MXGP Recap: 2021 Grand Prix of Pietramurataby Jack Gaffney October 27, 2021 0 comments
After a quick couple of days off, the MXGP and MX2 riders got right back to action in Trentino. The second of three races at the scenic 1.55-mile circuit was also only the second, but the final midweek round of the season. Maxime Renuax, despite winning just two Grand Prixs in nearly three months, still finds himself on track to clinch the MX2 World Championship early.
Meanwhile, in regards to Jeffery Herlings in the MXGP Title Race, he found himself up close to a Moto’s worth of points over Romain Febvre entering Wednesday. This all after missing three Motos earlier in the year with a shoulder injury, an absolutely mental stretch for the Bullet. With just two off days between GPs, this event would be a showing of the rider’s ability to recover with just 48 hours of rest.
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Tom Vialle picked up holeshot No. 16 on the year to open up the day. Behind him on the start, a pair of riders never even made it to the holeshot line. Being Thibault Benistant, along with Stephen Rubini, the latter of whom would have a DNF-DNS day on Wednesday. As Vialle controlled the point from start to finish, Renaux would have an eventful race. Running in the back half of the top 10, the Frenchman got punted off track by Kay De Wolf. Luckily however he managed to recover here to wind up in seventh. A respectable result given the circumstances for the points leader here.
Up near the front, Englishman Conrad Mewse, who put up a solid effort for the Brits at Des Nations, had a sure top-five ripped out of his hands. The engine on his Hitachi KTM quit on him, forcing Mewse into a disappointing result of 29th. Vialle picked up the wire-to-wire Moto win here, with Jago Geerts and Ruben Fernandez rounding out the podium.
Vialle once again picked up a holeshot, No. 17 on the year, but Renaux, Rene Hoffer, and Mattia Guadagnini were all within a few bike lengths. Renaux, who finally picked up a good start, got by Vialle in an option corner on the outside. Vialle, in a highly questionable move, ‘threw it in’ on one of the uphill sections, and took himself and Renaux out. Hofer in all the chaos would take the lead, but things would get worse for Vialle in mere moments.
The defending World Champion hit the deck on the ensuing lap and was out of the race. Things probably would have gone differently if he did not go for the kill on lap one, but it is a bummer he got injured here. Renaux meanwhile, once again was on the prowl to get up into a solid position points-wise. Being scored as low as 10th place, the No. 959 bulldozed his way up into fourth for fifth overall.
The big story however was Hofer. The Dutchman not only picked up his first career Moto win, but also his first-ever Grand Prix win, going 4-1. A great result for Hofer, who missed a large chunk of 2020, and has since been solid in 2021. Renaux, in spite of losing points to second place Geerts again, can still clinch the MX2 World Title this Sunday. All he needs to do is gain 14 points on his Belgian teammate and this title race is over.
Top 10 Overall in MX2 Class
No. 711 Rene Hofer 4-1
No. 93 Jago Geerts 2-6
No. 70 Ruben Fernandez 3-5
No. 101 Mattia Guadagnini 11-2
No. 959 Maxime Renaux 7-4
No. 516 Simon Laengenfelder 9-7
No. 14 Jed Beaton 16-3
No. 20 Wilson Todd 6-11
No. 28 Tom Vialle 1-DNF
No. 11 Mikkel Harrup 10-10
Jorge Prado picked up the opening MXGP Holeshot on Wednesday, which was not surprising. What was however was what happened to Herlings. The Bullet tipped over on his own in turn one, then another rider ran over his bike, forcing him out of the Moto due to throttle damage. This was gigantic for the likes of Febvre and Tim Gajser, who now had the chance to get right back in title contention, and possibly retake the points lead.
By the end of lap one, Gajser had gotten by Prado for the lead, and Febvre followed suit moments afterward. Coming down to the wire, Febvre then made the winning pass on Gajser, and took home the Moto win by 1.008 seconds over the Slovenian. This win gave Febvre the presumptive points lead going into Moto 2 by a singular point. Herlings, getting no points here had his work cut out for him for later in the day.
A wild Antonio Cairoli sighting happened for the first time in weeks, as the No. 222 picked up his second holeshot of the year. Cairoli has had a brutal stretch in the back half of this season. Excluding Motocross Des Nations (which doesn’t count anyway), he has not had a podium result in a Moto or Grand Prix since the second round in Turkey back in early September. This would be a much-needed run for the Sicilian Superman, as he absolutely bolted from the rest of the field in this second Moto.
Herlings, who managed to get a great start in fourth fell in the opening few laps. This only cost him one spot for the time being, but with his points lead all but gone, every little mistake matters that much more now. The good news was that Herlings was the fastest rider on track down the stretch and got fourth back. Even more importantly was that the pass was on Febvre, ensuring that Herlings would enter Sunday the points leader still.
In the end, however, Cairoli won what could have very well been his final Grand Prix in his impeccable career. No. 70 on a 450, and No. 94 on his career. Hopefully, he still has some fuel in the tank for at least one more GP win, but with the title ramping up like it is, that may be unlikely.
Top 10 Overall in MXGP Class
No. 222 Antonio Cairoli 3-1
No. 243 Tim Gajser 2-3
No. 3 Romain Febvre 1-5
No. 91 Jeremy Seewer 4-2
No. 259 Glenn Coldenhoff 7-6
No. 19 Thomas Kjer Olson 8-7
No. 919 Ben Watson 6-9
No. 189 Brian Bogers 11-8
No. 29 Henry Jacobi 9-11
No. 89 Jeremy Van Horebeek 10-12
Only three rounds remain and the gap now from Herlings in first to Gajser in third is just three points. Regardless of the outcome, the MXGP Class title race is going to come to an all-time conclusion with just three rounds left.
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