On a typical Swedish summer day, the weather changed almost as much as positions on the track as rain showers interspersed patches of sunshine which meant that the Uddevalla track was in a permanent state of flux. It all didn’t seem to affect the riders too much though as they put on a great show for the on-watching cliffside spectators.
In the MXGP class we finally got to witness the return of Tim Gajser to the winners’ circle and Romain Febvre to the podium as things had a decidedly ‘2016’ look to the overall results. Gajser seemed right at home with the surface, breaking away from the field in the first moto to take the win, before pressurising Romain Febvre in the second moto as the two battled for the lead position. Unfortunately, after getting second in race one, Jeffrey Herlings was absent from the podium spots after his chain derailed just after he overtook Gajser for second spot in moto two. It was actually quite an important incident as with Cairoli struggling with just 26 points in the two motos, Herlings missed the opportunity to take out a 20+ point chunk of his championship lead. Instead, with three rounds remaining, all Cairoli has to do be crowned champion is to beat Herlings’ points tally when the series heads to America in two weeks’ time.
The MX2 class provided even more drama as Team USA pick Thomas Covington showed his never-say-die attitude by diving up the inside of Jeremy Seewer in the very last corner and taking the win by just 0.05 seconds. It was a great result for Covington in what was his fourth moto win of the season so far, and further vindication that he was the right pick for America at the Motocross of Nations in October. It was obviously a big disappointment for Seewer to miss out on the victory as every point counts in his struggle to overturn Pauls Jonass’ 45-point championship lead. The Swiss Suzuki rider still took the overall with his 2-2 results but only closed the gap on Jonass by 4 points as the Latvian KTM rider went 3-3. The winner of the first race was Jorge Prado who once again ripped off two holeshots, giving him just enough breathing space in the first moto to hold onto the lead in his usual flamboyant style.
As mentioned, next up is the USGP which is now scheduled to be held at WW Ranch, just outside of Jacksonville, Florida. In what will be the first major event for the venue, all eyes are interested to see what American riders pick up the gauntlet as the MXGP calendar draws to a close.
MXGP Overall: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 47 points 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 40 p. 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 40 p. 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 36 p. 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 32 p. 6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 29 p. 7. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 26 p. 8. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 24 p. 9. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, SUZ), 23 p.
10. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 22 p.