Few Motocross courses on the planet can stack up with the famed Ernee facility in France. A host to multiple Motocross Des Nations, and a few several dozen MXGP rounds, the hillside track may be the best in the world. Seeing as France is not lacking in premier riders, this was a home game for several riders in the MXGP and MX2 classes. Most notable of that group on this trip is Red Bull KTM’s Tom Vialle, the current MX2 points leader. Others included Thibault Benistant and Stephen Rubini also in the MX2 class. In addition to MXGP class rider Maxime Renaux, who was coming off his first premier class win last weekend in Spain.
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The start of the weekend was…interesting to put it lightly. During qualifying day, there was a good amount of rain, leading to a brutal amount of mud on the track surface for the qualifying races. In the opening corner of the MX2 race, Jago Geerts went down and ended up hurting his shoulder. It appeared to look more serious, but the great news was that the Belgian was able to line up tomorrow with just some bumps and bruises.
Now here is where things get rather interesting. Several high-profile MXGP riders outright skipped their qualifying race due to the track conditions. That included points leader Tim Gajser, Jeremy Seewer, Jorge Prado, Mitch Evans, Calvin Vlaanderen, Pauls Jonass, and Ruben Fernandez. None of those riders felt the track conditions present warranted the risk of going out for the 20-minute Moto that was for nothing more than Sunday gate picks. This ended up being a very polarizing call on all fronts, even the great Stefan Everts weighed in with a thumbs down emoji on a post made by Prado.
Seewer later on Saturday had a conversation with Lewis Phillips of MX Vice, and to say he was heated would be an understatement. Phillips also caught up with David Luongo of InFront (MXGP’s equivalent to FELD Motor Sports), who quite frankly sounded completely apathetic to the riders’ concerns in his segment. Here is just a snippet of the conversation with Seewer via the Voice of the Drunken People.
The realest moto podcast of the year. Very interesting and frustrating situation going on in MXGP right now. Everyone go listen. And props to @LewisPhillips71 for getting the scoop. pic.twitter.com/SBFYUXgzUH
— The Voice of the Drunken People (@Drunken_People) June 5, 2022
MX2 Class Recap
After Simon Laengenfelder took home his fifth holeshot of 2022, Kevin Horgmo got by him on the outside for the early lead. That order stuck for the opening two laps, then Vialle jumped into the lead to a thunderous home country crowd reaction. Also making his way through the field was Geerts, bad shoulder and all. The Belgian even managed to catch Vialle, but tipped over in a split turn section and lost some time. That was enough for Vialle to pick up a 1.5-second win over his title rival, with Laengenfelder coming home in third.
Vialle in the all pink Alpinestars gear racked up holeshot No. 6 on the 2022 season but gave up the lead to fellow countryman Benistant as the pair went into the hillside section of the track. Behind them, Geerts made a great move around the outside on a flat corner, going from fifth to third. Two laps later, he did what he couldn’t pull off last Moto, and got by Vialle on his first shot.
The No. 28 ran into some more issues, going down before he was seen trying to get his clutch back into place. That whole ordeal cost him several seconds, as the Monster Energy Yamaha duo of Geerts and Benistant pulled away. Despite that, the 1-3 was good enough for the Grand Prix win, as his points lead over Geerts jumped up to 11.
MX2 Class Top 10 Results
1st No. 28 Tom Vialle 1-3
2nd No. 93 Jago Geerts 2-2
3rd No. 189 Thibault Benistant 8-1
4th No. 24 Kevin Horgmo 4-4
5th No. 516 Simon Laengenfelder 3-5
6th No. 72 Liam Everts 6-7
7th No. 80 Andrea Adamo 10-6
8th No. 253 Jan Pancar 10-8
9th No. 517 Isak Gifting 9-11
10th No. 27 Tom Guyon 12-9
MXGP Class Recap
Prado picked up his umpteenth holeshot in his career, but the big story was the dozen rider pileup going into turn one. Gajser, Renaux, Jonass, Evans, and several others hit the deck going well behind the eight ball right off the bat. Gajser kept himself on his toes in this one, as later on, he made a monster save after hitting a bad rut, cutting the track in the process, but unintentional. Then moments later he went down again on his own.
Back up at the front, Prado had led the entire race, but once again, couldn’t put together a full Moto. Seewer, who bided his time in second the entire time, made his move with two laps remaining, and that was all the No. 91 needed for the Moto win.
In a stunning development, Prado once again took home a holeshot. Once again, he also led into the second half of the race, and yet again was tracked down by a Monster Yamaha bike. This time, however, it was Glenn Coldenhoff as opposed to Seewer. Earlier in the day, the Dutchman winded up 12th in Moto 1, making a Grand Prix win unlikely, but a big development as his Yamaha stint hasn’t bared fruit quite yet. Prado later on lost second to Seewer and ended up with a 2-3 day for second overall. Seewer meanwhile won the Grand Prix with a 1-2, on a weekend that started as interesting as any other in the last several years.
MXGP Class Top 10 Results
1st No. 91 Jeremy Seewer 1-2
2nd No. 61 Jorge Prado 2-3
3rd No. 259 Glenn Coldenhoff 12-1
4th No. 243 Tim Gajser 5-4
5th No. 70 Ruben Fernandez 7-5
6th No. 32 Brent Van Doninck 3-12
7th No. 89 Jeremy Van Horebeek 6-8
8th No. 959 Maxime Renaux 9-6
9th No. 919 Ben Watson 8-9
10th No. 41 Pauls Jonass 11-7
Follow Jack Gaffney on Twitter @JackGaffneyPTST
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images