With defending MXGP Champion, Jeffrey Herlings watching from the sidelines with an injury, Antonio Cairoli (Red Bull KTM) was the favorite to win the first MXGP of the 2019 season at the MXGP of Patagonia in Argentina, Marcy 3, but it wasn’t an easy weekend by any means for the nine-time champion. Saturday’s Qualifying races left him on the far outside gate after not finishing due to a bike issue on Saturday.
Antonio Cairoli Wins In Argentina MXGP
When the racing kicked off Sunday Cairoli’s KTM was back better than ever and, despite having a less that desirable start position, the Italian had the lead by the end of the first lap and he would never let it go. He took the checkered flag 6.3 seconds clear of Honda’s Tim Gajser, followed by Saturday’s top qualifier Romain Febvre (Yamaha), Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) and Gautier Paulin (Yam).
In the second moto, Cairoli had to work a little harder but he again came away with the moto win and the overall victory. Cairoli started off fifth but slowly worked his way up to the front, eventually passing leader Febvre, as did Gajser. Cairoli then had to fight off the Honda rider for the rest of the way, which he succeeded to do, taking the checkers 2.4 seconds ahead of Gajser.
Jeremy Van Horebeek (Honda) was the next rider to cross the finish line but well back of the two riders ahead of him.
Max Anstie (KTM) and Paulin rounded out the top five in the moto.
Febvre crashed out of the second moto and was taken to the hospital with an ankle injury.
So Cairoli started off the season with a perfect 1-1, while Gajser went 2-2 for second overall. Van Horebeek was awarded third overall with a 5-3. Desalle was fourth overall and Paulin fifth overall.
“I am happy overall today because after yesterday I wasn’t sure how I will do off the starts,” Cairoli said. “The rhythm was high in the beginning, but I was just trying to see where I could gain some time. I managed to have two good starts, both were in the top 10. I found some good lines and I had a good race taking the overall, which makes me really happy. There are a lot of Argentinian fans who cheer for me all year on social media so it is nice to give them a win especially on this track which I have never had the chance to win at, I was close last year but it is always nice to race where people don’t see us often and make them happy.”
“It was good, I am really happy,” Gajser said. “Yesterday I had a big crash and today I was a bit sore. In the first race I had a solid start inside the top 10 and had to work hard to come through the pack but I finished second which was good. In the second race I was a bit tight and didn’t relax, then Febvre and Tony passed me. I tried to stay with them to see where I was loosing time then I passed Romain and with Tony we were about the same times, I tried to push but couldn’t get closer. ”
Jorge Prads Tops MX2 In Argentina
In MX2, Jorge Prado made it a KTM sweep after winning both motos. The Spaniard dominated race one by jumping into the early lead and never looking back. He steadily pulled away and took the checkered flag 16 seconds ahead of Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna), who had a comfortable lead over Henry Jacobi (Kawasaki) at the finish.
Fourth in the moto went to Calvin Vlaanderen (Honda) and fifth went to Mitchell Evans (Honda).
Prado again led every lap of the second moto but could breath as easily. Olsen kept him honest after passing the Australian, Evans, for second place a few laps into the race. Despite the pressure by Olsen, Prado kept his cool and ran off with the win, taking the checkered flag 4.8 seconds ahead of Olsen.
Evans held on for third, followed by Vlaanderen and Jacobi.
The overall win went to Prado, with Olsen, Evans, Vlaanderen and Jacobi rounding out the top five.
American Darian Sanayei had a tough day. The Kawasaki rider finished 12th in the first moto and out of the points in the second. CN
MXGP of Patagonia Video Highlights
2019 FIM Motocross World Championship
MXGP Of Patagonia Argentina
RESULTS: March 3, 2019
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 34:41.270; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:06.253; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:09.838; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:11.464; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:14.030; 6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:32.226; 7. Julien Lieber (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:39.435; 8. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:49.752; 9. Pauls Jonass (LAT, Husqvarna), +0:50.285; 10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:59.164.
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 34:56.475; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:02.386; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:37.829; 4. Max Anstie (GBR, KTM), +0:42.332; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:43.070; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:47.509; 7. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:49.602; 8. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:58.810; 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +1:01.941; 10. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +1:03.513.
MXGP Overall Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 44 p.; 3. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 35 p.; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 33 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 32 p.; 6. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 26 p.; 7. Tommy Searle (GBR, KAW), 22 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 22 p.; 9. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 21 p.; 10. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 21 p.
MX2 Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 34:50.385; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:16.677; 3. Henry Jacobi (GER, Kawasaki), +0:23.565; 4. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +0:25.535; 5. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:27.289; 6. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:29.198; 7. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:37.127; 8. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:39.496; 9. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +0:41.631; 10. Davy Pootjes (NED, Husqvarna), +0:52.057.
MX2 Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 33:48.208; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:04.825; 3. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Honda), +0:12.437; 4. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Honda), +0:23.647; 5. Henry Jacobi (GER, Kawasaki), +0:30.601; 6. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:31.623; 7. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:34.405; 8. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:46.909; 9. Adam Sterry (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:51.470; 10. Davy Pootjes (NED, Husqvarna), +0:53.754.
MX2 Overall Top Ten: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 50 points; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 44 p.; 3. Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 36 p.; 4. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 36 p.; 5. Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 36 p.; 6. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 29 p.; 7. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 27 p.; 8. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 25 p.; 9. Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 25 p.; 10. Davy Pootjes (NED, HUS), 22 p.