2020 MXGP Of Riga Results: There were plenty of crashes and drama in the mid-week running of the MXGP of Riga, Wednesday, August 12, the second of three back-to-back-to-back rounds held in Kegums, Latvia. When all was said and done, it was the wily veteran, Italian Antonio Cairoli coming out on top, with The Netherlands’ Jago Geerts topping MX2.
A big first-turn pile-up claimed a number of riders in the first MXGP moto, including former champ Jeffrey Herlings, Cairoli’s Red Bull KTM teammate, who quickly righted himself but was now deep in the field, as was defending champ Tim Gajser (Honda HRC).
Cairoli avoided the carnage and eventually passed his other Red Bull KTM teammate Jorge Prado for the lead. Prado later fell (twice) and dropped to the back of the pack.
Cairoli went on to take the moto win four seconds clear of former champs Romain Febvre (Monster Energy Kawasaki) and Herlings, who charged his way up through the field after his first-turn mishap.
Jeremy Seewer (Monster Energy Yamaha) and Jeremy Van Horebeek (Honda HRC) rounded out the top five.
Gajser, meanwhile, was making progress through the pack when a crash knocked him out of the race. He would return for the second moto.
Cairoli was an early leader but Herlings eventually got him, as did Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Arminas Jasikonis, who then went after Herlings.
With two laps to go, Herlings went down and Cairoli ran into him and also went down. This put Jasikonis into the lead with Seewer close behind him.
Jasikonis held on to take his first career MXGP moto win, followed by Seewer, Herlings, Cairoli, and Gasjer.
Cairoli was awarded the overall win, followed by Seewer, Herlings, Jasikonis, and Febvre.
Last Sunday’s winner Glenn Coldenhoff (GG) went 6-DNF, making it only two laps in the second moto.
“I’m really happy to be back on the podium and win of course, as last Sunday wasn’t my day for sure,” said Cairoli. “I was thinking after the second race [Sunday] that I injured my knee again, I went to the doctor yesterday to get some fluid out and to put some anti-inflammation because it was very swollen.
“In the first race today,” Cairoli said, “I stayed out of trouble, and I could find a good rhythm and ride smooth, so that’s what we did and I’m very happy. In the second race, I, once again, had a good start, then Jeffrey and Jasikonis were riding very fast so they passed me, I tried to follow and maybe hold my position in the race, I knew if I don’t make a mistake I can push a little bit. Then at one point, the last laps, I just saw the yellow flags, there was Jeffrey on the ground, and I got caught in that, too. I had a gap on the next guy, so I thought, ‘okay let’s just stay there and see what happens.’ But I was already happy about today with improvements on last weekend, so I’m already looking forward to the next race.”
“In the first race there was a bike in front of me, and I rode into him,” Herlings said of his day. “Then I had to re-group and had to come from last as I did in the second race last weekend. I managed to work my way up to third, and I just didn’t manage to pass Febvre.
“Then in the second race, I had a really good start, I think third, that was actually what I was waiting for after the terrible starts. I was much better and managed to pass Tony in the second or third lap and was leading until two laps to go, then my front wheel washed away; it’s a mistake, it’s weird, because I never normally make those mistakes, but we still managed to finished third. I already apologized to Tony, but I apologize again because he might have crashed because of me, but I got on the podium and we still lead the championship so hopefully this Sunday we can be on top of the box.”
“We had some great racing also on Sunday,” Seewer said, “and I feel super happy because I finished strong. I had some good battles with some tough guys, and I recovered after bad starts. I feel great but on the other hand in both second races, I was quite close to the win, and today I have the chance to win the GP, but overall I’m happy with the results, I made no big mistakes, the track is rough, so it’s easy to make mistakes.”
Herlings still enjoys a comfortable lead in the championship over Gajser, 170-142. Cairoli is third with 129.
In MX2, the Belgian, Geerts (Monster Energy Yamaha), got past early leader Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM) and pulled away for the win.
Vialle dropped back while Dutchman Roan Van De Moosdijk (F&K Kawasaki Racing Team) and Frenchman Mathys Boisrame (F&K Kawasaki Racing Team) battled over second place. Moosdijk managed to keep Boisrame at bay, while Vialle ended up fourth.
Husqvarna’s Thomas Kjer Olsen rounded out the top five after putting on a late charge on Vialle.
Geerts scored a wire-to-wire win in the second moto, taking the checkered flag a comfortable nine seconds ahead of De Moosdijk.
Boisrame was another 12-plus seconds back in third but four seconds ahead of fourth-place finisher Vialle. Maxime Renaux (SM Action MC Migliori – J1 Racing Yamaha) chased Vialle across the line another two seconds back.
Geerts was the clear overall winner with a double-moto win, followed by De Moosdijk, Boisrame, Vialle and Renaux.
Vialle still leads the MX2 Champion but saw that lead shrink to just eight points over the day’s overall winner Geerts. Third in points is Australian Jed Beaton (Husqvarna) who went 6-6 on the day. CN
2020 FIM Motocross World Championship
MXGP of Riga
RESULTS (August 12, 2020)
||Roan Van De Moosdijk