Motocross

Jorge Prado Continues MXGP Qualifying At The 2023 MXGP of Switzerland

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Jorge Prado gets the holeshot at the start of the MXGP of Switzerland qualifying race
Jorge Prado (61) has now gone three from three with qualifying result wins so far this season. Photo:
Juan Pablo Acevedo

Jorge Prado has once again qualified fastest for the 2023 MXGP of Switzerland in MXGP class while in MX2 it was Thibault Benistant who took the top honors.

Waiting four long years to return to Switzerland, the riders did not waste any time getting into full gear on the brand-new track of Frauenfeld. The return to hard pack has been really competitive with many exciting battles throughout both races in MXGP and MX2.

Aware of sounding incredibly repetitive, the MXGP Qualifying Race was once again dominated by Jorge Prado for his third consecutive qualifying win. However, it was not an easy day for the Spaniard as following a good start he found himself second for the majority of the race wedged between Romain Febvre leading the way and Jeffrey Herlings in third. After a first lap where the three riders were all together trying to get the lead from each other, we saw Febvre taking the edge on Prado to lead the way at the end of the first lap while Herlings stayed a bit behind in third.

Staying patient, a couple of seconds off Febvre, Prado finally found a way to pounce on the very last lap in great fashion and over a couple of turns to take the lead off the Frenchman. Febvre who looked like he was going to win his first Qualifying Race could not contain Prado and settled for second.

Herlings kept a strong pace all throughout the race to confidently keep an important third place. He had to keep at bay Maxime Renaux and Alberto Forato, fourth and fifth respectively after lap one. Forato looked very comfortable as he was in touching distance of Renaux all way and finally made a move to get to fourth with three laps to go and would not lose this advantage. Forato ended fourth and Renaux fifth.

Motocross rider Romain Febvre at the 2023 MXGP of Switzerland
Romain Febvre finished 3 seconds behind Prado for second place in MXGP

One of the stories of the day was Jeremy Seewer who didn’t have a quick start and found himself tenth on lap one. The home rider quickly got to eighth on lap two but fell down while trying to chase Alessandro Lupino at that time, dropping down to thirteenth. Lupino made a few mistakes later on to finish fifteenth. However, Seewer, probably helped by the immense support from the Swiss fans came back on the chase and steadily moved up through the ranking order overtaking the likes of Mattia Guadagnini, Benoit Paturel, his teammate Glenn Coldenhoff who finished tenth, and fellow countryman Valentin Guillod who rode strongly to end up at a promising eighth place.

Seewer found himself seventh on the last lap to overtake another good performer, Calvin Vlaanderen. Seewer finished a sensational comeback on his home ground with the sixth place, in front of Vlaanderen seventh.

Another really good rebound was the one of Ruben Fernandez who found himself seventeenth after lap one to steadily move up to ninth place showing along the way the qualities that made him a GP winner in Argentina.

“It was a good day of racing,” Prado said. “I had a very good start but then I lost the lead and got a bit tense over a couple of laps. After I took my time behind Romain as it was difficult to get very close but on the last lap, I knew I had the place so I went for it so I’m super happy. I had a great rhythm and it’s another important win!”

MX2

Motocross rider Thibault Benistant at the 2023 MXGP of Switzerland
Thibault Benistant took his first qualifying race win of the season in MX2

In MX2 RAM Qualifying Race, we saw the established order changing with the win of Thibault Benistant. The first lap saw Jan Pancar take the lead in front of Roan Van de Moosdijk and Benistant. Pancar could not hold the lead for long. Benistant overtook Van de Moosdijk in the first lap to clock the fastest lap and put pressure on Pancar and pass him in lap two. Benistant kept the lead until the end displaying a very strong and confident performance.

For Pancar, it was not the same story as he moved down the table to get to 8th on lap 8 and keep this place until the end but the Slovenian rode the whole race in the top 10 to get three important points counting for the Championship.

Van de Moosdijk who was second between laps four and six was not able to keep this position first against his teammate Kay de Wolf and then the Red Plate holder Jago Geerts. De Wolf in the end finished second while Geerts third. Van de Moosdijk ended at a good fourth place.

Behind them, Andrea Adamo was the best of the rest as he climbed from ninth place on lap one to fifth on lap eight as he passed Pancar on lap four and Mikkel Haarup on lap seven for fifth to keep this place until the end.

Haarup displayed some quick pace in the first half of the race going to fourth on lap five but slowed down in the second to move down to seventh in the end.

Finishing sixth between them was Liam Everts who started poorly. But the Belgian showed his qualities on this compact track to steadily take the better of many riders in front of him.

Rick Elzinga rode consistently within the top ten. The Rookie rider shows that he has the pace as he finished eighth while David Braceras also showed quality going from twelfth to eighth although he had to settle for tenth taking the last point of the day.

Simon Laengenfelder did not get to the points only finishing twelfth while Lucas Coenen crashed early on the race and had to give up on lap four. Both riders missed important points for the Championships and will get ready to make up for it on Monday.

“It was my first win of the season in qualification and I’m very happy. I made few passes in the first few laps and I felt good on the bike and the track. I hope I can do the same on Monday,” Benistant said

MXGP – RAM Qualifying Race – Top 10 Classification
1 Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), 23:59.039
2 Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:03.046
3 Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:04.539
4 Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), +0:08.089
5 Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:16.951
6 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:17.852
7 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:20.138
8 Valentin Guillod (SUI, Honda), +0:30.617
9 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:36.792
10 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:41.214

MX2 – RAM Qualifying Race – Top 10 Classification:
1 Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), 24:21.806
2 Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:12.665
3 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:13.113
4 Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Husqvarna), +0:18.307
5 Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:19.414
6 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:19.820
7 Mikkel Haarup (DEN, KTM), +0:23.776
8 Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), +0:39.157
9 Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +0:45.456
10 David Braceras (ESP, Kawasaki), +0:46.320

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