MXGP Recap: 2021 Grand Prix of Afyon

MXGP Recap: 2021 Grand Prix of Afyon

by September 10, 2021 0 comments

It was a quick turnaround for the riders in the MXGP Paddock. For what is the only time this season, two Grand Prix were scheduled in the span of four days. Red Bull KTM’s Jeffery Herlings and Tom Vialle looked to capitalize on their strong wins from just days ago on the same track as run on Sunday. For points leaders Tim Gajser and Maxime Renuax, it was all about entering this upcoming 10-day break maintaining strong leads. After Wednesday, MXGP will not have a flyaway (non-European) round until mid-November.

MX2 Class

Moto 1

Vialle would open up the day with another holeshot in Turkey, however, Renaux wove by his fellow Frenchman less than four laps in. Vialle’s teammate Mattia Guadgnini was also looking to make inroads up to the front, but incidentally took out another rider. That was Rockstar Husqvarna’s Jed Beaton, who fell over to his right on a left-handed corner. Beaton would free fall from here, going from fourth to as low as 13th here.

Renaux, who earlier got by the red hot Vialle early one, would cruise on to a dominant opening Moto win here. With the Red Bull KTM rider on a recent surge, it was nice to see the Yamaha rider return to the top of the podium. This was Renaux’s fifth Moto win of the season, with Vialle coming home second, Guadagnini third.

Moto 2

Vialle would again pick up another holeshot, his fifth of the year in what was only his 12th Moto start. The key difference here was despite a good start by Renaux, he was unable to get by the defending champion. Despite this, he was able to secure second in this Moto as well as in the overall standings. Beaton, who had a potential good run in Moto 1 taken away, rectified that here. After being scored seventh on lap one, he was able to slice through the field and ended up taking the final podium spot. Beaton also ended up fifth overall despite a 12th in Moto 1, an excellent recovery for the Australian.

Vialle, meanwhile, would take home Moto 2 and his third Grand Prix win of the year. In a year where maybe shutting it down on track could make sense, the defending champion has shown great determination in these Motos. It is a shame he missed three straight events early on, as this certainly could have been another monster year for him. The good news for Renaux is that his points lead is looking really good at this stage of the year. He is a point shy of having a full Grand Prix points lead over Guadagnini with nine rounds remaining.

Top 10 Overall in MX2 Class

No. 28 Tom Vialle 2-1

No. 959 Maxime Renaux 1-2

No. 101 Mattia Guadagnini 3-6

No. 198 Thibault Benistant 6-4

No. 14 Jed Beaton 12-3

No. 711 Rene Hofer 9-5

No. 20 Wilson Todd 5-9

No. 93 Jago Geerts 4-11

No. 74 Kay de Wolf 7-8

No. 70 Ruben Fernandez 8-12

MXGP Class

Moto 1

Stop if you have heard this one before. A Jorge Prado holeshot? In this economy? This was his eighth of the year, which is unheard of. Mike Alessi is somewhere right now frothing in envy. He, Romain Febvre, and Herlings would man the podium spots in the early laps in the first premier class Moto. Behind this trio, Jeremy Sewer had a rather violent looking get off which took him out of fifth place in the opening corner of lap four. Antonio Cairoli, who was rebounding from a poor start, would capitalize on the Swiss Yamaha rider’s mistake.

Back up at the front, as Herlings, Gajser, and Febvre began to close in on each other, Prado slipped up in first. He went down off to the side of the track on lap five and he did not continue after going down. Massive point implications for the Spaniard, who is well in the thick of this year’s title chase. Febvre inherited the lead as a result and would hold on to it up until the final lap. The former world champion tipped over, falling from first to fourth, and gave up the lead to Herlings. Cairoli, who came out of nowhere, got by Gajser for second amidst all of this and finished mere bike lengths back of Herlings who won here.

Moto 2

You can let your imagination run wild on who took home the holeshot, despite not finishing Moto 1. An issue for Prado this year is not being able to seal the deal in the races despite his world-class starts. This Moto would be no different, as Gajser took the lead from him on lap seven, and then Prado began slowly falling backward from here. Herlings ended up taking a little extra time to get by his Red Bull KTM teammate, and that likely cost him the win.

Gajser built up a strong gap and easily took home the Moto win, however, Herlings completed the sweep of the Grand Prix’s in Turkey. This was also the 32nd premier class win in the career of the Flying Dutchman. Herlings also moves up to fourth in points after Prado’s Moto 1 mishap and sits 34 points back of Gajser. Additionally, a huge shoutout to Pauls Jonass who was on the bike after his big crash just days ago. The GasGas’ rider had a great day, going 5-6 for fifth Overall.

Top 10 Overall in MXGP Class

No. 84 Jeffery Herlings 1-2

No. 243 Tim Gajser 3-1

No. 222 Antonio Cairoli 2-3

No. 3 Romain Febvre 4-5

No. 41 Pauls Jonass 5-6

No. 303 Alberto Forato 6-7

No. 77 Alessandro Lupino 9-8

No. 29 Henri Jacobi 7-11

No. 19 Thomas Kjer Olsen 12-9

No. 61 Jorge Prado DNF-4

A 10-day break is now on the horizon, before an extended stay in Italy. First, to Sardina next weekend for the second of three points-paying races in Italy. Afterward, it is time for Motocross Des Nations in Mantova.

Some big news on that front, Marvin Musquin, who was slated to be the MX1 rider for France, is now out of the event. He is currently dealing with a case of Covid-19 and is now set to miss the final round of the AMA championship in Hangtown. His replacement is Benoît Paturel, who won with France back in 2016. Some good news for Musquin is that he just signed a one-year Supercross-only deal with the American Red Bull KTM Squad just a couple of days ago.

At long last, this year’s Des Nations host, Italy, has also finally revealed their squad. Cairoli, Guadagnini, Lupino. That, my friends, just may be the winner. Cairoli has done everything there is to do in Motocross except win Des Nations. Now the all-time great has an opportunity to do just that, even more, to do it on home soil as well. With no competitors from the United States and a number of superstar riders already out, this is as good of a shot as the 222 will ever get.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images 

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