Tim Gajser and Pauls Jonass Kick Of MXGP Season with Qualifying Wins

Aussie Hunter Lawrence Impresses With Top Five Qualifying Result


Team HRC‰Ûªs Tim Gajser and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Pauls Jonass who have set the tone in Losail, Qatar, with both taking the 2017 FIM World Motocross Championship opening qualifying session.

When the gates dropped for the first time this season, the reigning champion Tim Gajser shot out of them to claim a narrow holeshot over Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Antonio Cairoli. Behind them was the newly appointed Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider Gautier Paulin. Pressure was put on Paulin throughout the race via Team HRC‰Ûªs Russian rider Evgeny Bobryshev. However, the Russian was also feeling heat from the former champion Monster Energy Yamaha MXGP‰Ûªs Romain Febvre.

Febvre looked like he was going to make a move but ended up going down instead, he was however able to remount and finish 7th. Replacing his 5th place position was Wilvo Yamaha MXGP‰Ûªs Jeremy Van Horebeek.

Meanwhile, up front the KTM of Cairoli was gaining ground on Gajser, and even more so after a few mistakes from the Honda Rider. As the race came to a close things were tight between the two, but at the finish Tim Gajser was the one able to come away with pole position.

"Today was actually a really good race, I had a good start and I was able to find some good lines," Gajser said.

"I was happy with my speed, just a couple of laps before the end I made a few mistakes. I have been feeling under the weather today and first practice was really tough but I have felt better as the day has gone on.

"I am glad I have won so that I have a pole for tomorrow and it's a good start to the season. The track is in really good shape, it's a little bit harder this year it hasn't ripped so deep as last year but for tomorrow it will be even better as we have made some ruts already.

Rookies Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing‰Ûªs Max Anstie and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Jeffrey Herlings whom both finished outside the Top 5 look from better results to come on Saturday.

To start the MX2 qualifying race the two Red Bull KTM Factory Racing bikes of Pauls Jonass and Jorge Prado Garcia launched off the new starting grid but the holeshot went to TM Racing Factory Team‰Ûªs Samuele Bernadini. The Italian was followed by the KTM‰Ûªs with Jonass leading Prado but the pair of teammates was split in the second corner by the Frenchman Benoit Paturel from Kemea Yamaha MX Official Team.

Prado continued to be shuffled back while his teammate looked for a way around Bernardini.

Suzuki World MX2‰Ûªs Jeremy Seewer moved into fourth while Jonass and his KTM were able to find an opening and take the lead. Bernadini began to loose ground shortly after and was passed by Paturel then Seewer. The italian would finish 21st.

At the checkered flag, it was Pauls Jonass who lit the candles for the first time this year ahead of Paturel and Seewer. Prado managed to finish in fourth while young Australian Suzuki World MX2‰Ûªs Hunter Lawerence rounded out the top five.

Lawrence who had a great first lap, moving up from mid-pack into the top-10 with some nice moves. He then settled in behind some more experienced riders before putting in another couple of passes to score his impressive fifth place.

‰ÛÏI just put some laps in, sitting behind Seewer, Prado and Bernardini, trying not to do anything silly," Lawrence said. "Ended up fifth, which is great, so we‰Ûªll see how it goes tomorrow, but I‰Ûªm excited to have got the first gate drop out of the way, especially under the lights of Qatar, which was pretty cool.‰Û
Aussie Hunter Lawrence was impressive in MX2 finishing 5th on his MX2 debut.
MXGP Qualifying Race Top Ten:
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 25:05.634;
2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:00.617;
3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:15.909;
4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:17.398;
5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:20.023;
6. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:21.556;
7. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:25.823;
8. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:28.921;
9. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:30.262;
10. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:31.720;
11. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:33.763;
12. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:43.231;
13. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:49.634;
14. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), +1:00.268;
15. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Honda), +1:02.273;
16. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +1:04.431;
17. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +1:06.396;
18. Tanel Leok (EST, Husqvarna), +1:07.144;
19. Rui Goncalves (POR, Husqvarna), +1:12.236;
20. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Honda), +1:12.521;
21. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +1:24.123.

MX2 Qualifying Race Top Ten:
1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 25:28.950;
2. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:01.319;
3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki World MX2), +0:04.215;
4. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), +0:15.022;
5. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki World MX2), +0:16.129;
6. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:19.109;
7. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:21.208;
8. Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), +0:26.088;
9. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:26.566;
10. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:29.571;
11. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Kawasaki), +0:29.936;
12. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:33.200;
13. Alvin ÌÐstlund (SWE, Yamaha), +0:36.539;
14. Anton Gole (SWE, Husqvarna), +0:42.787;
15. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), +0:50.636;
16. Stephen Rubini (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:54.844;
17. Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), +0:56.180;
18. Ben Watson (GBR, KTM), +0:59.030;
19. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:02.091;
20. Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP, Husqvarna), +1:05.763;
21. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), +1:06.769;
22. Jay Wilson (AUS, Yamaha), +1:08.474;
23. Conrad Mewse (GBR, Husqvarna), +1:09.740;
24. Bas Vaessen (NED, Suzuki World MX2), +1:21.736;
25. Ivan Petrov (BUL, Husqvarna), +1:29.326;
26. Caleb Ward (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:31.781;
27. Magne Klingsheim (NOR, Kawasaki), +1:52.174;
28. Chihiro Notsuka (JPN, Honda), +1:54.114;
29. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), -13 lap(s);
30. Maykal Grisha Ivanov (BUL, Honda), -13 lap(s).

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