Coming close to securing MX2 class victory on more than one occasions this season, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Thomas Covington has secured a deserved overall victory at the GP of Turkey. Earning his eighth podium result in 2018, Thomas Kjer-Olsen finished third overall in Afyonkarahisar.
With the fast track suiting Covington well the FC 250 powered rider was a force to be reckoned with throughout the weekend in Turkey. Getting the holeshot in moto one, the American put the hammer down to secure victory in the opening moto in style. Claiming another holeshot in moto two, Thomas held the moto lead until a small mistake with two minutes left on the clock. Picking himself up, he crossed the line in third place to secure his first MX2 class overall victory for the season.
Two solid moto performances in Turkey handed Thomas Kjer-Olsen his eighth podium result for the season. Fifth in the opening moto, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider came back stronger to secure a runner-up result in the final MX2 moto. Collecting valuable points in Turkey, Kjer-Olsen further reinforced his strong third position in the MX2 World Championship standings with two rounds to go.
In the MXGP category, Gautier Paulin wrapped up a tough GP with a solid fourth overall in the class. Eighth in the opening moto, the Frenchman took full advantage of his improved start in moto two to cross the line in fourth position.
Suffering mistakes in each of the two final motos, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Max Anstie secured 11-16 results for 15th overall at the GP of Turkey.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will return to action at the penultimate round of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship in The Netherlands on September 15/16.
Thomas Covington: "I've been waiting for a long time for this overall victory. I feel like I should have had a few of these by now. Me and my trainer Joel Roelants have been grinding away each week and it's finally good to get a win in the bag. Overall, it's been a good GP for me. I got two holeshots here in Turkey and was able to find a good pace in both motos. After getting the win in moto one I tried to put in some solid laps in the second moto to wrap up the weekend with a double moto victory. That was my motivation for most of the moto, but a small mistake two minutes before the end had me settle for third in moto two. I'm really happy with my performance and looking forward to the next round in The Netherlands."
Thomas Kjer-Olsen: "I'm really happy about my ride in Turkey. In the opening moto I struggled a bit to get into the groove of things, but we made some good changes in the right direction so I could come back a lot stronger in moto two. The bike was great and I could just hit my lines perfectly. I could follow Thomas [Covington] and Pauls [Jonass] for most of the race and when Thomas made a mistake I got up to second. I'm just so happy with this podium and I've got to give it up to my Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team and all the people who support me."
Gautier Paulin: "I'm satisfied with my performance in moto two. The weekend started with me not getting a good position in the Qualifying Race and this made my life harder for the final motos. Starts are really crucial and I had to dig deep to make the best out of my starting position. In the first moto I struggled a bit with track conditions and my lines were not the best ones. Luckily I managed to get a good start coming from the outside in moto two, so placed myself in a much better position for the rest of the moto. Getting fourth in moto two for fourth overall at the GP is quite positive. My bike is working great at the moment and I hope we can continue with the same momentum at the next two GPs."
Max Anstie: "For me it was a weekend to forget. It was a tough GP and not getting good starts in the final motos didn't let me ride the way I know I can. In the opening moto I had to come through the pack after an early fall to finish 11th. My speed was good after the crash, but I had already missed a lot of time to make it inside the top-10. Then in moto two I crashed again in the opening lap and hit the front brake on my bike. I did my best to cross the line in 16th place but this is surely not the result we're all looking for. It's onto the next one now in Assen and I'm hoping for some better results there."
Results – 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship, Round 18
MXGP – Overall
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 50pts; 2. Tim Gajser (Honda) 42; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 38; 4. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 31… 15. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 15
MXGP – Race 1
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 18 laps, 33:57.381; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 34:22.894; 3. Tim Gajser (Honda) 34:26.913… 8. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 34:54.317… 11. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 35:12.865
MXGP – Race 2
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 18 laps, 34:38.520; 2. Tim Gajser (Honda) 34:43.176; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 35:10.005; 4. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 35:13.986… 16. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 36:34.532
MX2 – Overall
1. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 45pts; 2. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 40; 3. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 38… 9. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 23… 13. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 15… 21. Yasin Karaboce (Husqvarna) 3
MX2 – Race 1
1. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 35:10.583; 2. Hunter Lawrence (Honda) 35:13.447; 3. Jorge Prado (KTM) 35:20.381… 5. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 35:31.014… 8. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 36:02.079… 14. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 36:27.949… 20. Yasin Karaboce (Husqvarna) 14 laps, 36:15.195
MX2 – Race 2
1. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 17 laps, 34:43.374; 2. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 34:46.522; 3. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 34:50.301… 11. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 35:42.216… 13. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 36:16.063… 19. Yasin Karaboce (Husqvarna) 13 laps, 36:48.534
Championship Standings – After Round 18
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 833pts; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 738; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 619… 6. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 514… 10. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 328… 18. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 115… 28. Harri Kullas (Husqvarna) 18… 30. Lewis Stewart (Husqvarna) 13; 31. Ander Valentin (Husqvarna) 8… 33. Aidi Lazaroni (Husqvarna) 6; 34. Rizky Hanif Kusparwanto (Husqvarna) 6… 47. Klemen Gercar (Husqvarna) 2
1. Jorge Prado (KTM) 773; 2. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 749; 3. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 593… 5. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 525… 10. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 301… 14. Brent Van Doninck (Husqvarna) 194… 17. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 185… 33. Muhammad Delvintor Alfarizi (Husqvarna) 28… 36. Diva Ismayana (Husqvarna) 24… 38. Hilman Maksum (Husqvarna) 20… 42. Jy Roberts (Husqvarna) 15… 48. Yoshua Pattipi (Husqvarna) 8… 50. Dylan Walsh (Husqvarna) 6… 53. Enzo Toriani (Husqvarna) 3; 54. Anthony Bourdon (Husqvarna) 3… 56. Yasin Karaboce (Husqvarna) 3… 58. Andrea Zanotti (Husqvarna) 2