The 2017 MXGP of Switzerland presented by iXSkicked off today in Frauenfeld – Gachnang with the qualification races. The once muddy circuit firmed up perfectly to provide top level traction and racing. Like clock work Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli and Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer ticked off laps and went pole for Sunday.
On top of MXGP and MX2 qualifying races the European Championship classes of EMX250, EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing, and EMX300 Presented by FMF Racing took to the Swiss soil for their 1st race day of two this weekend. In EMX250 BUD Racing Monster Energy’s Tristan Charboneau won his third consecutive race this season ahead of F&H Racing Team’s Ruben Fernandez while Filip Neugebauer took third.
In EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing it was the 125cc Junior World Champion Gianluca Facchetti who took the win just ahead of BUD Racing Monster Energy’s Brian Strubhart Moreau and IceOne Husqvarna Racing’s Mikkel Haarup.
The race of the day was EMX300 Presented by FMF Racing and it could have been the championship deciding race but it will have to wait until tomorrow instead as the GL12 Racing Teammates of James Dunn and Mike Kras went 1st and 2nd while the championship leader, Brad Anderson, finished third.
MXGP was led at the start by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie who avoided a first turn pile up involving several riders including Team HRC’s Tim Gajser. It was only corners later that the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Antonio Cairoli took the lead spot away from Anstie. The race continued between the 2016 Swiss GP winners, Anstie was MX2 at the time, and though Cairoli maintained his lead Anstie kept within striking distance.
Behind the leaders was initially Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Facing MXGP’s Romain Febvre and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff. Coldenhoff would however be dispatched from his 4th position by Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Official Team’s Arnaud Tonus. Tonus made the pass with a fast technical move, wheel tapping a single before the grand stand tabletop.
Tonus later felt the heat of Jeffrey Herlings and his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing SX450-F though. Herlings let Tonus know he was right there on several occasions showing him a wheel. Prior to reaching Tonus it was Herlings who had to find his way past Coldenhoff and he did so quickly. In the end Herlings fell while trying to get Tonus and in turn lost a spot back to Coldenhoff.
Up front Cairoli finished out the race 2.1 seconds ahead of Anstie. Cairoli in the press conference said: “I really enjoy riding on this track, it is always very technical. The race was good and the start was okay, I was 3rd at first then immediately went into second and at the end of the first lap I was already first because Max made a mistake and I was able to overtake him. He (Anstie) was always there and put on the pressure, he was riding really good.”
Febvre took third while Tonus took 4th at what is his first ever home GP appearance. Tonus in the press conference said: “I had a good Qualifying Race, my start was pretty good and I felt like I was in a good rhythm. You could really feel the crowd, the way that the track is arranged, they (the fans) can see the whole thing and they really push for us which is a cool feeling and I’m really looking forward for tomorrow.”
Return to racing this weekend was Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Tommy Searle who finished 11th in qualifying. Searle in the press conference said: “I am really happy with 11th. I didn’t expect to be that far up, a couple people crashed on the first turn so that made it a little bit easier for me. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
MXGP Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 24:05.893; 2. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:02.108; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:09.866; 4. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:11.573; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:16.075; 6. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:20.636; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:21.881; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:23.481; 9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:25.793; 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Honda), +0:47.391.
There is nothing like the taste of victory but what makes it even sweeter is when you win in front of the home crowd and that is exactly what Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer is looking to do here in Switzerland. Seewer’s GP Overall chances are looking good as today he took the qualifying race win to go pole.
Seewer wasn’t always in the lead however, at first it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass in front.Jonass made a small mistake in a corner on the first lap and he was unable to keep his KTM upright.
The mistake of Jonass dropped him to 4th, just behind Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen who tried to keep the MX2 Championship leader behind him but instead was passed back quickly.
The first real benefactor of the Jonass mistake was LRT KTM’s Julien Lieber who moved into the lead. Lieber looked comfortable out front even as the crowd cheered on Seewer who ran second.
Another rider who was having a strong showing was the American, Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Darian Sanayei. Sanayei ran 5th every nearly every lap of the race pressuring Olsen who consequently pressured Jonass.
Back at the front the Swiss fans continued to push Seewer forward inevitably erupting with cheers when the #91 took the lead away from Lieber. Seewer took the race win with Lieber and Jonass behind. On the final lap Sanayei was able to finally make a pass on Olsen to secure 4th.
Jeremy Seewer in the press conference said: “I feel at home on this track, I really like to race it. It feels good to race in front of the home crowd and I’m just enjoying so much and having fun, I will try to do the same tomorrow!”
MX2 Qualifying Race Top Ten: 1. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), 24:25.631; 2. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), +0:05.008; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:17.551; 4. Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), +0:18.394; 5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:19.133; 6. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:23.068; 7. Conrad Mewse (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:25.061; 8. Michele Cervellin (ITA, Honda), +0:29.344; 9. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, Suzuki), +0:31.304; 10. Brian Hsu (GER, Husqvarna), +0:37.558.
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MXGP of Switzerland Presented by iXS – QUICK FACTS
Circuit length: 1650m
Type of ground: Hard pack
Weather conditions: cloudy
MXGP will be available across the board in high definition and is also globally available to view live and in HD on MXGP-TV.com. Here below the MXGP-TV LIVE Program and by clicking here you can check the complete list of countries and cooperating MXGP broadcasting networks
Sunday: EMX300 Race 2 08:45; EMX125 Race 2 09:45; MX2 Warm up 10:25, MXGP Warm up 10:45; EMX250 Race 2 11:30; MX2 Race 1 13:15; MXGP Race 1 14:15; MX2 Race 2 16:10; MXGP Race 2 17:10
Report by: MXGP.com