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MX2 & MXGP: Who Impressed in Italy?

MX2 & MXGP: Who Impressed in Italy?
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MX2 and MXGP provided some great racing for us in Italy. Gatedrop will take a look at the riders that impressed over the course of the weekend in the premier classes.

MX2

History was made in MX2 at the weekend as Tim Gajser won his first ever GP! He is also the first rider from Slovenia to win a GP, impressive! Tim rode really well all weekend and got good starts, when Herlings got a bad start in the second moto then Tim grasped his chance to hold on for the win. I would say that is the best Tim has ever rode in his career as not only did he beat Herlings but he passed Tixier and ended up beating him by thirty-five seconds, that is very impressive. Tim probably can’t wait for Herlings to move up so he can challenge for the title but he will learn a lot from Herlings between now and the end of the season. KTM had Tim but let him go, he is one they will regret letting go!

The most impressive rider for me this weekend was Benoit Paturel, the Kemea rode well all weekend. He had a dream ride in the second moto as he was in fourth for half of the moto and then held of Ferrandis for a number of laps. This will really help with Benoit’s confidence as he knows he is capable of running at the front now, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a lot more top five’s before the end of the season. He isn’t the best in sand so Valkenswaard might not be great for him but France have yet another top talent coming through, an eighth overall was a great weekend for him.

I don’t want to speak to soon but it looks like Steve Dixon has got a good package this year as the Kawasaki seems to be working well for Max Anstie and the machinery seems like its reliable. Max rode well in the first moto and nearly snatched third from Tixier but just ran out of time, he ended up seventh in the second moto to finish fifth overall. Since Max has come to the GP’s he has struggled to finish in the top five or get podiums consistently. I feel like this is the year that Max should put everything together and be better than in previous years!

Brent Van Doninck isn’t well known for his hard pack riding and the track was tough so I don’t think he would have exactly loved it. Brent rode really well all weekend and ended up ninth overall ahead of top names like Lieber and Jonass. A very impressive weekend for the Belgian and he will only get better as he will learn a lot in MX2. It seems that Kemea Yamaha have a good package as Brent and Benoit both did really well, the team may struggle keeping them for next year if they keep these results coming!

MXGP

MXGP has been surprising so far this year and Max Nagl won his third GP this weekend.  Max was all over Cairoli in the first moto but just couldn’t make the move but he definitely did look quicker. Max confirmed that he was quicker in the second moto as he simply dominated from start to finish and Cairoli had nothing for him. It’s hard to believe that Nagl has won three out of four GP’s but doesn’t even have the red plate! Nagl is unbeatable at the moment when he gets out of the gate, he will not make it easy for Cairoli in Valkenswaard, that’s for sure!

Rider of the season so far? It’s close between Nagl and Romain Febvre. Romain has been a revelation in MXGP and I think it’s going unnoticed if I’m honest, being a rookie in that class is not easy. After 4 rounds he is now fourth in the series ahead of Paulin, RV and Van Horebeek etc. Febvre was flying in the second moto as he started seventh and worked his way into third and put Cairoli under intense pressure, he almost made the move in the last lap but just couldn’t do it.  He is learning every weekend with MXGP and I believe he will only get better, the future is bright for this kid!

A rider who is massively going under the radar this year has to be Davide Guarneri. The Factory TM rider ended up eighth overall, that is pretty amazing considering there are seven riders or more who can realistically get podiums. The Italian also sits tenth in the championship, he has been both fast and consistent this year, I have been very impressed. Will he be able to keep this up for the rest of the season? It will be interesting to see but he has set the bar very high for himself after the first four GP’s.

Article: Andy McKinstry

Pic: MXGP

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