For the 8th round of the 2018 MXGP World Championship here in Teutschenthal, Germany the KTM teammates of Pauls Jonass and Jorge Prado swap wins. These riders are on another level. Honda’s Calvin Vlaanderen has been picking up the pace the last few rounds and finished third.
The 2018 MXGP World Championship continues this weekend at the hilly Teutschenthal circuit for the 8th round of the season here in Germany. In the qualifying race it was teammates Jorge Prado and Pauls Jonass going 1-2. Honda’s Calvin Vlaadnderen rounded the podium for third.
In the MX2 Qualifying race it was another Holeshot from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Pradowith his Teammate, Pauls Jonass, just behind. Chasing down the 2 KTM’s was Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Covington but he wasn’t alone, Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen was shadowing the American.
Vlaanderen looked good all day even scoring the fastest lap of the time practice session over Jonass by a close 6 hundredths of a second. The South African hounded the back wheel of Covington for the first 4 laps before taking over 3rd on lap 5.
Running in 5th position was Kemea Yamaha Official MX2’s Ben Watson while his Teammate, Jago Geerts, was in 9th behind New Zealand’s Dylan Walsh who traditionally races the EMX250 championship. Walsh had the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing bike of Thomas Kjer Olsen just ahead of him on lap one but by lap 2 Olsen had made his way to 6th with a pass on F&H Racing Team’s Jed Beaton.
Walsh however made a slight mistake on the 9th lap when he dropped his Husqvarna in a turn. Luckily for the Kiwi the error only cost him one position to TM Racing Factory Team’s Samuele Bernardini.
Meanwhile Prado left Jonass to race on his own but Olsen was still making passes, by the finish Olsen passed both Watson and his teammate, Covington, to take 4th. Prado took the win with Jonass second and Vlaanderen 3rd.
Jorge Prado in the qualifying press conference said: “I could finish the race in 1st after riding really good. Everybody is going really fast so if you have a bad start it is quite difficult to get to the front, but I had a good start so I’m happy with my race.”
STC Racing Husqvarna’s Henry Jacobi has had some strong results this season so far but today’s qualifying was not one of them. Jacobi racing in his home GP said, “(On the first lap) I just crashed, the front wheel slipped away and I was last but I did my best to come back to a little better gate position for tomorrow. Overall I feel quite good on the track… I think I can turn it around for tomorrow, I think even the 15th gate pick is ok and I can get a top ten start, I will see, I will work from there.”
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado will be looking to redeem himself from an inconsistent performance after a bad start during Race 1 in Latvia. Prado has been the main challenger to the success of Jonass but finished 11th in 2017.
Honda 114 Motorsports Hunter Lawrence will also try to bounce back from a crash last week, especially since he was on the German podium last year. Lawrence just returned to MX2 action last weekend after being out with injury since practice in Trentino. The Aussie looked impressive and capable of a Latvian podium before his race one crash.
Kemea Yamaha Official MX2’s Ben Watson has been the best of the Kemea riders overall this season but his teammate, and MX2 rookie, Jago Geerts was the most impressive in the sands of Kegums when he took 2nd overall, the podium from Geerts was the first of his career. Watson was also strong in Latvia with 5th overall. Also notable is that Anthony Rodriguez will join the Kemea team as a fill in for the injured Vsevolod Brylyakov.