The 2017 Motocross World Championship series landed in Neuquen, Argentina for round number three, and the MXGP of Patagonia Argentina. In the MXGP class, the defending MXGP World Champ, Tim Gasjer, dominated every moto and took the points lead away from Antonio Cairoli—who struggled to a 7th overall. The #243 was joined on the podium by the #89, Jeremy vanHorebeek, in 2nd and the #777, Evgeny Bobryshev, in 3rd.

In the MX2 class, Pauls Jonass won both motos and closed into within three points of the lead in the MX2 Championship behind Jeremy Seewer—who finished third overall in Argentina. Joining Jonass and Seewer on the MX2 podium was Jorge Prado in second overall with a consistent pair of third place finishes on the day.

After the four motos were officially in the history books, we gathered quotes from more than twenty top riders at round three.

Gasjer was untouchable in Argentina – Photo: MXGP

Tim Gajser: (1st in MXGP) “I am really happy and it was actually a perfect weekend. I really enjoyed the track and I know I was riding well. The crowds here were good and it was nice to hear them cheering when I came past them on the last lap. They have made a few changes to the track this year which suited me. The season didn’t start in the best way but I have been working really hard and training back at home, I never stop working and its now paying off. We are just at the beginning of the season but I aim to ride consistent and get more podiums.”


Pauls Jonass: (1st in MX2) “Indonesia was really disappointing for me because I had so much bad luck but here we made things right with a 1-1: I had a good feeling and great starts and was able to ride my own race without pushing too hard. I didn’t make any big mistakes and that was the goal. I took back some points on first place [in the championship] and I hope we can continue the season like this! Together with Jorge we had a few close calls, maybe too close for teammates! But it was racing, and to go 1-2 was awesome for the whole team and I’m also happy for Jorge and his first podium of the season.”


Jeremy Seewer: (3rd in MX2) “I think the first moto could have been a lot better, but we did some changes for the second race and it worked out. I want to stay on the ground, not get hyped-up too much. We got the red plate and that’s a positive point for sure to be leader after three GP’s, but I think we have to look at weak points and work on them. It is an amazing feeling though to get the red plate for the first time in my life. It’s what I’ve been working for my whole career. First the overall in Indonesia and now the red plate here; just an amazing feeling. It’s strange because I had a bad GP in Qatar, a really good one in Indonesia of course and now again, average in that first moto, so to be points leader is pretty good, I just need to keep working.”


Evgeny Bobryshev: (3rd in MXGP) “I have been sick after Indonesia and I haven’t done any training as I have been in bed recovering. Because of this I really didn’t expect to come here and be on the podium. I have been hoping I would get better every day, even yesterday in qualifying I had a pain in my stomach. Today went a lot better and I was feeling better in myself. The track was the kind of track that I really like which helped me. The team made good changes on the bike from this morning so I felt good on the bike which I thankful to the team for. I am pumped to be third overall.”

Jonass celebrates a perfect 1-1 day. Photo: Ray Archer

Jorge Prado: (2nd in MX2) “I am really happy with the day and actually the whole weekend considering that I had been sick for a week and couldn’t really train like I wanted coming here. So I was a bit tired today and I don’t know what happened but sometimes when I am not feeling so good I can still make good results! This is my best result yet and I’m happy I was able to fight from the beginning until the end. Pauls was just a little bit stronger than me but I showed good speed.”


Gautier Paulin: (4th in MXGP) “The feeling is great on my bike at the moment. We’ve made some good progress since the start of the season so the results are slowly coming our way. I know we can do even better and this is our goal for the following GPs. In the opening moto it took me a while to get a good race pace. I ended up sixth but I was really close to the top three. Then in the second moto I had a better start and found myself battling for second place. We had some great battles and I crossed the line in fourth for fourth overall at the GP. Everybody in our team are doing a great job and I’m really looking forward to the next GP. We are in the right position now to go fight for the top in our class and this is what we’re going to do in Mexico.”


Jeremy Van Horebeek: (2nd in MXGP) “I’ve regrouped, together with the team we made some changes to the bike and I finally feel like I am back and I am me. I am feeling really comfortable and I feel like I am ready to fight for race wins. The track was really nice, although in some places it was a bit sketchy but I want to take my hat off to the organization because they did a really good job, and also to my team and everyone around me.”


Antonio Cairoli: (7th in MXGP) “The weekend was very difficult mainly because of the starts and also the riders were very close together on this track and you could not make the difference; you had to take some risks to pass the others. So I had to come from the back both times and made more mistakes and crashed again. From dead-last in the first moto I came back to ninth; which was OK and I couldn’t do more. In the second I crashed after three laps and went down outside the top twenty, to come back the way I did was very good. I am so disappointed because it should have been another 1-1. The championship is still so long so we have time to get back this lead.”

Herlings continues to struggle with injury, but he did score his first top 10 of '17. Photo: Ray Archer
Herlings continues to struggle with injury, but he did score his first top 10 of ’17. Photo: Ray Archer

Jeffrey Herlings: (9th in MXGP) “With my wrist problem and hand injury it has been a tough road and this is perhaps the most demanding class in the world. This was the best weekend we had so far but it still wasn’t good enough so we’ll keep on working and getting better.”


Glenn Coldenhoff: (18th in MXGP) “My starts were great and we’d done a lot of testing: our work was really paying off here and that was the positive part of the weekend because I was struggling here quite a bit. We made some changes [to the set-up] for the second moto which were better and I felt more comfortable and it was a shame we had a mechanical issue. Fifteenth place in the first race really isn’t good and I wasn’t happy we didn’t get the chance to make it better. Anyway we’ll go home and get some good training done for Mexico.”


Clément Desalle: (6th in MXGP) “My qualifying race was not easy as there was a crash at the start just in front of me and I had no place to go! I didn’t crash but I lost too much time, then during the race I made one mistake and finished fourteenth. My start in the first race was pretty good; I was third or fourth throughout the race and eventually finished third; it was a good race. The track changed a lot between the two races and, even though I got a very good start, I struggled with the track. I was second at the first corner and took over the lead at turn two to lead the race for several laps but I didn’t felt confident and took the decision to ride safe to finish the race.”


Benoit Paturel: (4th in MX2) “The first race I was good, I didn’t get such a good start but I came back strong for second place. In the second race I touched another rider on the start and went off the track. I was completely last and I had to push to get back inside the top ten and then I fell again. I still came back for ninth which is still good points and these will be important at the end of the season.”

Paturel finished off the box, but he is still just six points out of the MX2 World Championship points lead.
Paturel finished off the box, but he is still just six points out of the MX2 World Championship points lead.

Brent Van doninck: (7th in MX2) “My result today isn’t ‘wow’ but it’s not so bad either. I feel like I rode pretty good today. I was consistent and finished in sixth and seventh. I actually thought these results would put me inside the top five, but it didn’t happen this time but they are still good points and I have moved up to sixth place in the championship.”


Jordi Tixier: (20th in MXGP) “I never raced in Argentina before this weekend, but as soon as I went on the track I enjoyed the track and posted the second fastest lap during each of the practice sessions. I had the inside gate for the qualifying race and was sixth after one lap, but later when I landed from a jump there was a big hole; I went over the bars and had pain in my groin. We went for some examinations at the hospital and the doctors said that there was no risk to race so I tried to do my job. I finished the first race in eighteenth, but my leg was so painful that I couldn’t start the second moto. We’ll have some more examinations when we get back to France; I just hope that I will be able to race in Mexico in two weeks time.”


Hunter Lawrence: (5th in MX2) “First race wasn’t the best start but I made some passes, then I crashed, made some more passes and then crashed again, ending up 13th. Then pretty much the same story in race two. I think my riding speed was good this weekend, but obviously I have things to work on. I need to go back to the drawing board and come back at Mexico hopefully a bit better.”


Bas Vaessen: (36th in MX2) “My start was pretty good, even with the last gate pick and I worked my way up through the field. However, on the really fast section of the track I hit a slippery spot and high-sided, landing on the take-off of the next jump. I didn’t really feel it immediately but when I got off the track, I realised I hit my shoulder really hard, so I rode back to the pits and went to the medical centre. They did an x-ray and saw that the collarbone was snapped. It was a clean break though, so that is good. Now when we get back, we will go to a good hospital in Holland and plan from there.”

Febvre finished 5th and the former MXGP World Champ is a massive 41 points behind Tim Gajer heading to round 4.
Febvre finished 5th and the former MXGP World Champ is a massive 41 points behind Tim Gajer heading to round 4.

Romain Febvre: (5th in MXGP) “I feel good. The first moto I started really bad, maybe sixteen, and I came back to fourth. My speed was good. In the second race my speed was good, I felt as though I could have got back to second place but in one corner I started sliding with both wheels and I couldn’t keep the bike up and I crashed and lost some positions. I need to stay on two wheels and then everything will be okay.”


Darian Sanayei: (5th in MX2) “I was pretty disappointed in Indonesia to be ill, and I wanted to come here and show my true speed. That’s what I did in qualifying with a third position; it’s just nice to be racing at the front! My jump out of the gate was not so great in the first moto but I had a good gate pick on the inside and was able to cut under a few guys to come of the first turn third; I pushed as hard as I could to take second position, but I fell as Paturel challenged me so I finished sixth. I was around seven at the start of the second race and passed a couple of guys including Lieber; it’s always a pretty cool feeling to pass the guy with the red plate! I couldn’t quite catch Prado for third, but with a sixth and a fourth positions I finished fifth in the GP which is my best result to date. There’s a lot of positives from this weekend, and we’ll keep working hard!”


Adam Sterry: (16th in MX2) “It was a frustrating weekend for me, as I had good lap times in each practice session and a good speed but then I struggled at the start of the qualifying race, nearly going down in the first corner. I came from the back to seventeenth, and in the first race I was in a good position when another rider hit me so we crashed. In the second race my start was not so bad, and I finished tenth; I had some burns on my hands after the crash in the first moto, and this second race was so much painful; I couldn’t hold on properly and it was quite dangerous for me in some places.”


Stephen Rubini: (23rd in MX2) “It was a strange weekend, with some good and bad moments. The track was awesome, but I struggled to put one perfect lap together and I was disappointed to be out of the top twenty in the timed practice session. In the qualifying race I had some good lines but my start was not really good and I finished twentieth. Today was another day, my start in the first race was really bad and in the second I stalled my engine when I was in the points. I’m still learning every day; the positive point is that I have a much better feeling here than in Qatar or Indonesia and I can’t wait to be on some European tracks where I already raced.”

The American MX2 rookie Darian Sanayei grabbed his first ever top 5 finish in Argentina. Photo: Ray Archer
The American MX2 rookie Darian Sanayei grabbed his first ever top 5 finish in Argentina. Photo: Ray Archer

Yannick Fabre: (26th in MX2) “It was a great experience to race this GP, but in both races I had a crash early in the race. I never rode on such a nice track; in Provence we have only hard pack so I had to get used to this sandy layout. Everything was new for me, the bike, the track, the GP rhythm but I did my best and would like to thank the team who gave me this opportunity.”


Shaun Simpson: (12th in MXGP) “I wasn’t overly impressed with how I felt on the track yesterday, until the heat race, and then I found my groove. It was much of the same today. Warm-up, I felt a bit rusty and then in the first race I felt okay, I didn’t get a good start but made my way back to tenth which is some solid points for the championship so I was happy with that. In the second race I felt fired up and ready to go but came together with Arnaud and then stalled the bike, so it was a bit frustrating, but came from outside the top twenty to finish thirteenth, and Arnaud was eleventh, which is pretty good. I’m looking forward to grinding out these next few weeks because I still feel like I am playing catch up a little bit.”


Arnaud Tonus: (15th in MXGP) “It was definitely a hard day especially with the speed I had and the feeling I had on the track, I felt as though it was possible for me to be inside the top five so it was a bit frustrating. But, it is part of the sport and still I was happy with the way I rode. I just crashed with Shaun on the first lap but I still got back to eleventh so the riding was positive and I just have to accept the result and hope for a better weekend in Mexico.”


Max Nagl: (8th in MXGP) “It feels good to see the speed is there to battle for the top. I feel that consistency was key this weekend. My riding was really good in both motos but I struggled a bit with my starts. Despite getting a good jump out of the gate, I didn’t manage to be inside the top five out of the first corner. But I stayed focused and made lots of passes in both motos. Especially in moto two I think I was 13th at the end of lap one but managed to cross the line in sixth place. Overall, I’m happy with the way things are going. The track in Argentina was kind of tricky and difficult so to get sixth overall is also a confidence booster for the coming races.”

vanHorebeek was fast all weekend and earned his first podium of 2017 with his consistency. Photo: Ray Archer
vanHorebeek was fast all weekend and earned his first podium of 2017 with his consistency. Photo: Ray Archer

Max Anstie: (10th in MXGP) “Overall it was a good weekend for us. We are in a very good place, considering this is just my third GP aboard the 450cc bike. The feeling on my bike is great so far and I know there’s more to come. This weekend I had lots of fun and felt good to battle with the riders up front. In moto one I got a good start and kept pushing for a spot inside the top five. I got seventh and this was my best result so far this season. Then in moto two my start wasn’t that good so I had to battle from outside the top 15 to 12th at the chequered flag. We’re taking one step at a time and we believe the top six is well within our reach.”


Thomas Kjer-Olsen: (6th in MX2) “I’m really happy with how things are going at the moment. This might just be my first full season in MX2 but we’ve already showed what we’re capable of. I felt very confident on my bike again this weekend and we battled for the top three in both motos. In moto one I got a good start inside the top five and went on to claim fourth. Unfortunately, a small crash with my teammate in moto two didn’t let me fight for the overall podium. But I got back on the bike and continued to push ending up seventh for sixth overall at the GP. We’re currently fifth in the points standings and we will continue giving our best for the top three in each moto.”


Kevin Strijbos: (11th in MXGP) “These races were not what I expect, or what the team expects, especially after yesterday where I finished sixth in qualification. The first moto I was just too careful, I couldn’t find any good lines and got arm pump early on because I was riding so tight. After that I couldn’t do anything because I was too tired from riding like that. Second moto I felt better, I got a decent jump out of the gate and was mid-pack but the first few laps weren’t too good, I lost a couple of places as it was a little bit like the first moto really; I was too careful. Then halfway through the moto it started to go well, I put in some good lap-times, I caught some riders but it was just too late to get a result. It’s a shame really because I really thought I felt good. I felt good coming into this race, I felt good yesterday and then something didn’t click during the races. I know what the problem is, I just have to overcome it. So not the results that I wanted but we learned some stuff about the RM-Z450WS which is good. I just need to go back and work on my weak points for Mexico, I feel like I’m ready for it, ready for the top five; for the podium. My speed is there, I just need to show it during races.”


Arminas Jasikonis: (13th in MXGP) “I learned a lot, the track was really strange but my speed was there. For half the first moto I was in the top 10 before crashes took me away from that but its learning and I think for the next race I will fix it because it’s a shame to ride so well and not get the result at the end.”

Seewer took over the MX2 Championship points lead with a consistent 5-2 on the day.
Seewer took over the MX2 Championship points lead with a consistent 5-2 on the day.

Thomas Covington: (14th in MX2) “Conditions were totally different than in any of the previous two GPs but I’m glad our speed was there. I missed the start in the opening moto and had to battle from outside the top 15 to finally end up eighth. I struggled a bit with arm pump but overall I felt quite good. In the second moto we got together with Kjer-Olsen and unfortunately I could not find a good race pace after that. I was also feeling a little bit sick during the weekend and that didn’t make things any easier. I got 14 overall from this GP but obviously I want more. The season is long and it’s up to me now to go get what’s there for me.”


Michele Cervellin: (9th in MX2) “This weekend wasn’t so bad but I know I can do better. In the first moto I had a good start and I lost some positions which ended up ninth which I am not really that happy about and then in the second Moto I finished eleventh which again is not something I am really that happy about. In the last part of both the moto’s I know I was riding good but I need to do some more work on how I ride in the first half with more speed. It is not the best weekend but when I am in Mexico I will focus on doing better and to take some good points back for the championship”


Conrad Mewse: (28th in MX2) “I did my best on this demanding track but nothing seemed to go our way. After Indonesia, where I kind of felt under the weather, I was hoping for some improved results in Argentina. Unfortunately, my starts were not good in both motos so again I found myself battling for the top 20. It’s been a hectic start to the championship with lots of travelling and very demanding racing conditions. We have one more GP in South America and then I’ll be looking forward to returning to Europe. We need to continue working. I know there’s so much more to give and I’ve got to find a way to make this happen.”


Dan Lamb is a 12+ year journalist and the owner of MotoXAddicts.