Battling for the overall class victory, Thomas Covington found his way back to the MX2 class podium at round 14 of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship. Earning two solid runner-up moto results, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider claimed third overall at the GP of the Czech Republic.
Going from strength to strength in this second half of the 2018 FIM MX2 World Championship, Covington put in another strong performance at the Loket track. The weekend started in the best possible way for the young American, who topped Saturday’s MX2 Qualifying Race to place himself in pole position for Sunday’s motos. Securing two solid runner-up results in the final races, Covington remains sixth in the provisional 2018 MX2 World Championship standings.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer-Olsen continued his consistent run of form by putting in a strong performance at the at the GP of the Czech Republic. Getting third in the MX2 Qualifying Race, the young Dane battled through a first moto crash to secure a set of 7/4 results to place fifth overall in the 250cc category.
Spearheading the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team’s efforts in the elite MXGP category was once again Gautier Paulin. Earning two sixth place results despite a first moto crash, the Frenchman wrapped up the GP with seventh overall in the class.
Showing what he’s capable of by leading the first half of the MXGP Qualifying Race, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie earned a spot inside the top ten in the MXGP category. Claiming 12/11 results, the Brit finished 10th overall.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will return to action at the 15th round of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship in Belgium on August 3/4.
Thomas Covington: “It was a good weekend and I’m happy I managed to put in two solid motos. Also, winning the Qualifying Race on Saturday felt great. In moto one my start was good and after a few passes I managed to get the lead for a few laps. I was riding a bit tight and that allowed Vlaanderen to make the pass. Nevertheless, I felt my riding was good and I was happy with second. My start in moto two was even better but I got caught up behind Jacobi. When I finally passed him, Prado had already made a gap for the lead. I put my head down and managed to catch Prado heading for the last couple of laps. I tried hard to win the moto and the overall but it just wasn’t meant to be. All in all, I am happy with my speed. My bike is working good and I will keep on battling for the overall win in the class.”
Thomas Kjer-Olsen: “I’m satisfied with fifth overall at this GP. It might not be the best possible result but following my crash in the opening moto this was the best I could do. After the crash I had to dig deep to come from dead last to seventh at the line. It was a long moto and I spent too much energy to make it inside the top seven. Then in the second moto my start was a lot better and I found myself inside the top three in the second lap. I struggled a bit to get a good pace, but things kept getting better as the race went on. I am happy with fourth in moto two. I gave my best this weekend and this is what matters the most. I am looking forward to the GP in Lommel now.”
Gautier Paulin: “I got two good starts inside the top five in both motos and that was really positive. In the opening moto I pushed hard right after the start and was inside a small group of riders who managed to break away from the rest of the pack. While running in fourth position I had a high-speed crash in the step-up and that made me lose some time. I got back and put my head down to cross the line in sixth place. I got another good start in moto two and from sixth I went up to fourth again. Some small mistakes midway through the moto forced me to settle for sixth again in the last moto. The bike is working great and I am really looking forward to the next GP in Lommel now.”
Max Anstie: “Overall, it was a tough GP for me. After getting the holeshot and running up front for the first part of the Qualifying Race, I really wanted to do something similar in the final motos. My starts in both motos were not bad, but I was unlucky to get caught by other riders right after the start. I fought as hard as I could but it was tough to pass at this track. The results might not show it, but I felt good at the track throughout the weekend. We have a great machine and I will keep giving my best and hope for even better results in the races to come.”
Results – 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship, Round 14
MXGP – Overall
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 50pts; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 44; 3. Tim Gajser (Honda) 40… 7. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 30… 10. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 19… 15. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 11
MXGP – Race 1
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 19 laps, 34:28.981; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 35:00.973; 3. Tim Gajser (Honda) 35:04.029… 6. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 35:20.164… 12. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 35:59.941… 14. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 36:07.670… 25. Jemej Irt (Husqvarna) 18 laps, 35:51.736… 28. Petr Smitka (Husqvarna) 18 laps, 36:21.827; 29. Klemen Gercar (Husqvarna) 17 laps, 34:30.863; 30. Michael Doherty (Husqvarna) 34:39.572… 32. Matiss Karro (Husqvarna) 36:34.262
MXGP – Race 2
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 19 laps, 34:33.827; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 35:05.395; 3. Tim Gajser (Honda) 35:10.883… 7. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 35:34.247… 11. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 36:07.250… 17. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 36:24.912… 24. Klemen Gercar (Husqvarna) 18 laps, 35:49.024… 28. Michael Doherty (Husqvarna) 36:22.444
MX2 – Overall
1. Jorge Prado (KTM) 45pts; 2. Calvin Vlaanderen (Honda) 45; 3. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 44… 5. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 32… 7. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 26… 14. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 14
MX2 – Race 1
1. Calvin Vlaanderen (Honda) 18 laps, 33:49.461; 2. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 33:51.890; 3. Jorge Prado (KTM) 33:52.461… 7. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 34:21.042; 8. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 34:27.167… 16. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 35:06.660… 26. Enzo Toriani (Husqvarna) 17 laps, 34:03.326
MX2 – Race 2
1. Jorge Prado (KTM) 18 laps, 33:59.877; 2. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 34:01.613; 3. Calvin Vlaanderen (Honda) 34:10.148; 4. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 34:14.438… 8. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 34:46.277… 12. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 35:18.040
Championship Standings – After Round 14
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 633pts; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 603; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 479… 6. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 419… 10. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 231… 21. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 76… 28. Harri Kullas (Husqvarna) 15; 29. Lewis Stewart (Husqvarna) 15; 30. Ander Valentin (Husqvarna) 8; 31. Aidi Lazaroni (Husqvarna) 6; 32. Rizky Hanif Kusparwanto (Husqvarna) 6
1. Jorge Prado (KTM) 595; 2. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 584; 3. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 454… 6. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 375… 9. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 249… 12. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 185… 16. Brent Van Doninck (Husqvarna) 130… 29. Muhammad Delvintor Alfarizi (Husqvarna) 30; 28. Diva Ismayana (Husqvarna) 24… 36. Hilman Maksum (Husqvarna) 20… 39. Jy Roberts (Husqvarna) 15… 43. Yoshua Pattipi (Husqvarna) 8; 44. 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