The third round of the FIM Motocross World Championship is set to start this weekend near the picturesque lakes of the Andean mountains. Villa La Angostura, Neuquen Province, Argentina will once again host the MXGP series and it will be the first time this year that the riders of the MXGP and MX2 world championships are in the Western hemisphere.
Typically by the third round of the championship trends begin to form, but for 2017 the possibilities are endless. One rider who shocked many last weekend at the inaugural MXGP of Indonesia was Wilvo Yamaha MXGP’s Shaun Simpson. Simpson charged to the front early in the racing at Pangkal Pinang and never looked back. Simpson looks to be in the same form on the rich soil of Argentina.
The points leader, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli comes into round three after finishing fourth in Indonesia. At the first round Antonio was untouchable and has already asserted himself a title favorite and hopes to make another winning statement in Argentina. The Argentinian track is a favorite amongst the riders of MXGP and MX2 with Cairoli as no exception, finishing 3rd in 2015, and second last year this could very well be his year to win.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Factory Racing Team’s Belgian rider Clement Desalle’s consistent performances in the first two rounds have him second in the championship, 8 points behind Cairoli. Last year’s MXGP of Patagonia Argentina didn’t provide the results desired where he finished outside the top ten. Clement looks to exchange his previous Patagonian luck with his consistently fast 2017 style.
Last year’s MXGP Champion Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, whom sits third in points, only 4 behind Desalle, comes into Argentina with positive memories. The Slovakian won the overall here last year, he will now strive to make it 2 in a row.
Team HRC’s Evgeny Bobryshev is looking very strong at the moment. The long time Honda rider sits 4th in the points behind the teammate Gajser. Bobryshev’s rock solid consistency and some added confidence could be what it takes to put 2 HRC Honda’s on the podium in Argentina.
While Indonesia was a struggle for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jeremy Van Horebeek; the Belgian finished top five last year in Argentina. He is now sitting 5th in points for 2017 and ideally would love another solid performance here in Patagonia.
For Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff momentum is on his side after finishing 2nd in Indonesia and he looks to use it in Argentina in hopes of another podium.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl has done spectacular here the last 2 years, making it clear this is one of his favorite places to race, he won the GP in Argentina during the 2015 season and was on the podium in 2016.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings won here last year in MX2 and this race could just be the beginning of a resurgence for the Dutchman.
2016 MXGP of Patagonia Argentina MXGP Top 3
- Tim Gajser
- Antonio Cairoli
- Maximilian Nag
MXGP Championship Top 10: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 68 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 60 p.; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 56 p.; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 44 p.; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 42 p.; 6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 41 p.; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 39 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, YAM), 36 p.; 9. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 34 p.; 10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 34 p.
Last week’s winner Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer had a strong performance winning race 1 and finishing second in race 2. The Swiss rider’s first GP win was a hard fought one and his resilience after the first 2 rounds now has him second in the championship standings. Last year he finished second in Argentina only to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings, with Herlings now racing 450’s the door is open for Seewer to make it two wins in a row.
LRT KTM’s Julien Leiber is one of the biggest surprises of 2017 after struggling in the past with injuries. The now healthy Belgian sits atop the standings with the red plate after vying for wins in both Qatar and Indonesia. Argentina may see a win out of the privateer.
Another rider who has been close to winning but hasn’t yet is Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team’s Benoit Paturel; the determined frenchman has his sights set on the top step of the podium but it’s against fierce competition. We will see just how bad he wants the win this weekend in Argentina.
TM Racing Factory Team’s Samuele Bernardini took his first podium in Indonesia and he is very motivated to race here in Argentina, a race in which last year he finished 5th. With new confidence there’s no telling what the Italian is capable of this weekend.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen, last year EMX 250 champion, is 4th in the MX2 championship in his rookie season. We have already seen that he has the speed of a veteran, the only question left is if he will have the consistency of one round after round.
Last but definitely not least is Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass, after winning the opening round in undefeatable style, Pauls struggled in Indonesia scoring zero points in race 2 dropping him to 5th in the championship. Pauls is no stranger to adversity and Argentina will be his first opportunity to show it this year. Don’t be surprised if you see Jonass respond in impressive fashion.
2016 MXGP of Patagonia Argentina MX2 Top 3
- Jeffrey Herlings
- Jeremy Seewer
- Aleksandr Tonkov
MX2 Championship Top 10: 1. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 78 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 72 p.; 3. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 70 p.; 4. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 67 p.; 5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 57 p.; 6. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), 54 p.; 7. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 44 p.; 8. Michele Cervellin (ITA, HON), 40 p.; 9. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), 39 p.; 10. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, KAW), 35 p.