Tim Gajser continues to distance himself from championship runner-up Antonio Cairoli in the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship after rounds 14 and 15.
Round 14—the MXGP of Limburg—took place on Wednesday, October 21, and round 15—the MXGP of Lommel—Sunday, October 25. Both were held in the deep sand of Lommel, Belgium, which completed the Belgian “triple,” with the first of three Lommel races (the MXGP of Flanders) taking place last Sunday, October 18.
At the MXGP of Limburg, both Gajser (Honda) and Cairoli (KTM) took second- and third-seats to first-time MXGP winner Jorge Prado (KTM). It was Prado’s eighth podium appearance of the season but the first on the top step. For Cairoli, it was his first trip to the podium since Mantova (MXGP of Europe), October 4.
MXGP of Limburg Video Highlights
Prado fought hard for the overall victory, going 2-1 on the day. He finished second to Gajser in the first moto and battled Cairoli for the win in the second moto.
“In the first race I had a really good start,” Prado said. “But after Tim passed, I tried to follow him, but he was too fast. I almost crashed and I couldn’t do anything else. In the second race, again, I took a really good start and I was feeling really good on the bike, so I went ahead. I had a nice battle with Tony [Cairoli], he passed me, and I passed him back, so I gave all myself. Even the guys behind me were a little bit faster than me, but I was able to keep the position and I got the overall victory. I’m really happy, now it’s time to recover and be ready for the next race”
Unfortunately for Prado, he wouldn’t be ready, as he tested positive for Covid-19 after the MXGP Limburg and had to sit out the MXGP of Lommel four days later.
“As usual last Wednesday before the race, we made the tests for Covid,” Prado said Saturday, the day before the MXGP of Lommel. “Today I received the results and I am positive for Covid-19. I feel very frustrated not being able to race tomorrow because my job as a professional was to take maximum precautions at all times. My only routine has been to go to training, to the track to compete and then back home keeping myself in a bubble just as I was asked. Unfortunately, we don’t know so much about this virus that I don’t even have the minimum idea how or when I could get it. I hope to receive a negative test soon to be back racing.”
The KTM team said that Prado is in “accordance with health and sanitary guidelines,” and that the “the rest of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team have been tested and returned negative results.”
Gajser won both motos at the MXGP of Lommel, while Cairoli crashed twice in the second moto for fifth overall. Gajser now leads Cairoli by 74 points with 150 points up for grabs in the three remaining rounds.
MXGP of Lommel Video Highlights
After sitting out the MXGP of Lommel, Prado slipped from third to fourth in the championship. He now trails Jeremy Seewer (Yamaha) by 23 points.
In MX2, Tom Vialle (KTM) is stretching out his championship lead over rival Jago Geerts (Yamaha). Geerts was unable to take advantage of racing on his home track and gain any ground on Vialle. The Belgian was unquestionably the fastest rider in the sand but struggled keeping it on two wheels, which included four crashes in the last race alone, during the Lommel triple. Geerts now trails Vialle by 74 points.
Vialle also had an off day at the MXGP of Lommel, which opened the door for a new winner, Brit Ben Watson (Yamaha). The victory was no fluke, though. It was coming. He captured his first moto win earlier at the MXGP of Flanders, then finished runner-up on Wednesday. Watson capped off the week in Belgium with his first overall victory with a 1-4. The last Brit to win an MX2 overall was Max Anstie in 2016.
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