Only days after the last Grand Prix in Lommel, Belgium, MXGP is ready to take on Switzerland for the 15th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship. The popular MXGP of Switzerland presented by iXS will return to Frauenfeld – Gachnangfor the second year in a row after a 15 year hiatus. 2016 hosted not just amazing racing but also an epic crowd with an incredible atmosphere that many riders are looking forward to seeing again this year.
While MXGP and MX2 lead the way, EMX250, EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing, and EMX300 Presented by FMF Racing will all take part in this weekend’s busy racing schedule. EMX250 last raced in Portugal where American Monster Energy BUD Racing rider Tristan Charbonneau took double victories but Yamaha SM Action’s Simone Furlotti took the points lead from Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Morgan Lesiardo. In EMX125 presented by FMF Racing Monster Energy BUD Racing’s Brian Moreau leads the points but Mikkel Haarup is closing the gap. This weekend is also the last stop of the EMX300 presented by FMF Racing championship which Brad Anderson leads by 21 points over GL12’s Mike Kras. Kras has the momentum after taking the last overall in Belgium but it may be a little too late for the Dutchman.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing comes to Switzerland after sweeping the podium last week in Belgium. In the MXGP class Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings has the speed and momentum after beating teammates Antonio Cairoli and Glenn Coldenhoff last weekend.
Cairoli however has the points lead and while he doesn’t need to win to secure the title he isn’t one known to back down. Cairoli won the Swiss GP in 2016 and will look be shooting for 2 years in a row this time out. Another advantage for Cairoli is that Herlings has no history racing the Swiss GP because he was out with an injury this time last year.
Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle had been second in the points for quite some time until Herlings took the spot away. Desalle is having a consistent season and has already won once. This year he will look to improve on his 2016 finish of 10th.
Frenchman and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin was running well in Belgium until a mistake dropped him back. Since the last race Paulin has been named team captain and MXGP rider for the 2017 French MXoN team. Paulin took 4th last year in Switzerland.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser had a frustrating Lommel racing and he is focused on rebounding to the podium for this weekend and it is a reasonable goal seeing he took 2nd in 2016.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team’s Romain Febvre could be somewhat of a dark horse for this GP. He hasn’t had the season of past years but he did mesh well with the Swiss circuit in 2016 when he took third overall after a second in race 2.
Another rider who will want to impress is the Wilvo Yamaha MXGP’s Arnaud Tonus. Tonus is a Swiss native and would like nothing more than to have a season best result at home.
MXGP Championship Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 567 points; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 468 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 462 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 446 p.; 5. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 376 p.; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 365 p.; 7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 336 p.; 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 320 p.; 9. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 303 p.; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 302 p.
2016 MXGP of Switzerland Presented by iXS MXGP Top 3
- Antonio Cairoli
- Tim Gajser
- Romain Febvre
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass had a difficult weekend in Belgium crashing on the start of race but would still score a podium finish to extend his points lead over Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer.
For Seewer this is his home GP and one he looks forward to. Seewer finished second in Switzerland last year but only to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie who now rides in the MXGP division.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen still holds down third in the points and he comes off a good weekend in Belgium. Olsen raced the Swiss GP last year and took 8th.
Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team’s Benoit Paturel was also caught up in last weekend’s first turn crash but wouldn’t respond as well as Jonass. Paturel is in his last year of MX2 and he was just announced as the replacement rider for team France. Paturel will be keen to score good result this weekend and in the further four races to follow.
One more rider who wants to finish his final MX2 season strong is LRT KTM’s Julien Lieber. Lieber has a good past week starting when he was named to team Belgium for the 2017 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations, then a podium overall in Lommel, and now it has been announced he will ride alongside Clement Desalle aboard a Monster Energy Kawasaki in 2018. Lieber is surely feeling good and, with the reassurance of riding for KRT next season, he will be able to focus solely on the races at hand which could help him to reach the podium once again.
MX2 Championship Top Ten: 1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 589 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 539 p.; 3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 437 p.; 4. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 429 p.; 5. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 412 p.; 6. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 351 p.; 7. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 315 p.; 8. Brian Bogers (NED, KTM), 294 p.; 9. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, SUZ), 246 p.; 10. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 246 p.
2016 MXGP of Switzerland Presented by iXS MX2 Top 3
- Max Anstie
- Jeremy Seewer
- Benoit Paturel