Herlings and Geerts draw first blood as 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship kicks off


After sitting out most of 2019 Jeffrey Herlings got his season off to the best start with a win at the opening round.
Jeffrey Herlings and Jago Geerts have drawn fisrt blood in MXGP and MX2 respectively as the 2020 FIM MXGP Motocross World Championship kicked off under a variety of weather conditions at Matterley Basin in the UK.

Going into the weekend, the overall winner for the MXGP class was hard to predict. With a full line-up of extremely strong riders, who have been training hard this winter, the list of favourites was never ending.

Following Saturday‰Ûªs practice session, Team HRC rider, Tim Gajser, was among the top favourites as he clocked in the fastest lap-time during the session. Second was Arminas Jasikonis, followed by Antonio Cairoli.

In the opening race of the weekend, it was the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory‰Ûªs Jeremy Seewer who claimed the first FOX Holeshot of the season, closely followed by Herlings and Gajser. Team HRC‰Ûªs newest recruit and MXGP rookie, Mitch Evans, also got off to a flying start in fifth. But on the downhill corner after pitlane Gajser found himself in trouble as he banged bars with Honda SR Motoblouz‰Ûªs Jeremy Van Horebeek, which left him having to fight back from 13th position.

On the opening lap, Evans was moving quick as he made a move on the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory‰Ûªs Jeremy Seewer. The 2013 MXGP of Great Britain winner, Clement Desalle also got a good start in fourth, before getting cross-rutted in the second lap and falling down to 7th.
Defending champion Tim Gajser overcame a few small crashes in moto 1then went on to win the final moto and conclude the round in second place.
As Herlings continued his lead, Seewer found his way back past Evans, knocking the factory Honda rider down to P3. Meanwhile the battle for 4th, 5th and 6th was on between Cairoli, Desalle and the Standing Construct Gas Gas MXGP rider Glenn Coldenhoff. Desalle did muscle his way past the GasGas Factory rider, while Cairoli was able to maintain his 4th place position.

Towards the end of the race, Gajser found himself battling the 2019 MX2 World Champion, Jorge Prado of Red Bull KTM Factory, with the Honda rider able to pass the MXGP rookie. He then set his sights for higher positions, but a crash on the last corner before the Monster Energy finish line of the last lap left him having to settle for P8 in the race, allowing Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP rider, Gautier Paulin to move up a position to P7.

In the end it was Herlings who took the race win with a 0:11.879 second lead over Seewer in second. Having a fantastic ride and making an impressive debut to his MXGP rookie campaign was Mitch Evans who placed 3rd in the race.
Despite riding with a sore shoulder nine time champion Tony Cairoli put himself on the podium with third and is looking forward to getting healthier as the season progresses.
In race two, it was the Henry Jacobi who took the FOX Holeshot, but Gajser moved swiftly into the lead, with Cairoli following him to also pass Jacobi. Meanwhile Herlings was behind in 4th and Paulin in 5th. Bad luck for Evans, who came around the first turn virtually last, leaving him with a lot of work to do in this second MXGP race.

By lap 4, Herlings was already charging, making a pass on Cairoli for 2nd position. Gautier Paulin was sitting in 3rd, where he remained throughout the race, also keeping Desalle at bay in 4th. From then onwards the top 5 remained the same until the race concluded, while the battles heated up behind.

Mitch Evans found himself moving quickly, and by lap 5 was already in 6th position as he passed both Seewer and Jacobi. Seewer then came under threat by the #259 of Glenn Coldenhoff, with the Dutch rider able to make the pass stick on lap 11.

With two laps to go, Desalle and Coldenhoff found themselves in an intense battle, with the two riders getting close to each other on several occasions, but the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider stayed strong to finish 5th. Desalle team-mate Monster Energy Kawasaki‰Ûªs Romain Febvre did not line up at Sunday‰Ûªs races as for an injury to his knee during the past week, he'll be back racing in Valkenswaard next week.

Gajser claimed the race win and with it a second overall, while Herlings made a strong come-back as the overall Grand Prix winner. Cairoli finished 3rd both in the race and the podium.
Australian Mitch Evans begin his season well with a third place finish in race one; and he backed this up with a very solid seventh in race two ‰ÛÒ battling his way back from 15th on lap one
‰ÛÏDefinitely there is no better way to start the season than to start with a win," Herlings enthused. "I said I did not need to win every GP this year but it was a good day. I made a 1-2, we have improved a lot also as a team as my bike is getting better and better. Thanks to Red Bull KTM racing Team for the great job they did. I‰Ûªm really looking forward to Valkenswaard, I‰Ûªm very excited to go to my home GP.‰Û
A first and a fourth was enough to see Monster Energy Yamaha Factory‰Ûªs Jago Geerts walk away with the MX2 win.
MX2 Class

While everyone expected the battles to be intense in the MXGP class, it was clear that the fans were pleasantly surprised as the MX2 riders delivered that and much more.

In the opening race, it was the Tom Vialle starting the race with the FOX Holeshot. Straight away the young Frenchman pulled a gap on his competitors and rode comfortably in 1st for the majority of the race.

Mathys Boisrame also got off to a great start as he followed Vialle until lap 5, when Rene Hofer made a successful pass for second position. The Hitachi fuelled by Milwaukee rider Conrad Mewse also pushed for third.
Tom Vialle was ruing a crash in the first moto that left him sixth, a win in the second saw him finish second overall.
The race action was impressive, as 3 riders battled for 2nd, with Monster Energy Yamaha Factory‰Ûªs Jago Geerts moving up from 4th to 2nd on lap 6, when he passed pole winner Mikkel Haarup.

That very same lap saw big changes to the top 5, with Boisrame fading allowing Geerts, Mewse, Haarup and Australian Jed Beaton to move up a position. In the next two laps, Beaton made some swift moves on Mewse and Haarup.

On lap 8 Vialle made a mistake and crashed out of the lead. This handed Geerts his first race win of the season, with Beaton finishing 2nd and Haarup making a fantastic debut to his MX2 season with a 3rd. In the end Vialle crossed the line in 6th position.

In race two, it was another FOX Holeshot from Rene Hofer. Geerts was right there in P2 and Vialle in 4th place. SM Maxime Renaux also got off to a great start in 6th position, followed by Beaton and Boisrame.
Pole winner Mikkel Haarup finished off a good weekend with third place.
The championship favourite, Thomas Kjer Olsen got off to a much better start in the second race, as he crossed the line 5th on the opening lap.

By the second lap, Hofer continued to lead from his team-mate Vialle, while Olsen moved into 3rd followed by Renaux and Beaton. Meanwhile race 1 winner, Jago Geerts crashed out of 2nd and was back down in 8th place, putting his chances of an overall at risk.

The top 5 remained the same until lap 8 when Haarup, Geerts and Boisrame moved up to 4th, 5th and 6th.

Hofer led the majority of the second race, keeping his team-mate at bay, before Vialle was able to pass the young Austrian, with 3 laps to go. At the same time, Haarup made a move on fellow Dane, Thomas Kjer Olsen of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory, for 3rd.

With 2 laps remaining, Geerts was also able to pass Olsen for fourth, which handed him the overall victory here at Matterley Basin, the first of his career.

‰ÛÏIt‰Ûªs really a good feeling to pick my first overall win here in Matterley Basin, At the first heat I had a small gift from Tom (Vialle)," Geerts said. "I‰Ûªm really looking forward to Valkenswaard next weekend, it‰Ûªs like my own GP. I had a really good start in second heat and I just battled for the lead, I had a crash and beat my shoulder a bit so I came back to fourth, but I‰Ûªm super happy, I feel like my riding is really good now‰Û
Aussie Jed Beaton took a strong second in the opening moto but a crash in moto two saw him finish sixth. The result saw him just miss the podium with fourth.
MXGP - Race 1 Results:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 35:33.506
2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:11.870
3. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:17.051
4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:25.377
5. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:29.331
6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GASGAS), +0:30.365
7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:38.148
8. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:39.702
9. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:41.135
10. Henry Jacobi (GER, Yamaha), +0:56.640

MXGP - Race 2 Results:
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 35:44.501
2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:23.382
3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:28.395
4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:30.195
5. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:32.276
6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GASGAS), +0:33.945
7. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:36.870
8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:38.209
9. Henry Jacobi (GER, Yamaha), +0:48.109
10. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Honda), +1:00.115

MXGP - GP Classification:
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 47 points
2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 38 points
3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 38 points
4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 35 points
5. Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 34 points
6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 32 points
7. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 32 points
8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GAS), 30 points
9. Henry Jacobi (GER, YAM), 23 points
10. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 21 points

MX2 - Race 1 Results:
1. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 36:43.110
2. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:04.920
3. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Kawasaki), +0:08.010
4. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +0:09.481
5. Alberto Forato (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:13.963
6. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:24.521
7. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:25.937
8. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), +0:28.707
9. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Kawasaki), +0:31.644
10. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Yamaha), +0:34.181
18. Nathan Crawford
21. Wilson Todd
38. Bailey Malkiewicz

MX2 ‰ÛÒ Race 2 Results:
1. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 36:05.077
2. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), +0:01.963
3. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Kawasaki), +0:03.508
4. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:07.568
5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:10.936
6. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:17.277
7. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:19.310
8. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:30.016
9. Alberto Forato (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:31.897
10. Nathan Crawford (AUS, Honda), +0:44.728
13. Wilson Todd
29. Bailey Malkiewicz

MX2 - GP Classification:
1. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 43 points
2. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 40 points
3. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, KAW), 40 points
4. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 37 points
5. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 35 points
6. Alberto Forato (ITA, HUS), 28 points
7. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 26 points
8. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 22 points
9. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 22 points
10. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 21 points
14. Nathan Crawford
17. Wilson Todd
32. Bailey Malkiewicz

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