The 5th round of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship in Mantova, Italy has been one to remember. While the rain continues to fall at the Monster Energy MXGP of Lombardia, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s dynamic duo of Antonio Cairoli and Jorge Prado reigned in their own right taking the respective MXGP and MX2 category overall wins this weekend.
With MXGP returning to the Mantova venue for the first time since the 2016 season, the world’s best community of fans watched on as the world’s best athletes showed their skills on the soggy sand. While the winds of change brought dramatic conditions today they also provided epic action in a race where anything was possible.
After evening storms yesterday’s hard and dry surface was nowhere to be found but Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli let it have no effect on his results starting race one with the Fox Holeshot.
Cairoli’s biggest competitor as of late, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser had a good jump off the line but lost traction on the front of his Honda heading into turn one which sent him over the bars along with several others.
While Cairoli had the lead from the first turn fellow Italian Ivo Monticelli and his Standing Construct KTM teammate Max Anstie where in 2nd and 3rd. A mistake from Monticelli saw Anstie go past almost taking both down while Cairoli tipped over just a corner later. The bobble from Cairoli put Anstie on the Sicilian’s rear wheel but quick to regroup the #222 pulled back away.
Gajser’s race one went from bad to worse when he was clipped by another rider midair causing the Slovenian to resample the soil. The strong riding of Monticelli in third was all for nothing when his bike gave out just as Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass took the spot halfway through the race.
More crashes from Gajser held him to 10th while both Jonass and his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Arminas Jasikonis passed Anstie. The first checkered flag then went out with Cairoli taking the win 10 seconds ahead of Jonass, Jasikonis, Anstie, and Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle who rounded out the top five just ahead of Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Gautier Paulin.
Race 2 again saw Cairoli with the FOX Holeshot, his 7th of 2019, while Gajser came away clean but behind Cairoli was Paulin and Team HRC’s Brian Bogers. Monticelli again had bad luck crashing in turn 2 and pulling out of the race.
Not long after Monticelli’s mishap his teammate Max Anstie crashed together with RFX KTM’s Shaun Simpson. With Anstie also pulling out of the race Glenn Coldenhoff was now the lone Standing Construct rider as he ran in 5th position.
Brian Bogers took over second from Paulin early in the race with Jonass also getting past the #21. Jasikonis, unlike Jonass, was unable to match his strong race 1 result as he fought from 23rd on the first lap up to 15th by the finish.
At the front it was all smooth sailing for Cairoli who recorded the perfect weekend leading 42 laps of the 42 available via 12 laps in Qualifying, 15 in Race 1, and another 15 in Race 2. The domination and double race win scored him the GP overall at Mantova for the 4th time in his career with 2 in MX2 (2007 & 2008) and 2 in MXGP (2010 and now 2019).
Taking the best single race result in his MXGP career was Bogers in second while Jonass took third, Paulin took 4th, Coldenhoff 5th, and Gajser 6th. The overall top five was filled out by Jonass taking his first MXGP Podium, Paulin, Desalle, and Coldenhoff.
Antonio Cairoli, “It is very nice to be again in Italy, despite the weather there were a lot of people today, so I am very thankful they keep coming and keep cheering. I am really happy of course, thanks to all the team for their hard work again and I am looking forward to next week in Portugal which is another track that I really like.”
Pauls Jonass, “It feels really good to be back here and especially with the MXGP guys. It has been a tough winter and a tough few months but it feels really great to be up here. We still need to keep working hard because I’m far off from my best shape but we will keep working and hopefully I can be back on the podium again soon.”
Gautier Paulin, “When the track is really rough like this you can gain a lot of points but you can also lose them. I am pretty happy, after the break we made a big step with the bike, I really feel good. Today wasn’t the result I expected but I am on the box so it is always a pleasure for my team and myself. There will be good GP’s coming and I can’t wait to get behind the gate again.”
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 36:48.024; 2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:10.064; 3. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:21.379; 4. Max Anstie (GBR, KTM), +0:27.299; 5. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:39.542; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:49.512; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:52.425; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:57.535; 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +1:03.646; 10. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +1:10.362.
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 35:37.572; 2. Brian Bogers (NED, Honda), +0:07.068; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:11.327; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:15.790; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:15.887; 6. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:17.780; 7. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:47.849; 8. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:51.229; 9. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:54.290; 10. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +1:11.509.
MXGP Overall Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 42 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 33 p.; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 30 p.; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 29 p.; 6. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 26 p.; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 26 p.; 8. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 26 p.; 9. Brian Bogers (NED, HON), 23 p.; 10. Benoit Paturel (FRA, KAW), 19 p
MXGP Championship Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 241 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 201 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 175 p.; 4. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 146 p.; 5. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 142 p.; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 124 p.; 7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 118 p.; 8. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 109 p.; 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 100 p.; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 94 p.
MXGP Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 241 points; 2. Honda, 210 p.; 3. Yamaha, 186 p.; 4. Husqvarna, 162 p.; 5. Kawasaki, 161 p.
While Cairoli dominated MXGP his young apprentice like Red Bull KTM teammate Jorge Prado took MX2 by storm. Prado took his 6th Fox Holeshot of 2019 to start race one as fellow Red Bull KTM rider Tom Vialle was second.
Several riders were caught in a first turn pile up however including Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen, F&H Racing Kawasaki’s Henry Jacobi, and Honda 114 Motorsports’ Mitch Evans. Yamaha SM Action MC Migliori’s Michele Cervellin and Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha Official MX2’s Jago Geerts were both quick to get past Vialle and take over 2nd and 3rd while Prado led.
Vialle’s race only worsened as he fell and remounted in 18th before losing even more spots. On the contrary it was the red plate holder, Thomas Kjer Olsen, from Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing who improved as the race went on. Olsen was around 23rd on the opening lap but by lap 5 had already made his way up to 8th.
Cervellin then lost his 2nd position to Geerts and another to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jed Beaton before the Italian’s bike came to a halt. Olsen decided to take advantage of his gap and use the new Goggle lane for a fresh set of vision before passing both Marchetti Racing Team KTM’s Iker Larranaga and Yamaha SM Action MC Migliori’s Maxime Renaux for 6th.
With Olsen back in 6th Prado took the race and gained 10 points in the championship standings while Geerts came across the finish 5.8 seconds later in 2nd ahead of Beaton, Team DIGA-Procross Husqvarna’s Davy Pootjes, and Hitachi KTM fueled by Milwaukee’s Bas Vaessen.
In race 2 Vialle got the better of Prado for the Fox Holeshot with Pootjes in 3rd. Prado made his way past Vialle before the end of the lap however. Olsen then passed Pootjes to get into third along with Jacobi but Pootjes quickly retook 4th from the German.
Olsen and Pootjes went on to pass Vialle while Beaton had a hard crash in 6th place. Jacobi’s bike then gave out just like many others as a result of the demanding conditions while Prado took the win ahead of Olsen, Vialle, Pootjes, and REVO Husqvarna UK’s Dylan Walsh.
The undefeated overall winner for the 4th time this season was Jorge Prado while Olsen took 2nd and Pootjes achieved his first career podium finish. The win from Prado was not enough to take over the red plate from Olsen but the gap now drops from the previous 20 points to only 7.
Jorge Prado, “It is great to come back, get on the podium, and winning the GP was very important for me, especially for my confidence after a month off. Today it was important to get a good start, I failed at that yesterday but today I got really good starts which were key to the race. It is very tough to not make mistakes, get good starts every time, and don’t crash, I just need to keep concentration to lead.”
Thomas Kjer Olsen, “Overall it was a great weekend for me, in the first race I had that problem on the start where I was down for a bit, I was pretty far behind but I was able to make up some spots in the first laps and get into to a good position pretty quick I worked into the top ten and even got into 6th. So, after being down it was pretty good for me, I even stopped to change my goggles. Overall I felt like I was riding good this weekend.
Davy Pootjes, “It is really good and I am really happy because it has been tough. This podium should have happened maybe 4 years ago but because of crashes, injuries, and some bad luck it didn’t happen. Last winter, together with DIGA Procross, we made a plan, worked really hard, and it payed off. I feel this is the place where I should be and I am not done yet.”
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 35:18.651; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:05.836; 3. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:26.496; 4. Davy Pootjes (NED, Husqvarna), +0:40.315; 5. Bas Vaessen (NED, KTM), +1:05.236; 6. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +1:12.915; 7. Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP, KTM), +1:37.577; 8. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +1:47.716; 9. Morgan Lesiardo (ITA, KTM), +1:50.638; 10. Richard Sikyna (SVK, KTM), +1:51.878.
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 36:52.290; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:08.779; 3. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:36.069; 4. Davy Pootjes (NED, Husqvarna), +0:52.541; 5. Dylan Walsh (NZL, Husqvarna), +0:58.348; 6. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +1:01.889; 7. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Honda), +1:11.299; 8. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +1:13.390; 9. Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP, KTM), +1:17.228; 10. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +1:19.630.
MX2 Overall Top Ten: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 50 points; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 37 p.; 3. Davy Pootjes (NED, HUS), 36 p.; 4. Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 28 p.; 5. Iker Larranaga Olano (ESP, KTM), 26 p.; 6. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 25 p.; 7. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 24 p.; 8. Bas Vaessen (NED, KTM), 22 p.; 9. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 20 p.; 10. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, HON), 20 p.
MX2 Championship Top Ten: 1. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 207 points; 2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 200 p.; 3. Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 157 p.; 4. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 150 p.; 5. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 145 p.; 6. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 141 p.; 7. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 122 p.; 8. Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 117 p.; 9. Davy Pootjes (NED, HUS), 112 p.; 10. Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 105 p.
MX2 Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 238 points; 2. Husqvarna, 212 p.; 3. Yamaha, 181 p.; 4. Honda, 166 p.; 5. Kawasaki, 164 p.;