the race 3.8 seconds ahead of the second. His 4-1 results and overall win were identical to his 2014 win here in Leon.
Team Suzuki World MX2's Jeremy Seewer had no issue in race 1 leading every. In race 2 he was 5th on lap one and he fought his way past Brent Van doninck and Julien Lieber to reach the third position by lap 9, which would have given him the overall, but 3 laps later he had a near get off and miraculous save. His close call caused him to lose a position to Lieber and cost him the overall. Seewer finished second and maintained the point lead heading to Europe. The Swiss later in the press conference said, "I turned my weekend around today, I did what I was looking to do all season in race one, I was there on the start and then raced at my speed."
LRT KTM's Julien Lieber was battling throughout the day with the likes of Jonass, Seweer, and Paturel. He swapped position with the other riders multiple times but at the end he finished 3rd in both races getting himself and his privateer KTM on the podium once again. In the press conference Lieber said, "It was really good, it was two tough races and I will continue to try to ride like that."
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Pauls Jonass may have had the grittiest performance of all at the MXGP of Leon – Mexico after falling in Warm-Up and injuring his arm, he actually pushed through the pain in both races saving valuable points in a close title race. He finished 5th in race 1 and an impressive 2nd in race 2 for 4th overall.
Kemea Yamaha MX Official Team's Benoit Paturel had similar problems to the last race weekend, he put in a strong race 1 with a second place finish passing five riders along the way. It was in race 2 where he was 20th on lap one and from then on he gave a lesson on how to make a pass. From 20th Paturel worked his way past 12 riders in 16 laps finishing 8th for a 5th place overall. Paturel's amazing effort and damage control keep him 3rd in the championship points!
2017 MXGP Of Leon-Mexico | MXGP Race Report
Team HRC's Tim Gajser came into Sunday after qualifying first on Saturday for the second GP in a row. Gasjer won both races in textbook form on Sunday. The Slovenian rode at an unmatchable pace winning both races with a 15 second gap on second and registering the fastest laps in both. In the press conference Gajser said, "I felt good all weekend, I was enjoying riding, and felt good on the bike. I'm really happy that I won!"
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Antonio Cairoli came into the weekend knowing that he needed to perform in order to keep the championship points manageable before heading to Italy for the first race in Europe. In Race 1 Tony started in 4th and he maintained his position until the checkered flag while in Race 2 he finished in second which, combined with his 4th, was enough to finish second overall. Cairoli now is second in the championship 20 points back of Gajser. In the press conference Cairoli said, "I did my best, I finished 4th in the first moto which is good for the championship. Tim and I were a little faster than everyone else today and I want to be closer in the races because it is fun to race with him."
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Gautier Paulin won the MXGP of Leon – Mexico in 2014 and this time around he found the podium once again. He improved his starts since the last race grabbing the holeshot in race 2 and completing the first lap in 3rd both races. Paulin held off the charges of several riders and handled the pressure well, he crossed the finish line in a consistent 3rd both races and placed himself on the podium for the first time aboard the Husqvarna. Paulin spoke about the race in the press conference saying, "I really love what I'm doing right now, step by step I'm getting better!"
Wilvo Yamaha MXGP's Arnaud Tonus has struggled so far this season and today he turned his luck around moving up through the competition after finding himself in 7th off the start of both races. In race 1 he moved up one spot to 6th but in race 2 he moved all the way up to 4 passing Jeremy Van Horebeek on the last lap. Tonus' 6-4 results put him one spot off of the podium but more importantly he gains some confidence before heading to Europe.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing's Jeremy Van Horebeek rounded out the top five two weeks after being on the podium in Patagonia-Argentina.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team's Clement Desalle stays third in the points after an 8th in race 1 and a 6th in race 2 for 7th overall. Desalle's starts and speed seem to be on point but he isn't the type to be satisfied with anything less than a podium and he's heading to Europe determined be there again.