Round 1 of the 2019 MXGP series was held in Patagonia this weekend for the MXGP of Argentina.
Defending MX2 Champion Jorge Prado grabbed the Fox Holeshot ahead of his new KTM teammate Tom Vialle. Thomas Kjer Olsen started in about sixth and worked his way up to fourth early on before challenging Henry Jacobi. He was able to make the pass on Jacobi for third shortly after catching him.
Tom Vialle had a mistake and fell back to eighth, where he would battle with Ben Watson. Watson would eventually prevail and try to battle with his own teammate Jago Geerts.
Meanwhile, up front, Jacobi had closed in on Prado for the lead, and the two battled for a few laps before Jacobi took over the top spot. Prado then had to deal with Olsen as he closed in on the lead battle. Olsen made the pass for second on Prado with just a few laps to go.
Olsen was able to reel in Jacobi for the lead just a short time later. On the final lap, Prado made an aggressive pass on Jacob for second, sending Jacobi off track for a moment. He was able to re-enter the track safely and finish third.
Olsen won the race followed by (2) Jorge Prado, (3) Henry Jacobi, (4) Ben Watson, (5) Calvin Vlaanderen, (6) Mitchell Evans, (7) Adam Sterry, (8) Alvin Ostlund, (9) Conrad Mewse, and (10) Jago Geerts.
Tim Gajser took the Fox Holeshot ahead of Julien Lieber and Alessandro Lupino. Romain Febvre battled inside the top five early on and eventually worked his way up to pass Lupino for third.
Pauls Jonass, the rookie MXGP Husqvarna rider, started up front but faded throughout the race, being passed by the more experienced MXGP riders.
Clement Desalle battled his way into the top ten after a mid-pack start, and eventually worked his way up to fourth, where we would finish. Antonio Cairoli also had a poor start and worked his way all the way up to twelfth before he had a mechanical failure and had to exit the race, he would finish 28th.
Gajser and Febvre battled it out throughout the race before Gajser fell and handed the lead over to the Frenchman. Gajser would have more problems shortly after, going down again through the waves section, he would finish in ninth.
Febvre would go on to win the race ahead of (2) Julien Lieber, (3) Jeremy Van Horebeek, (4) Clement Desalle, (5) Max Anstie, (6) Max Nagl, (7) Gautier Paulin, (8) Arnaud Tonus, (9) Tim Gajser, and (10) Arminas Jasikonis.
MX2 Race 1
Tom Vialle grabbed the first Fox Holeshot of the season in the MX2 class. Vialle’s teammate Prado followed in second, ahead of Henry Jacobi and Jago Geerts. Michele Cervellin had some troubles on the opening lap, going down in the corner that hugs a tree, losing plenty of positions in the process. He would remount and go on to finish in 18th.
Jorge Prado made the pass on his teammate on the opening lap moving Vialle back to second. Jacobi settled into third early and began to challenge Vialle for second at the start of lap two.
Thomas Kjer Olsen found himself in seventh after the first two laps. The Husqvarna rider began to challenge Mitchell Evans for sixth on lap three after getting a poor start. Jacobi also started to battle with Vialle on lap three and made the pass for second just before the start of lap four.
Calvin Vlaanderen finally made his way past Geerts for fourth on lap four. A few minutes later, Olsen made the pass on Geerts to move into fifth. Olsen wasted no time going after Vlaanderen for fourth. Olsen made the pass in the outside of a split lane corner to take over fourth.
Olsen continued his charge through the pack by passing Vialle for third just a lap later. Vialle then found himself trying to hold of Vlaanderen for fourth just a lap later and was unable to keep the position as Vlaanderen took him wide in a corner to secure the spot.
Halfway through the race Jorge Prado lead by about 9 seconds over (2) Henry Jacobi, (3) Thomas Kjer Olsen, (4) Calvin Vlaanderen, (5) Tom Vialle, (6) Jago Geerts, (7) Mitchell Evans, (8) Adam Sterry, (9) Ben Watson, and (10) Davey Pootjes.
Jacobi and Olsen began their battle for second just after the halfway point in the race. Olsen closed in on Jacobi and looked to make the same pass he did on Vlaanderen in the split lane. Jacobi also took the outside line in the corner, but Olsen still tried to make the pass, aggressively getting into the side of Jacobi. Jacobi held onto the spot after almost going off track during the pass. Olsen had to regroup and try to figure out where to attempt the pass again. Olsen did not wait long to make another run at Jacobi, making the pass just half a lap later, on the inside of a corner before the rollers. Olsen was able to hold off the charge from Jacobi at the end of the rollers and began to pull away in second.
Mitchell Evans passed Jago Geerts for sixth with about six minutes remaining in the race. The move allowed Ben Watson to close in on his teammate and battle for seventh. Geerts went down with about five minutes left in the race, coming up short on a jump and getting sideways before going down. The fall put Geerts back to 11th.
With three laps to go Mitchell Evans made a pass on Tom Vialle, moving the Honda rider into the top five. Ben Watson had also closed in on the battled between Vialle and Evans with just a couple of laps to go. Watson made the pass on Vialle for sixth just before the finish line to start lap 18.
Prado would go on to win the race, followed by (2) Thomas Kjer Olsen, (3) Henry Jacobi, (4) Calvin Vlaanderen, (5) Mitchell Evans, (6) Ben Watson, (7) Tom Vialle, (8) Adam Sterry, (9) Conrad Mewse, and (10) Davey Pootjes.
MXGP Race 1
Julien Lieber was the first MXGP rider to cross the Fox Holeshot line ahead of Romain Febvre and Antonio Cairoli. After a quick battle with Febvre on the opening lap, Cairoli settled into second, ahead of the French rider. With just two corners to go on the opening lap, Cairoli set up and executed a pass on Lieber to take the lead before the line.
Romain Febvre knew he couldn’t let Cairoli get away early on and made the pass on Lieber for second in turn one of lap two. The pass set up a battle between teammates Lieber and Clement Desalle, who would eventually make the pass in a heated battle between the two riders. Lieber continued his early fall down the leaderboard as he lost a position to Tim Gajser on the second lap as well. Gautier Paulin also got right after Lieber and was able to pass the Kawasaki rider for fifth on lap three. Jeremy Van Horebeek made his move for sixth on Lieber a couple of laps later, pushing the Belgian rider back to seventh after leading early on.
Just before the halfway point of the race there were a couple of battles going on inside the top five as Febvre was keeping Cairoli honest in the lead and Gajser was looking for a way around Desalle. The Desalle and Gajser battle heated up as Gajser made the pass in the first turn but just as quickly as he made the pass, he lost the position back to Desalle. A half a lap later the two swapped positions again, this time Gajser didn’t leave room for a counter move by Desalle.
At the halfway point it was Antonio Cairoli leading over (2) Romain Febvre, (3) Tim Gajser, (4), Clement Desalle, (5) Gautier Paulin, (6) Jeremy Van Horebeek, (7) Julien Lieber, (8) Alessandro Lupino, (9) Jeremy Seewer, and (10) Arminas Jasikonis.
Arnaud Tonus had a big crash on the landing of the big jump out of turn two just after the halfway point. Tonus would pull off due to the crash and end up finishing 24th.
Tim Gajser reeled in Romain Febvre for second with around six minutes left in the race and the battle between the two began. They battled for about four minutes before Gajser finally had the chance to make the move on the Frenchman.
Antonio Cairoli took the victory in the first moto of the season ahead of (2) Tim Gajser, (3) Romain Febvre, (4) Clement Desalle, (5) Gautier Paulin, (6) Jeremy Van Horebeek, (7) Julien Lieber, (8) Arminas Jasikonis, (9) Pauls Jonass, and (10) Jeremy Seewer.
MX2 Race 2
In the second MX2 race of the day, it was Jorge Prado who crossed the Fox Holeshot line first, followed by Tom Vialle, Mitchell Evans, and Ben Watson. The first turn shuffling found Vialle pushed back to fifth place while Evans quickly looked to catch Prado. Meanwhile, Calvin Vlaanderen found his way past a few riders to get his Honda up into the top five.
Thomas Kjer Olsen also got a good start and soon applied the pressure Ben Watson for the third-place position. While Olsen was looking for his opportunity to make the pass, Tom Vialle was just behind him trying to fend off the attacks of Davy Pootjes for sixth place. In the turn before the finish line jump, Watson went off the track while trying to rail around the outside of the turn, allowing Olsen and Vlaanderen to take over third and fourth, and putting Watson back into fifth.
Henry Jacobi started around the middle of the pack and had his work cut out for him. After the first seven minutes of the race, Jacobi had made a handful of passes and found himself breaking into the top 10. Pootjes had fallen off the pace a bit and was passed by several riders, including Jacobi, to put him back into 10th place by the 22-minute mark. Soon after, Watson had similar issues and found himself back in 11th just two minutes later.
Up ahead, Olsen had closed in on Evans and applied the pressure for several laps. With just under 20 minutes left on the clock, Olsen went the long way around Evans through a right-hander, allowing him to keep his speed up around the outside berm and slingshot past the Honda rider to overtake second place.
At the halfway point of the race, the running order was (1) Jorge Prado, (2) Thomas Kjer Olsen, (3) Mitchell Evans, (4) Calvin Vlaanderen, (5) Tom Vialle, (6) Adam Sterry, (7) Henry Jacobi, (8) Jago Geerts, (9) Davy Pootjes, and (10) Ben Watson.
Several minutes later, Vialle had started to fade and was caught by Adam Sterry who got to the inside of the KTM rider in a corner to take away the position. Vialle tried to battle back but he soon found himself under attack from Jacobi, who was now just about a second back. With 10 minutes remaining, Jacobi forced his way to the inside, running Vialle wide in a turn and forcing him to surrender the position.
Jacobi then closed the gap in on his teammate, Sterry, and was battling for the position by about the five-minute mark. A couple of minutes later, Sterry went down while trying to fend off his teammate, giving Jacobi the easy pass for fifth place.
The top five would remain the same through the closing minutes of the race. Prado would take his second win of the day, followed by (2) Thomas Kjer Olsen, (3) Mitchell Evans, (4) Calvin Vlaanderen, (5) Henry Jacobi, (6) Jago Geerts, (7) Ben Watson, (8) Tom Vialle, (9) Adam Sterry, and (10) Davy Pootjes.
1st – Jorge Prado, 1-1 for 50 points
2nd – Thomas Kjer Olsen, 2-2 for 44 points
3rd – Mitchell Evans, 5-3 for 3 points
4th – Calvin Vlaanderen, 4-4 for 36 points
5th – Henry Jacobi, 3-5 for 36 points
MXGP Race 2
Tim Gajser took the Fox Holeshot in the second moto, ahead of Romain Febvre and Tommy Searle. Clement Desalle went down in the first turn after the start. He would remount and begin a charge back through the field. Julien Lieber also went down on the opening lap in a corner losing multiple positions. On the start of lap two Febvre took the lead away from Gajser, but Gajser would battle back moments later and take the lead back away. Febvre wasn’t done yet and made yet another pass on the Honda rider just a few corners later.
Antonio Cairoli started fifth and by the end of lap two he had made a couple of passes on Jeremy Van Horebeek and Tommy Searle to work his way into third. Van Horebeek had a quick battle with Searle for fourth and was able to make the pass and pull away from the Kawasaki rider.
The top three began to battle with each other for the top spot with about 20 minutes remaining in the race. All three riders were within about a second of each other as they diced for position. Cairoli made the pass on Gajser through the rollers with about 19 minutes to go and quickly jumped to the lead by passing Febvre on the outside of a corner. The move put what would have been a Febvre overall win into jeopardy as Cairoli now would have 1-1 moto scores to take the overall. Just one lap later, Febvre made a small mistake through the rollers and Gajser was able to make the pass for second.
Halfway through the race Antonio Cairoli lead (2) Tim Gajser, (3) Romain Febvre, (4) Jeremy Van Horebeek, (5) Tommy Searle, (6) Max Anstie, (7) Shaun Simpson, (8) Arminas Jasikonis, (9) Gautier Paulin, and (10) Clement Desalle.
Just after halfway, Desalle made passes on both Paulin and Jasikonis to move into eighth, he then looked to make a pass on Simpson for seventh. Desalle was able to make the pass with about 12 minutes remaining in the race. Paulin looked to follow suit and pass Simpson for eighth, but just when it looked like he had the pass made, Simpson battled back and took Paulin wide to keep his position on track. Paulin was able to counter a few corners later and complete the pass, sending Simpson back to ninth.
Max Anstie caught up to Tommy Searle with about nine minutes to go in the race and the two battled it out for fifth. Anstie was able to make the pass shortly after, pushing Searle back to sixth.
With about four minutes to go, Romain Febvre went down in the rollers and looked to hurt his right leg in the process. Febvre was carried off track and was unable to finish the race. He would finish 12th overall on the weekend, scoring 20 points with 3-23 moto scores. He has since updated that he twisted his ankle badly and needs to wait for the swelling to subside before he can get a proper exam on it. He plans to have a follow up exam on Wednesday this week.
Paulin continued his charge to the front by passing both Desalle and Searle with under two minutes remaining in the final race of the day. The passes moved Paulin into fifth, while Desalle also looked to follow suit and make the pass on Searle for sixth.
Antonio Cairoli would win the second moto and the overall. Tim Gajser would finish in second, ahead of (3) Jeremy Van Horebeek, (4) Max Anstie, (5) Gautier Paulin, (6) Clement Desalle, (7) Tommy Searle, (8) Arminas Jasikonis, (9) Shaun Simpson, and (10) Arnaud Tonus.
1st – Antonio Cairoli, 1-1 for 50 points
2nd – Tim Gajser, 2-2 for 44 points
3rd – Jeremy Van Horebeek, 6-3 for 35 points
4th – Clement Desalle, 4-6 for 33 points
5th – Gautier Paulin, 5-5 for 32 points