Main image by KTM Images/Ray Archer
The fifth round of the 2022 FIM Motocross World Championship (MXGP) took place over the weekend. Our insiders Adam Wheeler (journalist with OnTrack Off Road) and Lewis Phillips (journalist with MX Vice) will be back tomorrow to provide their insight on everything from Italy, including race results, the main storylines, injury updates, inside intel, and more. Check back tomorrow to get their podcast whether you watched the motos or not, the podcasts provide great information.
The following press release if from Infront Moto Racing:
Perfect Score for Gajser and Vialle at the MXGP of Trentino
PIETRAMURATA (Trentino)—The fifth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship saw some explosive action as Team HRC’s Tim Gajser and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle topped the podium at the MXGP of Trentino with perfect scores across both races.
The new reversed track layout made for some intense racing as the leaders had to work hard for their victories. There was more exciting moments made by the Pietramurata venue, including the impressive triple that was tackled by Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Seewer during the races.
What made the MXGP of Trentino even more special today was the incredible fan support that created a stunning atmosphere here in Pietramurata. The Gajser's corner was the standout today as the crowd of fans created a roar that shook the entire circuit lap by lap and especially at the podium as Gajser celebrated his first 1-1 result of 2022.
MXGP race one was an explosive one, with Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff grabbing the first Fox Holeshot from Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Seewer and Team HRC’s Mitch Evans.
Seewer was looking strong in the opening laps as he looked to be closing in on Prado, who fought to not lose grip on the leaders, while Gajser and Coldenhoff got themselves into an intense battle for the win as they traded in who took the fastest sector and lap times of the race, lap by lap. On one occasion, Gajser was fastest in sector one, while Coldenhoff went purple in sector two, then Gajser again in three and Coldenhoff in four – that is how close the racing really was at the front.
Check out Seewer's triple jump at the start of the second moto:
After 11 laps, that were full of nail-biting action, close passes and plenty of moments that almost ended in tears, Gajser was able to find a way past the #259 of Coldenhoff to finally get himself into the lead. After doing so, the Slovenian settled into his own pace as he got comfortable in the front, while Coldenhoff had Prado looming in the shadows.
Further down the order there was also some nice battles coming from Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing’s Calvin Vlaanderen who fought his way through the field. After getting a mid-pack start, the Yamaha rider passed F&H Kawasaki Racing’s Jed Beaton on lap seven and then on lap 14 got around Evans to secure sixth in the race.
In the closing stages, Prado started to gain a little on Coldenhoff as Gajser got comfortable in the lead. In the last three laps, Prado tried to pass the factory Yamaha rider, though could not find an opportunity and was forced to settle for third as Gajser won.
In the second race, Prado bounced back with a Fox Holeshot as he led Gajser, Seewer and Bogers. Seewer once again displayed his fearlessness as he jumped the triple to get himself into second, but Gajser was fast to react.
Race one Fox Holeshot winner, Coldenhoff, did not get so lucky in race two, as he went down in the first corner.
Prado’s time in the lead did not last a full lap, as he stalled his bike which saw him drop down to fifth as Gajser took control of the lead. Seewer remained second ahead of Bogers and Renaux who joined the fight for P2. Seewer did crash but managed to stay ahead for the time being.
Further down the field, SM Action Racing Team YUASA Battery’s Alberto Forato passed Standing Construct Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass on lap two, and then set his sight forward as he was able to get around Bogers, who crashed, then Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP’s Ben Watson on lap five, before catching up to Prado.
For six laps, Forato consistently applied the pressure onto Prado and showed better speed at times that the Spaniard ahead and even setting the fastest lap of the race on the seventh lap. But it was not meant to be for the Italian who then crashed on lap 11.
In the final laps, we saw Seewer and Renaux locked in a close battle as the Frenchman looked to solidify his spot on the podium after his struggles in Portugal. This was also an opportunity for Prado who also got closer to the pair and joined the fight for second position once again.
On lap 15 Renaux went by his teammate as Prado was looking to do the same, but Seewer managed to keep hold of third by the chequered flag as Gajser won the race.
It was Gajser’s first 1-1 of the season, as he enjoyed the moment on the top step of the podium with the roar of his fans who gathered in huge crowds! Renaux celebrated his comeback to the box with second overall, with Prado down on the third step.
After five rounds, Gajser now has 236 points to his name as he continues to lead the MXGP championship, while Prado is second 33 points behind and Renaux third on 184 points.
MXGP of Trentino MXGP Overall Results
MXGP Championship Standings
Next, we head to Kegums for the MXGP of Latvia on the 23rd and 24th of April.
Tim Gajser: “It was a great weekend. I was really excited coming here to Trentino, it’s the first time in two years that I could see this public after being a bit quite here in Pietramurata. It was great. Two good races, second one was perfect, taking a good start and quickly passing in the beginning. I made a comfortable lead and controlled the race. I’m really happy, I want to say a huge thank you to everybody, my team, everybody around me and my fans! I think it’s good to have some changes. You know the track was the same since we came here in 2013. It’s a good change and a big difference, especially in the start going 180 instead of 90 degrees corner. I felt good, overall, there was more lines and I liked it.”
Maxime Renaux: “It was really good. This podium feels super special for me because after last weekend doubts starting to come, it was good to bounce back and get back on the podium. I knew the move on my teammate in the second race was really decisive because I was fighting for the podium places and I could make it really smart and smooth, so I’m really happy and I enjoyed that podium so much.”
Jorge Prado: “It was a tough weekend for me. I didn’t show very good speed in the time practice but then once the gate dropped, with my starts I could get my rhythm and I was happy with that, we worked on the bike to find the setting to be competitive, so the team did a great job to figure out how to be as close as possible to perfect. Two races, two difficult races, first race I was stuck behind Glenn and Tim in the first laps, they pulled away but, in the end, I came back to Glenn, but I couldn’t pass him. In the second race, I knew again I couldn’t throw it in the first corner and that start was also good, so I passed Tim and thought ok, but then I stalled the bike, so it was a pity. I thought it could have been a good race because I was feeling recovered, but I stalled the bike, so many guys passed me, and I just couldn’t pass anybody back. I was behind Maxime the whole race and then I saw he passed Jeremy, I tried to do the same, but I couldn’t. It was a tough weekend, but it was nice to have the fans back and the fans from Tim.”
Check out the full highlights from the weekend:
In the first MX2 race of the day, the first Fox Holeshot went to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle who led Big Van World MTX Kawasaki’s Mikkel Haarup, Hitachi KTM fuelled by Milwaukee’s Isak Gifting, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Thibault Benistant and SM Action Racing Team YUASA Battery’s Andrea Adamo.
Haarup then set the fastest lap of the race as he looked to get closer to the leader, though Vialle responded by the following lap to go faster than the Dane. Adamo then passed Benistant for fourth, as Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing’s Mattia Guadagnini got around Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing’s Rick Elzinga.
Geerts was making his way forward as he got by Benistant for fourth on lap seven, while Vialle and Haarup continued to trade the fastest laps. Just behind them, Gifting crashed out of second which allowed Adamo through to the position, as Geerts edged closer.
The Belgian managed to close in on the Italian and on lap 17 he moved up to second. Benistant was still there in fifth, while Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kay De Wolf made his way up to sixth by the chequered flag.
For much of the race we witnessed a very close battle between Vialle and Haarup, with Haarup not backing down from the regular winner. On his last push for the win during the last few corners, Haarup went off track and had to abort mission to keep second.
Vialle won race one ahead of Haarup, Geerts, Adamo and Benistant.
In race two, it was again Vialle with the Fox Holeshot, this time ahead of Benistant, Elzinga and de Wolf, while Adamo struggled out of the gate. The Italian later came into pitlane and was left with a DNF after a very strong opening heat.
de Wolf was quick to pass Elzinga for third and then less than a lap later he was in second after getting around Benistant, though the Frenchman did not make it so easy on the Dutchman.
Geerts meanwhile made his way up the order after a top five start, as he caught onto his teammate Benistant. Geerts may have pushed too hard as he fell out of fourth place but got going again quickly in fifth. Geerts then got caught and passed by Guadagnini and Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing’s Simon Längenfelder, this pushed him down to ninth.
Geerts’ race went from bad to worse as he crashed big once again, this time retiring from the race. This was very costly for his championship lead.
While at the front, Vialle set the fastest lap of the race as de Wolf remained close. But what was impressive was Horgmo’s fastest lap of the race on lap 12 as he looked to put a strong result on his scorecard today.
With just a few laps to go, Haarup was showing incredible pace as he pushed to pass Elzinga in order to get himself on the podium. There were a couple of very close moments, and moments where Haarup almost crashed, but the Dane was able to keep it upright and also get the pass done on the final lap!
Vialle won the race ahead of de Wolf, with Benistant third ahead of Guadagnini and Horgmo.
A perfect 1-1 score gave Vialle his third back-to-back GP victory and also the red plate! De Wolf was second, securing his second podium of 2022 ahead of Haarup who continued to impress everyone with his third GP podium on the bounce.
MXGP of Trentino MX2 Overall Results
MX2 Championship Standings
Vialle now leads the championship and is 14 points clear of Geerts who is second ahead of Haarup who is a further 25 points behind.
Tom Vialle: “It was a great weekend overall. I had two good starts and two good races, for sure it wasn’t easy. In the first race, I was struggling in the beginning to find the flow and was not riding as good as the second race. But Mikkel was pushing until the last lap, I didn’t make so many mistakes and could grab the win which was nice. In the second start, I got another holeshot and again was tough, Kay was pushing but I was a little bit better in the second race. I was happy, I had a good second race and pushed until the end. It was a great weekend, I take the red plate, but the championship is still really long. I just want to do like this every weekend, try to do my own race, the start is important, especially this weekend where it was not very easy to pass so the holeshots helped me a lot.”
Kay De Wolf: “I’m pretty happy to be back on the podium. After Argentina, it was a tough few weeks, but we bounced back and I am happy to be on the podium. I didn’t expect the podium, because I am still not 100% back physically. I didn’t train much after Argentina and we’re still not 100% but we will work on that and be back in the battle for Latvia.”
Mikkel Haarup: “My Saturday started off a little bit tough, but we managed to bounce back in the qualifying which gave us a decent position in the start. First race was great, I had fun battling with Tom, felt much better being up there than in Portugal, there I was more nervous and this time I felt I could push a little bit more but could not find my way around him. Second race, I made it really difficult for myself, had a bad start and was a little bit slow in the first few laps. Managed to make some really nice passes and the pass on the last lap gave me the podium which was good. I didn’t know it actually; I was just pushing to get more points for the championship. But I am happy about the performance. I didn’t expect to do as well, because of the Saturday we had, but I am happy we got the podium.”