Motocross

Jorge Prado and Jago Geerts Top Qualifying At The MXGP of Patagonia-Argentina

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MXGP qualifying winner Jorge Prado. Photo: Juan Pablo Acevedo

The first racing day of the 2023 MXGP season finished in Villa La Angostura for the MXGP of Patagonia-Argentina with Jorge Prado and Jago Geerts claiming the qualifying race wins in MXGP and MX2 respectively.

This first day was full of action with free and time practices in the morning in MXGP, which saw Jorge Prado and Maxime Renaux top the free and timed practice while in MX2 Kay De Wolf topped both sessions.

The day was also marked by the first Free/Qualifying practice session for the MXGP Wildcard riders. The MXGP of Patagonia-Argentina introduced the new Wildcard Qualifying process when more than 40 MXGP riders enter the event allowing the fastest Wildcard riders in their qualifying race to join the RAM MXGP Qualifying race.

On top of that, the amazing Argentinian crowd was very loud and cheerful today, and can expect an even bigger crowd tomorrow which will only add to this exciting start of the season.

MXGP 2023 is underway with the qualifying for the MXGP of Patagonia-Argentina. Photo: Juan Pablo Acevedo

The Qualifying Race in MXGP saw Jorge Prado leads from start to finish with a flying start in front of his teammate Mattia Guadagnini who made the 14th best time in time practice earlier in the day but produced an outstanding start to end on Jorge Prado’s tail after the first turn and kept that position until the end. Frenchman Maxime Renaux who didn’t have the best start found himself in 8th position after a couple of laps, showed some classy moves, and overtook to get himself to 3rd when he charged on Ruben Fernandez with two laps to go. Fernandez ultimately finished 4th.

Jeffrey Herlings struggled to start in the best way finding himself 14th after the first lap although “the bullet” managed to climb regularly throughout the race to end up at a promising 10th place for tomorrow.

Italian Mattia Guadagnini made it a GasGas 1-2 with second in the MXGP qualifying race. Photo: Juan Pablo Acevedo

Jeremy Seewer is one rider who continuously fought for the top spots during the whole race overtaking Pauls Jonass on lap 7 and getting himself 4th having eyes on Ruben Fernandez for the top three finish but everything came to a halt as the Swiss rider got a scare when he lost the control of his bike in the air and fell. His bike would not restart despite his efforts and had to eventually stop. After a solid start and great riding for 7 laps in 4th position, Jonass got passed a few times to end up at an honorable 8th place.

Romain Febvre delivered a strong performance again after a great showing in the morning to finish 5th as he started in 8th position to climb his way up. Calvin Vlaanderen started in 6th to finish at the same place which shows his consistency while Glenn Coldenhoff who started 11th, found himself behind his teammate Renaux between laps 5 and 6 but could not follow him and had to settle for a good 7th place.

Frenchman finished third only 6 seconds adrift of Prado.

Another steady performance was the one from Valentin Guillod who was consistently in the top 10 to end up 9th just ahead of Jeffrey Herlings. And was only passed by Glenn Coldenhoff. In the end Prado showed great control throughout the race which is an interesting indicator for the races of tomorrow.

Australian Mitch Evans started hard and fast, running as high as sixth, but a lack of race fitness took its toll and he dropped back to 17th by the chequered flag.

“It’s so good, you know last year was rough even if I had few wins but starting the season like this is a massive energy boost for myself and my confidence. Hopefully, I can bring this momentum and this fitness into tomorrow. That’s a great feeling to point leader too.” Prado said of his win.

Jago Geerts was in top form taking the MX2 qualifying race win.

MX2

In MX2 Qualifying it was a similar scenario with Jago Geerts getting off to an excellent start to see him dominating the race ahead of Andrea Adamo who mirrored the leader with a strong start finding himself in 2nd and never letting it go. After ending the time practice in 8th position, Adamo had to first battle with Thibault Benistant for the first 4 laps to then have Simon Laengenfelder charging and overtaking him.

Eventually, Benistant saw himself slip again to 5th position on lap 6 after Liam Everts made a confident pass. Benistant ended up 5th in the end while Laengenfelder and Everts would finish 3rd and 4th respectively.

Photo of MXGP motocross rider Adam Adamo at the 2023 MXGP of Patagonia-Argentina
Adam Adamo got his tenure at KTM off to a good start with second in MX2 qualifying. Photo: Juan Pablo Acevedo

After an amazing morning that saw Kay De Wolf top the free and time practice, he found himself 8th during the first three laps. But the young Dutch showed that he is here to compete at the top when in the period of two laps he overtook his two teammates, Roan Van De Moosdijk and Lucas Coenen to keep the advantage in a three-way battle that saw the trio finished together with Kay De Wolf, Van De Moojsdijk and Coenen finishing 6th, 7th and 8th respectively.

Finally, Kevin Horgmo and the rookie from Rick Elzinga followed each other on lap 3 to never change this order although Elzinga tried to pass Horgmo a few times without success. Horgmo ended up in the 9th place while Elzinga on his first MX2 qualifying gasped a promising 10th place.

“It is an amazing feeling. If I am honest, I didn’t expect it but while I missed some race rhythm, the speed of the bike is very good and if I can still get a good start like today I am confident for tomorrow,” Geerts said.

Photo of MXGP motocross rider Simon Laengenfelder at the 2023 MXGP of Patagonia-Argentina
Simon Laengenfelder rounded out the MX2. Photo: Juan Pablo Acevedo

MXGP – RAM Qualifying Race – Top 10 Classification:
1 Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), 24:48.237
2 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GASGAS), +0:03.560
3 Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:06.119
4 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:08.260
5 Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:18.953
6 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:23.466
7 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:25.777
8 Pauls Jonass (LAT, Honda), +0:28.282
9 Valentin Guillod (SUI, Honda), +0:29.357
10 Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:40.269
17 Mitch Evans (Aus, KAW),

MX2 – RAM Qualifying Race – Classification:
1 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 24:50.267
2 Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:02.968
3 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:05.189
4 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:09.742
5 Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:10.286
6 Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:14.063
7 Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Husqvarna), +0:23.802
8 Lucas Coenen (BEL, Husqvarna), +0:26.674
9 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +0:29.233
10 Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +0:41.495

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