Championship leader Tim Gajser put his HRC Honda on the top step of the podium at the MXGP of Flanders at Lommel, Belgium, October 18.
Gajser ruled the notorious sand track, going 2-1 for the overall win. Had it not been for a “stupid” fall when he lost the front end in the soft sand, Gajser might’ve won both motos.
Instead, the first-moto win went to Yamaha’s Gautier Paulin who took full advantage of Gajser’s gaffe while leading. The Frenchman took the checkered flag eight seconds ahead of Gajser to take his first race win since 2017 and the 22nd of his career.
Third in the moto went to Red Bull KTM’s Jorge Prado, followed by The Netherland’s Brian Bogers (KTM) and Jeremy Van Horebeek (Honda).
Antonio Cairoli (Red Bull KTM), the rider nearest Gajser in the MXGP Championship, got swallowed up in a first-turn pileup and finished outside the top 10.
There were no gaffes this time by Gajser in the second moto. The Slovenian ran off with the second-moto win (his ninth of the season), crossing the finish line 12 seconds ahead of Kawasaki rider Romain Febvre, with Jeremy Seewer, who was running second on the last lap before running off the track, taking third.
Prado, who fell earlier in the moto while battling Seewer, took fourth. Paulin finished out the moto in fifth.
Gajser’s 2-1 gave him the overall victory for the second time this year, and he now leads Cairoli (sixth in moto two) by 48 points in the championship.
Prado, in third, trails his teammate Cairoli by 11 points, as does Seewer.
In MX2, Frenchman Tom Vialle (Red Bull KTM) took the overall win for the sixth time this season. He went 2-2 on the day to extend his points lead by a few points, to 53, over Belgian Jago Geerts (Yamaha), who won the second moto for his 11th moto win of the season.
But it was Great Britain’s Ben Watson collecting his first-ever moto win in the first race. He’s the sixth different moto winner of the season. Unfortunately for the Yamaha rider, he fell in the second moto and finished fifth. But Watson still finished out the day on the podium in third.
Second overall went to Geerts with a 4-1.
French rider Maxime Renaux (Yamaha) was fourth overall (3-6), while Denmark’s Thomas Kjer Olsen (Husqvarna) was fifth overall with a 5-4.
Renaux and Australia’s Jed Beaton (Husqvarna), who was seventh overall on the day with a 7-7, are tied for third in the championship, but trail second place Geerts by 109 points.
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