PRADO ON THE MARCH TO TITLE DEFENCE WITH THIRTEENTH GRAND PRIX WIN OF 2019 IN BELGIUM
MXGP 2019 Round 14 of 18, Lommel (BEL)
Red Bull KTM’s Jorge Prado extended his unbeaten run in both the 2019 FIM MX2 World Championship and the Grand Prix of Belgium with his thirteenth victory of the season in the sand of Lommel today. Teammate Tom Vialle rode well to take 4th and almost entered the podium ceremony for the sixth time this year.
MXGP landed in the bumpy and draining sand of Lommel for a sunny and busy Grand Prix of Belgium and the fourteenth round of eighteen in the 2019 series. Defending World Champion Jorge Prado led the brilliant MX2 wing of Red Bull KTM (MXGP athletes Jeffrey Herlings and Tony Cairoli still absent through injury) to more success in front of a 33,000 crowd. The eighteen year old had won at Lommel in his debut season in 2017 and also his title-winning term of 2018 so therefore completed the hat-trick.
Credit to Standing Construct KTM with their first MXGP podium finish of the year thanks to Glenn Coldenhoff in 3rd place overall and teammate Max Anstie winning the second premier class moto.
Starting from his tenth Pole Position of the season (from thirteen rounds contested) Prado duly aced his fifteenth holeshot and escaped with the first moto for his 23rd chequered flag from 25. Those numbers improved to 24 from 26 in the second race as Prado repeated his start, first lap-speed and consistency to remain untouchable once more. A brief crash on the last lap, costing a few seconds, was the only blot on the copybook. The Spaniard now has thirteen grand prix wins (eleven of those with 1-1 scorecards) and twelve in a row, equalling Jeffrey Herlings’ record from 2014 and 2016. With a 124 point lead in the standings and just 200 left to win in 2019 Prado can now start to think about becoming KTM’s third back-to-back MX2 champion this decade.
Rookie Tom Vialle was negotiating Lommel for the first time as a factory rider and qualified in a decent 3rd position on Saturday. The French star was able to count on typically bright starts in both the motos and showed the rate of his development by maintaining top five pace in the hot and difficult conditions. The eighteen year old went 4-4 for 4th overall (tying on points for the last podium spot) and has moved back to 3rd in the championship.
Jorge Prado: “Lommel is a very tough race and for sure you need to come here mentally ready – physically as well – but also relaxed and with the knowledge you are going to suffer. I knew the start was going to be key and I made two good ones and had good flow through both motos. I had a big lead and was going through the backmarkers when I had a small crash but it was nothing major. I think the bumps were smoother today but it was still very rough. Another perfect weekend.”
Tom Vialle: “A good day. I never rode too much in the sand when I was younger but for one year now I have been living in Belgium and have trained a lot on this terrain with Joel [Smets] and all the team. We made a great effort and I’m very happy to make two good race results on this tough track. It was technically difficult but kinda fun to jump through the bumps. We are third in the championship again and the last four races are on the hard-pack and that''s good for me. I’m focussed for strong results and every time in the top five.”
MXGP will break for a week before back-to-back rounds in Italy (Imola) and Sweden (Uddevalla) will mean two more hard-pack outings for the best of Grand Prix.
Results MXGP Belgium 2019
1. Tim Gajser (SLO), Honda (2-2)
2. Romain Febvre (FRA), Yamaha (1-4)
3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED), KTM (3-3)
4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI), Yamaha (4-5)
5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL), Honda (6-7)
Standings MXGP 2019 after 14 of 18 rounds
1. Tim Gajser 626 points
2. Jeremy Seewer 439
3. Gautier Paulin 402
4. Arnaud Tonus 396
5. Tony Cairoli 358
24. Jeffrey Herlings 57
Results MX2 Belgium 2019
1. Jorge Prado (ESP), Red Bull KTM (1-1)
2. Calvin Vlaanderen (RSA), Honda (7-2)
3. Ben Watson (GBR), Yamaha (5-3)
4. Tom Vialle (FRA), Red Bull KTM (4-4)
5. Adam Sterry (GBR), Kawasaki (3-6)
Standings MX2 2019 after 14 of 18 rounds
1. Jorge Prado 644
2. Thomas Kjer Olsen 520
3. Tom Vialle 416
4. Jago Geerts 413
5. Henry Jacobi 399
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