The 2019 MXGP of Trentino is complete and the racing was absolutely incredible! The closest fought racing of the 2019 season thus far was taken by Team HRC’s Tim Gajser in MXGP and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado in MX2. Trentino hosts perhaps the most tranquil and serene circuit in the world, but today’s action was filled with intensity, vibrant emotions, and all out battles. The venue set along Italy’s snowcapped dolomites filled with tens of thousands of fans all cheering with enthusiasm for what are the best motocross racers in the world. It is hard to know where to begin when speaking of today’s racing or to articulate the truly amazing atmosphere created in Trentino today. Even prior to the first laps of the morning Warm Up session fans where on site with air horns, chainsaws, flags, and colored smoke. As the first sessions hit the track and the stars of MXGP took to Trentino the crowd came to life. The majority of the fans cheering were for Italian motocross hero and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Antonio Cairoli but, in similar fashion to rivals playing a football match, Cairoli’s main competitor, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, had his own fans who made the trip from neighboring Slovenia cheering just as passionately.
When MXGP Race 1 got underway Cairoli took the Fox Holeshot and lead but Gajser was in around 5th. Cairoli’s fellow Italians, Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki’s Alessandro Lupino, and Standing Construct KTM’s Ivo Monticelli were 2ndand 3rdahead of Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP’s Gautier Paulin. Gajser was quick to make moves taking 4th from Paulin in turn 3 then he took 3rdfrom Monticelli in the next turn before getting past Lupino for second in the first half of the opening lap. Gajser’s high tempo put him just behind Cairoli where he latched on and eyed the lines of the Sicilian. Monticelli meanwhile took 3rd from Lupino who dropped another spot to Paulin not along after. Paulin then worked his way past Monticelli to get into 3rd but Cairoli and Gajser were already long gone. Cairoli held the gap to Gajser at about 2 seconds for multiple laps but Gajser closed in as the laps ticked away and dropped the gap to within 1 second to apply pressure to the 9-time world champion.
On the 16th lap of 19 a bobble from Cairoli was all that Gajser need to take the lead away right in front of the Slovenian fans who cheered at the top of their lungs. Cairoli tried to retaliate quickly but a confident scrub and look from Gajser kept the Sicilian at bay. In the remaining three laps Cairoli continued to push to get Gajser back but it didn’t work and the Slovenian crossed the line only 1.081 seconds ahead much to the pleasure of not only himself but, also the corner lined with his fans! Paulin took 3rd another 53 seconds further back of the leaders with Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Teammate Arnaud Tonus 4th and Monticelli 5th. Race 2 was off to a good start for Gajser taking his first Fox Holeshot of the year. Cairoli was close in 2ndwith the two Wilvo bikes of Paulin and Tonus again 3rdand 4th. BOS Factory’s Tommy Searle was in 5tha short moment before losing spots to the two Standing Construct KTM riders of Max Anstie, who didn’t finish race 1 and Ivo Monticelli.
All eyes were on the two at the front with Gajser creating a slight gap only to be taken back away by Cairoli. On the ninth lap a miscue from Gajser saw the #222 of Cairoli go past along Pit Lane and across the finish line. With the Italian crowd on their feet Cairoli tried to pull away from the Slovenian but Gajser wasn’t having any of it as he took the lead back 5 laps later in the same spot which he had lost the position earlier. With 2 laps to go Cairoli returned the favor again in front of pitlane to the Italian fans roar and the teams nervous yet enthusiastic looks. Two mistakes from Cairoli would however decide the race as the pair pushed the limits of both each other and their factory race machines. Cairoli’s first mistake took him out of the preferred line and the next only a few meters later resulted in him losing the bike and lead. Cairoli got back up but Gajser was in the clear leading the final two laps to the win, his first since Leon, Mexico in 2017. Gajser’s emotion excitement and pure joy were unmistakable as he dropped his bike and ran thank the Slovenian fans lining the fences for the support. Cairoli finished 24 seconds later and congratulated Gajser as the headed to the podium joined by Paulin in third. The amazing racing and perfect weekend capped off by winning at Trentino for only the second time in his career, the first was actually his first ever MX2 win back in 2015, left both Gajser and Team HRC ecstatic.
Tim Gajser, “It is just unbelievable and it is my first win in more than a year. To be here in Arco is always special, to race in front of so many people, so many fans. Today we had two great races with Tony battling, we were both pushing. I’m just so happy and thankful that we won that overall. The fans, they just push you on because every lap you can hear them cheering for you, it’s just an unbelievable feeling here.”
Antonio Cairoli, “The level was very, very high, we were on the limit every lap, pushing and pushing. I did my best lap time in the race faster than the time practice even with the track rougher, so it’s not often that you have this. I was trying to win the GP but Tim was better this time and he won so congratulations to him.”
Gautier Paulin, “It’s always great to be on the podium, I’m actually happy about the riding and being on the box at the end of the day, but definitely, Tim and Antonio were faster today. So, we need to improve, we need to step up to the challenge and ride with them, be in that fight because as a racer when you fight for a win like that is unbelievable, it’s nice, it’s fun. The crowd was awesome here in Italy, the fans were crazy and I wasn’t in the battle but I was hearing the crowd from everywhere, actually every corner, so it was kind of special but congrats to these guys today!”
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:13.822; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:01.081; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:53.919; 4. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +1:00.314; 5. Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), +1:03.786; 6. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +1:05.635; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +1:06.887; 8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +1:07.631; 9. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +1:13.322; 10. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +1:20.698.
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), 34:11.454; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:24.305; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:53.333; 4. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:57.384; 5. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:58.712; 6. Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), +1:18.314; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:18.657; 8. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:25.075; 9. Brian Bogers (NED, Honda), +1:31.843; 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +1:36.522.
MXGP Overall Top Ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 50 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 44 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 40 p.; 4. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 36 p.; 5. Ivo Monticelli (ITA, KTM), 31 p.; 6. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 28 p.; 7. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KAW), 26 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 24 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 21 p.; 10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 20 p.
MXGP Championship Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 191 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 175 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 142 p.; 4. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 120 p.; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 113 p.; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 112 p.; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 98 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 88 p.; 9. Julien Lieber (BEL, KAW), 79 p.; 10. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 71 p.
MXGP Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 191 points; 2. Honda, 177 p.; 3. Yamaha, 153 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 131 p.; 5. Husqvarna, 120 p.