Courtesy of Husqvarna Motorcycles
American MX2 star Thomas Covington has claimed an impressive overall MX2 class win at the GP of Leon, collecting a fourth place result and a race win at the rough Mexican track. In what was a great GP for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing, Gautier Paulin earned a podium result getting third overall in MXGP class.
Confident of strong results at a track where the American had earned his first GP victory in 2015, Covington didn’t fail to deliver in Leon. The weekend started with Thomas getting a convincing qualifying race win to place himself on pole position for MX2’s final motos. Getting a good jump out of the gate in the opening moto, Covington found himself in sixth at the end of the first lap. Making some crucial passes he crossed the line fourth.
With his FC 250 machine powering him to the holeshot in moto two, Thomas made a smart and well-calculated race. Following Pauls Jonass for the first six laps, he made a successful move for the lead on lap seven and never looked back. Earning 43 points from the GP of Leon Covington climbed to eighth in the provisional MX2 championship standings.
Making the most out of a challenging GP, Covington’s Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MX2 teammate Thomas Kjer-Olsen wrapped up round four of the series with a seventh place overall result. Starting both motos outside the top 10 the FC 250 mounted rider had to push hard to collect two seventh place results in Leon. Earning valuable points Kjer-Olsen remains fifth in the MX2 championship standings.
Following tough times during the last few rounds Conrad Mewse sat out of the Mexican GP. The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MX2 rider will return to action at the following round of the series in Italy.
In the MXGP category, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin enjoyed a solid weekend of racing in Mexico. The Frenchman kicked off a highly positive round four with a strong runner-up result in the qualifying race. Capitalising on a great start in the opening MXGP moto Gautier found himself fighting for the runner-up spot, before eventually settling for a strong third place result.
Getting an even better start in moto two Paulin put himself in third at the end of the opening lap. Successfully defending his place until the end of the race, he wrapped up the GP with one more third place result to get on the MXGP podium for the first time this season. Earning important championship points Paulin moved to fifth in the class’ points standings.
The GP of Leon saw Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl battle through a challenging race weekend to claim eighth overall in MXGP class. Showing good speed in both motos the German collected 7/8 moto results and is currently placed ninth in the MXGP provisional standings.
For Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie the GP of Leon was an event of mixed fortunes. Earning third in the MXGP qualifying race the Brit was confident of positive results in the final motos. Making a small mistake after the start of the opening moto Anstie pushed hard to finish the race in ninth. Getting a better start in moto two the Brit suffered a crash that forced him to settle for 13th.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will return to action at round five of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship in Italy on April 15/16.
Thomas Covington: “It was one of the best GPs of my career. I felt good throughout the weekend and that helped me stay focused and do my own races. Following our qualifying race win we had a great gate pick for the final motos. I didn’t get the best of starts in moto one but got my head down and managed to get fourth. My start was a lot better in moto two. I got the holeshot and soon found myself in second behind Jonass. I spotted some good lines and was able to make my move for the lead a few laps later. Winning the second moto and getting the overall victory is a great confidence booster. We had a rough start to this championship but things are a lot better now. I’m looking forward to the races to come.”
Thomas Kjer-Olsen: “It was a difficult weekend but we did our best to collect points for the championship. We struggled a bit with the track and the high altitude but worked hard and made progress during the weekend. My starts were not good so I had to push hard in both motos. In the first race I went as high as sixth but made a small mistake before the end and had to settle for seventh. Then again in moto two I was outside the top ten at the end of lap one. I made some passes and got seventh again for seventh overall at the GP. Despite tough conditions we collected valuable points and remain fifth in the MX2 championship standings. We’re heading to Europe now and we will keep fighting to go even higher in the standings.”
Gautier Paulin: “Everything is coming together for us and it feels really rewarding to get on the podium. We’ve made big improvements with the bike and I’ve also managed to improve my starts. We were strong throughout the weekend in Mexico. From the time practice to the qualifying heat and the final motos we were always inside the top three. In moto one I made a good start and managed to cross the line in third. My start was even better in moto two. Despite feeling a bit tired I managed to get a good race pace to end up third again. I can’t thank all my team enough for all their hard work. I’m having fun on my bike at the moment and our goal now is to consistently battle for the podium at each GP.”
Max Nagl: “It was a tough GP for us and I’m glad we managed to salvage some good points. I feel that all the travelling we’ve done this season has affected my body and I felt tired throughout the weekend. Despite a not so great gate pick I got two good starts. In moto one I was running in fourth before eventually dropping to seventh. Then in moto two I was again running close to the top but had to settle for eighth. The work continues for us and I can’t wait to get back to Europe for the next GPs. I’m looking forward to returning to our normal training and racing schedule. I know the speed is there so it’s up to me now to show we can battle for the top.”
Max Anstie: “Overall, I’m satisfied with my performance. I rode strong and showed the speed is there. The weekend started quite well with a top three in the qualifying heat. In moto one I was a bit too eager to get a good start so made a small mistake after the gate dropped. I made some good passes during the moto to end up inside the top ten in ninth. Then in moto two I was running in sixth but made a mistake and crashed. My bike works very well and I’m confident we’re moving towards the right direction. It was great Gautier got on the podium and I’m hoping we’ll have more than one Husqvarna machines on the box in the following GPs.”
Results – FIM Motocross World Championship, Round 4
MXGP - Overall
1. Tim Gajser (Honda) 50 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 40; 3. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 40… 8. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 27… 11. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 20… 19. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 5; 20. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 3
MXGP - Race 1
1. Tim Gajser (Honda) 18 laps, 34:45.401; 2. Evgeny Bobryshev (Honda) 35:00.310; 3. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 35:00.835… 7. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 35:22.281… 9. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 35:26.963… 19. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 36:25.361; 20. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 36:26.248
MXGP - Race 2
1. Tim Gajser (Honda) 18 laps, 35:03.806; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 35:19.030; 3. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 35:29.870… 8. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 36:01.915… 13. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 36:35.657… 18. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 36:57.097; 19. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 17 laps, 35:26.741
MX2 - Overall
1. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 43pts; 2. Jeremy Seewer (Suzuki) 43; 3. Julien Lieber (KTM) 40… 7. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 28… 12. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 17… 15. Anton Gole (Husqvarna) 10
MX2 - Race 1
1. Jeremy Seewer (Suzuki) 18 laps, 35:36.310; 2. Benoit Paturel (Yamaha) 35:44.232; 3. Julien Lieber (KTM) 35:49.401; 4. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 35:54.861… 7. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 35:59.595… 12. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 36:25.257… 15. Anton Gole (Husqvarna) 36:34.160… 21. Ivan Petrov (Husqvarna) 17 laps, 35:46.625
MX2 - Race 2
1. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 17 laps, 34:03.198; 2. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 34:07.012; 3. Julien Lieber (KTM) 34:08.492… 7. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 34:35.421… 13. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 35:00.356… 17. Anton Gole (Husqvarna) 35:17.679… 21. Ivan Petrov (Husqvarna) 16 laps, 34:37.258
Championship Standings (After Round 4)
1. Tim Gajser (Honda) 156 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 136; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 119… 5. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 112… 9. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 73… 11. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 69… 17. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 35… 19. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 29
1. Jeremy Seewer (Suzuki) 153 points; 2. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 145; 3. Benoit Paturel (Yamaha) 139… 5. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 127… 8. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 83… 17. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 43… 21. Anton Gole (Husqvarna) 24… 23. Caleb Ward (Husqvarna) 14… 28. Conrad Mewse (Husqvarna) 6… 30. Aaron Tanti (Husqvarna) 1
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