Quick thoughts: Swiss MXGP
First of all, it was an excellent partisan atmosphere in Switzerland, this is why the world championship is the pinnacle, the Swiss fans getting behind their riders for their home GP on what was another very different GP track for the third GP in a row.
From the width of Argentina to the sand of Riola and the old school, narrow grassy Switzerland, to be world champ you have to be the most versatile motocross racer on the planet. It was nice to see the riders on a track that evoked memories from the 90s with grass in the background, off-cambers, ruts and rocks, but the back markers, especially with 40 riders on the gate was a problem on such a tight circuit.
In MXGP it is very much the new v the old to hold that world champion crown. Switzerland solidified the the fact that its the youngsters of Renaux and Prado in their early twenties going against the late 20s legends of Herlings and Febvre and it was the kids who went 1-2 overall!
Renaux showed unbelievable mental calmness and focus to win a key race two that gave him the overall. only ever having 1-2 seocnd over title rivals Prado and Febvre was super impressive. He has had the speed all year but delivered in Switzerland. He’s a big contender for this title.
Prado has won six of nine motos, and in Switzerland his resilience came into play when he passed Febvre back to win the quailfier and held strong for most of race three in the battle with Renaux and Febvre. He is the man the beat in 2023 so far and extended his lead over Herlings in the championship to 20. The points in the qualifying races are making a big difference in his advantage too, in what has been a great edition to the weekend. It’s like a supercross main event, starts and intensity are vital and it will improve the riders in both areas.
Herlings looked off all day and admitted he had arm pump which stopped him getting the flow he wanted on on the tight, rutted track but his starts were noticeably better, which could be a huge plus when he gets his full rhythm back again.
Romain Febvre says he has found some improvements in the Kawasaki and it showed. He had to work hard for third overall then nearly threw it all away when he nearly went down big time over a jump chasing Renaux with the GP win on the line, but Febvre is right there now and his starts were good this weekend.
These are the quartet that went 1-2-3-4 this weekend and the top four in the championship. The battle is well and truly on.
Other strong rides came from Calvin Vlaanderen who backed up his Riola speed with fifth in Switzerland as Valentin Guillod rode fantastic for twotop tens, inspired by his home crowd, it’s great to see the former MX2 GP winner back in the thick of it at the highest level.
You had to feel sorry for Jeremy Seewer, everything that could go wrong did for Seewer at his home GP and in the final moto, the one moto he got away and had no drama, he didn’t have the pace to go with the leaders or find a way by Herlings, but at least it was some points on the board.
In MX2 Jago Geerts did a Chase Sexton with a big crash from nowhere that cost him the first moto win with 3 minutes and a lap to go when he had a six second lead. That ruined his day as Geerts battle dthe after effects to go 7-3 with another crash in race two.
He has given hope for Benistant and de Wolf in the championship with Benistant taking his his first win in Switzerland and is now only 20 points behind. This kid, like de Wolf, is very talented, Geerts can’t keep giving these guys hope.
Listen to Andy McKinstry’s interviews from the weekend here:
Article: Jonathan McCready
Images: InFront Moto racing