ALL SET FOR THE BATTLE BY THE BALTIC AT THE MXGP OF LATVIA

MONACO (Principality of Monaco) 5 June 2024 – The 2024 FIM Motocross World Championships head straight from Germany to the MXGP of Latvia as the Zelta Zirgs Motocenter near the town of Kegums welcomes the ninth round of the series to its sandy terrain! 

Kegums has hosted 18 MXGP rounds since it first ran an MX3 Grand Prix back in 2005, won by the Belgian Sven Breugelmans. It has been on the MXGP calendar every year since 2009, when Antonio Cairoli and Rui Goncalves took the wins in MX1 & MX2, apart from 2014 when it saw a hard-fought Motocross of Nations, won by Team France at the start of a five-year winning streak.

Kegums has been a happy hunting ground for Jeffrey Herlings, with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing legend notching up a record 7 Grand Prix wins in the soft terrain, including his most recent one, just over a year ago when he registered his only perfect 60-point scoring weekend to date, winning Saturday’s RAM Qualifying Race as well as both races on Sunday. 

Last year’s MX2 winner was this year’s points leader, Kay de Wolf on the Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing machine.  Both victorious Dutchmen would sadly get injured very soon after to leave them unable to challenge for the 2023 world titles.

The EMX250 Championship reaches its halfway point as the sixth round of eleven, and Mathis Valin holds the red plate on his Bud Racing Kawasaki after two straight overall wins. Gabriel SS24 KTM’s Cas Valk and Beddini GASGAS Factory Juniors star Valerio Lata are just four points apart in second and third, but the Dutchman is 26 back from Valin. One half of Latvia’s favourite teenage Motocross brothers, Karlis Reisulis, is 8th in the points for VRT Yamaha Racing, and after representing Latvia in last year’s Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations he will get the crowd behind him for sure!

The EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing series also returns, with Hungarian Noel Zanocz  leading for the Fantic Factory Racing EMX125 team, while Racestore KTM Factory Rookies star Gyan Doensen is 17 points back in second! Zanocz’s Italian teammate Simone Mancini has won the last two rounds to lift himself up to third, just 7 points back from the Dutchman. Local rider Markuss Ozolins is 9th in the points but has reached the top five in a few races on his GASGAS and will enjoy a lot of vocal support from his home crowd!

 


The reigning MXGP World Champion, Jorge Prado of the Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing team, will be praying that the weather doesn’t throw up any surprises at Kegums, as it is only when the rain has poured that he has not emerged victorious from a Grand Prix so far in 2024!  Even though he enjoyed his sixth GP win of the season at the Liqui Moly MXGP of Germany, he still lies just two points ahead of Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, who has been the model of consistency and taken advantage when Prado has struggled in wet conditions.

Jeffrey Herlings has moved up into third in the series for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, sitting 66 points behind the leader and in dire need of breaking his one-year winning drought if he is to mount a challenge for this year’s world title.  He passed the Kawasaki Racing Team front-runner Romain Febvre for the season, as the Frenchman pulled out of race one in Germany due to pain from his injured right thumb, and is questionable for this weekend’s event.

Herlings’ record of 7 victories at Kegums consists of three wins in MX2 – in 2010 (his second ever GP win), 2013, and 2016, while he took MXGP honours in 2017, ’18, the third race there in 2020, and of course last season.  He also holds the race wins record of 14. Gajser has won the overall at Kegums four times - 2016, ’19, ’21, and ’22 – with 6 race wins, but Prado has only ever taken the winner’s trophy away once, back in his dominant 2019 MX2 campaign. His only 450 win there was back in 2021. Febvre has been on the podium five times but never quite taken the overall verdict in Latvia, despite taking race wins in 2015 & ‘16.

Another active rider with fond memories of Kegums is Fantic Factory Racing MXGP star Glenn Coldenhoff. Two of his six career GP wins have been here, one in 2015 for Suzuki and more recently the first ever GP win for GASGAS in the first of the three 2020 events.

Pauls Jonass  sadly suffered arm and shoulder injuries in a first corner crash at Teutschenthal last weekend, which leave him unable to compete at his home Grand Prix. A sad blow for the Latvian hero who was enjoying his best season in the class so far, and we all wish him a speedy recovery.
With Jonass out of action the Latvian crowd will have two wildcards to cheer on, in the shape of Tomass Sileika and Uldis Freibergs, son of former Grand Prix rider Lauris.

A win for any of the leading contenders would be a massive psychological boost at one of the toughest tracks of the season, and the battle is sure to be as intense as ever!

 

MXGP - World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 402 Points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 400 Points;  3. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 336 Pts; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 327 Points; 5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HON), 274 Pts; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, KAW), 267 Pts; 7. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 263 Pts; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, FAN), 231 Pts; 9. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, HON), 161 Pts; 10. Valentin Guillod (SUI, HON), 151 Pts.

 

     

Main Photo: MXGP Start Kegums 2023

Bottom Photos: 1. Jeffrey Herlings; 2. Jorge Prado

 


The MX2 class has seen the momentum swing in three different directions so far, with Kay de Wolf taking the first three GP wins for Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing, Liam Everts the next two for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, and now it is the other Husky-mounted star Lucas Coenen who has an active streak of three in a row.  This has seen him climb to second in the standings, 59 points behind his red plate holding teammate.  Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing man Simon Laengenfelder has been knocked back to third, but that is still credible for the German after he suffered a collarbone break in Portugal. He sits four points back from Lucas.

Everts and his teammate Andrea Adamo, the reigning Champion in the class, are fourth and fifth, while Mikkel Haarup has moved up to sixth for Monster Energy Triumph Racing.

De Wolf is the only previous winner at Kegums to line up in MX2 this year, after his perfect 60-point haul in 2023 which earned him his first red plate.  He will be keen to put a stamp on the series again as a GP winner, something he has not been able to repeat since the MXGP of Sardegna, two months ago.  No one else in the class has even stood on the podium at this circuit before, although Lucas Coenen took a second in race two last season.

The big question is now who can stop the Husqvarna express train as they roll into another sandy venue which is where both of their riders are so strong!  It could be a battle of the teammates, but don’t be surprised to see any of the other top seven challengers to fire themselves into contention!

 

MX2 - World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 396 Points; 2. Lucas Coenen (BEL, HUS), 337 Pts;  3. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 333 Points;  4. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 304 Pts; 5. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 299 Pts;  6. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, TRI), 252 Pts; 7. Rick Elzinga (NED, YAM), 249 Pts; 8. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 226 Pts; 9. Sacha Coenen (BEL, KTM), 178 Pts; 10. Quentin Prugnieres (FRA, KAW). 152 Pts.

     

Main Photo: MX2 Start Kegums 2023

Bottom Photos: 1. Lucas Coenen; 2. Mikkel Haarup

 

 

Don’t miss your chance to watch the MXGP of Latvia this weekend. Get your tickets HERE!

All the photos from the MXGP of Latvia will be available HERE.

You can find the complete results HERE.

 

TIMETABLE 

SATURDAY: 8:20 EMX125 Group 1 Free practice, 8:50 EMX125 Group 2 Free practice, 9:20 EMX250 Free practice, 9:50 EMX125 Group 1 Qualifying Practice, 10:30 MX2 Time Practice, 11:00 MXGP Free Practice, 12:20 EMX125 Group 2 Qualifying Practice,13:00 EMX250 Qualifying Practice, 13:40 MX2 Time Practice, 14:15 MXGP Time Practice, 15:00 EMX125 Race 1, 15:45 EMX250 Race 1, 16:35 MX2 RAM Qualifying Race, 17:25 MXGP RAM Qualifying Race.

SUNDAY: 09:45 EMX125 Race 2, 10:25 MX2 Warm-up, 10:45 MXGP Warm-up, 11:30 EMX250 Race 2, 13:15 MX2 Race 1, 14:15 MXGP Race 1, 16:10 MX2 Race 2, 17:10 MXGP Race 2.

 

LINKS

Infront Moto Racing

FIM

FIM Europe

Kegums
 

Author: 
Infront Moto Racing

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