The seventh round of the FIM Motocross World Championship has concluded with a muddy Italian Grand Prix in Maggiora Park that saw Team Tim Gajser and Jago Geerts secure back-to-back GP victories in MXGP and MX2.
The heavy rainfall during the night and some more throughout the day made for some tough conditions but the top MXGP and MX2 stars took on the challenge and produced some intense racing that saw Stephen Rubini celebrate his first podium in MX2 and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing claim a 2-3 podium with Jeremy Seewer and Maxime Renaux.
In the opening MXGP race of the Italian Grand Prix, the first Holeshot went to Calvin Vlaanderen, who led Tim Gajser, Maxime Renaux and Jeremy Seewer, as well as Pauls Jonass.
Renaux then slipped by Gajser as he took over second place on the opening lap and the pair then battled closely for much of the race, with Gajser making several attempts to pass. While the two fought for second, Vlaanderen was looking pretty comfortable in the lead, until lap six when Renaux went through and lap or so later so did Gajser.
In that time, Seewer found his way past Jonass and could then put in a couple of good laps in order to close in on Vlaanderen, Gajser, and Renaux.
As the fight between Renaux and Gajser intensified, the pair came within touching distance as they almost made contact, but it was the Slovenian who came out on top and became the new race leader on lap 11.
Seewer then upped his pace as he worked his way around Vlaanderen on lap 11, after battling with the Dutchman for four laps. Towards the final laps of the race, Seewer passed Renaux and then crashed with two laps to go but managed to get going quickly to maintain second position.
Gajser won the race, Seewer was second ahead of Renaux, Vlaanderen and Jonass.
In the second race, it was Brit Ben Watson who secured his first Holeshot of the 2022 season and led Jonass, Seewer and Gajser.
Gajser was quick to pass Seewer as Jonass took the lead away from Watson on lap two. The Brit then came under more pressure from Gajser and Seewer, and eventually dropped to fourth by the third lap.
Alberto Forato was looking good as he challenged Renaux for his position and eventually took fifth away from the Frenchman. He looked solid for a couple of more laps before crashing and finishing the race in 13th position.
On lap five we saw a change for the lead, as Gajser got around Jonass, while Seewer remained close. Moments later the Swiss got around the Latvian who crashed five or so laps later and dropped back to 8th.
From then on it was a steady race for Gajser, as Seewer got comfortable in second, while Watson was looking good in third. Renaux was on a mission though, as he looked to fight back and score some solid points. On lap 12 the Frenchman sensed an opportunity to get Watson and took it with both hands and solidified his spot on the box.
Gajser won the race with a 20.264 second advantage over Seewer. Renaux was third ahead of Watson and Fernandez.
Gajser went on to claim his sixth overall win of the season, with Seewer finally making a comeback on the box since Matterley Basin to secure the second spot ahead of his teammate Renaux who celebrated his fourth podium in MXGP.
With Jorge Prado out for the Italian GP, this now means that Gajser leads by 81 points as Renaux moves into second in the championship standings ahead of Seewer who is third.
“Yeah, it was a good weekend, I was really enjoying those days,” Gajser said. “It was completely different, we had rain during the night so it was completely different and more technical let’s say. It was a good day and also good starts, then I took the time to find some nice lines to pass the guys in front of me, then could make a comfortable lead and then control the race. I really enjoyed the race and look forward to next weekend”.
As the gate dropped for MX2 race one, the first Holeshot of the weekend went to Mattia Guadagnini who immediately crashed in the third corner and that also stopped Tom Vialle in his tracks and allowed Jago Geerts into the lead!
Geerts then led Kay Karssemakers, Stephen Rubini as well as Isak Gifting.
Kay de Wolf started well too along with Liam Everts who was running well inside the top 10.
Rubini then moved into second place as Guadagnini crashed once more. The Italian did not finish the rest of the race.
Everts then passed de Wolf to move into fifth place, as Gifting passed Karssemakers. The Dutchman then crashed which allowed Everts to move into fourth. By that point, Vialle was in seventh and catching up to de Wolf and the pair then battled intensely.
While at the front of the field, Rubini was looking impressive and was the fastest rider on the track for a while. The Frenchman consistently improved upon his lap times as he closed the gap to Geerts. This is when backmarkers started to play their part, as Rubini got help up which allowed Geerts to pull away.
At around the midway stage of the race, Everts found himself in the sights of de Wolf which meant that he could not afford any mistakes or a moment to relax. Eventually, on lap 12, de Wolf was able to get by Everts, though crashed just two laps after that which handed fourth place back to Everts. By that point, Vialle also picked up the pace as he got within striking distance of Everts.
In the end, Geerts went on to win race one with Rubini crossing the line in second place ahead of Gifting, while Everts kept Vialle at bay to secure fourth.
In race two, the Holeshot went to Karssemakers who led Vialle, Geerts, de Wolf and Simon Längenfelder. de Wolf dropped down to seventh as Längenfelder got by and so did Adamo and Guadagnini.
Geerts and Längenfelder then got by Karssemakers, as Längenfelder set the fastest lap of the race and looked to close the gap down between him and the Belgian ahead of him.
Adamo was next to go after Karssemakers but pushed too hard and crashed. The Italian got going again in 11th but then slipped down to 16th by the end of the race.
Mikkel Haarup, Rubini and Kevin Horgmo were locked in a close battle for seventh as they pushed their way closer to Guadagnini and de Wolf just ahead. Karssemakers was still ahead, with de Wolf pushing to get by but a mistake saw him drop to fifth, with Rubini and Haarup looming in his shadow.
Eventually, de Wolf was able to get himself into fourth, as Karssemakers found himself being urged on by Rubini. As the Frenchman focused on the KTM rider ahead of him, Haarup was able to seize his own opportunity to get by, catching Rubini off by surprise, as did Horgmo who shortly after passed him too.
Back with the leaders, Geerts kept things close to Vialle who was still the rider in the lead. In the final few laps the Belgian really stepped up his game as he applied the pressure onto his championship rival, though it was not enough to spook Vialle who ended up winning the race. Geerts was second, Längenfelder third, de Wolf finished fourth ahead of Haarup.
A 1-2 result of Geerts, compared to Vialle’s 5-1 gave Geerts the overall victory, with Vialle second on the box ahead of Rubini who celebrated his first ever podium in the world championship.
As it stands, Geerts leads the MX2 Championship with a 6-point advantage over Vialle. Längenfelder is third, five points ahead of de Wolf and Haarup who are tied on points in fourth and fifth.
“Yeah it was a really good day for me,” Geerts said. “First race, I got a good start and I was feeling good. Didn’t make too many mistakes. And then the second heat, in the first 15 minutes I was struggling a bit with the track, but after that I found some good lines and in the end had a battle with Tom but I finished second. Really happy about today and looking forward to the next race in Sardegna”.
The eighth stop of the 2022 FIM Motocross World Championship will be held in the soft stuff at Riola Sardo. The Grand Prix of Sardegna is set to go off on May 15.
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 35:54.476
2 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:05.940
3 Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:14.816
4 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:17.013
5 Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:32.750
6 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:42.759
7 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Beta), +0:47.237
8 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:49.316
9 Brian Bogers (NED, Husqvarna), +0:50.318
10 Ben Watson (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:52.029
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:52.491
2 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:20.264
3 Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:30.434
4 Ben Watson (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:32.382
5 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:34.972
6 Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:37.428
7 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:40.473
8 Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:47.135
9 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Beta), +0:49.210
10 Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:52.099
MXGP – GP Top 10 Classification:
1 Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 50 Points
2 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 44 Points
3 Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 40 Points
4 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 32 Points
5 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 31 Points
6 Ben Watson (GBR, KAW), 29 Points
7 Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 29 Points
8 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, BET), 26 Points
9 Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 23 Points
10 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 22 Points
MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 336 Points
2 Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 255 Points
3 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 231 Points
4 Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 220 Points
5 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 199 Points
6 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 194 Points
7 Brian Bogers (NED, HUS), 173 Points
8 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, BET), 166 Points
9 Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 149 Points
10 Alberto Forato (ITA, GAS), 132 Points
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 34:21.361
2 Stephen Rubini (FRA, Honda), +0:09.035
3 Isak Gifting (SWE, KTM), +0:21.906
4 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:25.604
5 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:28.005
6 Simon Längenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:41.030
7 Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Kawasaki), +0:42.637
8 Tom Guyon (FRA, KTM), +0:46.328
9 Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:48.170
10 Andrea Adamo (ITA, GASGAS), +0:49.999
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 35:31.289
2 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:01.505
3 Simon Längenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:35.047
4 Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:55.557
5 Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Kawasaki), +0:56.827
6 Stephen Rubini (FRA, Honda), +1:03.356
7 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +1:07.566
8 Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +1:11.449
9 Kay Karssemakers (NED, KTM), +1:12.800
10 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GASGAS), +1:12.902
MX2 – GP Top 10 Classification:
1 Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 47 Points
2 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 41 Points
3 Stephen Rubini (FRA, HON), 37 Points
4 Simon Längenfelder (GER, GAS), 35 Points
5 Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 30 Points
6 Mikkel Haarup (DEN, KAW), 30 Points
7 Isak Gifting (SWE, KTM), 29 Points
8 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 26 Points
9 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 23 Points
10 Kay Karssemakers (NED, KTM), 22 Points
MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 291 points
2 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 285 Points
3 Simon Längenfelder (GER, GAS), 216 Points
4 Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 211 Points
5 Mikkel Haarup (DEN, KAW), 211 Points
6 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 199 Points
7 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GAS), 172 Points
8 Andrea Adamo (ITA, GAS), 169 Points
9 Isak Gifting (SWE, KTM), 165 Points
10 Stephen Rubini (FRA, HON), 158 Points