MANTOVA (Italy) 30 September 2020 – The MXGP of Città di Mantova has concluded with a series of epic races that kept us all on the edge of our seats.
Romain Febvre and Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team celebrated an epic victory, as the Frenchman took his first race win in over a year and a first overall victory of the season so far. Meanwhile in MX2, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen put on an incredible performance to go after a back-to-back Grand Prix win.
In race one, it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado who continued to show that he is the king of starts as he grabbed yet another FOX Holeshot. He was closely followed by teammate Antonio Cairoli,Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Seewer and Romain Febvre of Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team.
Seewer though wasted no time as he quickly moved past Cairoli to move into second and then focused on Prado for the lead. Team HRC’s Mitch Evans had a good start and was sitting fifth ahead of his teammate and the current championship leader Tim Gajser.
Meanwhile Seewer looked to pick up the pace, setting the fastest lap time of the race as he chased down Prado. Though he needed to be careful as Febvre was also on a mission for the race win, which meant that the Swiss could not afford to make a mistake or relax.
The battle then heated up as the top three riders were all separated by a mere 1.6 seconds with still 19 minutes plus 2 laps to go. And Cairoli then looked to be stepping things up as he started to close in on Febvre, Seewer and Prado.
Meanwhile further down the field, Standing Construct GasGas MXGP rider Glenn Coldenhoff squeezed past Clement Desalle of Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team, to move into 7th.
With 11 minutes on the clock, the gap between Prado and Seewer was 2.016 seconds as Gajser started to close in on Cairoli for 4th. The fight for the win then intensified as Prado was getting caught by Seewer who was less than a second behind him.
With just a few laps to go, there was no change in the top 5, as Prado was able to keep control under pressure to take the opening MXGP race win, while Seewer finished second and Febvre third.
The second MXGP race saw Febvre perfectly time the start as he entered the first corner in the lead taking the FOX Holeshot. Febvre then led Gajser, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin, Seewer, Coldenhoff and Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing’s Calvin Vlaanderen.
Gajser then put his focus on Febvre as the two were all over each other, while Seewer charged for Prado who was in 4th just ahead of him. Though he may have pushed too hard, as the Yamaha rider made a mistake which saw him crash out of 5th and things only got worse, as the Swiss had another big moment which saw him drop further down the order, outside the top 10.
Vlaanderen then went out of 9th, loosing several positions and dropping down to 15th.
With 10 minutes left, Febvre continued to control the race with Gajser still second and Paulin third. Paulin then passed Gajser, who immediately responded, but a lap later the Team HRC rider slipped the front and crashed out, allowing Paulin to inherit his position. He was however able to re-join just ahead of Cairoli.
As Paulin, Gajser and Cairoli battled it out, Coldenhoff was also looking to join in, on the mix as he edged closer to the top 4. While further down the field, Seewer was sitting in 11th as he looked to make up some positions in order to salvage some points.
Towards the end of the race, Febvre led by 6.978 seconds with Paulin holding on to second and Gajser third. Seewer then passed Dylan Walsh of JM Honda Racing for 10th.
With just a couple of laps to go Gajser put in a last effort to pass Paulin, though Paulin was able to hold on to the position, while Febvre took his first race win of 2020!
With that second race win, Romain Febvre secured his spot on the top step of the podium, while Jorge Pradofinished second and Tim Gajser third. In terms of the championship, Gajser holds on to the red plate and now has a 5-point advantage to Antonio Cairoli, with Jeremy Seewer third on 334 points.
Romain Febvre: “First win of the year, especially with the new team, it’s been awesome. In the first race I had a good start, I was fourth and passed Tony [Cairoli] on the first lap but I couldn’t take the rhythm. I made two mistakes, had a gap after 20 minutes and I closed that gap, but it wasn’t good enough to make that pass. In the second race I took a big holeshot and of course that makes life easier because you can choose your lines and ride smooth. Seewer was pushing for the first 20 minutes I think, and then I think he made a mistake, so I had a comfortable gap on Gautier [Paulin] and after I was just by myself. I tried to stay calm to finish the race and win the GP”.
Jorge Prado: “First race was perfect. Second race I had a good jump out of the gate, I thought I made everything right and in the first corner I was almost with Romain [Febvre] but then some riders came on the inside and into the second corner I think I was around ninth, then I was able to make some passes in the next two corners. I was in a good position with 15 minutes to go, for the overall; then I stalled my bike and had to fight back. I was pushing very hard and still felt like I could make a good race because I was charging all the way to the finish”.
Tim Gajser: “Of course it’s not a bad day when you finish on the podium but still I was not completely happy with my riding today. In the first race I didn’t have the best start and then I was behind Tony [Cairoli] and it was difficult to make a pass on him. We were all kind of like at the same speed and I finished fifth. The second one, I got a better start, I was behind Romain [Febvre] and I was pushing hard, trying to pass him. I had a couple of spots where I was really faster than him but then I made a mistake and Gautier [Paulin] passed me, then I was pushing hard to pass him but it didn’t happen, so I settled for third”.
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 35:13.182; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:01.152; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:04.142; 4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:11.098; 5. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:13.368; 6. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:25.884; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GASGAS), +0:33.761; 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:41.780; 9. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:45.223; 10. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:49.814.
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), 34:59.172; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:01.667; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:03.880; 4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:06.557; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GASGAS), +0:07.281; 6. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:07.577; 7. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:32.148; 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:35.818; 9. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:37.490; 10. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:43.488.
MXGP – GP Top 10 Classification: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 45 points; 2. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 40 p.; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 36 p.; 4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 36 p.; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 34 p.; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 33 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GAS), 30 p.; 8. Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 29 p.; 9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 26 p.; 10. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 21 p.
MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 352 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 347 p.; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 334 p.; 4. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 317 p.; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GAS), 303 p.; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 275 p.; 7. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 263 p.; 8. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 257 p.; 9. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 248 p.; 10. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 238 p.
MXGP – Manufacturers Classification: 1. KTM, 444 points; 2. Honda, 389 p.; 3. Yamaha, 383 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 344 p.; 5. GASGAS, 317 p.; 6. Husqvarna, 265 p.