The 2022 Latvian Grand Prix did not fail to deliver on some exciting action as Tim Gajser and Jago Geerts dominated the field, going 1-1 in their respective classes to claim overall victories in Kegums.
There was plenty more to celebrate, as Pauls Jonass ensured the fans did not leave disappointed, with the Latvian running at the front of the field in MXGP in both races, to finish second on the box ahead of Ruben Fernandez who secured his very first podium in MXGP.
In MX2, Kevin Horgmo stormed to second overall after leading much of the second race. Meanwhile, Jorge Prado and Tom Vialle suffered big when it came to championship points, as Prado’s 12-13 result saw him lose grip on Gajser for the title chase, whilst Vialle lost the red plate to Geerts, though remains tied on points as the championship now heads to round seven in a couple of weeks’ time.
In MXGP race one, it was Jorge Prado who secured his 106th career Holeshot, leading Tim Gajser, Pauls Jonass, Ruben Fernandez, and Jeremy Seewer.
A couple of riders went down, which included Alvin Ostlund and Australian Mitch Evans. Evans managed to come back to 19th, while Ostlund was 21st.
On the opening lap, Jonass took second from Gajser, which was celebrated by the local crowd. Meanwhile further down the order Ivo Monticelli and Jordi Tixier both crashed together out of 14th and 15th place. They were able to fight back to 16th and 17th by the chequered flag.
Alberto Forato was having a strong race in sixth as he looked to keep Maxime Renaux at bay. While the pair battled on Glenn Coldenhoff was able to make the most of it and slip past his teammate for 7th.
Prado then set the fastest lap of the race as he looked to break free of Jonass and Gajser, though they didn’t let him have it as they remained close for much of the race.
The attention then went back to the fight for sixth, as Brian Bogers caught onto Renaux and was looking to dive down the inside. He did try the move, but Renaux was able to read it well and respond immediately.
Seewer then set a fast lap of his own as he looked to close in on Fernandez ahead in fourth, as Gajser had a moment trying to go after Jonass for second.
Forato then passed Seewer for sixth, as the Swiss came under further pressure from his teammates Coldenhoff and Renaux, to eventually drop back to seventh behind both riders.
Calvin Vlaanderen came in for a fresh set of goggles via the goggle lane, but then crashed and dropped a few more spots before coming back to 14th.
Towards the latter stages of the race, Jonass was able to reel in Prado, though Gajser was not hanging back either and on lap 10 was able to get by the Latvian. It took the Slovenian just a lap after that to steal first from Prado.
While Gajser would have wanted to make a run for it, Prado tried his best to keep with him and in the last lap, it was game on for the win. Prado was charging as he tried to make a pass just meters from the finish, but jumped too far, crashed after hitting the rear wheel of Gajser, and almost took the Honda rider down with him.
Gajser managed to keep it upright to win the race ahead of Jonass, Fernandez, Forato, and Coldenhoff, as Prado eventually crossed the line in 12th.
In MXGP race two, Jonass took his first Holeshot since Turkey 2019. Fernandez was just behind, with Gajser looking to get a pass on the Spaniard in early as Coldenhoff and Prado followed.
Gajser was able to do just that, as he got himself into second and focused his effort on Jonass. The Slovenian set the fastest lap of the race as he closed the gap down, though Jonass was not going to back down and put up a fight for a solid six laps.
Meanwhile, Prado crashed on the second lap and got up again in 17th. He pushed hard to make some passes and could only get back to 13th by the end of the race.
Bogers then passed Fernandez for third, as Fernandez fought to respond immediately, though could not make it happen. Things worked out well for him in the end as Bogers went down and fell to sixth, so Fernandez could get back into the position.
As Bogers got going, he had Vlaanderen on his case. The sudden pressure urged on the Dutchman who then caught up to Renaux and battled with him for fifth.
Coldenhoff then caught up with Fernandez and in the closing stages of the race, we saw the two battle. Just a few meters from the end, Fernandez thought he had third in the bag, but Coldenhoff had other ideas, as he got better speed going wider towards the finish and beat Fernandez on the line.
Gajser went on to win the race, with Jonass celebrating second ahead of Coldenhoff, Fernandez, and Renaux who was able to fend off the pressure from Bogers.
Gajser had the perfect scorecard, going 1-1 to claim another GP victory in Latvia, while Jonass made for a memorable home GP to stand on the second step of the podium in front of a huge crowd of Latvian fans. He was not the only one to have a big celebration, as Fernandez occupied the third step, securing his very first podium in MXGP!
“It was a good weekend,” Gajser said. “You know, I wasn’t enjoying a lot. Today the track was a bit sketchier than yesterday because of the rain during the night and also during the day. Also, a lot of squarish bumps, so you really have to be focused like from the star to the chequered flag. But anyway, yes, I was riding smart and I’m happy where I am at the moment. So, we continue to work hard and I can’t wait for the next one”.
In MX2 race one, the Holeshot went to Simon Längenfelder as he was followed by Jago Geerts, Tom Vialle, Kevin Horgmo and Thibault Benistant.
Tom Guyon started well in sixth, as Kay de Wolf got by Isak Gifting on the opening lap.
On the second lap, Camden McLellan fell hard on the landing of a jump, which also took down Mikkel Haarup who was looking to go for a fourth podium finish in a row. Haarup did not re-join the race.
Vialle then crashed out of third, as Jorge-Matthias Talviku also went down. Guyon also crashed out of seventh place. Eventually, he finished in 18th.
Mattia Guadagnini then passed both Jeremy Sydow and Andrea Adamo for seventh.
Back at the front though, Geerts began to close in on Längenfelder, as Horgmo looked like he lost a bit of ground on the two leaders. The Norwegian was able to get the intensity back pretty quickly as Geerts got alongside the GasGas rider in the lead, to take away first position, as Horgmo got by Längenfelder and carried on following Geerts.
Guadagnini then crashed on lap seven, as Sydow went down too, a couple of laps after that.
Meanwhile, Horgmo rode a smart and steady race, staying behind Geerts and not pushing too hard in order to bring home the second-place position as Geerts won the race. Benistant eventually got by Längenfelder with two laps to go, to move into third, as the German finished fourth ahead of Vialle.
In race two, for the second time this year, the Holeshot went to Horgmo who was the leader. Guadagnini was next, ahead of Geerts, de Wolf, and Gifting.
Geerts was looking to cut down the inside of Guadagnini for second, but the Italian read it well and was able to stay ahead. Though only for about a lap, as Geerts went through on lap 2.
At that point Horgmo was 2.984 seconds ahead and looking comfortable, as Guadagnini started to fade after being passed by Geerts, de Wolf, and Vialle, eventually being pushed down to 5th where he finished the race.
Horgmo continued to pull away, though Geerts was able to up the pace and catch on to the rear wheel of the Kawasaki rider. Of course, this took him a good 10 laps but eventually, Geerts was able to find his way past. Horgmo then went down on the corner before the riders come back up the start straight and got going behind Vialle who was third.
In the end, Geerts won the race, with de Wolf fighting crossing the line in second ahead of Vialle, Horgmo and Guadagnini. In terms of the podium, Geerts claimed the top spot ahead of Horgmo who celebrated his first podium in MX2 as Vialle was forced to settle for third.
Vialle lost some valuable points this weekend and is now tied on points with Geerts who takes back the red plate. The pair now have 244 points each heading into round seven, with Längenfelder moving into third, as Haarup drops to fifth.
“I’m really happy about the weekend everything was working well and also yesterday was nice to win the qualifying race,” Geerts said. “Today I took two good starts and felt good on the track all day and managed to stay out of trouble so I’m really happy about my riding and my speed and it’s nice to have the red plate again, but we are tied on points, it doesn’t do much but it’s always nice”.
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 35:04.928
2 Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:04.327
3 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:06.506
4 Alberto Forato (ITA, GASGAS), +0:10.820
5 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:13.984
6 Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:16.967
7 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:18.623
8 Brian Bogers (NED, Husqvarna), +0:26.359
9 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Beta), +0:33.651
10 Henry Jacobi (GER, Honda), +0:35.938
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 36:22.500
2 Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:05.744
3 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:11.680
4 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:11.769
5 Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:16.016
6 Brian Bogers (NED, Husqvarna), +0:18.485
7 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:35.200
8 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:47.049
9 Alberto Forato (ITA, GASGAS), +0:50.160
10 Ben Watson (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:51.649
MXGP – GP Top 10 Classification:
1 Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 50 Points
2 Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 44 Points
3 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 38 Points
4 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 36 Points
5 Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 31 Points
6 Alberto Forato (ITA, GAS), 30 Points
7 Brian Bogers (NED, HUS), 28 Points
8 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 27 Points
9 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 21 Points
10 Ben Watson (GBR, KAW), 19 Points
MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 286 Points
2 Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 220 Points
3 Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 215 Points
4 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 187 Points
5 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 177 Points
6 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 163 Points
7 Brian Bogers (NED, HUS), 154 Points
8 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, BET), 140 Points
9 Alberto Forato (ITA, GAS), 124 Points
10 Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 120 Points
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 35:17.343
2 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +0:05.084
3 Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:11.784
4 Simon Längenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:18.674
5 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:46.816
6 Andrea Adamo (ITA, GASGAS), +0:55.892
7 Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +0:57.839
8 Hakon Fredriksen (NOR, Honda), +0:58.242
9 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +1:10.128
10 Isak Gifting (SWE, KTM), +1:13.463
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 34:21.127
2 Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:03.810
3 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:05.519
4 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +0:20.643
5 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GASGAS), +0:22.539
6 Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +0:30.407
7 Isak Gifting (SWE, KTM), +0:36.247
8 Hakon Fredriksen (NOR, Honda), +0:47.541
9 Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Kawasaki), +0:50.399
10 Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:52.480
MX2 – GP Top 10 Classification:
1 Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 50 Points
2 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 40 Points
3 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 36 Points
4 Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 31 Points
5 Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 31 Points
6 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 27 Points
7 Hakon Fredriksen (NOR, HON), 26 Points
8 Isak Gifting (SWE, KTM), 25 Points
9 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GAS), 23 Points
10 Andrea Adamo (ITA, GAS), 20 Points
MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 244 Points
2 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 244 Points
3 Simon Längenfelder (GER, GAS), 181 Points
4 Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 181 Points
5 Mikkel Haarup (DEN, KAW), 181 Points
6 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 176 Points
7 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GAS), 161 Points
8 Andrea Adamo (ITA, GAS), 153 Points
9 Isak Gifting (SWE, KTM), 136 Points
10 Stephen Rubini (FRA, HON), 121 Points