Seewer Secures Race & Grand Prix Win as Renaux Returns from Injury with Astonishing Race Win for Second Overall
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Jeremy Seewer scored his second Grand Prix win of 2022 after a masterclass performance at the 13th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Loket, Czech Republic. At the same time, teammate Maxime Renaux made an incredible return to action, ending the Czech Grand Prix on the second step of the podium, while Glenn Coldenhoff rounded out the top four.
In dry and slippery conditions on Saturday afternoon, Seewer shone as he flew around the steep and daunting hillside circuit of Loket. The speedy ‘91’ pulled a phenomenal holeshot and led every lap for his first Qualifying Race win of the season. As Seewer took his place as the eighth different MXGP-class polesitter this season, Coldenhoff put in some smooth and consistent laps for fourth as Renaux charged to sixth.
With sunny blue skies above, a frantic start to the opening MXGP race saw Seewer go bar-to-bar with the championship leader Tim Gajser and his closest rival Jorge Prado around turn one. After five minutes behind the leaders, the ‘91’ set off on a charge. On lap four, he stormed down the inside of Gajser before taking the lead from Prado on lap seven with a spectacular pass through the waves.
Once in the lead, Seewer proved his prowess and charged to a dominant race win – his third race win of the season.
Renaux and Coldenhoff made up the top five on the exit of turn one, and after a series of brilliant laps, the duo eventually made inroads on Prado. Both riders passed the Spaniard to cross the ‘line in the third and fourth positions, respectively.
The second and final race of the weekend was marked by Renaux’s mind-blowing return to form and commanding race pace. The rookie sensation put in a masterful ride after passing Prado and his fast-starting teammate, Seewer, on the opening lap to secure a dominant race win – his fourth of the season.
Looking at the bigger picture, Seewer settled in second place, knowing the position would be enough to secure the Grand Prix victory. At the same time, Coldenhoff put in another strong ride, despite feeling under the weather, to finish fourth for fourth overall.
Seewer has now moved up to second in the MXGP Championship Standings. Renaux and Coldenhoff are fourth and fifth, respectively.
The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place next weekend, July 23rd and 24th in Lommel, Belgium.
MXGP of Czech Republic Winner, 47-points
2nd MXGP Championship Standings, 452-points
“It’s incredible to win this one, even though I feel like I could have gone 1-1 but I just made one mistake too much. I was a bit quicker, but Maxime (Renaux) was riding really well, and although I tried to catch him, I couldn’t make it happen, so I took the GP win, which is amazing after a tough week. I feel like I was not perfectly prepared for this one but I’m not giving up, there are still a few rounds left and I will fight for as many points as possible. We will see what we get and I will try to win some more.”
2nd MXGP of Czech Republic, 45-points
4th MXGP Championship Standings, 410-points
“To come back like this after such a bad injury wasn’t easy. We really made some big steps with the physio to be able to be here in good shape. It’s just amazing. I could not have dreamed of a better return to racing. To get a race win and be second on the podium is just fantastic. I am just super grateful because it could have been much worse and I am still not done for the championship, so I just hope to continue like this to the end of the season.”
4th MXGP of Czech Republic, 36-points
5th MXGP Championship Standings, 399-points
“First moto today was good. I was pushing hard but stayed a bit too long behind (Jorge) Prado. I had the pace of the guys in front of me, except for Jeremy (Seewer) who just had a little bit more. In the second one my start was not bad, but (Tim) Gajser passed me on the first lap, and I passed Prado, but was just a little bit off the pace and also didn’t feel too well. I was struggling a little bit. In the end 4-4 is still a solid result, but I want more than that.”
Geerts & Benistant Celebrate Phenomenal 1-2 in Czech Republic
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts reclaimed the MX2 Championship Lead at the 13th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Loket, Czech Republic. After finishing third in Race 1, the 22-year-old Belgian bounced back with a thrilling win in Race 2 to secure his fourth Grand Prix win of the season. The ‘93’ was joined on the podium by his budding teammate Thibault Benistant who finished second overall after a sensational race win and a hard-fought fourth place. As a result, Yamaha has reclaimed the lead in the Manufacturer’s Championship.
The Czech Grand Prix got off to an incredible start for Benistant, who sailed to his second Qualifying Race win of the season, while Geerts finished third after edging the series leader Tom Vialle on the final lap.
In the opening race, Benistant picked up right where he left off. The young super-talent powered his YZ250FM to an incredible holeshot and was flawless in his charge to a stunning race win – his third of the season. Geerts made inroads in the points battle at the top of the table after capitalizing on the errors of his closest championship rival with a third-place finish.
Loket is an “old-school” track that embodies many steep up-hills and daunting down-hills. The surface is clay, which emphasizes throttle control and is often described as “tricky” to ride. Geerts took the holeshot in the final race of the day but was edged back to second as he took his time finding his rhythm.
Benistant fought back from a mid-pack start to finish fourth as Geerts withstood insane pressure to secure a thrilling and pivotal race win – his ninth of the season.
After celebrating his 11th podium finish of the season on the top step, Geerts now carries the red plate with an 8-point advantage into his and the team’s home Grand Prix next weekend. The event will take place in Lommel, Belgium, just 10-minutes’ drive from Geerts’ hometown and 35-minutes from the teams’ base in Genk.
MX2 Grand Prix of Czech Republic winner, 45-points
MX2 Championship Leader, 543-points
“I’m really happy with today. In the first race I struggled a little bit on the track, so before the second heat we made a small change on the bike, and I took the holeshot. I did make a small mistake on the first lap and Tom (Vialle) passed me, but after that I felt strong on the bike and good on the track. After 15-minutes I passed Tom back and pushed hard to win the moto. I also got the Championship Lead back, so it’s going to be nice to ride in Lommel at my home GP with the red plate next weekend.”
2nd MX2 Grand Prix of Czech Republic, 43-points
6th MX2 Championship Standings, 347-points
“I’m a bit disappointed because of the second race because my start was not bad, but I touched with the other guys in the first corner, so I had to start from a bit behind. I tried to push but on this track is not easier to make a comeback. I managed to fight back to fourth but for sure I wanted to win the second one to make it happen, the double race victory. But it wasn’t meant to be this weekend, so I will continue to work to be better in the next few races.”
CAIROLI REFLECTS ON BRIGHT U.S. MOTOCROSS EXPERIENCE 2022 Motocross News
Multi world champion and one of the most successful motocross racers of the modern era, Tony Cairoli, talks about his recent ‘rookie’ outings in the 2022 AMA Pro National series in the United States.
When Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MXGP icon Tony Cairoli announced that he was stepping away from full-time FIM world championship competition last summer one goal remained on the horizon: contesting a round of the most competitive national motocross series in the world, the AMA Pro Nationals.
Through the combined resources of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing in Austria and the North American operation that attempts the lengthy American supercross and motocross calendar, space was found for the record-setting Italian to travel to the United States and join the likes of Aaron Plessinger and the returning Ryan Dungey for select appearances with the new KTM 450 SX-F.
The arrangements were put together just in time for Tony to gain enough riding and training in Europe and his base near Rome to be able to fly across the Atlantic in reasonable shape to race. As one of the most revered motocrossers this century the #222 was welcomed with open arms by eager American fans and showed his class despite nearing his 37th birthday by scoring a host of top ten results and circulating on the fringe – and even inside – the top five. After events in California, Colorado and Pennsylvania Tony returned home to continue his ambassador and testing role with the factory and to lend his considerable experience to the current MXGP effort.
Tony, you went to the USA with a month of preparation. It wasn’t much, did you feel that?
For sure, and I knew it would be very tough to compete but then I was also a bit surprised because the top five was possible, if it wasn’t for a few mistakes. We were always there: 7, 8, 5, 6, 4, 4. I was pretty happy in the end with the pace I had.
You’d always wanted to try the series and some of those American tracks are very well-known. You’d spent almost twenty years on Grand Prix circuits so it must have been an exciting discovery…
Really nice and because everything was so new it meant I had to learn the tracks, the dirt, the opponents and the pace of the motos. It was fun for sure.
You raced the 2023 KTM 450 SX-F as well…
It was a great experience to ride the new bike. The engine had the same great delivery as my factory bike last year but we didn’t have much time to work on the suspension settings for the new chassis. We were testing while we were racing and for a few days we were riding in between. After two races I started to feel much better and was happy with how the bike felt.
The plan was for one, then two and finally you committed to four races. Was that too few or more than you expected?
It was nice just to do the four. It was always the plan to do the first two but then we stayed for another two because I could see we were improving a lot. We were already in the States and it cost very little to stay another couple of weeks for two more races. We knew we had to make a decision after those four but I based it on how I was feeling. I was getting better each time but to do the whole season is very tough for me after so many years of a big focus on the world championship. Looking back now I should have been in the programme from the beginning. It would have been possible then, but with the preparation I had it would have been a very big effort to do the whole championship.
Was it like leaving early from a nice party?
Yes! It was like this. It was a great experience and we did well until round four when I had some trouble in the first moto and I crashed and hit my knee a little bit. I knew it was my last race and, if I was fighting for the championship then I would have made an extra push, but I was out of the top ten and I didn’t want to risk that much. I was just there to enjoy the races and not to crash and get injured.
What aspects of the series were easier than MXGP?
I liked the track preparation. The track crew really listened to the riders and would have dialogue with the top guys after each session. If we had recommendations on parts of the track then they would immediately fix them. I liked the one-day format as well. It was more intense and everybody goes faster from the beginning.
What did you find that was tougher?
The start gate was different but then also the pace of the motos. The first laps are crazy-quick because I think the guys are used to bringing that from supercross. The first two laps they are very fast and aggressive and that’s different to MXGP where everyone will set the first laps and then the rhythm gets higher. It was a bit difficult to adapt to the fact that the craziest part of the race is right at the beginning. You have to adjust to that quickly.
How did you find your reception by the U.S. fans and people that had perhaps wanted to see you race for a long time?
It was crazy! The fans were really supportive and cheering a lot. I saw many Italian flags around the tracks. It was really nice and I didn’t expect such a warm welcome. It was another really enjoyable part of it all.
Lastly, you were racing against Ryan Dungey and ex-teammates like Ken Roczen as well as a whole American pack. Usually, your experience of this opposition is in limited numbers once a year at the Motocross of Nations. How was that?
Racing against people that you have never really had a chance was another special part. Everyone has their own style and, of course, at the Nations you only compete against two of the riders. Here there were obviously a lot! So, the beginnings of the races were fun but also difficult because you had to get ‘used’ to the others. It was nice to see some old competitors back on track.