News 26 Feb 2017

Cairoli takes clean-sweep in Qatar MXGP opener

Jonass does the double in MX2, Lawrence finishes 11th overall.

Source: Supplied.

Grand prix legend Antonio Cairoli has won both races in Qatar’s opening round of the 2017 MXGP World Championship at the Losail Circuit.

The Italian registered his first double since Germany last season and takes the initial world championship lead, joined on the podium by world champion Tim Gajser and Clement Desalle (Monster Energy Kawasaki).

While Cairoli dominated the opening moto with an 8.9s advantage, he was forced to chase down Team Honda HRC’s Gajser in the second outing and passed in the closing laps to secure the double. Gajser went 3-2. Desalle 2-4.

Former world champion Romain Febvre (Monster Energy Yamaha) was only fifth overall with a 10-2 scorecard, however his runner-up in moto two indicates he will be a factor once again in 2017. Fourth on points was Evgeny Bobryshev (Team Honda HRC).

A broken right hand resulted in a difficult premier class debut for Jeffrey Herlings (Red Bull KTM), finishing 18th in moto one and 11th in the second for 15th overall.

In MX2, like his KTM counterpart Cairoli, Pauls Jonass won both motos in an encouraging start to the season. Second overall was Benoit Paturel (Yamaha) after going 2-2, with Julien Lieber (KTM) third via a 3-3.

Leading Australian on debut in the world championship was Team Suzuki World MX2’s Hunter Lawrence, claiming 18th in moto one, but bouncing back to sixth in the second. Jay Wilson (iFly JK Yamaha) went 27-26 for 28th overall, while Caleb Ward (8Biano Racing Husqvarna) didn’t register any finishes.

More to come.