MXGP of León-Mexico, round four of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship, was dominated by Team HRC’s Tim Gajser in MXGP. While in MX2, Thomas Covington was the third rider to take to the top step of the series in 2017.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser came into Sunday after qualifying first on Saturday and for the second GP in a row. Gasjer won both races in textbook form on Sunday and the Slovenian rode at an unmatchable pace winning both races with a 15-second gap on second and registering the fastest laps in both. In the MXGP of León-Mexico press conference, Gajser said: “I felt good all weekend, I was enjoying riding, and felt good on the bike. I’m really happy that I won!”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tony Cairoli came into the weekend knowing that he needed to perform in order to keep the championship points manageable before heading to Italy for the first race in Europe.
In Race 1 Cairoli started in fourth and he maintained his position until the chequered flag and in Race 2 he bettered his opening moto, finishing in second. As a result, the Sicilian’s 4-2 results were enough to finish second overall. Consequently, Cairoli is now second in the championship, 20 points back of Gajser. In the press conference, Cairoli said: “I did my best, I finished fourth in the first moto which is good for the championship [staying in the title race]. Tim and I were a little faster than everyone else today and I want to be closer in the races because it is fun to race with him.”
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin won the MXGP of León-Mexico in 2014 and it seems like he likes the circuit, as he once again found his way to the podium. He improved his starts from Argentina, as a result, he grabbed the holeshot in Race 2 and completed the first lap in third for both races.
Paulin held off the charges of several riders and handled the pressure well, he crossed the finish line in a consistent third both races and most noteworthy placed himself on the podium for the first time aboard the Husqvarna. Speaking about the race at the press conference, Paulin said: “I really love what I’m doing right now, step by step I’m getting better!”
Wilvo Yamaha MXGP’s Arnaud Tonus has struggled so far this season, yet you wouldn’t have known it. Yesterday he turned his luck around, moving up through the competition after finding himself in seventh off the start of both races. In Race 1 he moved up one spot to sixth but in Race 2 he moved all the way up to fourth passing Jeremy Van Horebeek on the last lap. Tonus’ 6-4 results put him one spot off of the podium but more importantly he gains some confidence before heading to Europe.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek rounded out the top five two weeks after being on the podium in Patagonia-Argentina.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle stays third in the points after an eighth in Race 1 and a sixth in Race 2 for seventh overall. Desalle’s starts and speed seem to be on point but it seems like he isn’t the type to be satisfied with anything less than a podium and he’s heading to Europe determined to be there again.
2017 MXGP of León-Mexico MXGP Results
MXGP Race 1 Top 10
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:45.401; 2. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:14.909; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:15.434; 4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:15.718; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:17.615; 6. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:17.676; 7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:36.880; 8. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:38.837; 9. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:41.562; 10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:42.542.
MXGP Race 2 Top 10
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 35:03.806; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:15.224; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:26.064; 4. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:27.677; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:28.892; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:47.894; 7. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:56.358; 8. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:58.109; 9. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +1:00.181; 10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +1:01.851.
MXGP Overall Top 10
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 50 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 40 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 40 p.; 4. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 33 p.; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 32 p.; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 29 p.; 7. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 28 p.; 8. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 27 p.; 9. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 24 p.; 10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 22 p.
MXGP Championship Top 10
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 156 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 136 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 119 p.; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 116 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 112 p.; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 111 p.; 7. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 89 p.; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 78 p.; 9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 73 p.; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, YAM), 70 p.
1. Honda, 156 points; 2. KTM, 140 p.; 3. Yamaha, 137 p.; 4. Husqvarna, 120 p.; 5. Kawasaki, 119 p.; 6. Suzuki, 78 p.
MXGP of León-Mexico – MX2
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Covington showed he was ready to compete after qualifying first on Saturday. Race 1 was slightly more challenging for the American than his qualifying race as he finished fourth. So he was looking for improvement, and he got it at the start of Race 2, grabbing the Fox Holeshot. And after battling with Jonass, Covington showed that his qualifying win was no fluke – winning the race 3.8 seconds ahead of the second-placed Jonass and most noteworthy, Covington’s 4-1 results and overall win were the same as his 2014 win here in Leon.
Without a doubt Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer had no issue in Race 1, leading every lap on his way to an impressive victory in León, Mexico. In Race 2 he was fifth on lap one and he fought his way past Brent van Doninck and Julien Lieber to reach the third position by lap 9, which would have given him the overall; however, three laps later he had a near-off with a miraculous save. His close call caused him to lose a position to Lieber and would subsequently cost him the overall. Seewer finished second and maintained the point lead heading to Europe. The Swiss rider in the press conference said: “I turned my weekend around today, I did what I was looking to do all season in Race 1, I was there on the start and then raced at my speed.”
Lieber battles to third
LRT KTM’s Julien Lieber was battling throughout the day with the likes of Jonass, Seweer, and Paturel and he swapped position with the other riders multiple times but at the end, he battled to third in both MXGP of León-Mexico races getting himself and his privateer KTM on the podium once again. In the MXGP of León-Mexico press conference, Lieber said: “It was really good, it was two tough races and I will continue to try to ride like that.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass may have had the grittiest performance of all at the MXGP of León-Mexico after falling in Warm-Up and subsequently injuring his arm. Nonetheless, he pushed through the pain in both races, saving valuable points in what will be, without a doubt, a close title race. He finished fifth in Race 1 and an impressive second in Race 2 for fourth overall.
At the MXGP of León-Mexico, Kemea Yamaha MX Official Team’s Benoit Paturel had similar problems to the last race weekend, he put in a strong Race 1 with a second place finish passing five riders along the way. It was in Race 2 where he was 20th on lap one and from then on he gave a lesson on how to make a pass. From 20th Paturel worked his way past 12 riders in 16 laps finishing eighth for a fifth place overall. Paturel’s amazing effort and damage control keep him third in the championship points!
2017 MXGP of León-Mexico MX2 Results
MX2 Race 1 Top 10
1. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), 35:36.310; 2. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:07.922; 3. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:13.091; 4. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), +0:18.551; 5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:19.913; 6. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), +0:22.157; 7. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:23.285; 8. Brent van Doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:27.453; 9. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:33.194; 10. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:39.775
MX2 Race 2 Top 10
1. Thomas Covington (USA, Husqvarna), 34:03.198; 2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:03.814; 3. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:05.294; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +0:07.037; 5. Brent van Doninck (BEL, Yamaha), +0:18.147; 6. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, Kawasaki), +0:28.602; 7. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:32.223; 8. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:34.034; 9. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:43.675; 10. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), +0:46.280
MX2 Overall Top 10
1. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 43 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 43 p.; 3. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 40 p.; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 38 p.; 5. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 35 p.; 6. Brent van Doninck (BEL, YAM), 29 p.; 7. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 28 p.; 8. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, KTM), 24 p.; 9. Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 23 p.; 10. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, KAW), 22 p.
MX2 Championship Top 10
1. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 153 points; 2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 145 p.; 3. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 139 p.; 4. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 139 p.; 5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 127 p.; 6. Brent van Doninck (BEL, YAM), 102 p.; 7. Michele Cervellin (ITA, HON), 84 p.; 8. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 83 p.; 9. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, KAW), 81 p.; 10. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), 80 p
1. KTM, 184 points; 2. Suzuki, 153 p.; 3. Yamaha, 147 p.; 4. Husqvarna, 142 p.; 5. Kawasaki, 109 p.; 6. Honda, 84 p.; 7. TM, 80 p.