The first day of racing ended with Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jago Geerts dominating the MXGP and MX2 qualifying races, to secure pole positions for the bikes of tomorrow.
Pauls Jonass (Standing Construct Husqvarna Factory Racing) put in an impressive performance, keeping championship leader Tim Gajser of the HRC team at bay to finish second, which gave something to his home crowd. rejoice.
Alongside the FIM Motocross World Championship qualifying action, we also witnessed the first races of the EMX125 presented by the FMF Racing and EMX Open categories, with local heroes and brothers Janis Martins Reisulis and Karlis Alberts Reisulis from Yamaha Europe EMX125 MJC going 1-2 for an impressive result in the 125cc opening round. In the EMX Open, victory ultimately went to Jose Butron of JD Gunnex after a penalty was awarded to Giuseppe Tropepe.
As the gate fell for the MXGP qualifying round, it was Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado who got off to a strong start and led the way ahead of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Seewer who was second very briefly, although home favorite Pauls Jonass of Standing Construct Husqvarna Factory Racing was quick to round the Swiss, who then dropped to third place ahead of Team HRC’s Tim Gajser.
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Maxime Renaux crashed out on the opening lap, as Seewer made his own mistake dropping down to sixth, letting Honda 114 Motorsports’ Ruben Fernandez, Standing Construct Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gajser and Brian Bogers pass.
For nearly four laps, Fernandez held Gajser at bay which made it difficult for the Slovenian to move. Gajser was patient and on lap five was able to find a way and focus his attention on Jonass in front of him.
Diga Procross KTM Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen had a big crash on the same lap, coming out of 10th. He quickly received medical attention, but the consequences of this accident are not yet known as we are awaiting an official update from his team.
Fernandez then crashed as well, as Gajser grabbed the back of Jonass, who was about 3.685 seconds behind Prado, who was set on his pace and striding away.
Gajser then came off the track as he pushed to pass the Latvian, while further down the peloton Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing’s Calvin Vlaanderen battled through the peloton, as he was 11th and then 8th at the end of the race. Fernandez was also able to move up to sixth ahead of Jordi Tixier of JT911 KTM Racing.
In the end, Prado won his first qualifying race of 2022 crossing the line 4.639 seconds ahead of Jonass who was able to hold the position and keep Gajser behind him in third. Bogers finished fourth with Seewer fifth.
Jorge Prado: “It was a great qualifying race. I got the hole that’s what I really wanted to do, in the sand it’s good to start in front and then you can ride at your own pace and that’s what I did, pushed in a bit the first few minutes and then I controlled the race. The trail was tricky, but I enjoyed it. Thanks to the whole Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing team, we have been working to achieve this, thanks a lot guys, we are going in the right direction.
In MX2, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jago Geerts was the lead rider in and out of turn one, with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle, Nestaan Husqvarna Factory’s backup Jeremy Sydow. Racing, and Hitachi KTM’s Isak Gifting. powered by Milwaukee also getting off to a good start.
Big Van World MTX Kawasaki’s Mikkel Haarup had a good jump out of the gate, having been fastest in timed practice, but slipped to 9th on the first lap and had to climb the ranks.
Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kay de Wolf didn’t get the best start and had to come through the back of the pack. After a slow start, he was able to find a good rhythm to finish the moto 8th, giving him a decent starting position for tomorrow.
Although one rider to watch was F&H Kawasaki Racing’s Kevin Horgmo who, along with Haarup, made some good passes before catching the rear wheel of Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing’s Simon Längenfelder on lap two. At the same time, Gifting made the pass to Sydow for third place.
Gifting looked fast as he turned purple in sector one a few times and put in lap times fast enough to race with the frontrunners. Throughout the race he chipped away at Vialle’s lead ahead of him in second and with two laps to go he managed to make a pass to the championship leader.
All the while Haarup pushed Horgmo on Längenfelder’s back and after a few failed attempts Horgmo and Haarup managed to pass the German who fell to seventh. Haarup then looked like he was going to make a move on Horgmo before going down with just two laps to go and eventually came back to 19th.
Geerts ended up taking his fourth pole of 2022, winning 13.044 seconds ahead of Gifting and Vialle. Horgmo was fourth ahead of Sydow who made his impressive debut on the factory Husqvarna.
Jago Geerts: “I felt really good on the bike. I took the holeshot and pulled away throughout the race. I feel good and I feel ready for tomorrow. I will try to do the same to get a good result.