Gajser and De Wolf Master New Layout at Kegums in RAM Qualifying Races

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The MXGP World Motocross Championship began its weekend near the Baltic today with the RAM Qualifying Races that provided some scintillating action at Kegums for the MXGP of Latvia!

Enjoying the dryest event for over a month in an area which hasn’t seen a massive amount of rain lately, the sandy circuit with a hard base had a faster and more hard pack feel than usual, with a new layout adding to the need for speed.

MXGP is becoming a real intense race for the title, as Tim Gajser out-started his fierce title rival Jorge Prado and held him at bay to take a stunning race win!  In MX2, the question was “Which Husky?” and the answer was the one with the red number plates as Kay de Wolf fought through to take the ten points for the Saturday win and extend his series lead to a weekend-maximum 60-point buffer!

Mxgp Of Latvia - Saturday


The morning practice sessions saw the Dutch riders loving the sandy going, with Glenn Coldenhoff topping a Netherlands 1-2-3 for Fantic Factory Racing in Free Practice, but Gajser outran them all to grab the first gate pick after Time Practice on his Team HRC Honda, ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP star Calvin Vlaanderen, and Coldenhoff’s teammate Brian Bogers.

It was close for the holeshot as Reigning World Champion Jorge Prado tucked his Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing machine into the inside line, but Gajser managed to out-drag him into the second corner and set a blistering pace from there.  Behind the leading title contenders, Mattia Guadagnini got into third early for Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing and stayed there for two-thirds of the race! Caught by the battling Dutch pair of Coldenhoff and Vlaanderen at the start of lap nine, they both dived inside him on the long right-hand corner after the finish line to drop the Italian to fifth, still his best finish of the season, helped by holding another Dutchman, multiple World Champion Jeffrey Herlings, back into sixth place at the finish.  The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team leader is still third in the series, but now a chunky 70 points behind.

To round out the points scorers, Cornelius Toendel held onto a good start to finish seventh for Schmicker Racing KTM, Bogers took eighth, Andrea Bonacorsi brought his Monster Energy Yamaha home in ninth, and Maximillian Spies scored his first ever Saturday point with tenth for the KTM Kosak Team.

At the head of the field, the gap fluctuated between one and four seconds between Gajser and Prado. At several points the Spaniard closed, but the Slovenian always managed to keep the red plate holder just far enough back to not mount a challenge.  With a near-crash over the penultimate jump on the run to the finish line shrugged off by the five-time Champ, it was Gajser who jumped to the top of the RAM Qualifying Challenge standings, with his fourth Saturday win of the season.  With Prado just behind him the Championship points gap is now halved – down to just one between them as we head into Sunday!

Tim Gajser: “We had a great pace today with Jorge (Prado) and we escaped quickly from the third-place rider. I’m enjoying out there, I enjoy riding sand you know. It’s a tricky track, and not easy, especially with the new layout as there are lots of stop and go but anyway I had a lot of fun and I hope we can do the same tomorrow!” 

MXGP – RAM Qualifying Race – Classification:  1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 24:34.032; 2. Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:03.425; 3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Fantic), +0:17.011; 4. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:18.912; 5. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:27.445; 6. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:28.287; 7. Cornelius Toendel (NOR, KTM), +0:40.245; 8. Brian Bogers (NED, Fantic), +0:42.475; 9. Andrea Bonacorsi (ITA, Yamaha), +0:48.141; 10. Maximilian Spies (GER, KTM), +0:51.872

MXGP – World Championship – Classification: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 411 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 410 p.; 3. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 341 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 327 p.; 5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HON), 274 p.; 6. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 270 p.; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, KAW), 267 p.; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, FAN), 239 p.; 9. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, HON), 161 p.; 10. Valentin Guillod (SUI, HON), 151 p.Mxgp Of Latvia - Saturday


Lucas Coenen looked scarily fast with a ripping final lap in Free Practice that topped the timesheets by 2.649 seconds from the rest of the pack! It was closer in Time Practice but the Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing rider, coming in on a three-GP winning streak, was still fastest, this time from his teammate Kay de Wolf and Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing rider Simon Laengenfelder in third.

It was the lightweight starting demon Sacha Coenen who flew into the lead for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing in the RAM Qualifying Race, and proceeded to put a gap on the rest of the field as his teammate Andrea Adamo battled with the lone Monster Energy Triumph Racing pilot Mikkel Haarup for second. De Wolf and Lucas Coenen were fourth and fifth early on, however, they blasted around the outside of the reigning World Champion Adamo for third at the end of the first full lap! The pair were promoted on lap two as Haarup crashed out of second on landing from a small jump.  The Dane remounted in seventh position.

De Wolf set about hunting down Sacha Coenen, as Lucas also got past Adamo into the new section of the circuit. The series leader fired past the Belgian on lap five, and a lap later his twin brother got through as well, leaving us with the two teammates out front!

Behind them, Laengenfelder had started on the edge of the top ten and had to fight his way through to third with two laps to go. Adamo and Haarup also fought past Sacha Coenen in the closing laps, the holeshot artist bringing it home in sixth. Oriol Oliver finished a fine seventh for WZ Racing ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Liam Everts, and in an enthralling battle of the rookies, Ferruccio Zanchi claimed ninth in the closing laps for Team HRC by passing the F & H Racing Kawasaki of Quentin Prugnieres, who took the final point in tenth.

Lucas was never quite able to get his teeth into his teammate, as the Dutchman’s smooth style was able to cope better with the increasingly choppy surface. The gap at the chequered flag was just over two seconds, leaving a tantalising prospect of further duelling between the pair in tomorrow’s GP races! The two of them each display little Fox logos for each win of the season so far on their race jerseys, so who is going to be the first to add a fourth one?

Round nine of the 2024 MXGP World Championships should provide us with some sensational racing across both classes on Sunday, so make sure you do not miss any of the wheels turning tomorrow!

Kay de Wolf: It was a good one! I had a bad start but I managed to get to around fourth in the second turn. I just rode very consistent and I felt very good out there.  I showed some great speed and it was nice to have a battle with my teammate so hopefully we can do the same tomorrow.”

MX2 – RAM Qualifying Race – Classification: 1. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), 24:44.584; 2. Lucas Coenen (BEL, Husqvarna), +0:02.126; 3. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:20.893; 4. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:21.654; 5. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Triumph), +0:26.376; 6. Sacha Coenen (BEL, KTM), +0:29.049; 7. Oriol Oliver (ESP, KTM), +0:43.721; 8. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:46.659; 9. Ferruccio Zanchi (ITA, Honda), +0:50.628; 10. Quentin Marc Prugnieres (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:54.055

MX2 – World Championship – Classification: 1. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 406 points; 2. Lucas Coenen (BEL, HUS), 346 p.; 3. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 341 p.; 4. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 307 p.; 5. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 306 p.; 6. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, TRI), 258 p.; 7. Rick Elzinga (NED, YAM), 249 p.; 8. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 226 p.; 9. Sacha Coenen (BEL, KTM), 183 p.; 10. Quentin Marc Prugnieres (FRA, KAW), 153 p

MXGP OF LATVIA QUICK FACTS:
Circuit length: 1800m
Type of ground: Sand
Temperature: 18°
Weather conditions: Cloudy 

TIMETABLE 

SUNDAY: 09:45 EMX125 Race 2, 10:25 MX2 Warm-up, 10:45 MXGP Warm-up, 11:30 EMX250 Race 2, 13:15 MX2 Race 1, 14:15 MXGP Race 1, 16:10 MX2 Race 2, 17:10 MXGP Race 2.

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