News 13 Feb 2017

European pre-season races continue for GP regulars

Mixed bag of winners between Italian and French events.

Source: Supplied.

MXGP World Championship pre-season preparation continued over the weekend for regular contenders as they sharpened their racecraft in popular international events.

The third and final round of the 2017 Italian Motocross Championship took place in Ottobiano on Sunday where it was a Red Bull KTM championship sweep in the MX1 and MX2 categories.

Jeremy van Horebeek was able to top eight-time world champion, Antonio Cairoli, in the MX1 category, relegating the Italian to second position ahead of Evgeny Bobryshev, Tanel Leok and Valentin Guillod.

Premier class rookie, Jeffrey Herlings, was forced out of the event after going down hard aboard his Red Bull KTM and taking reigning world champion, Tim Gajser, down in the process.

In the Elite category it was Cairoli who claimed the overall crown for 2017 with a win at the season finale. Behind him in the points it was Van Horebeek, Jose Butron, 2015 world champion, Romain Febvre and Jorge Prado.

With a strong and consistent 2017 campaign, Cairoli wrapped up the MX1 championship 20 points ahead of Van Horebeek in second, followed by Bobryshev in third, Gajser in fourth and Leok rounding out the top five.

In the MX2 category it was Team Honda HRC’s Michelle Cervellin who topped the charts, beating out Red Bull KTM’s Prado for the top spot as Samuele Bernardini, Valvin Vlaanderen and Giuseppe Tropepe claimed the remaining top five spots.

Australia’s Caleb Ward was 17th in MX2 as he gains seat time aboard his 8Biano Racing Husqvarna entry ahead of his maiden grand prix season in the quarter-litre category.

Overall it was the Spanish rider, Prado, who took home the championship crown on 300 points ahead of round winner, Cervellin, Brian Bogers, Bernardini and Benoit Paturel of France.

In France at the 2017 Lacapelle Marival International Motocross, it was Clement Desalle who took out the MX1 overall aboard his Monster Energy Kawasaki entry.

Desalle used a 1-3-1 moto scorecard to take out the victory ahead of teammate Jordi Tixier, Suzuki World MXGP’s Arminas Jasikonis, Suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos and Rockstar Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin.

In the MX2 category it was Paturel who claimed victory in his home country, topping Suzuki World MXGP’s Jeremy Seewer, Thomas Kjer-Olsen, Conrad Mewse and Thomas Covington.

Australia’s Hunter Lawrence put together a strong performance aboard his factory Suzuki entry, notching a sixth place finish against a strong field of world championship contenders.