Motocross

Maxime Renaux and Thibault Benistant win MXGP of Switzerland

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Motocross rider Jorge Prado gats the holeshot at the start at the 2023 MXGP of Switzerland
Holeshot King Jorge Prado (61) made it another holeshot double in the MXGP class but had to settle for second overall behind Maxime Renaux (959). Photo: Juan Pablo Acevedo

The third round of the 2023 FIM Motocross World Championship held all its promises with a fantastic Grand Prix spread across Saturday for the RAM Qualifying Races and Monday for the races due to Easter Sunday!

The brand-new track of Frauenfeld, Switzerland, saw some exciting battles across both categories and the atmosphere was electric thanks to the Swiss fans turning out in large numbers.

At the end of the day, the victory in MXGP went to Maxime Renaux, who took his first win of the season as well as his first podium. Second on the podium was Jorge Prado and third Romain Febvre. In MX2, it was also a first for Thibault Benistant winning his first round in 2023, in front of Andrea Adamo and Kay de Wolf.

In the MXGP Race one Jorge Prado took the Holeshot to keep his impressive start record and kept the lead from start to finish. His teammate at Mattia Guadagnini got off the gate very well as he found himself 2nd over the first 5 laps. However, Maxime Renaux who passed Jeffrey Herlings on lap 2 to get to 3rd place powered through to overtake Guadagnini on lap 6 for 2nd. Renaux went on to keep his 2nd place until the end without being able to get too close to Prado.

Guadagnini made a mistake on lap 10 and dropped down from 3rd to 7th and got overtaken again several times to finish a disappointing 9th. Herlings was not in the same form as in Sardinia as the “bullet” could not hold his 4th place as he got passed successively by Romain Febvre, Calvin Vlaanderen, and Ruben Fernandez dropping down to 6th where he would remain until the end.

Febvre was riding impressively coming from 5th place on the opening lap and passed Herlings for 4th mid-race after an intense battle that lasted many laps. He then found himself 3rd after Guadagnini’s fall. The Frenchman tried to attack his compatriot Renaux for second but settled for 3rd in the end.

Vlaanderen and Fernandez followed each other throughout the whole race. The two riders managed to pass Herlings mid-race and went to 4th for Vlaanderen and 5th for Fernandez.

Motocross rider Maxime Renaux at the 2023 MXGP of Switzerland
Maxime Renaux celebrated an exhilarating victory displaying exceptional skill around the rough, rutty, and hugely technical Schollenholz circuit, the Frenchman secured a 2-1 finish for the overall win

Valentin Guillod riding at home showed a lot of speed as the Swiss stayed in the top 10 throughout the whole race. He stayed in 9th position behind Glenn Coldenhoff early in the race and with the Swiss public cheering loudly passed him for 7th by the chequered flag.

Riding at home Jeremy Seewer crashed early on in the first lap which hindered his chances to win his home GP. The Swiss finished 20th.

In Race 2, Prado once again clinched the Holeshot to make it 100% for the weekend. However, it was not the same scenario as in race 1 as Renaux was all over his rear wheel over the opening lap. After an unfruitful try, the Frenchman managed to pass Prado and take the lead. Renaux showed great composure to keep the lead until the end.

Prado quickly came under threat from Febvre who looked very comfortable on the compact hard-pack. Febvre overtook Herlings on the second and was on a mission to catch Prado as he clocked the fastest time of the race. Febvre made several attacks on Prado until lap 12 when he found the gap and muscled his way to overtake the Spaniard. Febvre would go on to finish 2nd and Prado 3rd.

Motocross rider Jorge Prado at the 2023 MXGP of Switzerland
Jorge Prado extended his championship lead and maintained his perfect run of podiums to now lead the championship standings by twenty-one points. Photo: Juan Pablo Acevedo

Herlings was pretty quiet in race 1 and kept a low profile as after finding himself 4th on the second lap kept going throughout the whole race without being too worried by Seewer behind him. Seewer had a much quieter and better race as he found himself 5th after the opening lap to keep this place until the end.

Alberto Forato, Vlaanderen, and Fernandez managed to stay together the whole race. Forato got the better of Fernandez to finish 6th. Fernandez then came under attack from Vlaanderen and dropped down to 8th while Vlaanderen moved up to 7th by race end.

Guillod had another strong performance finishing 9th and getting another top 10 for the GP while Ben Watson managed to 10th in the end after climbing his way from 14th on the opening lap.

In the end, Maxime Renaux won his first GP of the season in front of Jorge Prado who is still the Red Plate holder, thanks also to winning another RAM Qualifying Race again, and Romain Febvre 3rd with his first podium of the season.

Motocross rider Romain Febvre at the 2023 MXGP of Switzerland
Romain Febvre (3) scored his first GP podium of the 2023 FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship at Frauenfeld in Switzerland to cement his consistent start to the campaign.

It was also the return of Arnaud Tonus on his home ground as a Wildcard rider. The Swiss finished 13th in race 1 and unfortunately could not finish the second race. However, this gave a lot to cheer for the public as they welcomed and cheered for the rider throughout the GP.

“Super happy to get my 1st GP winning of the season,” Renaux said. “It is a great feeling, especially after the first 2 Grand Prix where I missed the podium. Finally, I can get it all together today. I want to thank the team for their hard work and now we’ll keep on grinding for the championship. See you in Trentino.”

Jorge Prado admitted he didn’t have the flow but was happy to retain the championship lead. “The first race was great. The second one, I broke away but couldn’t keep the lead, I didn’t have the same flow. In the end I came out second overall and it is the most important to keep the Red Plate and get points for the championship.”

Romain Febvre was also happy to have made his debut on the podium in 2023. “I felt good all weekend long. I had to pass Herlings in both races and Prado in the second so it was quite hard. I got close to Maxime and I worked very hard but I am happy to be on the podium, first time this year. Thanks to my team!” Febvre said.

MX2

Motocross rider Thibault Benistant at the 2023 MXGP of Switzerland
Thibault Benistant took a win and a fourth to take the round win in MX2 by a point. He now sits second in the championship.

In MX2, Jago Geerts started strongly as he got the Holeshot and took the lead with Roan Van de Moosdijk following closely and Benistant 3rd. The three riders followed each other for a while as Benistant made a few attacks on Van de Moosdijk. Geerts was looking like a good bet for the win until he crashed on lap 15 leaving Van de Moosdijk taking the lead until the end to win the race.

Benistant also crashed on lap 14 to drop back down to 4th, a position he held until the end, however, it was not the same for Geerts who got overtaken quickly after his fall by Kay de Wolf and Andrea Adamo and then by Simon Laengenfelder and Lucas Coenen. Geerts finished 7th in the end.

De Wolf overtook Geert on lap 16 and made his move on Benistant on lap 17 to get to 3rd behind Adamo with 3 laps to go. De Wolf showed good qualities to overtake Adamo in the last lap for 2nd. Adamo finished 3rd in the end.

One of the comebacks of the day was Lucas Coenen who fell on the first turn and found himself 16th on the opening lap. The young rider steadily climbed his way up the order with some really great moves along the way notably as passed Liam Everts for 7th. He eventually passed Geerts with two laps to go to finish 6th. Everts was really consistent finishing 8th in the end.

Kevin Horgmo and Jan Pancar went 9th and 10th on lap 1 respectively. While Horgmo went up the rank to 8th place, Pancar dropped down to 12th place but found his rhythm to get back to 10th in the end. Horgmo got overtaken by Coenen on lap 10 to keep his 9th position until the end.

In race 2, it was Adamo who clinched the Holeshot and led the pack early on although the Italian was under threat from Benistant and Geerts. Eventually, Geerts got the best of Benistant and attacked Adamo on lap 2. This was the moment Benistant chose to attack both riders and grab the lead. Adamo dropped down to 2nd and Geerts to 3rd. Benistant was the fastest of the pack and started stretch his lead.

Motocross rider Andrea Adamo at the 2023 MXGP of Switzerland
Andrea Adamo was 2nd overall and his second podium result in three GPs The Italian rides to a 3-2 card and now sits 4th in the championship standings. Photo: Ray Archer

Benistant showed great composure to keep his ride clean and quick to eventually win the race. Adamo and Geerts fought until the end. Geerts eventually fell and allowed Adamo to pass to finish 2nd. Geerts settled for 3rd in the end.

Laengenfelder was a solid 4th from start to near the end. De Wolf went from a poor start to attack everyone in front of him and pass Horgmo (who would finish at a good 7th place), then Elzinga (who finished 11th), and also Everts on lap 14 for 5th. The last lap was when Laengenfelder could not keep his position with De Wolf showing great technique moving up to 4th and leaving Laengenfelder finishing 5th. Everts settled for 6th.

Like his teammate De Wolf, Van de Moosdijk got an average start in 11th but managed to get up to 8th in the end although this was not the race he would have liked after winning race 1. Pancar again rode strongly as he managed to keep riding in the top 10 throughout the whole race and finished 9th in the end.

Emil Weckman who went 13th after lap 1 held on and stayed within touching distance of David Braceras (finishing 13th) and the American Jack Chambers who was competing for the first time in MX2 finishing 12th in race 2 and 15th in race 1. Weckman managed to overtake both riders to get to 11th on lap 17 and finally overtaking Oriol Oliver for 10th. Oliver ended up 13th.

In the end, Benistant clinched his first GP win of the season and second of his career in front of Adamo’s solid second and Kay de Wolf who returns to the podium after his second place in Sardinia.

“First race win of the season and overall. I was feeling really good,” Benistant said. “Second one I felt pretty good and tried to attack directly. I had some pressure from my teammate but I think he made a mistake and I managed to keep my advantage so I’m very happy and it’s nice for the team.”

The championship now heads to Trentino, Italy for the next round of the series, which is now just a few days away on April 15-16 where the familiar Pietramurata circuit plays host to round four of the championship.

Motocross rider Kay de Wolf at the 2023 MXGP of Switzerland
Kay de Wolf continued his fine run of form in the MX2 division, as he raced to another podium finish via 2-4 scores.

MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), 33:47.857
2 Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:06.298
3 Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:14.572
4 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:17.538
5 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:22.113
6 Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:30.112
7 Valentin Guillod (SUI, Honda), +0:34.759
8 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:43.139
9 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GASGAS), +0:44.964
10 Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:47.953

MXGP- Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), 33:34.904
2 Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:07.825
3 Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:17.970
4 Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:21.320
5 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:26.839
6 Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), +0:31.325
7 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:38.761
8 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:43.814
9 Valentin Guillod (SUI, Honda), +0:53.484
10 Ben Watson (GBR, Beta), +1:07.193 11

MXGP – GP Top 10 Classification:
1 Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 47 points
2 Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 45 Points
3 Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 42 Points
4 Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 33 Points
5 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 32 Points
6 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 29 Points
7 Valentin Guillod (SUI, HON), 26 Points
8 Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), 24 Points
9 Ben Watson (GBR, BET), 21 Points
10 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GAS),

MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 155 points
2 Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 134 Points
3 Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 131 Points
4 Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 129 Points
5 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 101 Points
6 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 94 Points
7 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 90 Points
8 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 79 Points
9 Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), 76 Points
10 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GAS), 76 Points

MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification :
1 Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Husqvarna), 33:58.764
2 Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:04.536
3 Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:06.482
4 Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:11.947
5 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:15.602
6 Lucas Coenen (BEL, Husqvarna), +0:16.425
7 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:25.844
8 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:36.352
9 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +0:44.341
10 Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), +1:03.899

MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), 33:47.845
2 Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:04.929
3 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:07.755
4 Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:08.543
5 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:10.647
6 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:14.336
7 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +0:15.593
8 Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Husqvarna), +0:47.308
9 Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), +0:48.721
10 Emil Weckman (FIN, Honda), +0:49.673

MX2 – GP Top 10 Classification:
1 Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 43 points
2 Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 42 Points
3 Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 40 Points
4 Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, HUS), 38 Points
5 Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 34 Points
6 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 32 Points
7 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 28 Points
8 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 26 Points
9 Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), 23 Points
10 Emil Weckman (FIN, HON), 20 Points

MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 159 points
2 Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 139 Points
3 Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 136 Points
4 Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 131 Points
5 Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, HUS), 112 Points
6 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 111 Points
7 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 94 Points
8 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 94 Points
9 Lucas Coenen (BEL, HUS), 72 Points
10 Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), 66 Points

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