MANTOVA (Lombardia, Italy) 11 May 2019 – The 2019 Monster Energy MXGP of Lombardia launched into action today at the Italian circuit of Mantova where the top riders in the world battled in preparation for tomorrow's action. As the evening rain rolls into Mantova Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Antonio Cairoli and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Thomas Kjer Olsen rest easy know the head into tomorrow's pair of respective MXGP and MX2 championship races as the top qualifiers.
The difficult circuit was taken on by not only the premiere MXGP and MX2 classes for the first time since 2016 but also the European Motocross Championship of EMX2T and EMX125 presented by FMF Racing.
The 250cc rippers of EMX2T presented by FMF Racing were to race on the track today where Team Ecomaxx Fuels' Mike Kras took a dominant win after a disappointing round 1 in Matterley Basin several weeks ago. Meanwhile the series points leader, Verde Substance KTM's Brad Anderson, crashed on the start before coming back through the pack to finish in 13th position.
EMX125 presented by FMF Racing was again stacked as nearly 100 riders were trimmed down to 40 via morning qualifying. The red plate holder Mattia Guadagnini from Maddii Racing Husqvarna remained on form however and after passing RFME MX Junior Team's Oriol Oliver for second he later took the win away from WZ-Racing's Simon Laengenfelder.
MXGP points leader Antonio Cairoli from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing kicked off his weekend with a perfect qualifying performance taking the lead from the first turn then checking out from the rest of the field before finishing with a gap 15 seconds over second place.
While Cairoli took the lead off the start it was the MXGP rookie Pauls Jonass who slotted into second on his Rockstar Energy Factory Racing Husqvarna. The freight train behind Jonass immediately included Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team's Clement Desalle, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP's Jeremy Seewer, and Team HRC's Tim Gajser.
Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP's Gautier Paulin was in 6th while just behind Standing Construct KTM's Ivo Monticelli and Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki's Alessandro Lupino clipped each other sending Lupino down.
Seewer dropped from 4th back to 13th as the race kicked off while Gajser passed Desalle and moved into third. Two laps later a mistake and missed jump from Jonass allowed Gajser to take 2nd while Paulin passed both Desalle and Jonass for 3rd. Ivo Monticelli was the next to make moves as he got past Desalle and Jonass the next lap.
Jonass' Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Teammate Arminas Jasikonis was on a mission and came from 7th position passing Desalle, Jonass, and Monticelli for 4th. As time and the laps ticked away Gajser was unable to recover from the gap Cairoli created early while Paulin rode strong to hold off the final charges of Jasikonis. The top five was rounded out by another Husqvarna but not that of Jonass, instead it was taken by a surprisingly strong ride from A1M Husqvarna's Tanel Leok.
Antonio Cairoli, "First of all it is nice to be back in Italy, it is a very difficult race for me because there are many things to do, even in the week before but I also really like it because of all the fans it is nice to hear them cheering. We had a good start today and luckily we could stay out front to take home the qualification race win."
Tim Gajser,"I am feeling good to be back racing after the break. Today went good, I was feeling good on the bike, and on the track. I didn't have the best start so I had to pass a couple of riders, when I got behind Tony he already had a good lead so I just stayed there and tried to find some nice lines for tomorrow."
MXGP Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 25:11.694; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:15.084; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:20.879; 4. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:27.612; 5. Tanel Leok (EST, Husqvarna), +0:31.096; 6. Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), +0:33.419; 7. Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:35.190; 8. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:36.873; 9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:38.769; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, KTM), +0:40.69.
Main Photo: Antonio Cairoli
Bottom Photos: 1. Tim Gajser; 2. Gautier Paulin
Today's MX2 Qualifying race was one of the most interesting of its kind this season so far with the pair of F&H Racing Kawasaki's ridden by Adam Sterry and Henry Jacobi starting in first and second.
Meanwhile the usual strong start of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Jorge Prado was missing as he came out of the first few turns outside of the top ten. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Tom Vialle was in 3rd out of turn 2 but by the time the first lap had been recorded he'd dropped 2 positions to 5th.
With Sterry leading Jacobi 2nd and Prado 8th Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's Thomas Kjer Olsen found himself in 4th behind Team 114 Motorsports' Mitch Evans. Meanwhile Henry Jacobi took the lead from his teammate only to fall and drop to 14th immediately after.
The fall from Jacobi not only returned the lead to Sterry but also moved a handful of other riders forward a position including Olsen who then put his head down over the next 5 laps before passing Evans. 3 laps later, and just as Prado started to receive pressure from Honda Redmoto Assomotor's Mathys Boisrame, Tom Vialle caught an edge through the waves eject the young Frenchman over the bars and out of the race.
In the same lap as Vialle's crash Olsen took the lead from Sterry which then ended 2 laps later when he passed the checkered flag as the top qualifier. Sterry's impressive ride will give him 2nd gate pick tomorrow ahead of Evans, Prado, and Boisrame.
Thomas Kjser Olsen,"It was great to be out there again, I got off the start a little bit bad so I had some work to do but I just tried to work on my technique because the track was quite difficult. I worked my way up through the pack but I was just taking it kind of easy knowing it was qualifying, I saw Adam and knew I could do it so I thought why not go for it, I just felt good out there and felt in control. It was good to get the win."
The top Qualifying Italian rider was Yamaha Action MC Migliori's Michele Cervellin who said, "It was not too bad of a qualifying result in 10th but I hope to have a better result tomorrow. We are close to my home and I have many fans here so I hope to have a good race."
MX2 Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), 25:37.634; 2. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:03.962; 3. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:07.449; 4. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:14.209; 5. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Honda), +0:15.157; 6. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:16.220; 7. Davy Pootjes (NED, Husqvarna), +0:22.382; 8. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +0:24.269; 9. Henry Jacobi (GER, Kawasaki), +0:25.703; 10. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Yamaha), +0:31.233
Main Photo: Thomas Kjer Olsen
Bottom Photo: 1. Adam Sterry; 2. Mitchell Evans
Click here to obtain the complete results
All the photos from the Monster Energy MXGP of Lombardia will be available HERE
MONSTER ENERGY MXGP OF LOMBARDIA – QUICK FACTS
Circuit length: 1660
Type of ground: hard sand
Weather conditions: cloudy
MXGP will be available across the board in high definition and is also globally available to view live and in HD on MXGP-TV.com. Click here for the complete list of countries and cooperating MXGP broadcasting networks.
SUNDAY: 09:45 EMX2T Race 2, 10:25 MX2 Warm-Up,10:45 MXGP Warm-Up, 11:30 EMX125 Race, 13:15 MX2 Race 14:15 MXGP Race, 16:10 MX2 Race 2, 17:10 MXGP Race 2