The on-track activities have begun at the 2017 MXGP of USA, round seventeen of the 2017 Monster Energy FIM Motocross World Championship. A field of international riders and a few US wild cards quickly learned the long, sandy layout at WW Motocross Park that sits just outside of Jacksonville, Florida, and the weekend of racing should be stellar.
2017 MXGP Of USA | MX2 Qualifying Report
The holeshot was the key to Thomas Covington's moto. By besting the field through the first turn, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MX2 rider avoided a massive pileup that claimed a few of the usual front-runners (Seewer, Leiber, Boger) and put in laps at his preferred pace. Before long, the young American was clear of the competition and cruised to the checkered flag virtually unchallenged.
Justin Cooper wasted no time finding the front of the field his MXGP series debut. The Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha rookie hung close to Covington in the early laps and held off the advances of the international riders to claim second place.
It's clear that Pauls Jonass has the championship on his mind. The Red Bull KTM MX2 rider avoided any issues in the qualifying sprint to take third place over Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MX2's Thomas Kjer Olsen and Red Bull KTM MX2's Jorge Prado.
Adam Cianciarulo is a scratch for the rest of the race weekend due to a knee injury the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider sustained in practice.
Total Race Time | 25:25.861 minutes, 11 laps Fastest Lap Time | Thomas Covington – 2:04.779 minutes
Margin Of Victory | 6.233 seconds
2017 MXGP Of USA | MXGP Qualifying Report
Red Bull KTM MXGP teammates and championship rivals Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings began a battle the moment the gate dropped. Cairoli snagged the holeshot over Herlings and led the opening laps, with a pace that helped the two riders break free of the pack. Midway through the moto, Herlings upped his effort and powered by Cairoli with new lines around the soft circuit. Once into the top spot, Herlings managed to build a solid lead and took the win by nearly twenty seconds.
Monster Energy Yamaha MXGP's Romain Febvre quietly completed the moto in third place, a ways behind the leaders but just ahead of teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek.
Justin Barcia was the top American early in the race, as the AutoTrader/Monster Energy/Toyota/JGRMX/Suzuki rider was at the front in the opening laps until a run-in with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MXGP's Gautier Paulin put both riders on the ground. Barcia's bike was too damaged to continue and he DNF'd the moto.
Cooper Webb suffered a broken thumb in a crash during the morning free practice session. The Monster Energy/Yamalube/Chaparral/Yamaha Financial Services/Yamaha rider sat out the day's race, but has stated he would like to line up on Sunday.
Total Race Time | 25:03.186 minutes, 11 laps Fastest Lap Time | Jeffrey Herlings – 2:03.876 minutes
Margin of Victory | 19.666 seconds