Putting in his strongest performance so far in the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Covington has secured a solid runner-up result in the highly competitive MX2 class at the GP of Trentino.

Powering to a fifth-place result in the opening moto, Covington went on to claim an impressive first race victory for 2018 in the second and final race in Italy. Putting in two committed moto performances around the demanding Italian track, the American has climbed to seventh in the 2018 MX2 World Championship’s provisional standings.

Enjoying a great start to his 2018 campaign with three podium results in the first three GPs of the season, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer-Olsen had to settle for eighth overall in Italy following a crash in the second moto. Securing 3/16 results in Italy, the young Dane is currently third in the MX2 class’ provisional points standings.

In the MXGP category, two mediocre starts left Gautier Paulin with a mountain to climb in the final class’ motos. Doing his best and making crucial passes on the rough Pietramurata track, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider wrapped up the weekend with 6/5 results for sixth overall at the GP of Trentino.

Following the fall that forced him to miss the final motos at the GP of La Comunitat Valenciana two weeks ago, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie was looking forward to a good overall performance in Italy. Struggling to get a good feeling during Saturday’s qualifying race, Max opted not to enter Sunday’s final races. The Brit will now work towards making his competitive return during next weekend’s MXGP of Portugal.

The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will return to action at the fifth round of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship in Portugal on April 14/15.

Thomas Covington: “It was a really good weekend for us. After my knee injury at the end of last season I’ve worked a lot to get back to full fitness and I’m satisfied it has started to pay off. The weekend started with me and TKO going 2-3 in the qualifying race and that showed we both had good speed going into the final motos. I had good starts in both motos. In the first race I was maybe a bit more relaxed so ended up getting fifth. In moto two I got an even better start and found myself following Prado. I decided to put some pressure on him but he was hard to pass him. We both had a good pace and in the final lap I managed to make the pass for my first moto win of the season. The results here in Italy were definitely morale boosting and now I need to continue the hard work for the rest of the season.”

Thomas Kjer-Olsen: “The weekend started on a good note but things became a lot harder after a crash in the second moto. I had a good feeling on my bike throughout the weekend. In the opening moto I got off to a great start and found myself racing as high as second, before finally dropping to third at the flag drop. My start wasn’t that good in the second moto and a few small mistakes in the first few laps made things worse. It was tough to make passes in this track and as I was trying to get through I went down hard. Picking myself up I did my best in the remainder of the race to finally get 16th at the line. It’s not what we were hoping for coming into this GP but the season is long. I’ll do my best to bounce back and get myself on the podium again in Portugal.”

Gautier Paulin: “It was a tough track and not getting good starts in any of the two motos made it all harder for me. I had a good feeling on my bike going into the weekend. We’ve worked a lot with the team these last few weeks and I’m really confident with the set-up we’ve found for my FC 450 machine. Not getting the starts I would have wanted to in the final motos, getting 6-5 results was the best I could do. The track was tough and there were not many spots to make passes. I’m really happy the whole team is behind me and we continue the hard work. The season is long and I’m hoping for some better results soon.”

Download high-res images from the GP of Trentino here.

Results – 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship, Round 4

MXGP – Overall
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 50pts; 2. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 42; 3. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 40… 6. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 31… 17. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 9… 21. Ander Valentin (Husqvarna) 3

MXGP – Race 1
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 19 laps, 34:45.091; 2. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 34:50.719; 3. Romain Febvre (Yamaha) 34:57.928… 6. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 35:27.948… 16. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 36:04.699… 25. Ander Valentin (Husqvarna) 18 laps, 34:53.136… 27. Klemen Gercar (Husqvarna) 35:22.377

MXGP – Race 2
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 19 laps, 34:31.212; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 34:51.397; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 35:02.264… 5. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 35:09.849… 17. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 18 laps. 34:34.759; 18. Ander Valentin (Husqvarna) 34:40.369… 22. Klemen Gercar (Husqvarna) 35:06.311

MX2 – Overall
1. Jorge Prado (KTM) 47pts; 2. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 41; 3. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 33… 8. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 25… 14. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 16… 22. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 4

MX2 – Race 1
1. Jorge Prado (KTM) 19 laps, 35:49.470; 2. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 35:57.083; 3. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 36:00.020… 5. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 36:02.360… 14. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 37:04.365… 18. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 37:12.968… 32. Enzo Toriani (Husqvarna) 18 laps, 37:56.174

MX2 – Race 2
1. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 19 laps, 35:29.253; 2. Jorge Prado (KTM) 35:31.423; 3. Vsevolod Brylyakov (Yamaha) 35:53.945… 10. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 36:27.048… 12. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 36:31.814… 16. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 36:56.767… 20. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 37:09.220… 32. Enzo Toriani (Husqvarna) 18 laps, 36:05.336

Championship Standings – After Round 4

1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 191; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 181; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 145… 5. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 129… 17. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 45… 19. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 29… 22. Harri Kullas (Husqvarna) 14… 29. Ander Valentin (Husqvarna) 3

1. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 180pts; 2. Jorge Prado (KTM) 152; 3. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 145… 7. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 91… 13. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 71… 16. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 51… 23. Brent Van Doninck (Husqvarna) 18

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