Under the Belgian sky and around one of the toughest motocross circuits in the World the MXGP and MX2 riders completed their qualification races kicking off the 14th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship which is taking place in Lommel, Belgium.
Standing Construct KTM’s Max Anstie took his first qualifying win of the season with a strong performance in the deep, dark sand of Lommel. Continuing his love-affair with the circuit where he had previously won three Grand Prix’s in the MX2 class, the British rider once again proved to be one of the best sand riders in the World. Second behind Anstie was Team HRC’s Tim Gajser and third was Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Romain Febvre while in MX2 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado pulled off yet another start to finish victory in the MX2 qualification heat, finishing ahead of Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle.
The MXGP of Belgium also hosted the rounds of the European Championships EMX250 and EMX125 presented by FMF Racing that saw today the first of the two races in each category. Today thought it was F&H Racing Kawasaki‘s Roan van de Moosdijk winning the EMX250 class and points leader Maddii Racing Husqvarna’s Mattia Guadagnini who won the EMX125 presented by FMF Racing Race 1.
Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Arnaud Tonus led early in the MXGP qualification race from Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Romain Febvre, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Gautier Paulin and Team Honda SR’s Jeremy Van Horebeek. Gajser was quickly into second place, and Anstie into fourth place. Febvre crashed on lap one and dropped back to ninth position.
Gajser moved into the first position on lap two while Anstie moved into second both going through Tonus. After three laps the top 5 featured Gajser, Anstie, Tonus, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Jeremy Seewer, and Van Horebeek in fifth.
Febvre moved up to sixth position on lap four and Standing Construct KTM’s Glenn Coldenhoff and Ivo Monticelli were eight and ninth ahead of RFX KTM’s Shaun Simpson, who was 10th. Anstie closed in on Gajser and he moved into the lead on lap four while Paulin crashed and dropped to 11th.
After six laps Anstie had moved nearly six seconds away from Gajser, with Tonus third, then Seewer and Van Horebeek rounding out the top five. On lap seven Seewer and Tonus both collided, but both riders stayed on their bikes. Seewer made a mistake and crashed while chasing Tonus and dropped back to eight position.
Febvre made a brilliant charge back into third place and Simpson moved into eighth place ahead of Monticelli and Coldenhoff, who rounded out the top ten. Anstie won his first qualifying heat of 2019 from Gajser and Febvre.
Max Anstie: “It is a great feeling and it’s also amazing for the team, they worked a lot for this. I know it is only Saturday but I got away from Tim (Gajser), I really like this track, it is really rough, I tried to keep some energy for tomorrow. We will get on it.”
MXGP – Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Max Anstie (GBR, KTM), 25:58.059; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:04.352; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:25.759; 4. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:27.595; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:28.311; 6. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:28.909; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:29.190; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:42.246; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:49.000; 10. Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), +0:51.402.
In the MX2 qualifying race Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado led early from Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle, F&H Racing Kawasaki’s Adam Sterry, F&H Racing Kawasaki’s Henry Jacobi, Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha Official MX2’s Ben Watson, Honda Redmoto Assomotor’s Mathys Boisrame, and Cyril Genot. Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha Official MX2’s Jago Geerts was down in a crash as does Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen and found himself was dead last in the opening lap.
After two laps Prado held a three second lead over Vlaanderen while Olsen was up to 14th place. Two laps later and the lead was more than seven seconds, with Olsen managing to regroup into the top ten. Top ten after six laps was Prado, Vlaanderen, Vialle, Watson, Jacobi, Sterry, Geerts, Genot, Boisrame, and Olsen.
The lead of Prado was extended to more than 16 seconds as Vlaanderen held a slight lead over Vialle for second, then Watson, Jacobi, Geerts, Sterry, Genot, Olsen and Boisrame. Geerts was all over Jacobi for fifth place after going down early in the race. Geerts moved into fifth, and then fourth when he passed Watson.
Jorge Prado won his 10th qualifying race of the 2019 season 26 seconds ahead of Vlaanderen.
Jorge Prado: “I got the holeshot and I just controlled the whole race, I had some good lines trying to save energy. I’m looking forward for tomorrow!”
MX2 – Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 26:13.692; 2. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +0:23.599; 3. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:26.974; 4. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:27.669; 5. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:30.901; 6. Henry Jacobi (GER, Kawasaki), +0:46.510; 7. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:59.719; 8. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +1:06.268; 9. Cyril Genot (BEL, KTM), +1:10.759; 10. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Honda), +1:22.820
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