ROUND FIVE COMES ALIVE AT THE MXGP OF PORTUGAL

MONACO (Principality of Monaco) 1 May 2024 – After a two-week break, the MXGP Motocross World Championship kicks back into life with the MXGP of Portugal at the stunning Crossódromo Internacional de Águeda in the north-western part of the country. 

With a history stretching back to 1985, when Dutchman Davy Strijbos took the win on a 125cc Honda, the Agueda circuit has seen victories for legends such as Eric Geboers, Jacky Martens, Alessio Chiodi, and Ben Townley in its glorious history.  For the riders with the most wins, you need only go to the top of the all-time GP winners list, as both Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings have won 5 times, with Stefan Everts the record holder before them with 4 victories.  Amazingly, Cairoli is clearly out in front with a total of 12 individual race wins compared to Herlings on 7 and Everts on 6. 

With its instantly recognisable red dirt and dark green forest as a backdrop, the Portuguese venue is a photographer’s delight, and with both native Portuguese and travelling Spanish fans packing the trackside banking, the atmosphere is bound to drive the riders to further heights as they start a three-week run of back-to-back-to-back Grand Prix action!

The EMX125 Championship Presented by FMF holds its third round of the year in Portugal, with Fantic Factory Racing EMX125 rider Noel Zanocz from Hungary holding a slender 8-point Championship lead over Racestore KTM Factory Rookies star Gyan Doensen. Spain’s Salvador Perez holds third for the RFME GASGAS MX Junior Team. 

The EMX250 series is also on to its third round, and Italian Valerio Lata has won three of the four races so far this season for the Beddini GASGAS Factory Juniors squad, building a 16-point gap over BUD RACING Kawasaki’s Mathis Valin. The Frenchman won an EMX125 race at Agueda last year so he will feel confident of closing down the leader.  Spanish youngster Francisco Garcia should enjoy some Iberian support as he lies 4th for the RFME GASGAS MX Junior Team, behind Gabriel SS24 KTM’s Cas Valk who looks to improve on 3rd. 

 

The reigning MXGP World Champion Jorge Prado still leads the Championship for Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing, although he lost a few points over the MXGP of Trentino weekend to his main opposition, so Tim Gajser is now just 13 points behind for Team HRC. Kawasaki Racing Team leader Romain Febvre re-passed Jeffrey Herlings for third in the series after winning the first race at Pietramurata, but still lies 45 points behind the red plate holder, ten ahead of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing spearhead.

The Champion has, like Everts, won six races at the Portuguese venue so far, taking double race victories in both of his MX2 title-winning years of 2018 & ’19, as well as the overall in MXGP in 2022, and the first race here last season.  His streak of four straight GP wins to start the year will certainly pull many fans across the border from his native Spain, although a few might wait until the MXGP of Galicia the following weekend at Lugo, the town where Prado was born.

Herlings won last year’s MXGP of Portugal, a result which pulled him level with Stefan Everts on 101 all-time Grand Prix wins, before he went on to claim two more last season.  He’ll be looking to add to that tally further, even after revealing that he actually sustained four broken ribs in his practice crash at the MXGP of Sardegna! “The Bullet” won at Agueda for three straight years in MX2 from 2011 to 2013, as well as a double defeat of Cairoli in MXGP in 2018.

Gajser has won three races here, but the only time he won overall was with a double victory in 2019. Febvre finished second to Herlings last year, which was his first podium appearance at Agueda, a rare circuit at which he has never won! Fantic Factory Racing’s Brian Bogers has good memories of the track, having finished third overall here behind Prado and Gajser in 2022.

Last year’s RAM Qualifying Race winner was Team HRC’s Ruben Fernandez, but he will miss this edition through injuries sustained in Argentina. Mattia Guadagnini is looking to return from injury for Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing, while the 2023 EMX250 winner, Andrea Bonacorsi, moves up to make his MXGP debut for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team.

Kawasaki Racing Team star Jeremy Seewer won an MX2 Grand Prix here in 2017, and he lies just sixth in the title chase, one point behind the man he beat into second that day, Standing Construct Honda rider Pauls Jonass.  The pair split the race wins that day, with Seewer taking the overall on the second race tiebreaker. 

The question still remains as to whether Jorge Prado will be able to keep his winning streak alive, or will anyone be able to stop the freight train in Portugal?!

 

MXGP - World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 219 Points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 206 Points; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 174 Points ; 4. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 164 Pts; 5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HON), 142 Pts; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, KAW), 141 Pts; 7. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 131 Pts; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, FAN), 118 Pts; 9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, HON) 88 Pts; 10. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, HON) 64 Pts; 

     

Main Photo: MXGP Start Portugal 2023 

Bottom Photos: 1. Jeffrey Herlings; 2. Romain Febvre

 

Dutch star Kay de Wolf carries the red plate for Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing into Portugal, and although he failed to win the Grand Prix for the first time this year in Trentino, he only lost three points over the weekend to his main chaser, Simon Laengenfelder of the Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing team. The gap at the top is now 26 points, with third-placed Thibault Benistant a further 39 points behind for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing MX2. Liam Everts took the win in Trentino for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, and moved himself up to 7th in the standings as he catches up from missing the MXGP of Argentina due to a pre-season thumb injury.

As is the case at several circuits this year, nobody in the current MX2 line-up has won a GP before at Agueda.  De Wolf has got closest with 3-2 finishes for 2nd overall last season behind Jago Geerts, while Mikkel Haarup of the Monster Energy Triumph Racing squad took 2nd overall here in 2022 with 4-2 scores.  Amazingly they are the only riders currently in MX2 to have taken a top three GP trophy away from Portugal.  Andrea Adamo was 2nd in the first race last year for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, and after a disappointing couple of GPs on Italian soil, the reigning MX2 World Champion will be hoping to lift himself from 5th in the standings, where he sits just 8 points behind Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Lucas Coenen, who himself is just a point behind Benistant in third!

The wildly unpredictable nature of the MX2 class leaves possibilities of the results going anywhere among the leading factory riders, and only the bravest would bet on any outcome!

 

MX2 - World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 213 Points; 2. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 187 Points; 3. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 148 Points; 4. Lucas Coenen (BEL, HUS), 147 Pts;.  5. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 139 Pts; 6. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, TRI), 131 Pts; 7. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 128 Pts; 8. Camden McLellan (RSA, TRI), 126 Pts; 9. Rick Elzinga (NED, YAM), 110 Pts; 10. Marc-Antoine Rossi (FRA, GAS), 101 Pts;

     

Main Photo: MX2 Start Portugal 2023 

Bottom Photos: 1. Liam Everts; 2. Thibault Benistant

 

 

Don’t miss your chance to watch the MXGP action in Portugal this weekend. Get your tickets HERE! and VIP TICKETS HERE 

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

You can find the complete results HERE.

 

TIMETABLE 

SATURDAY: 08:20 EMX125 Free practice Group 1, 08:50 EMX125 Free practice Group 2, 09:20 EMX250 Free practice, 09:50 EMX125 Qualifying practice Group 1, 10:30 MX2 Time Practice, 11:00 MXGP Free Practice, 12:20 EMX125 Qualifying practice Group 2, 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

Agueda
 

Author: 
Infront Moto Racing

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