PM: MXGP of Switzerland, MXGP

First of the season for Renaux and Benistant as the Frenchies ruled the MXGP of Switzerland presented by iXS.

The MXGP of Switzerland presented by iXS came to an end!

The third round of the FIM Motocross World Championship held all its promises with a fantastic Grand Prix spread across Saturday for the RAM Qualifying Races and Monday for the races due to Easter Sunday! The brand-new track of Frauenfeld gave us some exciting fights across both categories and the atmosphere was electric thanks to the great Swiss public coming in large number.

At the end of the day the victory went to Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team’s Maxime Renaux, who won for the first time of the season as well as his first podium. Second on the podium was Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado and third Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre.
In MX2, it was also a first with Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team’s Thibault Benistant winning for the first time in 2023, in front of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Andrea Adamo and Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kay de Wolf.

The opening ceremony began with a Swiss Bells rang by a traditional troup that walked among the public. It was then marked with speeches on the Skybox in front of an excited crowd first from Infront Moto Racing CEO David Luongo followed by FIM/CMS Director Antonio Alia Portela, Willi Läderach, president MXGP Suisse , Brigitte Häberli, Council president of state (Ständeratspräsidentin), Walter Wobmann, president FMS, Stefan Bissegger, European Champion 2022 trial cycling, Heinz Kinigatener, Motocross World Champion. This welcome moment was closed by the traditional singer Markus von Rotz who sang the Swiss National Anthem.

In the MXGP Race 1 in Frauenfeld Jorge Prado took the FOX Holeshot to keep his impressive start record and kept the lead from start to finish. His teammate at Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing Mattia Guadagnini got off very well as he found himself 2nd over the first 5 laps. However, Maxime Renaux who passed Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings on lap 2 to get to 3rd place powered through to overtake also Guadagnini on lap 6 for 2nd. Renaux went on to keep his 2nd place until the end without being able to get too close to Prado.

Guadagnini made a mistake on lap 10 and moved down from 3rd to 7th and got overtaken again several times to finish at the 9th place. Herlings was not on the same form as in Sardinia as the “bullet” went 4th on lap 2 when Renaux overtook him. He could not hold his 4th place as he got passed successively by Romain Febvre, Team Gebben Van Venroy Yamaha Racing’s Calvin Vlaanderen and Team HRC’s Ruben Fernandez between lap 9 and 11 to move down to 6th where he would stay until the end.

Febvre was riding impressively coming from 5th place on lap 1 and passed Herlings for 4th on lap 9 after an intense battle that lasted many laps. He then found himself 3rd after Guadagnini’s fall on lap 10. The Frenchman tried to attack his compatriot Renaux for second but settled for 3rd in the end.

Vlaanderen and Fernandez got to 6th and 7th during the first 8 laps and kept following each other throughout the whole race. The two riders managed to pass Herlings mid-race and went to 4th for Vlaanderen and 5th for Fernandez on lap 11 until the end.

Valentin Guillod from Team Ship To Cycle Honda SR Motoblouz, riding at home showed a lot of qualities as the Swiss stayed in the top 10 throughout the whole race. He stayed in 9th position behind Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team’s Glenn Coldenhoff in 8th from lap 1 to 12. As Coldenhoff overtook Guadagnini for on lap 13 for 7th, Guillod did the same a lap later and passed Guadagnini for 8th. Guillod made the Swiss public cheered loudly when he made his move on Coldenhoff on lap 15 for 7th. Guillod finished 7th while Coldenhoff settled in 8th.

De Baets Yamaha MX-Team’s Benoit Paturel who finished 10th show a strong performance as the he went from 13th on lap 1 to steadily go up the rank without getting overtaken throughout the race.
Riding at home Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team’s Jeremy Seewer crashed early on in the first lap which hindered his chances to win his home GP. The Swiss finished 20th.

In Race 2, Prado again clinched the FOX Holeshot to make it 100% for the weekend. However, it was not the same scenario than in race 1 as Renaux was all over Prado’s rear wheel over the opening lap. After an unfruitful try, the Frenchman managed to pass Prado and take the lead. Renaux showed great composure to keep the lead until the end.

Prado 2nd quickly started to get threatened by Febvre who looked very comfortable on the compact hard-pack. Febvre overtook Herlings on lap 2 and was on a mission to catch Prado up as he clocked the fastest time of the race on lap 8. Febvre made several attacks on Prado until lap 12 when he found the gap and muscled his way to overtake the Spaniard for 2nd. Febvre would go on to finish 2nd while Prado 3rd.

Herlings pretty quiet in race 1 kept a low profile as after finding himself 4th on lap 2 kept going throughout the whole race without being too worried by Seewer behind him. Seewer had much quieter and better race as he found himself 5th after lap 1 to keep this place until the end.

SM Action Racing Team Yuasa Battery MXGP’s Alberto Forato, Vlaanderen and Fernandez managed to stay together the whole race. Forato got the better out of Fernandez on lap 3 to get to 6th. An advantage that he will keep the race. Fernandez then got under attack by Vlaanderen and moved down eventually to 8th in lap 5 while Vlaanderen moved up to 7th and they kept this order until the end.

Guillod did another strong performance as the circuit of Frauenfeld seemed to suit him. Guillod went from 12th on lap 1 to overtake another Swiss Kevin Brumann on lap 3 for 11th. Then he showed determination as he successively passed MRT Racing Team Beta’s Alessandro Lupino on lap 6 and capitalised on Pauls Jonass surrender on lap 8 toget to 9th. Lupino eventually finished 11th. Finally Guillod finished 9th getting another top 10 for the GP while MRT Racing Team Beta’s Ben Watson managed to 10th in the end after climbing his way from 14th on lap 1.

In the end, Maxime Renaux won his first GP of the season in front of Jorge Prado 2nd who is still the Red Plate holder, thanks also to winning another RAM Qualifying Race again, and Romain Febvre 3rd with his first podium of the season.

It was also the return of Arnaud Tonus on his home ground as a Wildcard rider. The Swissman finished 13th in race 1 and unfortunately could not finish the second race. However this gave a lot to cheer for the public as they welcomed and cheered for the rider throughout the all GP.

Maxime Renaux: “Super happy to get my 1st GP winning of the season. It is a great feeling especially after the first 2 Grand Prix where I missed the podium. Finally I can get it altogether today. I want to thank the team for their hard work and now we’ll keep on grinding for the championship. See you in Trentino.”

Jorge Prado:The first race was great. The second one, I broke away but couldn’t keep the lead, I didn’t have the same flow. In the end I came out second overall and it is the most important to keep the Red Plate and getting points for the championship.”

Romain Febvre: “I felt good all weekend long. I had to pass Herlings in both races and Prado on the second so it was quite hard. I got close to Maxime and I worked very hard but I am happy to be on the podium, first time this year. Thanks to my team!”

MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), 33:47.857; 2. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:06.298; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:14.572; 4. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:17.538; 5. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:22.113; 6. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:30.112; 7. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Honda), +0:34.759; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:43.139; 9. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GASGAS), +0:44.964; 10. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:47.953;

MXGP- Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), 33:34.904; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:07.825; 3. Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:17.970; 4. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:21.320; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:26.839; 6. Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), +0:31.325; 7. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:38.761; 8. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:43.814; 9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, Honda), +0:53.484; 10. Ben Watson (GBR, Beta), +1:07.193; 11

MXGP – GP Top 10 Classification: 1. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 47 points; 2. Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 45 p.; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 42 p.; 4. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 33 p.; 5. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 32 p.; 6. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 29 p.; 7. Valentin Guillod (SUI, HON), 26 p.; 8. Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), 24 p.; 9. Ben Watson (GBR, BET), 21 p.; 10. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GAS), 21 p.; (BEL, HON), 25 p.; 9. Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), 25 p.; 10. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HON), 20 p.; 

MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 155 points; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 134 p.; 3. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 131 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 129 p.; 5. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 101 p.; 6. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 94 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 90 p.; 8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 79 p.; 9. Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), 76 p.; 10. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GAS), 76 p.;

MXGP – Manufacturers Classification: 1. Yamaha, 155 points; 2. GASGAS, 155 p.; 3. KTM, 134 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 129 p.; 5. Honda, 114 p.; 6. Beta, 51 p.;

In MX2, Jago Geerts started strongly as he got the FOX Holeshot and took the lead with Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Roan Van de Moosdijk behind him in 2nd and Benistant 3rd. The three riders followed each other for a while as Benistant tried few attacks on Van de Moosdijk. Geerts was looked to go all the way but all went down when he crashed on lap 15 leaving Van de Moosdijk taking the lead until the end to win the race.

Benistant also crashed on lap14 to going down to 4th. Benistant eventually kept the 4th place until the end, however it was not the same for Geerts who got overtaken quickly after his fall by Kay de Wolf and Andrea Adamo and then by Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Simon Laengenfelder and Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Lucas Coenen. Geerts finished 7th in the end.

De Wolf 6th on lap 1 moved up to 5th quickly on lap 4 and stayed patient behind Adamo 4th at the time. Adamo capitalised on Geerts’ fall on lap 16 to get to 4th and also on Benistant’s crash to find himself 2nd on lap16.

De Wolf on his side overtook Geert on lap 16 and made his move on Benistant on lap 17 to get to 3rd behind Adamo with 3 laps to go. De Wolf showed good qualities to overtake Adamo in the last lap for 2nd. Adamo finished 3rd in the end.

One of the comebacks of the day was Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Lucas Coenen who fell on the first turn and found himself 16th on lap 1. The young rider steadily climbed his way up with some really great moves along the way notably as breathed pass Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Liam Everts on lap 13 for 7th. He eventually passed Geerts with two laps to go to finish 6th. Everts was really consistent as he went from 7th on lap 1 to 8th in the end.

F&H Kawasaki Racing Team’s Kevin Horgmo and TEM JP253 KTM Racing Team’s Jan Pancar went 9th and 10th on lap 1 respectively. While Horgmo went up the rank to 8th place on lap 7, Pancar went down to 12th place between lap 4 and 12 but found his rhythm to get back to 10th in the end. Horgmo got overtaken by Coenen on lap 10 to keep his 9th position until the end.

In race 2, it was Adamo who clinched the FOX Holeshot and led the pack early on although the Italian was under threat by the duo from Monster Energy Yamaha Benistant and Geerts. Eventually Geerts got the best of Benistant and attacked Adamo on lap 2. This was the moment Benistant chose to attack both riders and get the lead. Adamo moved down to 2nd and Geerts to 3rd. Benistant was the fastest of the pack and started to pull away from Adamo and Geerts.

Benistant showed great composure to keep his ride clean and quick to eventually win the race. Adamo and Geerts would fight until the end. Geerts took the edge between lap 9 and 13 to go 2nd but like in the first race Geerts fell and Adamo passed him to finish 2nd. Geerts settled for 3rd in the end.

Laengenfelder was a solid 4th from start to near the end. De Wolf went from a poor start, being 8th on lap 1 to attack everyone in front of him and pass Horgmo (who would finish at a good 7th place), then Elzinga (who finished 11th) and also Everts on lap 14 for 5th. The last lap was when Laengenfelder could not keep his position with De Wolf showing great technique move up to 4th and leave Laengenfelder finishing 5th. Everts settled for 6th.

Like his teammate De Wolf, Van de Moosdijk got an average start in 11th after lap 1 but managed to get up to 8th in the end although this was not the race he would have liked to do after winning race 1. Pancar again rode strongly as he managed to keep riding in the top 10 throughout the whole race and finished 9th in the end.

Team Ship To Cycle Honda SR Motoblouz’s Emil Weckman who went 13th after lap 1 held on and stayed within touching distance of F&H Kawasaki Racing Team’s David Braceras (finishing 13th) and the American Jack Chambers from Big Van World MTX Kawasaki who was competing for the first time in MX2 and got a good first experience finishing 12th in race 2 and 15th in race 1. Weckman managed to overtake both riders to get to 11th on lap 17 and finally overtaking WZ Racing Team’s Oriol Oliver for 10th. Oliver ended up 13th.

In the end, Benistant clinched his first GP win of the season and second of his career in front of Adamo solid second and Kay de Wolf who gets a back to back podium after his second place in Sardinia.

Thibault Benistant : First race win of the season and overall. I was feeling really good. Second one I felt pretty good and tried to attack directly. I had some pressure from my teammate but I think he made a mistake and I managed to keep my advantage so I’m very happy and it’s nice for the team.”

Andrea Adamo: It is second podium and a solid weekend so it was a good GP for me. I’m really happy and we can now keep the championship chase on its way.”

Kay de Wolf: I had to work my way up quite a few times but I’m on the podium in the end. It is a really good feeling to get back to back podiums!”

 MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification : 1. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Husqvarna), 33:58.764; 2. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:04.536; 3. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:06.482; 4. Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:11.947; 5. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:15.602; 6. Lucas Coenen (BEL, Husqvarna), +0:16.425; 7. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:25.844; 8. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:36.352; 9. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +0:44.341; 10. Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), +1:03.899;

MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 Top 10 Classification: 1. Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), 33:47.845; 2. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:04.929; 3. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:07.755; 4. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:08.543; 5. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:10.647; 6. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:14.336; 7. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +0:15.593; 8. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Husqvarna), +0:47.308; 9. Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), +0:48.721; 10. Emil Weckman (FIN, Honda), +0:49.673;

MX2 – GP Top 10 Classification: 1. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 43 points; 2. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 42 p.; 3. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 40 p.; 4. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, HUS), 38 p.; 5. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 34 p.; 6. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 32 p.; 7. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 28 p.; 8. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 26 p.; 9. Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), 23 p.; 10. Emil Weckman (FIN, HON), 20 p.;

MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 159 points; 2. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 139 p.; 3. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 136 p.; 4. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 131 p.; 5. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, HUS), 112 p.; 6. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 111 p.; 7. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 94 p.; 8. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 94 p.; 9. Lucas Coenen (BEL, HUS), 72 p.; 10. Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), 66 p.;

MX2 – Manufacturers Classification: 1. Yamaha, 170 points; 2. Husqvarna, 145 p.; 3. KTM, 133 p.; 4. GASGAS, 111 p.; 5. Kawasaki, 95 p.; 6. Honda, 56 p.; 7. Fantic, 12 p.;   

Text/Bild: Infront