The fourth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship saw some intense battles in MXGP and MX2 that saw Jorge Prado celebrate his first overall victory of the season, while Tom Vialle made it two on the bounce with a back-to-back GP win in MX2.
In the first MXGP heat, it was Henry Jacobi with the Holeshot as he led Jorge Prado, Glenn Coldenhoff, Brian Bogers, and Jeremy Seewer as Championship leader Tim Gajser got squeezed in 8th.
Bogers was hot on Coldenhoff’s heels from the get-go and by the end of the third lap was ahead of the Yamaha rider. He then set the fastest lap of the race, setting a strong pace as he began to close the gap to Prado in first.
Meanwhile, Gajser was up in sixth but struggling to find an opportunity to get by Pauls Jonass. It took the Slovenian a total of six laps to pass the Latvian, but once he did that, it was all guns blazing as he then passed Seewer on lap 13 and then got Coldenhoff on lap 14. He fought hard to get close to Bogers, but in the end, it was not enough.
Renaux was having a steady race down in seventh but dropped it on lap 14 to eventually come home in 11th behind Alberto Forato, Jeremy Van Horebeek, and Calvin Vlaanderen who finished eighth.
Prado went on to win the first heat, as Bogers crossed the line just 1.021 seconds behind him, with Gajser third.
In race two, it was Prado with the Holeshot that time around, as Gajser got a much better start in second ahead of Jonass, Coldenhoff, and Seewer. Prado was fast and was doing a good job to keep Gajser at bay, who was keen on not repeating his mistakes from race one.
Gajser then set two consecutive fast laps as he got onto the rear wheel of the Spaniard. As they crossed the line for lap six there was just 0.729 seconds separating them as Gajser was able to dive down the inside of Prado and take over first place.
The Slovenian then pulled away as Coldenhoff pushed Jonass for third. Seewer was right there in fifth with Bogers edging closer.
Australian Jed Beaton started the race in sixth before being caught by Vlaanderen. Behind him, a train of Ruben Fernandez, Renaux, and Forato started to form, as Renaux lost a spot to Forato and later crashed. Eventually, he finished 11th.
On lap 13 Coldenhoff finally got by Jonass as Seewer dropped two positions to Bogers and Vlaanderen. Bogers then continued his charge forward and on lap 16 passed his teammate for fourth.
Not much changed in the final laps as Gajser won his fourth race of the season, with Prado second and Coldenhoff third.
A 1-2 result handed Prado his first overall win of the season, as Gajser finished second on the box ahead of Bogers who was third. After round four, Gajser continues to lead the MXGP Championship classification with 186 points, 21 ahead of Prado and Renaux who remains third.
“It’s great to get back on the top of the box,” Prado said. “It’s hard, everybody is riding very fast and in the first races until now it was hard for me to ride like myself, always with a lot of pressure and I don’t know why. It was a long time since I won so when everything goes well, it looks like everything comes easy, the wins come one after each other, but once you get the win, I think it’s the perfect place to be in to relieve pressure. And I think this weekend will change a lot. It’s been hard, especially Argentina but I’m super happy to be here and to go 1-2 for the overall. The second race was tough, but I got the GP win”.
Despite not getting the win, championship leader Tim Gajser was happy with second, “It was a good day. The first race I didn’t have a good jump out of the gate, so I was a bit back and was struggling in the beginning to find good lines. Then about ten minutes into the race I managed to find some nice lines and make some passes, but the front two were already in a quite comfortable lead so it was really difficult to close and pass them. For the second one, I had a better start, I was behind Jorge, tried to find the lines again and then managed to make a pass and had two or three fast laps and control it, so I’m happy”.
Brian Bogers made heads turn with his impressive performance just two weeks after dislocating his shoulder and to top it off, he celebrated his first MXGP podium and first trip to the box since 2017 with third overall.
“It’s amazing,” Bogers enthused, “I mean, I am speechless but the way to here was so difficult, even from 2018 when I broke my foot, I was out for nine months and to get back here was really difficult. But we are back and I am feeling good, already the first races were actually good and it’s been going better and better. Now I’m looking forward to the rest of the season”.
In MX2 race one, Mikkel Haarup and Mattia Guadagnini were out in front, but it was Haarup who got the Holeshot. Though Guadagnini led very briefly before crashing in the second turn with a few other riders.
Haarup then led the way, as Vialle got by Andrea Adamo. Geerts was looking good just behind them until he crashed big and dropped to last.
Vialle then worked to close the gap to Haarup. Though the Dane was not going to back down easily and kept the battle going for four laps before the Frenchman was able to find his way into the lead.
Conrad Mewse then found his way into third the following lap, as Geerts fought his way up the order to 16th. Haakon Fredriksen also had a big crash and did not finish the race.
A rider to watch in the first heat was Kay de Wolf who started in around eighth. He made some nice passes in the first few laps and continue his progress through the field before catching onto Stephen Rubini on lap 10 and then Adamo on lap 14 and eventually Mewse on lap 16.
Haarup put up a fight until the chequered flag, but it was Vialle who won, Haarup was second and de Wolf placed third. Geerts came back to ninth behind Kevin Horgmo.
In race two, it was Horgmo with the Holeshot as he led Isak Gifting, Haarup, Vialle, Geerts and Adamo. As Jeremy Sydow crashed on the opening lap.
Vialle moved into second place by the end of the lap, as Geerts got by Gifting too. The Belgian then set the fastest lap of the race as Horgmo continued to lead.
The Norwegian led seven laps of the race, before Vialle was able to whittle away at his lead and move into first place. Gifting then crashed as Geerts moved into second. Horgmo was pushed to third but had a comfortable gap to Haarup and de Wolf who were behind him.
Geerts though was keen on redeeming himself after the crash in race one, and on lap nine his efforts paid off as he passed Vialle and started to pull away.
In the closing stages of the race Haarup went after Horgmo who saw his third-place position at risk, though despite the Dane’s best efforts, Horgmo was able to hold firm.
Geerts ended up winning the race ahead of Vialle, Horgmo, Haarup and Guadagnini.
A 1-2 result gave Vialle the overall victory, while Haarup celebrated his second podium in a row as he took the second step of the box ahead of Geerts who was forced to settle for a third-place trophy.
Though Geerts continues to lead the championship after four rounds and is 16 points ahead of Vialle as Haarup occupies the third position in the championship classifications.
“I had a difficult Saturday, I crashed in the qualifying race and was 13th on the gate which was pretty far, and the start here is not super long,” Vialle said. “First race, in the first two laps it was a little bit slippery, but I managed to win the race and I was happy with this. Second race I had an ok start, the first lap was really good for me because I passed a lot of riders and went into the lead. Jago passed me and I was struggling for a few laps, but I was happy with the second position, Jago was riding quite good, and I didn’t want to take any risks to try to push to win the second race. Second GP win of the season and I’m happy about today.
Next weekend, the riders are back in action for round five at the picturesque MXGP of Trentino, home of the familiar Pietramurata circuit. After hosting six rounds in the last two seasons, the venue has changed the layout for this year to give everyone a fresh start and provide another beautiful setting for what has been an entertaining beginning to the 2022 MXGP season
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), 34:59.835
2 Brian Bogers (NED, Husqvarna), +0:01.021
3 Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:02.556
4 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:15.088
5 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:15.906
6 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:16.694
7 Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:18.114
8 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:19.865
9 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Beta), +0:22.798
10 Alberto Forato (ITA, GASGAS), +0:24.339
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 35:18.400
2 Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:05.119
3 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:05.980
4 Brian Bogers (NED, Husqvarna), +0:11.416
5 Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:14.562
6 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:15.709
7 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:26.364
8 Alberto Forato (ITA, GASGAS), +0:28.735
9 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:38.354
10 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Beta), +0:45.595
MXGP – GP Top 10 Classification:
1 Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 47 Points
2 Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 45 Points
3 Brian Bogers (NED, HUS), 40 Points
4 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 38 Points
5 Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 30 Points
6 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 30 Points
7 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 28 Points
8 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 27 Points
9 Alberto Forato (ITA, GAS), 24 Points
10 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, BET), 23 Points
MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 186 Points
2 Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 165 Points
3 Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 144 Points
4 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 124 Points
5 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 109 Points
6 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 101 Points
7 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, BET), 99 Points
8 Brian Bogers (NED, HUS), 97 Points
9 Alberto Forato (ITA, GAS), 82 Points
10 Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, KTM), 73 Points
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 35:34.370
2 Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Kawasaki), +0:01.422
3 Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:17.796
4 Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +0:18.771
5 Andrea Adamo (ITA, GASGAS), +0:20.506
6 Stephen Rubini (FRA, Honda), +0:23.784
7 Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:27.380
8 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +0:27.952
9 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:34.855
10 Jeremy Sydow (GER, KTM), +0:35.915
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 35:26.631
2 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:05.476
3 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +0:07.587
4 Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Kawasaki), +0:10.050
5 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GASGAS), +0:25.019
6 Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:28.370
7 Andrea Adamo (ITA, GASGAS), +0:38.023
8 Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:41.595
9 Simon Längenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:48.124
10 Hakon Fredriksen (NOR, Honda), +1:00.551
MX2 – GP Top 10 Classification:
1 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 47 Points
2 Mikkel Haarup (DEN, KAW), 40 Points
3 Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 37 Points
4 Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 35 Points
5 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 33 Points
6 Andrea Adamo (ITA, GAS), 30 Points
7 Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 27 Points
8 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GAS), 25 Points
9 Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 25 Points
10 Stephen Rubini (FRA, HON), 23 Points
MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 174 Points
2 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 158 Points
3 Mikkel Haarup (DEN, KAW), 132 Points
4 Simon Längenfelder (GER, GAS), 130 Points
5 Andrea Adamo (ITA, GAS), 115 Points
6 Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 113 Points
7 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 111 Points
8 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GAS), 106 Points
9 Stephen Rubini (FRA, HON), 92 Points
10 Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 90 Points