The 7th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship is here for the MXGP of Latvia. After a weekend off from racing we are ready to get back at it on the sandy surface of Kegums, Latvia where Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass will go to Latvia with last GP victories in their names.
In addition to MXGP and MX2, Round 3 of the EMX250 championship and Round 2 of the EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Championships will also run alongside. In EMX250 Miro Sihvonen had an impressive 1-1 in Valkenswaard and now leads the points. Meanwhile in EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing class Mikkel Haarup blew the competition away at the season opener and both will look to repeat.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser maintains the points lead coming into Latvia, a track at which he won at last year. Gajser had a subpar weekend in Valkenswaard compared to the rest of the season and the continued pressure of the points lead shrinking will be one of many motivators pushing him to win here again this year.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli had an amazing race for the overall in Trentino but he wasn’t able to follow it up in Valkenswaard. Cairoli struggled in race 1 after a bad start and he was noticeably frustrated but he then dominated race 2. If Cairoli can get decent starts he’s definitely a favorite to win.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin is coming off a GP overall victory in Valkenswaard and looks to keep the momentum flowing for Latvia. Paulin has looked better week after week this season and now he will be gunning for two wins in a row.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle won the first MXGP of Latvia held in Kegums back in 2009. The Belgian has continually shown speed this year and perhaps he can return to the stop in Latvia again this weekend.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek reached the podium at the last race in Valkenswaard and now sits 4th in the points chase. Van Horebeek was very close to a race win in Valkenswaard and he will do his best to grab one in Latvia.
Team HRC’s Evgeny Bobryshev has been very consistent this season and he was riding well in Valkenwaard holding down second place for most of race 2 before falling back off the pace. The MXGP of Latvia is one the closest to his Russian home and after his results thus far he will most likely be battling for the podium.
This weekend will be almost a home GP for Suzuki World MXGP’s Arminas Jasikonis, who had his career best finish in Valkenswaard. Jasikonis looked comfortable and smooth on the sand and will be pushing for a top five if not a podium result this weekend.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings just had his best 450 result this season in Valkenswaard with 2nd overall. The #84 is known for his sand riding skills and won here last year in MX2. The Bullet is back and may very well win his first MXGP race of his career this weekend in Latvia.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre has been in a slump so far this season but started to come out of it in Valkenswaard. Febvre finished third on the podium in 2016 and could really use the same this year to turn his season around.
2016 MXGP of Latvia MXGP Top 3
1. Tim Gajser
2. Antonio Cairoili
3. Romain Febvre
MXGP Championship Top Ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 234 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 220 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 192 p.; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 182 p.; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 176 p.; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 172 p.; 7. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 131 p.; 8. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 124 p.; 9. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 120 p.; 10. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 116 p.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass is continuing to look impressive this season finishing on the top step of the podium once again in Valkenswaard. The Latvian is well versed on the soil of his home GP and looks forward to racing in front of the home crowd.
Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer is continuing to lose ground on Pauls Jonass in the championship in what has been a frustrating past two races. The #91 would like nothing more than to outshine the red plate holder and main competitor of Jonass on his home circuit.
LRT KTM’s Julien Lieber is an exceptional soil rider as he comes from Belgium. Lieber had a good first race in Valkenswaard but he had a bike issue in race 2 causing a DNF result. After a week to think of what could have been Lieber is more than motivated to get back to racing in Latvia.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen placed 4th overall in Valkenswaard and a couple of mistakes caused him to fall on more than one occasion. If Olsen can eliminate the mistakes he may see podium if not a win in Latvia.
Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 Team’s Benoit Paturel has struggled with starts all year and it is really hurting his results. Paturel has shown the speed by coming through the pack time after time but will be searching for the starts he needs again in Latvia. Even with the bad starts Benoit still sits 5th in the points prior to gate drop this weekend.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado Garcia had to fight back from some scary moments when he jumped off the track in Valkenswaard, only one week after winnng his first GP. The young Spaniard comes to Latvia focused on the Podium by putting in 2 consistent and mistake free races.
2016 MXGP of Latvia MX2 Top 3
1. Jeffrey Herlings
2. Max Anstie
3. Jeremy Seewer
MX2 Championship Top Ten: 1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 242 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 223 p.; 3. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 197 p.; 4. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 188 p.; 5. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 173 p.; 6. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 159 p.; 7. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 133 p.; 8. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, KAW), 123 p.; 9. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 121 p.; 10. Michele Cervellin (ITA, HON), 109 p.