Antonio Cairoli and Benoit Paturel start strong at the MXGP of Germany
The technical circuit of Teutschenthal plays host to the MXGP of Germany and today marked the first of two race days Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli and Kemea Yamaha MX Official Team’s Benoit Paturel lead the field and each won their respective qualifying races.
In addition to MXGP and MX2 we had some new racing action in the form of EMX300 Presented by FMF Racing and the Honda 150 European Championship. In EMX300 Presented by FMF Racing Race 1 Brad Anderson rode smart and won with a gap of 19 seconds over last year’s champion, GL12 Racing’s Mike Kras who was followed by Erik Willems. In the Honda 150 class Race 1 victory was claimed by Italian Andrea Adamo in front of Luis Outeiro and Anton Nordstrom Graaf.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli started the qualifying session in second but he moved into the lead on lap 3 after a mistake by Gajser. Cairoli was wise in his line choices and he found a fast yet smooth way around the circuit. Cairoli in the press conference said, “It is really important to have a good start and a good gate pick tomorrow because the track is technical and very tricky. I like the track a lot, I had a good race here last year and for sure we will try to do the same tomorrow.”
From the other side of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing garage is Jeffrey Herlings who came from 6th on lap one and passed his way all the way up to second including a pass on the final lap. Herlings by the end of the race was only 3.1 seconds behind Cairoli and he looked like he still had plenty in the tank. With Herlings’ season starting to come together his second gate pick will set him up well for Sunday.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin was looking for a good start to the weekend after his victory in Valkenswaard was followed by 5th in Latvia. Paulin had indeed a good start and he was in behind Cairoli the majority of the race but he was passed on the last lap by Herlings after a battle. All in all Paulin’s third in qualifying is a positive one and it gets him lined up for another chance at the podium.
When it comes to Yamaha riders the last week has been a little rough with Simpson out with an injury and Tonus recovering from a fall, however today the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing riders of Jeremy Van Horebeek and Romain Febvre were battling up front. Van Horebeek led the way for Febvre but not by much, at one point Febvre passed his teammate before relinquishing the spot shortly after. The two Yamaha boys finished 4th and 5th with Febvre behind Van Horebeek.
On the other end of the spectrum was the Team HRC mates of Tim Gajser and Evgeny Bobryshev. For Bobryshev his day came to an end in the Time Practice session where he crashed and fractured his collarbone. Gajser had the second fastest lap in Time Practice which he followed with a Holeshot in the Qualifying Race but on the 3rd lap he fell and later pulled out of the race. For HRC, Gajser will be their lone MXGP rider and he will race tomorrow.
For Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl this is his home GP. Nagl didn’t have the best result in qualifying race with 11th but he will look to improve for tomorrow.
MXGP Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 25:13.607; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:03.111; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:05.184; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:07.961; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:15.450; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:29.563; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:31.649; 8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:33.341; 9. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Suzuki), +0:33.752; 10. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:37.703.
Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team’s Benoit Paturel has found himself in the habit of getting bad starts this season and today he broke the habit with a fourth place start in Qualifying Race. Paturel used this rare good start to its full potential making a pass on Jonass and winning the Qualifying Race. Paturel has mentioned he and his team have been working on starts and they will look to use the 1st gate pick to keep the momentum flowing tomorrow. In facts he stated: “We have had some issues with the starts but now it is important to get some confidence again and fight up front. It’s really nice to ride up front and get a good start.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass is becoming quite consistent at battling up front this season and his consistency is paying off in the championship. Jonass grabbed the Holeshot and he was leading the first 3 laps before dropping to third but with chaos up front he found his way back into the lead for two more laps before being passed by Paturel. Jonass will have second gate pick tomorrow and will look to remain consistent and focused.
While this year it’s Jonass, last year it was Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer who was consistent. The pair has somewhat switched roles with Seewer now struggling to find the consistent performances he once had. Seewer started the Qualifying Race in 6th and he worked his way forward to the back wheel of Jonass who at the time was in 2nd. Seewer would go down and drop to 5th but eventually climb his way back to 3rd. Seewer has been so close many times this season it is only a matter of time before he scores his second overall win.
HRC MX2’s Michele Cervellin had a strong result in qualifying and he is doing well to rebound from a hand injury. Cervellin could be looking at a podium if he can take advantage of his 4th gate pick to get a pair of good starts on Sunday.
Two different Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing riders had the lead in MX2 Qualifying race today, Thomas Covington and Thomas Kjer Olsen, and both crashed while leading in hectic fashion. Covington was 2nd off the start and passed Jonass only three laps into the race but led for only 2 before falling. Covington’s Husqvarna teammate, Olsen, also passed Jonass and once Covington fell Olsen had the lead for three laps before doing the same. Covington was able to come back and finish 5th but Olsen fell again leaving him in 10th.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s new recruit Morgan Lesiardo took 22nd in Qualifying race. The EMX250 championship points leader is taking all the information he can in this learning opportunity, in the press conference Lesiardo said, “I’m so excited to ride for a new team and in my first GP ever. I will try to gain a lot of experience from riding the GP in MX2.”
MX2 Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), 25:40.813; 2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:06.053; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:06.454; 4. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:12.597; 5. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:14.383; 6. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki), +0:15.213; 7. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:15.976; 8. Henry Jacobi (GER, Husqvarna), +0:22.098; 9. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), +0:24.430; 10. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:25.980.