RAM Qualifying Races kickstarted the MXGP of Portugal in style with Fernandez and Geerts coming out victorious!
Here we are in Agueda after an incredible day of tough competition during the RAM Qualifying Races. The last words went to Team HRC’s Ruben Fernandez in MXGP and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team’s Jago Geerts in MX2.
The newly inverted circuit of Agueda delivered the speed and spectacle we thought and more! Riders acclimated themselves quickly to the new layout to go full gas from the get go.
Alongside the FIM Motocross World Championship races, the EMX250 and EMX125 presented by FMF Racing competed in their first race of the weekend in which Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing Team’s Andrea Bonacorsi and MJC Yamaha Team’s Janis Martin Reisulis came out victorious in their respective class.
The RAM Qualifying Races were followed by the now inevitable Paddock Show and was full of fans coming to cheer the riders and especially hero Ruben Fernandez who gave them the win that all locals were waiting for. Among the guests were Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Liam Everts, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Sacha Coenen and Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Lucas Coenen along with MXGP Red Plate Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado and MX2 Red Plate Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team’s Jago Geerts. There was also a special guest as Hugo Basaula, home hero, came on stage to welcome the public to Agueda. The fans kept asking for more and even made few ‘Holas’ along the way during the show. The Paddock Show concluded with riders giving signed posters to ecstatic fans who came in large numbers.
For the first time this season, Ruben Fernandez won the RAM Qualifying Race and he did that in great fashion as one of the fans’ favourites here in Portugal rode a sensational race. After finding himself early on behind quick starter Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings, Fernandez showed a lot of nerves on lap 4 as he made a move on the inside of Herlings to push him wide and take the lead off the ‘bullet’. Fernandez went on to display a strong performance even if he had to stays focus until the end with a late charge from Herlings who settled in the end for 2nd.
Team Gebben Van Venroy Yamaha Racing’s Calvin Vlaanderen took a great opportunity as he managed to finish 3rd of the race. He overtook Ship to Cycle Honda SR Motoblouz’s Valentin Guillod on lap 3 to get to 5th. He then capitalised on the fall of Jorge Prado, 3rd at the time, who lost the front of his bike on lap 5. Vlaanderen then passed Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team’s Maxime Renaux on the same lap for 3rd and kept this place until the end.
Renaux had to retire few laps later with a mechanical problem making him lose precious points foir the championship.
Prado who found himself down to 11th after his fall went back up to 6th a couple of laps later to get right behind Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre. Febvre who also fell earlier in the race at the same spot asPrado, had to defend his 5th place in front of the Red Plate until the very last turns, Febvre and Prado who both made a great comeback finished in 5th and 6th respectively.
After a great start, Guillod who was 4th on lap 1, got passed by Vlaanderen on lap 3, and then could not keep his position as he moved down the order throughout the race to 10th in the end. It is still a good point for the Swiss in the Championship to keep him 11th.
The other Swiss rider Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team’s Jeremy Seewer showed how quick he can be when he races without incident as the 2022 Vice MXGP Champion found himself 7 after lap 1 but overtook his countryman Guillod on lap 6 for 5th and kept going as he took advantage of Renaux’s misfortune to get to 4th and keep that position until the chekered flag.
The other riders who showed very good promises for tomorrow were JM Honda Racing’s Brent van doninck and Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Mattia Guadagnini who were 10th and 11th on lap 1 respectively. Both riders showed great confidence as they kept pushing to move up positions. van doninck managed to capitalise on Prado and Renaux mishap to get to 7th on lap 7 and kept his place until the end while Guadagnini 10th on lap 7, showed an amazing determination until the end as he overtook Guillod and Standing Construct Honda MXGP’s Brian Bogers over last couple of laps to finish 8th.
Bogers on his side was able to get from 9th on lap 1 to 5th on lap 7. Unfortunately, with few riders putting pressure behind him such as Prado and Febvre, the dutchman had to concede few places to end up to the 9thposition in then end but still display a strong performance throughout the race.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team’s Glenn Coldenhoff did not have the best day as the rider could not find the same speed and rhythm he showed since the beginning of the season and had to settle for the 15th place in the end.
Rubén Fernández: “It was difficult to not to make mistake at the end. I did some mistake as I was trying to overtake Jeffrey Herlings but I managed to keep the lead even if he pushed me right until the end. I’m so happy to get my first RAM Qualifying Race”
MXGP – RAM Qualifying Race – Top 10 Classification: 1. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), 24:47.439; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:04.327; 3. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:23.550; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:25.649; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:27.015; 6. Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:27.129; 7. Brent Van doninck (BEL, Honda), +0:38.065; 8. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GASGAS), +0:39.743; 9. Brian Bogers (NED, Honda), +0:40.606; 10. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Honda), +0:44.403;
MXGP – World Championship – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 206 points; 2. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 184 p.; 3. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 184 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 172 p.; 5. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 146 p.; 6. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 133 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 120 p.; 8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 114 p.; 9. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GAS), 111 p.; 10. Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), 98 p.;
In MX2, it was Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Simon Laengenfelder who got the best start in front of Jago Geerts. The Red Plate looked very comfortable on this new layout and show great speed and control as he overtook Laengenfelder on lap 3 to never look back and win comfortably the RAM Qualifying Race. Laengenfelder also stayed without much trouble at the 2nd place until the end.
We witnessed a battle between teammates at Red Bull KTM Factory Racing with Liam Everts and Andrea Adamo for the 3rd place. Everts quickly got to 3rd as Adamo managed to overtake TEM JP253 KTM Racing Team’s Jan Pancar on lap 2 for 4th. A great battle ensued and it was Adamo who got the last word on lap 8 as he closed down Everts on a turn. Everts nearly fell following that move from Adamo but incredibly kept himself on the bike. Adamo went on to finish 3rd while Everts 4th. The two on-form teammates continue to display strong racing.
Another pair of teammates, Roan Van De Moosdijk and Kay de Wolf from Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing also marked some important points as they managed to both gain places throughout the race to finally got together on lap 10 in 5th for Van de Moosdijk and 6th for de Wolf.
Pancar is a rider that we are beginning to see a lot in the top 10 as he started very quickly to find himself 4thafter lap 1. Although he couldn’t keep that position and had to concede few places along the way, the Slovenian managed to stay strong and finish 7th in the end.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team’s Thibault Benistant has somehow a little bit underperformed compared to his usual standards that he showed us since the beginning of the season. Benistant got to 8thafter Lap 1 and went up and down during the race to settle for 8th in the end, being overtaken by his rival in the championship de Wolf on lap 6 as he was 7th to move down to 8th where stayed in the end.
The good operation of the day was for Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Lucas Coenen who after crashing over the first lap of the race made a very worthy comeback as he managed to get back to 9th quickly on lap 4 and never left this position until the end.
Behind him was Big Van World MTX Kawasaki’s Jack Chambers who showed that he is getting acclimated to the level of the MX2 Championship since his debut in Switzerland. Chambers got to 7th on lap 1 and showed that he doesn’t give up easily after moving down to 11th on lap 3. He got into a give and take situation with VHR Racing Team’s Isak Gifting for 10th and the American finally made the move sticks on lap 6th to stay 10th and collect 1 good point for the Championship Standings. Gifting unfortunately crashed on lap 9 and finished 25th.
The other misfortune was for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team’s Rick Elzinga who got an issue with his bike and tried to continue after a passage to the pitlane but he then had to retire on lap 8 in what had to be a frustrating for the young Dutch.
This was the debut of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Sacha Coenen after his injury in pre-season. While he went down on lap 2 and found himself down to 23rd position, S.Coenen managed to gain few place and finish the race 20th getting a full race under his belt which will be valuable for next races.
Jago Geerts: “I felt very good all day. I managed to pass Simon and then pushed to stay first. So overall a very good race for me and I am looking forward for tomorrow”
MX2 – RAM Qualifying Race – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 24:45.722; 2. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:03.258; 3. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:09.267; 4. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:10.555; 5. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Husqvarna), +0:16.797; 6. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:18.304; 7. Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), +0:22.727; 8. Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:26.855; 9. Lucas Coenen (BEL, Husqvarna), +0:27.929; 10. Jack Chambers (USA, Kawasaki), +0:47.592;
MX2 – World Championship – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 215 points; 2. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 191 p.; 3. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 185 p.; 4. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 178 p.; 5. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 167 p.; 6. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, HUS), 153 p.; 7. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 147 p.; 8. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 119 p.; 9. Lucas Coenen (BEL, HUS), 104 p.; 10. Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), 89 p.;
TIMETABLE (Local Time GMT+1)
SUNDAY: 09:40 EMX125 Race 2, 10:25 MX2 Warm-up, 10:45 MXGP Warm-up, 11:30 EMX350 Race 2, 13:15 MX2 Race 1, 14:15 MXGP Race 1, 16:10 MX2 Race 2, 17:10 MXGP Race 2.
MXGP OF PORTUGAL QUICK FACTS:
Circuit length: 1630m
Type of ground: Hard Pack
Weather conditions: Sunny
For more news check out our dedicated MXGP/MX2 News page
Or visit the official MXGP website mxgp.com