Local hero Tom Vialle gave his home crowd exactly what they wanted as he secured the Grand Prix of France win in MX2 While in MXGP Jeremy Seewer celebrated his first of the season.
The French crowd was incredible at the tenth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship and got behind their home riders, cheering them on at every corner of the racetrack which made for an incredible atmosphere. And with the predicted rain staying away for the races, the venue was in good condition for some awesome racing.
In MXGP race one, it was Jorge Prado who grabbed the Holeshot as he led Henry Jacobi, Jeremy Seewer, and Giuseppe Tropepe.
Meanwhile, a number of riders got caught up in a first-turn pile-up which included Tim Gajser and Mitch Evans, along with Calvin Vlaanderen, Pauls Jonass, and Glenn Coldenhoff, among others.
Prado led the way, as Maxime Renaux got himself into 22nd on the opening lap, while Gajser worked his way up to 15th.
Prado set the fastest lap of the race and was looking to escape the grips of Seewer, as Jacobi remained in third.
Gajser made some more passes as he passed Jordi Tixier and then Ben Watson to get himself inside the top 10, and as he pushed to continue with such progress, made a big mistake which took him off line and almost left him down on the ground. He then focused on Ruben Fernandez who was just ahead in seventh.
Back with the leaders though and the gap between Prado and Seewer began to come down considerably as the duo were separated by less than a second. The Swiss continued to apply the pressure for a number of laps, before being able to find his way through with just two laps to go.
In that time, Riley Racing’s Brent Van doninck also managed to pass Jacobi for third, while Gajser got around Fernandez and Jeremy Van Horebeek for fifth.
Seewer won the race, with Prado second and Van doninck third.
In the second race, it was again Prado with the Holeshot but this time he had Nicholas Lapucci behind him, as well as Seewer, Benoit Paturel, and Coldenhoff, who started much better that time around.
Gajser started down in 13th as Fernandez took fourth from Seewer, as Lapucci dropped down the order which put Paturel into second and Coldenhoff into third.
Pretty quickly, Coldenhoff took second from Paturel who crashed down hard not long after, which allowed Seewer into third.
Fernandez then had Renaux on his case as Gajser looked to join the battle after passing Watson for sixth.
Coldenhoff set the fastest lap of the race as he put up a fight to Prado, with Seewer pushing behind them. The trio battled closely for quite a while, as Renaux made a mistake and got passed by Gajser. The Honda rider then passed Fernandez in the same manner and was up in fourth.
Prado, Coldenhoff, and Seewer fought each other intensely and on lap 10 Coldenhoff was able to find an opportunity to strike and get around Prado to become the new race leader. Seewer was looking to do the same as Gajser close in on the leaders too and joined the battle for the win.
Prado went wide, which allowed Seewer and Gajser to get even closer, but Gajser made a mistake and crashed, thus losing ground to the leaders.
Similarly, to race one, Prado got passed by Seewer with three laps to go and then focused on Coldenhoff, but Coldenhoff was able to keep a cool head and stay mistake-free to secure the race victory, his first since 2020. He crossed the line ahead of Seewer, Prado, Gajser, and Fernandez.
A win and a second gave Seewer the overall victory ahead of Prado and Coldenhoff who was tied on points with Gajser who once again missed the podium. Though the Team HRC rider leads the championship standings by 73 points over Renaux, Seewer remains third though is just six points ahead of Prado in fourth.
“Today was Amazing,” Seewer said. “I mean, I started from the outside completely and mentally this was not easy, but we made it happen. It wasn’t only the track, but we also found a little progress in the whole set-up. I felt already yesterday a lot better than previous weeks, as I struggled with a few things for quite some weeks. But now, I’m back. I feel confident. I’m really happy with the GP win, I had to wait way too long. I felt ready way more early this year, but a few things came in between. Still a long season and many races to come. So, I’m looking forward to them”.
In the opening MX2 race of the day, the Holeshot went to Simon Längenfelder though Kevin Horgmo moved swiftly into the lead. Tom Vialle was right there in third as Thibault Benistant was buried at the back of the field after problems in the start.
Vialle then got himself into second by lap two and then took just another lap before he was able to get around Horgmo for the lead. But he wasn’t able to run away with it as Horgmo, Längenfelder and Jago Geerts were right there behind him, as the four riders battled intensely for the win.
As Horgmo and Längenfelder continued to challenge each other, Geerts was able to benefit from this as he got around both and went from fourth to second within a few moments.
Further down the order, Benistant was able to get himself into 10th, as Stephen Rubini passed Isak Gifting for fifth. It’s where he ultimately finished the race.
As Geerts looked to close in on Vialle, he crashed but managed to pick himself up quickly without losing any positions though this allowed Vialle to open up a steady gap. But again, Geerts was on a charge and was able to take some time out of Vialle but could not get close enough by the chequered flag.
In the end, Vialle won the race ahead of Geerts, Längenfelder, Horgmo and Rubini.
In the second heat, the Holeshot went to Vialle, but Benistant was able to find his way into the lead immediately as Petr Polak followed ahead of Horgmo and Guillen Farres.
Geerts was able to find his way into third early on as Gifting crashed out of seventh place and Längenfelder parked Mikkel Haarup for eighth. Horgmo dropped back on the opening lap but was ready to fight back as he got around Andrea Adamo for sixth.
Rubini was running well inside the top five during the first couple of laps before crashing and dropping back to outside the top 20.
Benistant was looking comfortable in the lead as Geerts found his way up to second with a couple of fastest laps of the race, while Vialle dropped to third. Vialle then crashed and lost grip on the leaders, as it became a two-man show at the front with two teammates battling each other for the win.
Liam Everts was also looking solid in the opening stages before dropping three spots within a lap as Horgmo, Adamo and Längenfelder went by.
Despite his best efforts, Geerts could not find his opportunity to make a pass on Benistant who was being urged on by his home crowd. After numerous attempts, Benistant was able to keep Geerts at bay and secure the race win. Geerts was second ahead of Vialle, Horgmo and Längenfelder.
A win and a third gave Vialle the overall victory, while Geerts was forced to settle for second with a consistent 2-2 result ahead of Benistant who celebrated on the third step of the podium.
As it stands, Vialle is now 11 points ahead of Geerts in the championship standings with Längenfelder down in third.
“It was really amazing,” Vialle said of his win, “The weekend was good, yesterday was pretty tough in the qualifying race and I had seventh position for today. For the start I was pretty safe because the inside was quite good. In the first race I was struggling a little bit, I wasn’t riding fully like myself but I could hear the public and they pushed me a lot to win the first race. And then in the second race, Thibault, Jago and me were pushing quite hard and I had a small crash, so I knew straight away that, that was done because we were riding really fast and I couldn’t catch them again. I didn’t know that I won the GP, but I was really happy when I found out”.
The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship heads to Teutschenthal, next weekend, for the Liqui Moly MXGP of Germany!
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), 34:57.531
2 Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:05.336
3 Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:14.105
4 Henry Jacobi (GER, Honda), +0:20.293
5 Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:23.459
6 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Beta), +0:29.766
7 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:37.291
8 Ben Watson (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:40.679
9 Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:46.524
10 Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:48.357
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), 34:11.133
2 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:01.786
3 Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:06.128
4 Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:07.313
5 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:19.403
6 Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:21.686
7 Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:31.538
8 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Beta), +0:34.791
9 Ben Watson (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:36.742
10 Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +1:00.231
MXGP – GP Top 10 Classification:
1 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 47 Points
2 Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 42 Points
3 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 34 Points
4 Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 34 Points
5 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 30 Points
6 Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 29 Points
7 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, BET), 28 Points
8 Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 27 Points
9 Ben Watson (GBR, KAW), 25 Points
10 Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 24 Points
MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 438 Points
2 Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 365 Points
3 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 339 Points
4 Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 332 Points
5 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 306 Points
6 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 272 Points
7 Brian Bogers (NED, HUS), 243 Points
8 Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 220 Points
9 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, BET), 217 Points
10 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 200 Points
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 35:05.601
2 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:01.451
3 Simon Längenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:20.877
4 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +0:30.875
5 Stephen Rubini (FRA, Honda), +0:36.804
6 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:40.889
7 Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Kawasaki), +0:43.714
8 Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:47.257
9 Isak Gifting (SWE, KTM), +0:55.892
10 Andrea Adamo (ITA, GASGAS), +0:58.158
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), 34:01.927
2 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:01.655
3 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:24.933
4 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +0:26.728
5 Simon Längenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:35.451
6 Andrea Adamo (ITA, GASGAS), +0:54.400
7 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +1:22.819
8 Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), +1:26.609
9 Tom Guyon (FRA, KTM), +1:31.603
10 Kay Karssemakers (NED, KTM), +1:53.495
MX2 – GP Top 10 Classification:
1 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 45 Points
2 Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 44 Points
3 Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 38 Points
4 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 36 Points
5 Simon Längenfelder (GER, GAS), 36 Points
6 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 29 Points
7 Andrea Adamo (ITA, GAS), 26 Points
8 Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), 23 Points
9 Isak Gifting (SWE, KTM), 22 Points
10 Tom Guyon (FRA, KTM), 21 Points
MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 427 Points
2 Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 416 Points
3 Simon Längenfelder (GER, GAS), 323 Points
4 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 295 Points
5 Mikkel Haarup (DEN, KAW), 281 Points
6 Andrea Adamo (ITA, GAS), 253 Points
7 Isak Gifting (SWE, KTM), 232 Points
8 Stephen Rubini (FRA, HON), 223 Points
9 Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 221 Points
10 Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 211 Points