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Cairoli and Prado Gain Championship Ground with MXGP of Lombardia Wins

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Cairoli and Prado Gain Championship Ground with MXGP of Lombardia Wins
Toni Cairoli (222) makes the perfect start and then went on to two solid wins in the MXGP class at his home GP. Photo: Ray Archer
The Fiat Professional MXGP of Lombardia hosted one of the most important races of the 2018 season so far with Antonio Cairoli and Jorge Prado taking the overall wins and gaining precious championship points in the process.

Italy‰Ûªs Ottobiano circuit was challenging for the best riders in the world with rough, technical, and sandy sections testing both rider fitness and ability. In addition to the track taking its toll on the riders‰Ûª energy so too did the high temperatures but thousands of Italy‰Ûªs wildest motocross fans encouraged the MXGP and MX2 stars as they fought. Rewarded with a win from the Italian motocross superstar, Antonio Cairoli, the fans filled the hillside and starting straight for podium celebrations.


The 11th round of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship, the MXGP opening race was scripted perfectly for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Antonio Cairoli as he took the Fox Holeshot after taking the 7th gate pick equal to his Saturday qualifying result. Cairoli‰Ûªs start was indicative of the following 19 laps where he jumped in front of the field and never looked back.

In second place from the beginning was Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP‰Ûªs Romain Febvre but 8 laps into the race the Frenchman fell and dropped 2 positions to Clement Desalle and Max Anstie. Two laps later another mistake from Febvre allowed Gautier Paulin and TM Racing Factory Team‰Ûªs Max Nagl past.
Cairoli and Prado Gain Championship Ground with MXGP of Lombardia Wins
Cairoli made valuable ground in the MXGP class championship chase on Jeffrey Herlings, who was out injured, closing the gap by 50 points and is now just 12 behind. Photo: Ray Archer
Anstie had his teammate Paulin closing in which pushed him to catch Desalle. All the while Romain Febvre was back on a mission and took 5th from Nagl who was having a season high ride. On the last laps Anstie was all over Desalle for second but on the final lap he lost the front end in a turn and had to settle for third.

Cairoli took the race win with dominance, Desalle was second, then Anstie, Paulin and Febvre. Team HRC Tim Gajser made a pass on the next to last lap, after crashing in the first turn, to take 6th from Nagl.

Race 2 was another strong start from Cairoli in 3rd while Standing Construct KTM‰Ûªs Kevin Strijbos took his first Fox Holeshot and Desalle was second. By the third turn Cairoli was past Desalle and only one turn after that he took the lead from Strijbos.
Cairoli and Prado Gain Championship Ground with MXGP of Lombardia Wins
Frenchman Gautier Paulin finished second, on equal points with team-mate Max Anstie. Photo: Youthstream
Gajser was fourth behind Desalle but by lap 2 was past the Belgian and into 3rd. Nagl was off to another good start to the race in 5th with the two French riders of Paulin and Febvre giving chase. Cairoli however went down on lap 2 while leading, lost 3 spots, and gave Strijbos the lead. Gajser would however only allow Strijbos one lap at the front before making his way into the lead.

Cairoli went back to work quickly after his fall and made one pass a lap for each of the next 3. Cairoli‰Ûªs third pass was the one which gave him back the lead and it was done just in front of the home fans along the fence.

Desalle then fell in a corner losing positions to Paulin, Nagl, Febvre, and Anstie. Desalle‰Ûªs race just got worse from then on as he caught a kicker and swapped out through the roller section and was narrowly missed by Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Official Team‰Ûªs Jeremy Seewer. Desalle was lucky to come away unharmed but had to pull into to Pit Lane to have his bike repaired. Later rejoining the race Desalle took 20th position for only 1 championship point.
Cairoli and Prado Gain Championship Ground with MXGP of Lombardia Wins
A podium was a big boost to Max Anstie with the Brit saying he felt like he had turned a corner. Photo: Youthstream
At the finish it was another strong win from Cairoli ahead of Gajser, Paulin, Anstie, and Seewer. In the overall standings Cairoli‰Ûªs perfect 1-1 scored the maximum 50 points while Paulin and Anstie tied at 38 points a piece with Paulin taking 2nd and Anstie 3rd. The final result has cut the championship lead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Jeffrey Herlings to only 12 while both Paulin and Anstie achieved their season best results.

‰ÛÏOverall it was a good weekend," Cairoli said. "I‰Ûªm taking home 50 points which is very important for the championship. We are looking forward to Indonesia, it will be a hot race which I like so hopefully we will be back on the podium which is always the goal.‰Û
Cairoli and Prado Gain Championship Ground with MXGP of Lombardia Wins
Team HRC returning rider Todd Waters scored a 20th in the first moto of the day, before a retirement put an early end to an otherwise encouraging performance for the Australian in race two.
Brit Max Anstie was happy to grab the last spot on the podium. ‰ÛÏIt‰Ûªs nice to have got it done today and turn the page, hopefully now we can keep the ball rolling and it is just nice to be here on the podium with the guys. Overall I‰Ûªm pleased with the riding‰Û_ I‰Ûªm looking forward to Indonesia," Anstie said.

Team HRC returning rider Todd Waters scored his first championship point with 20th in the first moto of the day, before a retirement put an early end to an otherwise encouraging performance for the Australian in race two.
Cairoli and Prado Gain Championship Ground with MXGP of Lombardia Wins
Jorge Prado took out the MX2 class and clawed back 7 more points in the championship chase to team-mate Pauls Jonass. Photo: Youthstream
Just like in the MXGP class the MX2 title chase is tightening up between the two main protagonists. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Pauls Jonass leads the points but his younger teammate Jorge Prado has again cut into the lead this weekend.

Race 1 started with the now typical Fox Holeshot from Jorge Prado with Rockstar American Thomas Covington, Kemea Yamaha Official MX2‰Ûªs Ben Watson, and Henry Jacobi chasing in that order. Jonass was around 7th place but was up to third after a pair of passes on Watson with the second finally sticking.
Cairoli and Prado Gain Championship Ground with MXGP of Lombardia Wins
American Thomas Covington continued his good form with another podium taking second overall with a 4-2 scorecard. Photo: Youthstream
Thomas Kjer Olsen moved into 6th past LRT KTM‰Ûªs Davy Pootjes on lap 4 and continued on to make a pass on Kemea Yamaha Official MX2‰Ûªs Jago Geerts for 5th.

Olsen teammate, Covington, chased Prado for the first 7 laps but then he started to see the Spaniard making mistakes and took the opportunity to claim the lead. Covington then controlled the race and gapped Prado who had Jonass giving chase while also holding off Watson in 4th. Across the finish Covington won the race 5.8 seconds ahead of Prado, Jonass, Watson, and Olsen.

MX2‰Ûªs second race looked nearly identical out of the first turn with Prado taking the FOX Holeshot and Covington second. Olsen found himself 3rd in opening lap ahead of Jonass and Jacobi. Team HRC‰Ûªs Calvin Vlaanderen came from around tenth to pass Jacobi for 5th on lap 5. 3 laps later Watson took the spot away but Vlaanderen fought for the spot back on the next lap. The pair‰Ûªs battle resulted with Watson holding the position.
Cairoli and Prado Gain Championship Ground with MXGP of Lombardia Wins
Pauls Jonass maintained his championship lead with the final spot on the podium in MX2. Photo: Youthstream.
Meanwhile at the front of the field Prado‰Ûªs lead was too far gone and Covington soon lost positions to Olsen and Jonass. At the finish of Race 2 Prado won both the race and the overall with Olsen 2nd, Jonass 3rd, Covington 4th, and Watson 5th. Covington was second in the overall behind Prado but ahead of Jonass. Prado‰Ûªs victory cuts the championship lead of Jonass to only 9 points as the series will head to Indonesia in two-week time.

‰ÛÏIt was a really good weekend for me, I could manage to take the win going 2nd and 1st so I‰Ûªm really happy about that. Last year here wasn‰Ûªt the best but this year made it to the podium and took the win," Prado said.

With second place overall Thomas Covington was satisfied with the weekend, ‰ÛÏThe weekend overall felt really good starting on Saturday, I just had a nice flow around the track and I felt really comfortable with the bike. It was awesome," the American said.

For championship leader Pauls Jonass the weekend didn't go as expectd! ‰ÛÏThis weekend didn‰Ûªt really go as good as I wanted, I really struggled on the track," Jonass explained. "In free and time practice I felt good but in the races I couldn‰Ûªt find my flow or a rhythm so I was really fighting with the track. Physically I felt really good but it was just difficult to hang on. It is still a long season and we still have 9 races to go so nothing is over‰Û_ for sure it is going to be a fun championship because anything can happen.‰Û
Cairoli and Prado Gain Championship Ground with MXGP of Lombardia Wins
Hunter Lawrence admitted to struggling big time this weekend and placed outside the top ten with an 11-12 result for 12th overall.
MXGP will return to action in Indonesia on 7 July for the first of two back-to-back events in the transcontinental sovereign state located between Southeast Asia and Oceania.

MXGP Results:

MXGP Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 34:04.005
2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:11.624
3. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:21.192
4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:27.214
5. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:33.700
6. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:35.927
7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, TM), +0:39.137
8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:52.351
9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:00.663
10. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), +1:08.131

MXGP Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 34:38.105
2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:03.560
3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:08.496
4. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:16.600
5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:19.628
6. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:32.708
7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +0:35.614
8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:46.022
9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, TM), +0:52.311
10. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Suzuki), +1:01.851

MXGP Overall Top Ten:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points
2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 38 Points
3. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 38 Points
4. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 37 Points
5. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 31 Points
6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 29 Points
7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, TM), 26 Points
8. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 23 Points
9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 22 Points
10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 21 Points

MXGP Championship Top Ten:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 486 points
. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 474 Points
3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 374 Points
4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 354 Points
5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 334 Points
6. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 332 Points
7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 289 Points
8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 255 Points
9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 240 Points
10. Maximilian Nagl (GER, TM), 203 Points

MX2 Results:

MX2 Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), 34:46.265
2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:05.820
3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:09.170
4. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:10.570
5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:20.494
6. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:25.861
7. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), +0:29.474
8. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +0:38.965
9. Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA, Honda), +0:48.240
10. Henry Jacobi (GER, Husqvarna), +0:53.579

MX2 Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 35:11.237
2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:07.520
3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:13.522
4. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:15.657
5. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:20.559
6. Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA, Honda), +0:33.829
7. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:45.623
8. Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP, Husqvarna), +1:03.780
9. Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, Yamaha), +1:10.120
10. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Yamaha), +1:22.739

MX2 Overall Top Ten:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 47 points
2. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 43 Points
3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 40 Points
4. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 38 Points
5. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 34 Points
6. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 29 Points
7. Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA, HON), 27 Points
8. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), 24 Points
9. Anthony Rodriguez (VEN, YAM), 21 Points
10. Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP, HUS), 20 Points

MX2 Championship Top Ten:
1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 474 points
2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 465 Points
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 366 Points
4. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 339 Points
5. Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA, HON), 286 Points
6. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 254 Points
7. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 246 Points
8. Jed Beaton (AUS, KAW), 216 Points
9. Michele Cervellin (ITA, YAM), 206 Points
10. Henry Jacobi (GER, HUS), 200 Points

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