The Monster Energy MXGP of Italy has concluded in Maggiora with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing victorious in MXGP and MX2, as Jeffrey Herlings and Mattia Guadagnini secured overall victories in their respective categories.
The day was full of excitement, as we started things off with a special parade lap which featured former FIM Motocross World Championship riders Gautier Paulin, Joel Smets and Alex Puzar, followed up by four interesting races that kept the crowd of spectators on their toes.
In MXGP, the podium was close as the top three riders were all tied on 40 points. But it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings who put in a stellar effort to get himself onto the top step of the podium, while Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff made his podium debut with factory Yamaha to finish second overall, as Antonio Cairoli of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing added another top three finish to his 10th title chase.
In race one, it was Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team rider Romain Febvre who grabbed the Fox Holeshot and was followed by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado and Cairoli.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff and Ben Watson got off to a good start and were sitting fourth and fifth, with their teammate Jeremy Seewer inside the top 10 too.
Herlings started the race down in 6th and was pushing through the field until a jammed rock in his back break made things difficult, for which he had to pull over to fix and as a result lost valuable positions and time.
Seewer then went after Watson, for 7th place and a couple of laps later so did Herlings, pushing the Brit down to 9th where he eventually finished the race – this was his best result of the season so far.
Herlings continued his charge as he went after Seewer and then four laps later managed to get Jonass as well, to finish the race 6th, all while Febvre comfortably led the entire race with Prado, Cairoli and Coldenhoff behind him.
At one stage it did look like Gajser would make a move on Coldenhoff, though the Slovenian was unable to do so and the Dutchman could not edge close enough to get Cairoli and Prado either. Febvre took the race win with Prado second and Cairoli third.
In race two, things were very different thanks to the heavy rain that started to fall just before the gate dropped. As the race got going, it was Coldenhoff who grabbed the second Fox Holeshot of the day. He then led Herlings, Henry Jacobi of JM Honda Racing, Prado, Seewer and Cairoli on the opening lap, as Gajser started down in 11th.
Race 1 winner, Febvre started the race in 7th before making several mistakes and eventually finishing the race in 12th position.
Coldenhoff maintained a healthy 3-4 second gap to Herlings, as Jacobi was doing a great job keeping up with the Dutchman, as Cairoli and Prado were both looking to get around the German themselves, but were not able to do so.
By lap 12, Herlings was the new race leader and not long after Cairoli was finally able to get around Jacobi to move up into P3. Jacobi then dropped another position, as Jonass passed him too, with Gajser managing to get back to 6th after a tough race.
Herlings was the race winner, with Coldenhoff second and Cairoli third. The race top 3 was exactly how they went up to the podium with all three riders tied on points. Though it was Herlings with the Grand Prix victory.
Despite missing the podium, Tim Gajser continues to lead the MXGP championship and sits just 6 points ahead of Jeffrey Herlings, with Romain Febvre a further 11 points back.
Jeffrey Herlings: “After the first race I was 7th or 6th behind Tim and got a stone between my rear brake, at one point I didn’t know what it was so I had to stop. I lost many places and about 20 seconds I think and then I had to come back to 6th. I had to make a really late race charge. Before the second race, I was really bummed and wanted to go for the win. Then just before I gave up it was pouring down rain and came a bit unexpected, so I had to make a last-minute decision regarding the tyre, goggle and whatsoever. Second race I came off really good, I was in third, raced to second then I wanted to save my goggle because in a mud race goggles are pretty important. So I always had a gap to Glenn, once I got into the lapped riders, I tried to attack and managed to pass Glenn, I was already counting and then I was like I will have the advantage for the overall and with a few laps to go I was going to win the overall. I lost a lot of the points into the championship, I started unlucky but it’s good heading into Oss in two week time. I think we are just 6 points behind. Still a lot in the championship so I won’t really look at the points because at the past I was counting, counting, counting, and sometimes I was over 150 points up front, I still didn’t win the championship, so I don’t count anymore, I just look race by race. I look at every race individually and try to be the best I can every single weekend. I want to thank the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team, they did a great job. The bike was good and especially in the second race with all the mud”.
Glenn Coldenhoff: “Orlyonok was a tough one for me, but I was surprised because my feeling was very good there. England was a bit better. But today straight from the first lap I felt really good and comfortable. In the first race I was behind Tony Cairoli, and I was a bit faster, but the track was lined, it was difficult to pass but, in the end, I spent quite some energy which resulted in not so much, let’s say, still fourth. In the second race the start was very good, holeshot and the team you know has been working so hard for this, I’m really thankful for that and want to give it up to them. In general, that second race, I was leading, I felt confident out there until halfway through the race, I started to struggle a little bit. Jeffrey was fast in the end, but I knew we had a twenty second gap to third and If I was to finish in front of Jeffrey, I knew I would win, but like I said I was not comfortable in the second part of the race. I’m really happy to be back on the podium and that’s where I think I belong; It’s a good confidence boost going into Oss in two weeks’ time and I’m really looking forward to that GP”.
Antonio Cairoli: “I’m really happy about the podium of course but not happy about that second race because I had the speed to ride in front. I started sixth or seventh then managed to pass Jorge Prado and a few other guys and then I arrive at the back of Henry Jacobi but my roll-off’s broke immediately because of a stone. The guys in front pulled away and I couldn’t pass Jacobi, so I really struggled to find a place to pass him but in the end I managed to do so on the last three laps. I’m training a lot on the mud lately and my feeling is good. I’m really looking forward to the sand races now, I’ve not been riding a lot on the sand lately but I love it, it’s my first favourite ground so I’m looking forward to being in Oss in a couple of weeks and hopefully we can continue to build up condition and try to stay in front again”.
Tim Gajser: “It was a tough day for us, I was struggling with the starts. First race I had a solid start but then passing was not easy so I kind of just settled for fifth and followed Glenn all race. Second one, I had a wild race, the rain and the storm came for the first half of the race, I lost the goggles immediately in the first lap and then I was struggling the whole race. I managed to come back to sixth in the end, but it was not easy to ride. But anyway, overall, I have to be happy as it could be worse. But now I am really looking forward to going to Oss”.
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), 34:00.711; 2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:02.948; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:05.240; 4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:06.961; 5. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:09.446; 6. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:13.052; 7. Pauls Jonass (LAT, GASGAS), +0:14.708; 8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:30.816; 9. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:37.357; 10. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:46.310;
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:58.417; 2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:06.911; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:29.021; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, GASGAS), +0:31.204; 5. Henry Jacobi (GER, Honda), +0:31.717; 6. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:32.851; 7. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:46.734; 8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:52.013; 9. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KTM), +1:09.670; 10. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Beta), +1:13.969;
MXGP – GP Top 10 Classification: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 40 points; 2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 40 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 40 p.; 4. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 36 p.; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 34 p.; 6. Pauls Jonass (LAT, GAS), 32 p.; 7. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 31 p.; 8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 26 p.; 9. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 22 p.; 10. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, BET), 21 p.;
MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 124 points; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 118 p.; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 107 p.; 4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 105 p.; 5. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 97 p.; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 86 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 82 p.; 8. Pauls Jonass (LAT, GAS), 82 p.; 9. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KTM), 69 p.; 10. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, BET), 60 p.;
MXGP – Manufacturers Classification: 1. KTM, 134 points; 2. Honda, 125 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 107 p.; 4. Yamaha, 103 p.; 5. GASGAS, 82 p.; 6. Husqvarna, 46 p.;
Main Photo: Jeffrey Herlings
Bottom Photos: 1. Glenn Coldenhoff 2. Antonio Cairoli
In MX2 the racing was nail-biting as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Mattia Guadagnini secured his first overall GP victory and did so on home soil, in front of his home crowd. As Maxime Renaux of Monster Energy Yamaha Racing made it two podiums in a row following a win in Great Britain, while his teammate Jago Geerts made a strong comeback after two tough GP’s and injury.
In race one, it was Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Thibault Benistant who took the Fox Holeshot as he led Guadagnini, Geerts and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kay De Wolf and Jed Beaton.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle did go out in the first race but failed finish and did not start race two either.
Beaton was able to get past his teammate to get himself into 4th, while further down the field the Championship leader (at the time) Ruben Fernandez of Honda 114 Motorsports was getting closer to the top 5 after passing Stephen Rubini of Honda Racing Assomotor for 7th.
Fernandez then started to close in on De Wolf for 5th as Mathys Boisrame of F&H Kawasaki Racing was also looking to get involved in the battle. Fernandez was eventually able to pass the Husqvarna rider on lap 11.
Benistant extended his lead to 6.092 seconds at one stage over Guadagnini, as Geerts was coming under fire from a group of riders behind him, including Beaton, Fernandez, De Wolf and Renaux.
Fernandez was eventually able to get Beaton on lap 15 and then just a lap later he also passed Geerts for third. Benistant was the race winner with Guadagnini almost 10 seconds behind in P2 and Fernandez 3rd.
In race two, it was Geerts who led the way as he secured his first Fox Holeshot of the season with Guadagnini and Rene Hofer just behind. Guadagnini wasted no time and by the end of the lap was the new race leader as Renaux slipped into second.
Renaux then made a mistake which lost him valuable time on Guadagnini, who was focused on riding his own race and held healthy lead.
Fernandez was unlucky in the beginning of the second race, as it took him 7 laps to get inside of the points.
Both Simon Längenfelder and Isak Gifting of DIGA Procross GasGas Factory Racing had a good start of the race as they were both inside the top 10 at one stage. Längenfelder was able to maintain a good position to finish the race 8th, while Gifting was down in 31st.
Beaton then lost three positions to Hofer and F&H Kawasaki Racing’s Roan Van De Moosdijk and later Boisrame, as Hofer went after Geerts.
Van De Moosdijk eventually was able to get around Geerts for third as well, with his teammate doing the same as the pair placed 3rd and 4th. Geerts did managed to get Hofer back by the end of the race, all while Guadagnini took his second race win of the season, as Renaux finished second, with Moosdijk third.
Guadagnini was the overall winner with a 2-1 result, with Renaux finishing second on 37 points and Geerts third on 34 points. With Fernandez only scoring 29 points today, Mattia Guadagnini is now the new MX2 Championship leader, with Maxime Renaux just 2 points behind him and Ruben Fernandez dropping to 3rd.
Mattia Guadagnini: “It’s crazy, I don’t even know what to say, It’s too good. The day started pretty good, I had sixth in time practice and took a good start for race one. Then I was second and didn’t want to take any risks, I was behind Thibault Benistant in second and just tried to keep calm, maybe tried to pass him in the last part of the race, but then he was also fast, so I was just happy with the second place. And then in the second race I had a good start, I was second and pushed in the first lap to take the lead and then just had fun and was feeling good, so I could take a good gap and relax at the last few laps and enjoy it. It’s amazing for me, my first GP win in Italy and also taking the red plate, I didn’t know, it was a surprise, but I just don’t want to think about it, I just want to try my best every race and then let’s see”.
“I’m pretty good also in the sand, so we will try to get some good training and be ready for some sand races in Oss”.
Maxime Renaux: “The first race was tough because I had a really bad start and then had a crash also after five laps, I guess. Then coming into the second race, I just wanted to get a good result to try to get on the podium and actually second place was enough to get second overall, so I was happy with that. I had a really good lap time this morning and straight away I was feeling good with the track, had some issues and body problems in the end so I was not in the best shape, but I still managed to get second overall today and it’s consistent so that’s how I wanted the entire season to go”.
“I knew if I passed Mattia I would get the red plate, but I just didn’t want to make any mistakes or go crazy because he was really fast and I was just not feeling it, so second was enough for me. Now I just want to try to get consistent and get the red plate later on in the season. For sure in the next races if I can get it, I will, but I don’t want to put pressure on myself to have it as soon as possible”.
Jago Geerts: “I’m really happy with my first podium of the season. The first two races were really tough, also with my knee injury, but it’s getting a lot better. I’m happy with the day, two solid races. I know I don’t really have the pace to battle for the win yet, but I will train hard throughout the next two weeks, and I will be waiting for Oss”.
“Currently I’m not thinking about the title but it’s still a really long season, so anything can happen, but first I just want to get 100% and battle for the win again”.
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), 34:16.807; 2. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, KTM), +0:09.598; 3. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:17.177; 4. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:20.260; 5. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:20.592; 6. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:21.057; 7. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:23.274; 8. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:27.653; 9. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Kawasaki), +0:28.549; 10. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +0:31.669;
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, KTM), 34:43.918; 2. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:03.433; 3. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Kawasaki), +0:05.691; 4. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:08.375; 5. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:10.306; 6. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), +0:10.922; 7. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:13.680; 8. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:24.458; 9. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:28.110; 10. Andrea Adamo (ITA, GASGAS), +0:32.686;
MX2 – GP Top 10 Classification: 1. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, KTM), 47 points; 2. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 37 p.; 3. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 34 p.; 4. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 32 p.; 5. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 32 p.; 6. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 31 p.; 7. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 30 p.; 8. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 29 p.; 9. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 26 p.; 10. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 25 p.;
MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, KTM), 113 points; 2. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 111 p.; 3. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 108 p.; 4. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 105 p.; 5. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 99 p.; 6. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 80 p.; 7. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 79 p.; 8. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 70 p.; 9. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 67 p.; 10. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 67 p.;
MX2 – Manufacturers Classification: 1. KTM, 140 points; 2. Yamaha, 124 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 113 p.; 4. Honda, 108 p.; 5. GASGAS, 74 p.; 6. Husqvarna, 73 p.;
Main Photo: Mattia Guadagnini
Bottom Photos: 1. Maxime Renaux; 2. Jago Geerts
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MONSTER ENERGY MXGP OF ITALY – QUICK FACTS
Circuit length: 1730m
Type of ground: Hard Pack
Weather conditions: Cloudy with rain