The 16th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship faced the Qualification day at the long time Motocross GP circuit of Uddevalla where, under a warm sunshine and in front of thousands of Swedish fans, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings and Jorge Prato took the first victory of the weekend.
In addition to the MXGP and MX2 Qualifying races also the first races of the final round of the European Championship EMX250 and EXM125 Presented by FMF Racing were scheduled today with unpredictable race wins in both classes.
In the opening EMX250 race, it was Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Mikkel Haarup who won from series leader F&H Racing Kawasaki’s Roan van de Moosdijk and championship contender Honda Redmoto Assomotor’s Stephen Rubini. The points in the EMX250 championship are now as follows: 310 points for Van De Moosdijk and 297 points for Rubini while Team Maddii Racing Husqvarna’s Alberto Forato is in third with 289 points and also in contention for the championship, which will be decided tomorrow.
In EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing it was the German rider WZ-Racing Simon Laengenfelder who took victory in the first race ahead of Team VRT’s Tom Guyon and series leader Maddii Racing Husqvarna’s Mattia Guadagnini. Championship grand finale will be held tomorrow with the Italian and the French being at 285 and 267 points respectively.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings has won the MXGP qualification race at the MXGP of Sweden in his return to racing today. Around the undulating circuit of Uddevalla, the 2018 MXGP champion showed why many call him the fastest man on the planet, with a near perfect performance. Herlings won ahead of fellow Dutchman Standing Construct KTM team’s Glenn Coldenhoff and 2019 MXGP World Champion Team HRC’s Tim Gajser.
When the MXGP gate dropped Herlings quickly got into the lead of the MXGP qualifying race after starting around fourth, but a sweeping move in the first corner put him ahead of his countryman Coldenhoff, followed by Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team’s Romain Febvre, Gajser and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass who was in fifth. After two laps the lead was more than two seconds, as the top five remained the same.
The lead got to six seconds on lap four, but then Coldenhoff and Febvre started closing up on the leader. On the fifth lap Coldenhoff was all over Herlings but Herlings continued to hold the front spot while Gajser also started to close in the top three as the Top 5 was just 5 seconds apart.
Gajser moved into third place with a pass on Febvre and was just two seconds off Herlings’ lead and one second behind Coldenhoff while back in the leaders’ pack the two Swiss Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Seewer and Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha’s Arnaus Tonus were battling for 6th with the positions remaining unchanged with Seewer in 6thand Tonus in 7th.
Jeffrey Herlings eventually got away from second and third and won his second qualifying race of the season on his comeback, while Glenn Coldenhoff and Tim Gajser rounded up top three.
Jeffrey Herlings: “It was an intense race, I was struggling with arm pump indeed as it’s just one week I’m on the bike after eight weeks off. I had no expectations and I just wanted to go and have fun, practice and see what happens but the feeling there was amazing. Thanks to KTM for backing me in the bad times”
MXGP – Qualifying Race Top Ten:1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 23:51.313; 2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:01.592; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:02.762; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:05.233; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:17.680; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:18.643; 7. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:20.220; 8. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:21.534; 9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:25.282; 10. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:29.817.
In MX2 class Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado has won his 12th qualifying race by coming through the field on the opening half of the race after surprisingly not taking a holeshot. After starting around fifth, he passed early leader F&H Racing Kawasaki’s Adam Sterry who eventually finished third behind his own team-mate F&H Racing Kawasaki’s Henry Jacobi.
Sterry led the first lap of MX2 qualifying heat from Prado, Jacobi, Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen and BIKE IT DRT Kawasaki’s Darian Sanayei in fifth place. After two laps Prado took the lead and held a two second gap on Sterry, with Jacobi third, Vlaanderen fourth and Sanayei fifth.
The lead went to four seconds on lap four while Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Brian Moreau and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team’s Thomas Kjer Olsen were battling for 7th until Olsen crashed and dropped well back in the field in 23rd place.
With Prado out of reach Jacobi was catching Sterry for second and both Jacobi and Vlaanderen went trough the Kawasaki rider.
After passing Jacobi and attempting to close to the second place, Vlaanderen stalled his bike and found himself in 6th just behind Honda Redmoto Assomotor Mathys Boisrame.
On the final lap Vlaanderen charged Boisrame and managed to do so. Prado won the race 9 seconds ahead of Jacobi and Sterry with Sanayei and Vlaanderen finishing out the Top 5.
Jorge Prado: “It was another great qualifying race. I had a good start but Sterry had a good start too and I was in around fifth but I managed to pass him to get the lead. I felt very comfortable today, I want to bring this game for tomorrow.”
MX2 – Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 24:15.096; 2. Henry Jacobi (GER, Kawasaki), +0:09.783; 3. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:10.729; 4. Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), +0:12.141; 5. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +0:16.827; 6. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Honda), +0:22.462; 7. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:26.307; 8. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:30.615; 9. Dylan Walsh (NZL, Husqvarna), +0:34.135; 10. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KTM), +0:35.825.
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