THOMAS COVINGTON & THOMAS KJER-OLSEN EARN SECOND & THIRD OVERALL AT A ROUGH LOMMEL TRACK
Taking place at the iconic sand circuit of Lommel in Belgium, round 15 of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship saw the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing duo of Thomas Covington and Thomas Kjer-Olsen secure second and third overall in the MX2 class. Matching his season-best result, Max Anstie made it to the third step of the podium in the MXGP category.
Going from strength to strength in this second half of the 2018 championship, Thomas Covington has earned five podium results in the last six rounds of the series. The Amercian kicked off his weekend at the Lommel track by securing a strong third place result in the Qualifying Race.
Taking advantage of his good gate pick, Covington made two strong starts in the final MX2 motos. Securing the runner-up spot in the opening moto, the FC 250 powered rider suffered a mistake during the closing stages of moto two and had to settle for third at the chequered flag. Earning second overall the young American has reduced his gap to the top five in the provisional MX2 World Championship standings.
Putting in two strong moto performances, Covington’s MX2 class teammate Thomas Kjer-Olsen earned third overall in the 250cc category. Third in the opening race, the young Dane wrapped up the weekend with fourth in the final class moto.
In the elite MXGP category, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie claimed third overall at the GP of Belgium. Demonstrating his sand racing skills, the Brit battled through demanding track conditions to collect two fourth-place results in the final MXGP motos.
The GP of Belgium was a challenging one for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin. Earning a set of 13/13 results the Frenchman was 11th overall in the MXGP category. Collecting 16 valuable points, Gautier remains sixth in the provisional MXGP World Championship standings.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will return to action at the 16th round of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship in Switzerland on August 18/19.
Thomas Covington: “I’m really happy with second overall at this tough GP. A few years ago, I couldn’t even think this would be possible over here in Lommel. There’s been a few weekends where I felt I should have won the GP, but this weekend Jorge [Prado] was just better. I could push him during the first part of the motos, but after that, I decided to keep it steady and ride safely for the overall podium. I just can’t thank the whole Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team members for all their hard work. We’ve been able to get some great results during the last few GPs and it’s onwards and upwards from here.”
Thomas Kjer-Olsen: “It feels good to be back on the podium. The track was brutal during both motos and the heat made things even harder. I got a decent gate pick from Saturday’s qualifying and my starts were good in both motos. I did the best I could in both races and I’m happy with third overall for this GP. With Thomas [Covington] getting second overall, it just shows how hard all the members of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teamwork. It felt good to be on the podium with my teammate. It was great to end the weekend like that and I’m looking forward to more times like that in the future.”
Max Anstie: “It was a tough GP and I was pleased to get on the podium. Overall, we’re making steps forward and we showed that this weekend. Getting fourth in qualifying gave me a good gate pick and my starts were great in both motos. In the first moto I made some passes before settling for fourth. Then in the second moto, I got another good start but I was running a little bit low on energy so had to give it my all until the finish. We had a great battle with Glenn [Coldenhoff] for third. Soon after I passed him I crashed and had to do it all over again. I kept pushing as much as I could and managed to secure my second podium result for the season.”
Gautier Paulin: “It was a challenging GP for us. I wasn’t able to get the start I would have wanted to in the opening moto and then I crashed twice in the first lap. Conditions were really tricky at the track but I gave my best trying to collect as much points as possible for the championship. Getting 11th overall is not the result we were looking for, but we’ll take it for what it is and move on. We will keep working hoping to end this season on a high note.”
Results – 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship, Round 15
MXGP – Overall
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 50pts; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 44; 3. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 36… 11. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 16… 14. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 13… 20. Harri Kullas (Husqvarna) 3
MXGP – Race 1
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 17 laps, 35:45.618; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 35:58.709; 3. Romain Febvre (Yamaha) 36:37.212; 4. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 36:49.652… 13. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 16 laps, 36:10.891; 14. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 36:17.834… 22. Harri Kullas (Husqvarna) 36:56.242; 23. Ander Valentin (Husqvarna) 37:34.964… 25. Lars van Berkel (Husqvarna) 37:46.601… 29. Matiss Karro (Husqvarna) 15 laps, 36:10.312… 34. Yentel Martens (Husqvarna) 11 laps, 25:56.236
MXGP – Race 2
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 17 laps, 35:34.847; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 36:07.897; 3. Glenn Coldenhoff (KTM) 36:22.569; 4. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 36:28.877… 13. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 16 laps, 36:01.737… 15. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 36:20.528… 18. Harri Kullas (Husqvarna) 36:24.328… 14. Lars van Berkel (Husqvarna) 37:40.891; 25. Matiss Karro (Husqvarna) 38:02.484
MX2 – Overall
1. Jorge Prado (KTM) 50pts; 2. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 42; 3. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 38… 10. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 21… 15. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 12
MX2 – Race 1
1. Jorge Prado (KTM) 16 laps, 34:59.736; 2. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 35:11.175; 3. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 35:20.877… 10. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 36:11.659… 13. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 36:40.966… 23. Dani de Vries (Husqvarna) 15 laps, 36:31.775
MX2 – Race 2
1. Jorge Prado (KTM) 16 laps, 34:51.222; 2. Jago Geerts (Yamaha) 34:55.305; 3. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 35:03.937; 4. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 35:12.355… 11. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 36:14.492… 17. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 15 laps, 35:15.246
Championship Standings – After Round 15
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 683pts; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 647; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 503… 6. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 435… 10. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 267… 20. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 89… 28. Harri Kullas (Husqvarna) 18… 30. Lewis Stewart (Husqvarna) 13; 31. Ander Valentin (Husqvarna) 8… 33. Aidi Lazaroni (Husqvarna) 6; 34. Rizky Hanif Kusparwanto (Husqvarna) 6
1. Jorge Prado (KTM) 645; 2. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 617; 3. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 492… 6. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 417… 9. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 261… 15. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 185; 16. Brent Van Doninck (Husqvarna) 151… 29. Muhammad Delvintor Alfarizi (Husqvarna) 28… 33. Diva Ismayana (Husqvarna) 24… 37. Hilman Maksum (Husqvarna) 20… 39. Jy Roberts (Husqvarna) 15… 43. Yoshua Pattipi (Husqvarna) 8… 45. Dylan Walsh (Husqvarna) 6… 47. Enzo Toriani (Husqvarna) 3; 48. Anthony Bourdon (Husqvarna) 3… 50. Andrea Zanotti (Husqvarna) 2
Words and images courtesy Husqvarna Motorcycles