Finally the big day arrived and the best motocross riders in the world raced the renovated track of Maggiora that had been closed for fourteen years. The emblematic Italian track hosted the MX1 and MX2 Qualifying races, as well as race one of the fifth round of the FIM MX3 World Championship and the third round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship.
Gautier Paulin obtained his second overall pole position this year and Alexander Tonkov won his first ever MX2 race today. In MX3 it was Martin Michek who won race one and home rider Chiara Fontanesi dominated the WMX race since the very beginning.
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin did not have one of his best starts today in the qualifying race, but after three laps the French rider managed to move up to second behind Tommy Searle, who had been leading the race since the beginning. Paulin admitted that he felt really comfortable and with three laps to go he clinched the fastest lap of the race and succeeded to overtake Searle.
CLS MX2 Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit’s Tommy Searle suffered a big crash during the pre-qualifying session, but it did not stop him to take part in the qualifying race. In fact, the British riders had the best start of the season and he managed to lead almost the whole qualifying race. By the end of the heat Searle could not keep the lead, but he was really satisfied with his performance today and he is very optimistic for tomorrow’s races.
The third position was for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker, who struggled once again with his start, but he managed to move from his initial ninth position to the final third. The Belgian was fifth in the pre-qualifying session, so he is looking forward to racing tomorrow and try to be back on the podium in a special track like the one of Maggiora.
Honda World Motocross’ Max Nagl had a really good qualifying race, starting down in the thirteenth position but managing to finish in a solid fourth place. The German rider felt really comfortable today, but now he just wants to do well tomorrow and try to give his team the first podium of the season.
ICE1Racing’s Xavier Boog had an excellent start in second, but the French rider could not keep the rhythm of the front riders and crossed the finish line fifth. Boog is really happy to have been able to race among the top best MX1 riders today, as he was only back from his injury in France last weekend.
Davide Guarneri, who is wearing a vintage design on his racing gear as well as on his KTM, started with the front group today and he was able to finish sixth. His compatriot Antonio Cairoli crashed in the opening lap of the qualifying race and even if he had a deep cut on his left arm he managed to finish the race in the seventh position ahead of Evgeny Bobryshev, who had also crashed after the start, and Jeremy Van Horebeek. Clement Desalle started down in the 20th position and when he was recuperating some places Jonathan Barragán crashed on him. In the end the Belgian recuperated his rhythm and he was able to finish tenth.
Home rider David Philippaerts had an outstanding start, but unfortunately he crashed while he was riding second. The Italian hit his head in the crash and he was taken to the hospital for some further exams.
Billy Mackenzie was very pleased to be back racing in the Grand Prix and today he was able to finish twelfth in the qualifying race. The British rider was impressed on how much the series had grown and tomorrow he hopes to have good starts and he will try to finish among the top ten or top fifteenth of the class.
American Jeff Alessi had a mechanical problem in his Yamaha machine and he had to enter the pitlane at the first stages of the qualifying race.
MX1 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 24:21.430; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:04.218; 3. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:19.837; 4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:22.550; 5. Xavier Boog (FRA, KTM), +0:25.120; 6. Davide Guarneri (ITA, KTM), +0:26.229; 7. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:27.093; 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:28.779; 9. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:39.359; 10. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:41.490.
ESTA Motorsports Honda’s Alexander Tonkov was very pleased today for having achieved his maiden MX2 race victory in the qualifying race. The Russian, who is turning twenty next month, had obtained the best lap time in the pre-qualifying session and after taking the holeshot in the qualifying heat, he managed to keep a good rhythm at the front. Jeffrey Herlings caught the Russian and in the last lap the Dutch rider took the lead, but a few corners afterwards Herlings crashed and Tonkov recuperated the first position.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Dean Ferris had a good start today and he rode fourth most of the heat, but in the last stages of the race he overtook José Butrón and when Herlings crashed the Australian moved up to second. Ferris, who had won the qualifying race in Ernée in France, is ready to fight once again for a podium finish tomorrow, as he is feeling really comfortable on his Yamaha, as well as on the Italian track.
KTM Silver Action’s José Butrón was back again today racing with the front group and after a really good start he rode comfortably in the third place. However, he was surprised by Ferris and dropped down one position, but he recuperated it when Herlings crashed in the last lap.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings could not take the holeshot but he had a good start in second behind Tonkov. The red plate holder rode behind the Russian during the whole heat and when he managed to overtake him in the last lap, he made a mistake and he crashed. Herlings was not injured but he had to settle down with the fourth place.
His teammate Jordi Tixier was eighth after the start but he was able to find a good rhythm and he crossed the finish line fifth. The Red Bull KTM Factory rider obtained the fastest lap of the race, which proves that he felt really well on the Italian track and tomorrow he might be back on the podium if he is able to have a good start.
Jake Nicholls did not have a good start either, but he did an incredible recovery from his initial eleventh position to his final sixth place. Alessandro Lupino was really satisfied with his seventh place today as he had not been very lucky in the previous Grand Prix and he hopes to do well tomorrow in front of his home crowd. Romain Febvre finished eighth in the qualifying race and Priit Ratsep and Mel Pocock completed the top ten.
MX2 Qualifying Race top ten: 1. Alexander Tonkov (RUS, Honda), 24:37.774; 2. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), +0:00.558; 3. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:03.911; 4. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:05.352; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:05.685; 6. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:12.895; 7. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +0:16.188; 8. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), +0:22.391; 9. Priit Ratsep (EST, KTM), +0:24.100; 10. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), +0:26.397;
MXGP ITALY – QUICK FACTS
Circuit length: 1520m
Type of ground: hard pack
The MXGP of Italy will be broadcasted LIVE in Italy on SportItalia 2, in France on Be In Sport 1 and Motors TV France, in Slovenia on Sport TV, in the UK on Motors TV UK, in Brazil on Bandsports, in Thailand on True Vision, in Africa and the Middle East on Al Jazeera Sport, in Europe on Motors TV Europe and worldwide on MX-LIFE.TV.
By clicking here you will be able to download the complete TV coverage of the MXGP of Italy and here you will find the TV Coverage of the fifth round of the FIM MX3 World Championship.
Sunday: WMX Warm-up 8:00; MX3 Warm up 8:30; MX2 Warm up 9:00; MX1 Warm up 9:30; WMX Race 2 10:10; MX3 Race 2 11:00; MX2 Grand Prix Race 1 12:10; MX1 Grand Prix Race 1 13:10; MX2 Grand Prix Race 2 15:01; MX1 Grand Prix race 2 16:07.