Motocross

Tim Gajser and Liam Everts Victorious At The MXGP of Turkiye

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Photo of motocross rider Tim Gasjer at the 2023 MXGP of Turkey
Defending Champion Tim Gajser won the second moto at the MXGP of Turkiye, to get himself on the top step of the podium for his first overall GP victory in 2023.

The 2023 FIM Motocross World Championship reached its seventeenth round in Afyon, Turkey with Tim Gajser and Liam Everts topping the podiums.

The day proved to be a challenging one as the rain from Saturday left the hard-packed track and a formidable test for the riders.

In the MXGP class, Tim Gajser marked a triumphant return to the top step after a year, securing victory at the MXGP of Turkiye. Romain Febvre secured second place, narrowing the gap in the Championship standings, and Maxime Renaux made an impressive comeback, securing third place on the podium.

In MX2, Liam Everts clinched a back-to-back Grand Prix victory, keeping his title hopes alive while Kevin Horgmo finally secured a well-deserved podium with second place overall, thanks to his first race win of the season. Belgian Jago Geerts rounded out the podium, marking his return from injury.

In Race One, Valentin Guillod took the Holeshot, but championship leader Jorge Prado soon took the lead. Unfortunately, the Spaniard fell in the second corner, losing his lead and only making his way back to the thirteenth position by the end of the race.

Meanwhile, Tim Gajser assumed control of the race, followed by Guillod and Romain Febvre. Febvre made a move to secure second place on lap two of seventeen and eventually overtook Gajser for the lead on lap seven. Gajser finished a strong second, while Guillod slipped down to ninth place, maintaining a top-ten finish.

Maxime Renaux displayed an impressive performance, moving from eighth on the opening lap to secure third place. Calvin Vlaanderen, Mattia Guadagnini, and Alberto Forato also had solid races.

Photo of motocross rider Jorge Prado at the 2023 MXGP of Turkey
Championship leader Jorge Prado (Getting the holeshot) was fast out of the gat each moto at the Grand Prix of Turkiye; misfortune struck at the start of each moto and the Spaniard recorded his worst result of the season of ninth as a result. Photo: Juan Pablo Acevedo

Race Two saw Prado take the Holeshot, but his lead was short-lived as he stalled in a corner, falling to sixteenth. The Red Plate holder managed to get back up to ninth in the end for tenth overall, which is his lowest result of the season and saw him lose a haul of points to his closest rival Romain Febvre.

However, Gajser took that golden opportunity to take the lead and pulled away quickly in front of the two French riders, Renaux and Febvre. Gajser was back in his championship-winning grove, mimicking his last appearance in Turkiye twelve months ago where he won the GP. With the gap increasing to nine seconds, Gajser seemed unreachable for Renaux, but all of that changed when the Team HRC rider lost control with a few laps to go and fell. By the time Gajser remounted, the nine-second cushion melted, and Renaux was on his tail. However, Gajser regrouped very quickly and kept his well-known composure to keep the lead until the checkered flag.

Photo of motocross rider Romain Febvre at the 2023 MXGP of Turkey
Romain Febvre heads confidently to the final two rounds of the 2023 FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship after pulling back twenty-five points at Afyonkarahisar in Turkey with second place.

Gajser returned to the top and the podium exactly twelve months after his last victory in Afyon. The Slovenian marked his return to the top and will now want to keep this momentum going to Maggiora.

“I’m really really happy, it’s been such a long time since I step on top of the podium,” Gajser enthused. “All the weekend I felt great on the track and the riding was smooth and good. I got a bit of arm pump in the first race as I was maybe not riding enough relaxed but anyway, in the second race, I got a great start and made a little gap. I also made a mistake of my own and Renaux caught me but I kept my focus and regrouped to keep the lead. I’m very happy. I want to thank very much all the team who is working hard.”

Renaux also managed to stay second for the whole race to clinch his first podium since his last podium in Trentino. While still not feeling one hundred percent fit, with a 3-2 and third overall, Renaux is getting back to his best before the end of the season and the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations in Ernée, France.

Photo of motocross rider Maxime Renaux at the 2023 MXGP of Turkey
Maxime Renaux put in an incredible ride at the 17th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Afyonkarahisar as he powered to an strong podium finish with third – his first since his return from injury.

Fernandez was back to his best with a solid race and consistent pace that saw him finish in fourth place for sixth overall. Vlaanderen confirmed his good first race with another solid ride as he gained one position by overtaking Pauls Jonass on lap thirteen to finish fifth and get the fourth overall and bouncing back from The Netherlands in the best of ways. Jonass who had to retire in race one showed that he has the speed to be in the top ten as he settled for sixth in the end.

Behind him, Forato also rode confidently the whole race in seventh place to get an excellent fifth overall and get his season’s best finish while Glenn Coldenhoff who didn’t show the same kind of speed we are used to seeing from him, gained a couple of positions during the race to finish in front of Prado in eighth. Coldenhoff was seventh overall and gained some points for third place in the Championship on his teammate Jeremy Seewer who finished tenth for eighth overall.

Photo of motocross rider Liam Everts at the 2023 MXGP of Turkey
Liam Everts’s third MX2 victory of the season around the fast, jumpy and rough hard-pack of Afyon keeps the Belgian in title contention. Photo: Ray Archer

MX2:

In MX2 Race One, the Holeshot was clinched by Simon Laengenfelder but the lead was beautifully taken over the second turn by the surprising Isak Gifting. Gifting led Jago Geerts and Laengenfelder from the opening round. While Geerts struggled to put pressure on Gifting, Laengenfelder closed in on the Belgian to overtake him on lap eight.

The German kept charging forward and made an excellent move on Gifting but the Swedish rider wouldn’t submit, and both riders made contact side by side. Incredibly, both riders stayed up, and Gifting maintained the lead. It was only a matter of time for Laengenfelder as he charged again on lap ten and this time took the lead off Gifting. Nothing would stop Laengenfelder as he rode through to victory.

Photo of motocross rider Liam Everts at the 2023 MXGP of Turkey
With consistent 3rd and 2nd places in Afyon Liam Everts now has eight podium finishes and is 48 points behind Championship leader Andrea Adamo. Photo: Ray Archer

Geerts managed to muscle his way past Gifting to finish second in the end while Gifting could not hold the charges from Liam Everts and Roan Van de Moosdijk and finished fifth. Everts had a solid race and stayed consistent with a strong pace as he pressed on Geerts towards the end for second place. Everts settled for a good third place in front of Van De Moosdijk, who shadowed him the whole race.

Kevin Horgmo showed great determination again and good speed as he didn’t have a great start, going eleventh on the opening lap. The Norwegian quickly moved up in the ranks but fell on lap four to drop down to twelfth. But as he showed many times this season, Horgmo’s speed always helps him to gain places and that is exactly what he used to finish sixth.

While Rick Elzinga, and David Braceras rode solidly to finish seventh and eighth respectively, Oriol Oliver showed good speed after an average start to ride from thirteenth on the opening lap to finish in the top ten in ninth.

Photo of motocross rider Kevin Horgmo at the 2023 MXGP of Turkey
Kevin Horgmo raced to a career-first GP moto victory on his way to second overall in the Turkish round of the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship at Afyonkarahisar.

Things didn’t go as planned for Andrea Adamo, who got a decent start, going sixth on the opening lap and was battling with Van De Moosdijk for fifth over the first couple of laps. However, the race took a turn for the Red Plate holder as after getting passed by Lucas Coenen on lap three, Adamo crashed and fell down the order to fourteenth. The Italian managed to get back up to tenth in the end, while L.Coenen also crashed on lap four and had to retire from the race after not feeling one hundred percent after the fall. L.Coenen also chose not to take part in MX2 Race Two to make sure he recovers and comes back stronger in Maggiora for the MXGP of Italy.

In Race Two, Van De Moosdijk came out of the gate the fastest to clinch the Holeshot and the lead with it. Van De Moosdijk looked solid and comfortable but on lap three, Everts launched a successful attack to take the lead while Horgmo, who was pushing behind the Belgian, also took the opportunity to cleverly move past Van De Moosdijk to get to the second place. Van De Moosdijk would stay solidly in thord place but missed on a podium with fifth overall.

Photo of motocross rider Jago Geerts at the 2023 MXGP of Turkey
Jago Geerts (93) celebrated his 10th MX2 podium finish of the 2023 season after a gritty performance at the 17th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey. The Belgian star ended the Turkish Grand Prix third overall

Everts at the lead had to keep the fast Horgmo at bay, who set two fastest laps in a row. Everts answered with the fastest laps of his own and defended brilliantly until lap thirteen when he made a mistake and fell. This was all that Horgmo needed as he took the lead, which put him on the podium. Horgmo showed great composure to bring it home and win his first race of the season as well as his first podium. For Everts, the little mistake cost him a race win as he finished second but didn’t change the final overall result with the Belgian winning his third Grand Prix victory overall. He is also closing the gap with his teammate Adamo in the Championship.

The other great performance was the one from Jago Geerts, who raced the whole race in fourth place and showed great speed to keep Laengenfelder behind and then Adamo for the second part of the race. Staying solidly in fourth place saw him climb onto the third step of the podium for the first time since his comeback following his injury.

Adamo showed better rhythm in race two as he passed Laengenfelder for fifth but could not find the way past Geerts despite showing one of the fastest paces of the race. Adamo settled for fifth in the end to get sixth overall. Laengenfelder didn’t find the same switch as in Race One and had to settle for sixth, which placed him in fourth overall, level with Geerts.

Photo of motocross rider Simon Laengenfelder at the 2023 MXGP of Turkey
Simon Längenfelder shined in two of the three MX2 races that were held over the Grand Prix weekend, but he ultimately missed out on the podium on a tiebreak despite winning the second moto. Photo: Juan Pablo Acevedo

Rounding the top ten in race two were Oliver, Elzinga, Emil Weckman, and Jan Pancar respectively. Elzinga got a good seventh overall, bouncing back from The Netherlands. Oliver, Braceras, and Weckman got another encouraging top ten with eighth, ninth, and tenth place overall respectively. On the other hand, following a great first race, Gifting unfortunately had to retire after the first lap due to not feeling well.

“I made a little mistake in Race 2 but I take it as a positive because there is still room for improvement and we can still go faster,” Everts shared after his win. “I just want to keep working. About the title, it’s not really the goal coming in, but we will see where we end up when it’s all done. I’m just trying to keep improving during these next two rounds and I want to thank all my team.”

All that remains now is a doubleheader. The penultimate stop of the Grand Prix season, Italy, will be held on September 17 and the finale in Great Britain will take place a week later.

Photo of motocross rider Andrea Adamo at the 2023 MXGP of Turkey
MX2 Championship leader Andrea Adamo lamented starts and small mistakes for a 10-5 scorecard but kept control of the red plate for the tenth Grand Prix in a row. Photo: Ray Archer

MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), 35:02.660
2 Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:04.675
3 Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:14.345
4 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:18.329
5 Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), +0:23.491
6 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:26.600
7 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GASGAS), +0:27.218
8 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:27.627
9 Valentin Guillod (SUI, Honda), +0:34.203
10 Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:35.425

MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:19.435
2 Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:05.834
3 Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:11.824
4 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:13.603
5 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:17.274
6 Pauls Jonass (LAT, Honda), +0:19.023
7 Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), +0:21.175
8 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:26.087
9 Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:27.761
10 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:28.302

MXGP – Grand Prix Top 10 Classification:
1 Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 47 points
2 Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 45 points
3 Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 42 points
4 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 34 points
5 Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), 30 points
6 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 28 points
7 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 28 points
8 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 24 points
9 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GAS), 24 points
10 Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 20 points

MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 841 points
2 Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 774 points
3 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 676 points
4 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 628 points
5 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 570 points
6 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 532 points
7 Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 456 points
8 Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), 444 points
9 Valentin Guillod (SUI, HON), 310 points
10 Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 302 points

MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), 35:45.773
2 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:03.146
3 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:06.343
4 Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Husqvarna), +0:08.728
5 Isak Gifting (SWE, GASGAS), +0:18.844
6 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +0:20.342
7 Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +0:34.483
8 David Braceras (ESP, Kawasaki), +0:36.991
9 Oriol Oliver (ESP, KTM), +0:38.735
10 Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:45.782

MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), 35:45.773
2 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:03.146
3 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:06.343
4 Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Husqvarna), +0:08.728
5 Isak Gifting (SWE, GASGAS), +0:18.844
6 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +0:20.342
7 Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +0:34.483
8 David Braceras (ESP, Kawasaki), +0:36.991
9 Oriol Oliver (ESP, KTM), +0:38.735
10 Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:45.782

MX2 – Grand Prix Top 10 Classification:
1 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 42 points
2 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 40 points
3 Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 40 points
4 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 40 points
5 Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, HUS), 38 points
6 Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 27 points
7 Rick Elzinga (NED, YAM), 27 points
8 Oriol Oliver (ESP, KTM), 26 points
9 David Braceras (ESP, KAW), 23 points
10 Emil Weckman (FIN, HON), 22 points

MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 732 points
2 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 684 points
3 Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 650 points
4 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 645 points
5 Lucas Coenen (BEL, HUS), 520 points
6 Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, HUS), 508 points
7 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 505 points
8 Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 501 points
9 Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 462 points
10 Rick Elzinga (NED, YAM), 352 points

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