PHOTO-TEXT-VIDEO | MXGP & Youthstream
The FIM Motocross World Championship raced on the sandy and demanding track at Valkenswaard this weekend. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Gautier Paulin and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Pauls Jonass were the two riders who met the demands and took the overall victories.
2017 MXGP of Europe | MXGP Class
This weekend belongs to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Gautier Paulin who won the first Race after grabbing the important Fox Holeshot and leading the entire time. It was the first race victory for Paulin since Teutschental 2015. In race 2 Paulin finished second securing the overall, 2 years after doing the same here in 2015, it was the first Valkenswaard overall for Husqvarna in history. Paulin in the press conference said, "Being back on the podium and on the first step feels really good, it has been over a year. It is great to be racing like this, the ride with Jeffrey was awesome! The Dutch fans were cheering for Jeffrey so hard and I felt the track was getting smaller, I was really pushing hard to keep him from passing me. I will have good memories from today!"
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Jeffrey Herlings had his best result of the season today when he scored second overall. The Dutch rider had fought his way through both races, where he didn't have the starts he'd hoped for. In race 2 on his way to the front he battled with the former champions, Tim Gajser and Romain Febvre passing both before catching Paulin in 2nd and though Herlings was close he wasn't able to make it past the Frenchman. Herlings during the press conference said, "In MXGP it is like all out war from the moment the gate drops until the finish flag and that's something I'm not used to, but we will get there. We are getting the speed and I think there is one thing left and that's the starts. I felt like I was close today, I was really close to the win and that's good."
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing's Jeremy Van Horebeek scored his second podium of the season today with 3rd overall. Van Horebeek had a great ride in race one where held of the hard charges of Jeffrey Herlings and finished 2nd. In race he finished 5th after battling for the top 3 most of the race before falling on the last lap. In the press conference Van Horebeek said: "It's been a really good weekend…I think that the fans enjoyed our racing and it's a tough class, we have to fight for every position. I'm really happy to be on the podium and be consistent every weekend."
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Antonio Cairoli had a bad start in race 1, he was 14th on lap one. Cairoli consistently worked his forward over the first few laps before settling into 9th. For race 2 you could tell he wanted the win as he started with the Fox Holeshot and he returned to winning form. Cairoli finished 4th overall and continues to narrow the points gap, he is now 14 points behind in the championship.
Team HRC's Tim Gajser had a good weekend finishing 6-4 for 5th overall and though it wasn't the dominant form like we've seen lately he holds on to the championship lead now nearly a third of the way through the season. Gajser in the press conference said: "I'm quite happy, the speed was there. I just made some small mistakes, in the first race I crashed and in the second one I didn't have the best start. It's really tough actually, many guys are close together, their speed is there, you really just have to be focused 100%."
Team HRC's Evgeny Bobryshev was second for several laps in race 1 where he finished 4th and in race 2 he was in second, right in tow with Cairoli, the first 12 laps, but eventually dropped to 8th. His 6th overall and 31 points from the weekend have him 5th in the championship standings going into Latvia.
Team Suzuki World MXGP's Arminas Jasikonis achieved his best result today when he went 5-6 for 7th overall. He excelled on the technical and rough circuit, Jasikonis will undoubtably gain confidence from the result and will look forward to the next round at his home GP in Latvia.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Glenn Coldenhoff finished 9th overall in front of his home crowd. The Dutch rider lives a mere 20 minutes from Valkenswaard. Coldenhoff was visibly at home on the track as he held off his hard charging team mate Cairoli he finished 8th in race 1 and 10th in race 2.
2017 MXGP of Europe | MX2 Class
In MX2 class Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Pauls Jonass completed the perfect weekend again this season going pole in Saturday's qualifying race and following it up with 2 race wins. He achieved the race wins after two good starts including the FOX Holeshot in race 1 and leading the field every time the finish line was crossed. Jonass in the press conference said: "I felt pretty good all weekend, we made some improvements since yesterday and just kept improving all weekend with the bike. I enjoyed the track today…it was nice to ride, in the second race I got a good start, pulled a gap then just cruised around for the win. I really enjoy riding here and to go home with a 1-1 is good. The next GP is my home GP and I'm really looking forward to it.
Suzuki World MX2's Jeremy Seewer finished 19th in qualifying yesterday and responded well to the challenge today of 19th gate pick. Seewer was in 7th in race and 5th in race 2's first lap, both races he made passes getting himself to 4th and 2nd for 2nd overall on his 4th podium this season. In the press conference Seewer said, "I made the best out of today, both races I started between 10th and 15th and I had to make a lot of passes, I'm happy that I did. Especially in the second moto I did all that I could, to beat Pauls you need to be there on the start to battle him. I think we can look forward, I'm pretty positive now."
Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team's Brent Van doninck reached the podium today which is something that has evaded him in the past. Van doninck had a fifth in race one and a 3rd in race 2 which was good for 3rd overall. He had a bad start in race 1 and he had to push hard to get to the well deserved 5th while in race 2, his better start helped him to get near the back of Seewer but the physical demands took hold as he wasn't able to find the extra energy needed to get past #91 Suzuki. Van doninck in the press conference said, "I was coming close to Seewer but he had another gear and I was quite tired…I knew I was on the podium and I didn't want to throw it away with a crash or something. I'm happy, I'm looking forward to Latvia and I just want to keep the consistency like I'm doing now."
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Thomas Kjer Olsen looked comfortable on the bike and the track all weekend but went down in race 1 before completing the first lap while trying to make a pass. This mistake set him in 30th the first time across the finish, he would impressively climb his way back to 9th by the finish. The 9th combined with 4th in the second race resulted in 4th overall and he also 4th in the championship standings.
HSF Logistics Motorsport's Calvin Vlaanderen finished out the top 5 overall today in 5th at what is his home GP after a 6th in race 1 and 7th in race 2.
Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team's Benoit Paturel is really struggling with starts and it is a shame because if he was in the front during the early stages of racing he almost certainly would stay there. Paturel 7th and 9th in today's races were enough for the 6th overall and he is 5th in the championship standings 69 points off the leader.
Suzuki World MX2's Hunter Lawerence had a breakthrough performance in race 2 finishing fifth, that together with the Australian's 10th in race 1 got him a 6th overall.
The consistent #33 LRT KTM of Julien Lieber had his first major issue of the season when he had to pull out of race 2 with a mechanical issue. The Belgian howover still took 9th overall thanks to his season best second in race 1. Lieber remains third in the championship points standings and he will continue to pursue his first win at the next round on the again soft soil of Latvia.