The MXGP of Latvia had a flying start with the RAM Qualifying Races today where Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings won his first MXGP RAM Qualifying Race while Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kay de Wolf came out victorious of the MX2 RAM Qualifying Race.
The hard sands of Kegums was disturbed by a volatile weather during the day but offered a sensational start of the Grand Prix in front of Latvian fans who came to voice their support for the riders. The technical track pushed the riders to ride smart and let speak their talent throughout the whole races.
Alongside the FIM Motocross World Championship races, the EMX250 and the EMX125 presented by FMF Racing had their first race of the weekend with Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing Team’s Ivano Van Erp and MJC Yamaha Official EMX125’s Janis Reisulis winning in their respective class. Van Erp finished second at the end of the race behind Team VRT KTM Factory Juniors’ Marc-Antoine Rossi. However, Rossi loss of 10 positions penalty for not respecting waved yellow flag gave the win to Van Erp.
Following the RAM Qualifying Races, the winners of MXGP and MX2 RAM Qualifying Races were invited to the paddock talk along with MXGP Red Plate holder Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado and the freshly new MX2 Red Plate Holder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Andrea Adamo as well as special guests with the Reisulis brothers, Janis Martins and Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing Team’s Karlis Reisulis plus JWR Honda Racing’s Hardi Roosiorg and Estonian veteran rider Tanel Leok who joined the MXGP of Latvia this weekend.
The MXGP RAM Qualifying Race started fast with Jeffrey Herlings taking an early lead in front of Team HRC’s Rubén Fernández who followed him closely over the first lap. Jorge Prado found himself 3rd as he kept charging on towards the front riders. On lap 2, Prado capitalised on a mistake from Fernandez to go 2nd and pushing behind Herlings. It then ensued a great racing between them with Prado never getting too far behind Herlings. Despite a threatening attack of Prado in the very last turn of the race keeping the whole crowd on their feet, it was Herlings who went on to win his first RAM Qualifying Race. Prado finished 2nd while Fernandez kept on his recent form with a solid 3rd place.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team’s Glenn Coldenhoff started very well and was 3rd for several turns but got overtaken by Prado early and moved down to 4th. He went on keep his 4th position until the end showing a good pace.
Finishing 5th was Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre who had to battle hard with the on-form SM Action Racing Team Yuasa Battery MXGP’s Alberto Forato. Forato rode very strongly for most of the race in 5th position but could not contain a charge from Febvre on lap 8 of 12. Febvre continues to display a fast pace while Forato keeps showing incredible qualities with another good 6th place.
Team Gebben Van Venroy Yamaha Racing’s Calvin Vlaanderen showed his famous sand-skills with an interesting 7th place as he managed to gain a position from being 8th on lap 1. Vlaanderen had to be patient behind another very good performer, Benoit Paturel from De Baets Yamaha MX-Team. Paturel was 7th on lap 1 and looked to finish there until lap 10 when Vlaanderen cleverly found the best way to pass him for 7th. Paturel settled for 8th in the end and another top 10 finish in RAM Qualifying Race.
Standing Construct Honda MXGP’s Brian Bogers rode a consistent race as he maintained his 9th position from start to finish. Fighting his way into the top 10 and get a precious point was JM Honda Racing’s Brent Van doninck who was 12th on lap 1 but consciously kept his good pace to overtake Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP’s Mitch Evans on lap 7 for 11th and kept charging in front to pass a lap later Ship to Cycle Honda SR Motoblouz’s Valentin Guillod for 10th and kept his place until the end. Evans settled for 15th while Guillod 11th.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team’s Jeremy Seewer had his high expectation cut short after getting involved in a multiple rider collision on the first turn and had to retire from the race. The winner of the MXGP of France will still have a chance to continue on his excellent form on the Sunday races.
Jeffrey Herlings: “It was good start and I went straight for the lead but Jorge (Prado) kept me on my toes until the very last lap and I had to defend. I am happy with this first RAM Qualifying Race win and I am now looking forward for tomorrow”
MXGP – RAM Qualifying Race – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 24:49.013; 2. Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:00.467; 3. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:16.309; 4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:20.649; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:25.451; 6. Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), +0:35.982; 7. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:39.099; 8. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:40.243; 9. Brian Bogers (NED, Honda), +0:40.915; 10. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Honda), +0:59.147; 11
MXGP – World Championship – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 351 points; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 328 p.; 3. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 271 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 269 p.; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 243 p.; 6. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 230 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 224 p.; 8. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GAS), 203 p.; 9. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 202 p.; 10. Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), 163p
In MX2, it was an eventful race as we saw Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Lucas Coenen taking the lead early on although he crashed and found himself 9th on lap 1. On the same lap de Wolf took the lead to also go down quickly after to move down to 3rd, giving the lead to Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team’s Thibault Benistant. Benistant led for the first two laps and misjudge a jump and lost momentum which benefitted to Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Roan Van de Moosdijk. De Wolf was not going to give up and kept setting the fastest laps as he passed Benistant for 2nd on lap 6 of 12. De Wolf was then two quick as he powered through his teammate Van De Moosdijk to take the lead on lap 9. He would not give the lead away again and won the race confidently. Van De Moosdijk finished 2nd.
Benistant was riding at a fast tempo and managed to stay in contact with Van De Moosdijk but couldn’t make a pass stick and settled for 3rd. L.Coenen showed that he has the pace to be riding at the top as he picked himself up to move up from 9th to 6th over the course of 5 laps and finished in 6th position.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Liam Everts keeps riding very well as he found himself behind his teammate Andrea Adamo in 5th on lap 3 but took the best of Adamo this time and passed him on lap 4 for 4th. Everts kept his 4th place until the end. Adamo fell down on lap 5 and moved down to 9th. He eventually overtook on lap 7 the strong performer Big Van World MTX Kawasaki’s Jack Chambers to get to 8th where he finished. Chambers settled for 9th showing that he can ride consistently to get into the points.
WZ RACING TEAM’s Mikkel Haarup continues to ride at high intensity as he went from 6th to 5th benefitting from Adamo’s mistake on lap 5 and never got overtaken. Haarup scored well-deserved 6 points with a 5th place. The surprising WZ Racing Team’s Oriol Oliver also displayed some confident riding as well as a very fast pace as he managed to overtake 4 times to go from 11th on lap 3 to 7th on lap 6th which shows that the young Spanish rider can fight for top points.
Another interesting result was the one from JM Honda Racing’s Camden Mc Lellan who battled his way up going from 13th to 10th in the end overtaking along the way, TEM JP253 KTM Racing Team’s Jan Pancarand Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Sacha Coenen. Pancar settled for 11th whil S.Coenen for 12th.
8th in the Championship, F&H Kawasaki Racing Team’s Kevin Horgmo unfortunately could not finish the race and had to retire on lap 5.
Kay de Wolf: “It was a good RAM Qualifying Race. I didn’t make it easy for myself as I tipped over at one point but I still had a very good flow on the bike. I felt good and hopefully we bring it on tomorrow too”
MX2 – RAM Qualifying Race – Top 10 Classification: 1. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), 25:24.177; 2. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Husqvarna), +0:01.519; 3. Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:02.329; 4. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:12.321; 5. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, KTM), +0:15.765; 6. Lucas Coenen (BEL, Husqvarna), +0:21.069; 7. Oriol Oliver (ESP, KTM), +0:39.286; 8. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:40.798; 9. Jack Chambers (USA, Kawasaki), +0:50.692; 10. Camden Mc Lellan (RSA, Honda), +0:57.67
MX2 – World Championship – Top 10 Classification: 1. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 321 points; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 319 p.; 3. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 317 p.; 4. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 311 p.; 5. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, HUS), 263 p.; 6. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 259 p.; 7. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 242 p.; 8. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 201 p.; 9. Lucas Coenen (BEL, HUS), 201 p.; 10. Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), 149 p.
TIMETABLE (Local Time/ GMT +3)
SUNDAY: 09:40 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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