Gajser makes it two MXGP overalls in a row as Prado takes sixth MX2 victory in France


Tim Gasjer was the fastest rider on the track and this speed shone through as he won his fourth consecutive race to close the gap at the top of the MXGP championship to just 10 points. Photo: Youthstream
HRC‰Ûªs Tim Gajser made it two overall victories in a row, as he swept the MXGP of France in convincing one-one fashion while Jorge Prado won an entertaining MX2 battle for his sixth triumph of the season.

For the second year in a row the MXGP of France in Saint Jean d‰ÛªAngely was filled with the always enthusiastic French fans to create an amazing atmosphere. Warm weather and sunshine lit the hillside circuit with its deep ruts and challenging conditions. Aside from the traditional high speed racing this weekend also provided some unexpected results and championship shake ups.

MXGP Race 1 started with a Fox Holeshot for Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP‰Ûªs Arnaud Tonus just ahead of Italian Antonio Cairoli. The top MXGP Qualifier, Team HRC‰Ûªs Tim Gajser, dove to the inside of Cairoli on the first lap to get into second early.

A lap after passing Cairoli the Slovenian made it past Tonus for the lead in almost the exact same spot. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP‰Ûªs Romain Febvre was off to a good start of fourth in his home round and watched as Cairoli made it past Tonus for 2nd.

Tonus‰Ûª Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP teammate Gautier Paulin struggled off the start and fell from 11th back to 18th in the third lap. Clement Desalle made his way past Alessandro Lupino and Febvre before making an assertive pass on Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP‰Ûªs Jeremy Seewer for 4th.

The pass from Desalle didn‰Ûªt last though as both Seewer and Febvre were back by before the end of the lap. At the finish it was a dominating win for Gajser ahead of Cairoli who held off the charges of Tonus throughout the race while Seewer, Febvre, and Desalle rounded out the top five.
Arnaud Tonus had his best finish of the year with second overall in the MXGP class. Photo: Youthstream
MXGP Race 2 got off to a dramatic start as Cairoli jumped his gate and Febvre took the Fox Holeshot creating a massive roar from the crowd. As Cairoli charged to catch up with the field Febvre led Tonus, Paulin, and Honda SR Motoblouz‰Ûªs Jeremy Van Horebeek.

Desalle passed both Van Horebeek and Paulin to quickly get into 3rd while Gajser was closing in from 5th position. Meanwhile the bad luck continued for Cairoli as he went down while 14th only to get up and have his bike punted away by Ivo Monticelli.

Cairoli got back on the bike on 25th and got up to 17th before stalling, losing a spot, and then regaining it all over again. At the front Gajser had made his way past Desalle before banging bars with Tonus to take second and eventually the lead from Febvre.

Gajser pulled away to take his second 1-1 victory in two weeks and his first back to back overall GP win since the MXGP‰Ûªs of Patagonia Argentina and Leon, Mexico in 2017. Febvre took second in the race ahead of Tonus, Desalle, and Paulin. Tonus‰Ûª 3-3 finishes gave him his best ever MXGP overall result of 2nd only one week after his long-awaited return to podium form in Portugal while Febvre‰Ûªs 5-2 result put him on the podium in front of the home fans.

The 17th place result of Cairoli in race 2 put the points leader 7th overall but dropped his championship lead to only 10 points over Gajser as the series heads to the Black Sea bordering venue of Orlyonok in 2 weeks‰Ûª time for the 2019 Patron MXGP of Russia.

"I‰Ûªm just really happy how things are going at the moment and I hope to continue this momentum into Russia," Gajser said. "I am having fun on the bike and I am enjoying putting in the work with the rest of Team HRC. We have a great environment that is helping me this season and it is such a great feeling to win these races and reward the effort that everyone is putting in."
After only his second race back after returning from injury, Frenchman Romain Febvre was on the podium in front of his home crowd. Photo: Youthstream.
Arnaud Tonus is happy with his progress and another podium this weekend, ‰ÛÏTo be honest I‰Ûªm not sure what to expect anymore. I was so happy last week, I felt like I was riding good, making some passes, and had some good starts and I was able to do the same this weekend. I‰Ûªm just going to try to keep going this way," Tonus said.

Romain Febvre was happy to notch up his first podium in front of his home fans, ‰ÛÏIt has been a long road, I didn‰Ûªt have much time on the bike yet and I feel like I can do much better," Febvre said. "It is a really good performance for how I feel right now. Coming down to the start line there is so many fans... it is really good, and I am really happy to have my first podium of the year here.‰Û
Jorge Prado greeted his eleventh chequered flag first of 2019 and took his sixth overall victory in MX2. Photo: Youthstream
MX2 Racing started off with Jorge Prado taking his 8th Fox Holeshot of 2019 and the lead ahead of Yamaha SM Action MC Migliori‰Ûªs Michele Cervellin, Adam Sterry, and Honda 114 Motorsport‰Ûªs Zach Pichon.

Brian Moreau was in 5th but crashed out of the spot on the first downhill section. Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha Official MX2‰Ûªs Jago Geerts was quick to move into 3rd past Sterry as Pichon faded back.

Geerts made an aggressive pass for second on Cervellin a few laps later and then set his eyes on the lead of Prado. A few positions further back Thomas Kjer Olsen worked his way forward from a poor start and past Sterry for 4th.

Henry Jacobi passed Tom Vialle 6th but crashed just after and was run over by the Frenchman before getting back up. Jacobi got back going in 9th while Vialle moved forward to take 4th from Cervellin.

Back at the front Geerts had caught Prado and just as they crossed the line to see the 2 lap board Geerts took the lead away from the points leader. Prado tried to respond but was unable to get the Belgian back for the race win. Geerts‰Ûª win was not only Prado‰Ûªs first defeat of 2019 but it was also Geerts‰Ûª career first MX2 race win! Olsen came in third with Vialle and DIGA Procross Husqvarna‰Ûªs Davy Pootjes in 4th and 5th.
Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha Official MX2‰Ûªs Jago Geerts took the opening moto win and and second to tie on points with Prado but was classed as second. Photo: Youthstream
Race 2 was another FOX Holeshot from Prado with Vialle alongside him. Sterry was off to another good start in 3rd with the race 1 winner, Geerts, just behind in 4th. Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha‰Ûªs Ben Watson got around his teammate on the first lap along with Sterry and Vialle who crashed out of 3rd.

Sterry then had a close call with Geerts as the Belgian jumped past for 3rd. Prado meanwhile grew his lead over Watson before Geerts went around the outside of his teammate and then chipped away at the lead. Tom Vialle fell again to lose even more positions along with Jacobi for the second race in a row.

Geerts also had a small fall which in the end was the advantage Prado needed to comfortably take the tiebreaker race win for the overall. Prado‰Ûªs win grew his points advantage over Olsen who came in 5th in race 2 for 3rd overall behind Geerts. Honda 114 Motorsport‰Ûªs Mitch Evans took 4th overall ahead of Sterry in 5th.

‰ÛÏThis weekend was tough, I had to push in both races and I relaxed a bit in the last laps but I felt everything was under control until I took the wrong rut after the finish line jump in the first race," Prado explained. "I charged hard to try and make a pass on the last lap but I couldn't make it happen. It turned out to be a good weekend with more points for the championship and a bigger gap.‰Û
Thomas Kjer Olsen again delivered an impressive set of results to land his sixth podium finish from seven GPs. Photo: Youthstream.
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:13.037
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:06.617
3. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:10.299
4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:28.701
5. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:31.735
6. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:35.329
7. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:35.836
8. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +0:48.968
9. Julien Lieber (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:58.570
10. Tanel Leok (EST, Husqvarna), +0:59.429

MXGP Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:00.904
2. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:05.375
3. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:07.314
4. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:19.675
5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:21.553
6. Julien Lieber (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:24.454
7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:26.435
8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:27.879
9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:53.090
10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Yamaha), +0:54.992

MXGP Overall Top Ten:
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 50 points
2. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 40 points
3. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 38 points
4. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 33 points
5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 31 points
6. Julien Lieber (BEL, KAW), 27 points
7. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 26 points
8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 24 points
9. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 24 points
10. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 21 points

MXGP ChampionshipTop Ten:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 311 points
2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 301 points
3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 218 points
4. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 208 points
5. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 190 points
6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 184 points
7. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 162 points
8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 156 points
9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 144 points
10. Julien Lieber (BEL, KAW), 141 points

MX2 Race 1 Top Ten:
1. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 34:36.015
2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:01.447
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:33.708
4. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:45.240
5. Davy Pootjes (NED, Husqvarna), +0:56.679
6. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:59.098
7. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +1:00.865
8. Henry Jacobi (GER, Kawasaki), +1:08.778
9. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Honda), +1:09.938
10. Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), +1:17.543

MX2 Race 2 Top Ten:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 34:50.867
2. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:02.577
3. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:07.483
4. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:18.663
5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:26.028
6. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:31.109
7. Bas Vaessen (NED, KTM), +0:35.035
8. Davy Pootjes (NED, Husqvarna), +0:36.741
9. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:37.722
10. Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:46.144

MX2 Overall Top Ten:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 47 points
2. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 47 points
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 36 points
4. Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 32 points
5. Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 30 points
6. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 29 points
7. Davy Pootjes (NED, HUS), 29 points
8. Bas Vaessen (NED, KTM), 20 points
9. Darian Sanayei (USA, KAW), 19 points
10. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 18 points

MX2 ChampionshipTop Ten:
1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 297 points
2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 283 points
3. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 217 points
4. Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 210 points
5. Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 187 points
6. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 184 points
7. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 182 points
8. Davy Pootjes (NED, HUS), 157 points
9. Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 157 points
10. Bas Vaessen (NED, KTM), 125 points

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