Another GP and another master class from Jorge Prado, there’s nothing much else to say right now!
It’s been a tough few GP’s for Thomas Kjer Olsen but he was much more like his old self at Imola. The Dane tends to get bad starts due to being so heavy but that wasn’t the case this weekend as for his standards he took two good starts and that always makes life easier for any rider.
Olsen finished second in both moto’s for second overall. It meant Prado has to wait another week to secure his second MX2 World Championship title. As for Olsen, it’s all about 2020. It’ll be his last year in the MX2 World Championship and perhaps his best chance to clinch the title without a Prado or a Jonass. That’s what he’s going to work for over the winter but we’ll have to wait and see if he can deliver that world title. It would be the perfect way to bow out of MX2.
It was a special weekend for French talent, Maxime Renaux. The SM-Action Yamaha rider really hasn’t had it easy with lots of injures but this year he’s managed to stay fit to show us what he can really do. Renaux was close to the podium twice in Indoesnia but he finally made it happen in Imola.
A 3-4 scorecard was enough to secure third overall and his first podium in the MX2 World Championship. You have to admire Renaux’s determination, with the injuries he’s had it would have been easy to give up but he’s continued to work hard and we are now being reminded of his talents. Renaux now sits seventh in the World Championship standings and only eleven points behind sixth which he’ll look to make up. In 2020, Renaux could be a a surprise package and a regular podium visitor.
One rider that’s pretty under rated is Iker Larranaga, the Spanish rider doesn’t do so well in the sand but if he gets good starts in hard pack he can run comfortably in the top ten. The Marchetti KTM rider showed that in Imola as he got two top ten results.
Larranaga finished seventh in both moto’s to secure sixth overall. It’s his best result of the season and moves him up to fifteenth in the world championship which isn’t bad at all considering his injury. He’ll hope to end the season with this kind of form to secure an MXGP ride in 2020 as this year is his last in MX2.
It’s really hard not to be impressed with the young Rene Hofer. It’s easy to forget but he’s a rookie on the 250cc as it’s his first full season on it after moving up from the 125cc. To already show the pace he’s showing is very encouraging.
In the first moto, Hofer finished in sixth and right on the back wheel of Mathys Boisrame – a guy who’s stood on the MX2 podium this year. The young Austrian suffered from two crashes in the second moto but still finished eleventh to show speed wasn’t the problem. There’s not really much hype around the Austrian but he deserves it – he’s fast! The decision KTM and Hofer will need to make is whether to stay in the EMX250 series in 2020 or make the move to the MX2 World Championship. With his strong ride in Imola he’s done his MX2 chances no harm at all.
In the past, Alvin Ostlund hasn’t had great races at tough hard pack tracks like Imola but he seemed to click with the track this weekend. The Revo Husqvarna rider ended up tenth overall which is a good result for the Swede. It comes at a good time as he’s on the look out for a ride in 2020 which will be his last year in the class.
Two Italian’s impressed in front of their home crowd. Since winning the EMX250 championship and jumping up to the MX2 World Championship, things haven’t been great for the talented Morgan Lesiardo. However, he looked good in Lommel and in Imola he ended up eleventh overall which is a big step in the right direction. He’s got the talent, maybe he just needs to believe in himself a bit more because he’s capable of top ten results.
He usually contests in the EMX250 series but in Imola Nicholas Lapucci secured an MX2 entry and he more then held his own racing in the World Championship. Twelfth overall is a very good result and something to build on. Someone like Lapucci could benefit more from riding in the MX2 class than the frantic EMX250 series.
Young Slovenian, Jan Pancar has improved lots this year and he showed that in the first moto. The Yamaha rider didn’t get a great start in the first moto as he was outside the top twenty but he passed some top riders and ended up tenth – a superb ride! In the second moto he suffered from a crash so ended up twentieth but that first moto will have done his confidence the world of good.
Article: Andy McKinstry