Motocross

Jorge Prado Extends Championship Lead With MXGP of Finland Qualifying Win

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Photo of motocross rider Jorge Prado Start at the 2023 MXGP of Finland
Another perfect start for Jorge Prado (61) unsured another qualifying race win and a small boost in points for the championship. Photo: Juan Pablo Acevedo

Qualifying Races kick-started the MXGP of Finland which saw Jorge Prado and Simon Laengenfelder win MXGP and MX2 Qualifying Races from start to finish respectively.

Following a heavy rain between the time practice and the RAM Qualifying Races, the track made it difficult to overtake making it vital to get a great start. Riders showed plenty of skill to offer a great show in these conditions for all the Finnish fans present at the Lavanko track.

The MXGP Qualifying Race started the best way for Jorge Prado who took the best start of the pack to lead the race after the first corner. Romain Febvre managed to get himself quickly up to second within the first lap and tried to push to get closer the whole race. The Frenchman never got close enough to try a move and Prado rode solidly until the end to extend his lead in the Championship to 100 points on Febvre who finished second.

“Today the start was important and I got a really good jump out of the gate,” Prado said. “I got some issues with the goggles so hopefully we’ll find the solution to get a better visibility. Hopefully tomorrow will be sunnier but it was fun, the track was fun to ride so it was perfect and I’m very happy with the win!”

Photo of motocross rider Romain Febvre at the 2023 MXGP of Finland
Romain Febvre (3) spent the whole race trying to catch Prado (61) but had to settle for second.

Riding on his own throughout the whole race in third position was Rubén Fernández who kept a strong pace. The Spaniard could not get close to Febvre but kept a comfortable gap between him and Jeremy Seewer for most of the race to finish in a good third place. For Seewer, things seemed to go similarly to Fernandez to finish fourth but his teammate Glenn Coldenhoff had other plans. Coldenhoff meticulously closed the gap lap after lap to reach touching distance to Seewer on the very last lap. Seewer went wide on one of the last corners which let the door open for Coldenhoff to get on the inside and steal the fourth place, Seewer finished fifth in the end.

Ruben Fernandez finished in third place in MXGP

Behind them, four riders experienced the same kind of race with Jeremy Van Horebeek, Benoit Paturel, Calvin Vlaanderen and Alberto Forato who all benefitted from Tim Gajser’s bike issue to gain a position and follow each other until the end. The startling Van Horebeek keeps on impressing with an excellent sixth place in front of Paturel seventh. Vlaanderen finished eighth in front of Forato ninth.

Things for Gajser began really well as he took a good start running fifth on the turn of lap one but got a bike problem that took him a while to restart and unfortunately dropped down to sixteenth. The defending champion still managed a good comeback to finish twelfth.

Closing the top 10 and gaining one point was the returning champion Jeffry Herlings who had to battle after an average start. On a difficult track, it took the Dutchman a few laps behind Alvin Östlund to be able to make a pass. Eventually, on lap nine, Herlings made a forceful move after a jump to get on the inside of Ostlund and moved up to 10th.

Photo of motocross rider Simon Laengenfelder at the 2023 MXGP of Finland
German Simon Laegenfelder dominated the MX2 Qualifying race. Photo: Juan Pablo Acevedo

MX2

In MX2 Simon Laegenfelder made a blistering start to get himself in front from the get-go and kept a good pace up front to never be worried by other riders.

The German won the perfect race leading from start to finish. Sacha Coenen also had a great start and confirmed his season’s best finish in Lommel as the 16-year-old Belgian had a near-perfect race to go second from the start and ride all the race in that position setting the fastest lap of the race along the way. S.Coenen finished second just six seconds behind Laengenfelder and twenty-five seconds in front of championship challenger Jago Geerts.

“I was happy after that start because when you are in the first lap chaos in the mid-pack it’s never easy so I definitely made my life easier. I’m now looking forward to go racing tomorrow,” Laegenfelder said.

Jago Geerts closed the championship lead gao to Andrea Adamo to ten points with third place in qualifying.

Geerts once again showed all his determination after not having the best start. sixth on the turn of the first lap, the Belgian pushed hard behind Liam Everts who was holding his ground until lap four when he lost his drive and seemed to be slowing down, losing three positions in total. Geerts kept charging forward overtaking Oriol Oliver and his teammate Rick Elzinga over the course of two laps to finish third by the chequered flag.

Everts quickly recovered his flow and speed to get back up to sixth on the same lap and even managed to pass Oliver on lap nine to finish fourth while Oliver faded towards the end of the race to finish seventh, equalling his season’s best finish. Elzinga is feeling better and better as he gets used to being at the front. He got overtaken on the last lap by Everts but he still finished at an encouraging fifth place.

Championship leader Andrea Adamo got an average start finding himself seventh behind his rival in the Championship Geerts. Adamo still seventh pushed and got close to Geerts first and then his teammate Everts from lap four but completely stalled on lap seven to lose a position to Lucas Coenen. Eventually, it was L.Coenen’s turn to get issues as he fell and looked to have hurt his rib , retiring of the race in the end. Adamo capitalised on that and managed to pass Oliver on lap ten to finish sixth.

Photo of motocross rider Jorge Prado at the 2023 MXGP of Finland
Jorge Prado is now back to a 100 point lead in the MXGP Championship standings. Photo: Juan Pablo Acevedo

MXGP – RAM Qualifying Race – Top 10 Classification:
1 Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), 24:46.523
2 Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:05.282
3 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:11.012
4 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:15.646
5 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:17.046
6 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:33.410
7 Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:35.206
8 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:36.990
9 Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), +0:40.912
10 Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:44.678

MXGP – World Championship – Top 10 Classification:
1 Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 675 Points
2 Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 575 Points
3 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 512 Points
4 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 489 Points
5 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 487 Points
6 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 447 Points
7 Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 387 Points
8 Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), 333 Points
9 Valentin Guillod (SUI, HON), 276 Points
10 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GAS), 203 Points

MX2 – RAM Qualifying Race – Top 10 Classification:
1 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), 24:59.799
2 Sacha Coenen (BEL, KTM), +0:05.203
3 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:30.843
4 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:32.077
5 Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +0:35.343
6 Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:39.409
7 Oriol Oliver (ESP, KTM), +0:41.765
8 Camden Mc Lellan (RSA, Honda), +0:44.774
9 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +0:45.102
10 Emil Weckman (FIN, Honda), +0:58.304

MX2 – World Championship – Top 10 Classification:
1 Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 569 Points
2 Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 559 Points
3 Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 501 Points
4 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 494 Points
5 Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 462 Points
6 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 448 Points
7 Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, HUS), 433 Points
8 Lucas Coenen (BEL, HUS), 425 Points
9 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 363 Points
10 Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), 253 Points

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