Taking place at the RedSand MX Park outside Valencia, round three of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship saw Thomas Kjer-Olsen put in two solid race performances to secure third overall in the highly-competitive MX2 category. Not off the overall MX2 class podium so far this season, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider remains second in the class’ provisional championship standings.

Bouncing back from a mediocre race one start, Kjer-Olsen continue pushing hard to wrap up the opening MX2 moto in third position. Despite suffering a fall while battling for the lead in moto two, the young Dane claimed a fourth-place result to end a positive weekend in Spain by securing his third podium result of the series.

For Kjer-Olsen’s MX2 class teammate Thomas Covington, round three of the championship in Spain proved to be a tough one. Failing to get the starts he wanted, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider was left with a mountain to climb in both motos. Securing 17/19 results the American wrapped up a challenging GP with 19th overall in MX2.

In the MXGP category, Gautier Paulin enjoyed a highly positive weekend at the GP of La Comunitat Valenciana. Securing third in the qualifying race, Gautier’s highlight of the weekend was the early stages of the second moto. Making a smart move on Tony Cairoli before the end of lap one, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider found himself leading the race for the first five laps. Collecting 7/3 results, the Frenchman placed fifth overall.

Earning a strong seventh place result in his qualifying race, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie was unable to contest Sunday’s MXGP motos following a fall the Brit picked up during the warm-up session.

The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will return to action at the fourth round of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship in Italy on April 7/8.

Thomas Kjer-Olsen: “There are lots of positives to take from this GP and I’m happy with the progress we’ve made. I felt good all weekend here in Spain. I didn’t get the best of starts in the opening moto and this made everything harder for me. Fortunately, my start was a lot better in moto two and I could really show my speed. I am a little bit disappointed I went down while I was running second. I was in a very good position to push Jonass for the lead. Overall, my speed was really good this weekend and my fitness as well. We continue working hard and I’m looking forward to the following round in Italy now.”

Thomas Covington: “It just hasn’t been a good weekend for me. I struggled to get a good race pace. The track here in Spain was super fast, which kind of made it hard to make passes. I struggled with my starts in both motos and that didn’t help get good results. In the second moto I also had a small crash which made things worse. It is what it is and we will continue working hard. We now have a small break and I’m looking forward to returning home to continue working. We have our eyes set on round four now in Italy hoping for some improved results there.”

Gautier Paulin: “Overall, I am pretty happy with how things went at this GP. The team have been doing an awesome job with the development of my FC 450 and it all pays off at the races. In the opening moto I got a good start and was battling for the top three but a crash dropped me further back. I got up pretty quick and managed to put myself back into the top five, but after a second small crash I finished the race in seventh place. My second moto was a lot better and it felt great to lead for the first few laps. If it wasn’t for my crashes in the opening moto, the overall podium was well within our reach this weekend.”

Max Anstie: “The feeling was good coming into this GP. I was comfortable with the track and my pace was good in the qualifying race. I was looking forward for the final motos but a crash during warm up on Sunday morning changed it all. I was lucky to avoid injury but I did bang myself uppretty well. Following the crash I felt stiff so together with the team we took the decision for me not to race the final motos. We might have lost the chance to collect some points, but this championship is still long. We now have a small break in the series and I will do my best to get back stronger in Italy.”

Download high-res images from Spain here.

Results – 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship, Round 3

MXGP – Overall
1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 50pts; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 44; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 36… 5. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 34… 19. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 7… 21. Harri Kullas (Husqvarna) 4

MXGP – Race 1
1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 18 laps, 34:52.260; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 34:56.953; 3. Romain Febvre (Yamaha) 35:04.321… 7. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 35:28.150… 17. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 36:11.082… 20. Harri Kullas (Husqvarna) 36:15.876… 22. Ander Valentin (Husqvarna) 17 laps, 34:59.476… 29. Klemen Gercar (Husqvarna) 36:38.620

MXGP – Race 2
1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 18 laps, 34:23.638; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 34:25.468; 3. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 34:47.136… 17. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 35:57.105; 18. Harri Kullas (Husqvarna) 36:04.534… 23. Ander Valentin (Husqvarna) 17 laps, 35:02.792… 29. Klemen Gercar (Husqvarna) 36:13.689

MX2 – Overall
1. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 50pts; 2. Jorge Prado (KTM) 42; 3. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 38… 16. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 9… 18. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 6; 19. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 6… 22. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 3

MX2 – Race 1
1. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 18 laps, 35:20.628; 2. Jorge Prado (KTM) 35:24.514; 3. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 35:25.947… 12. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 36:04.168… 16. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 36:20.029… 21. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 36:36.958; 22. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 36:37.496… 32. Loris Freidig (Husqvarna) 17 laps, 36:46.952

MX2 – Race 2
1. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 18 laps, 34:59.912; 2. Darian Sanayei (Kawasaki) 35:07.687; 3. Jorge Prado (KTM) 35:12.051; 4. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 35:12.468… 15. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 36:09.987… 18. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 36:18.386; 19. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 36:21.847… 30. Loris Freidig (Husqvarna) 17 laps, 36:11.362; 31. Enzo Toriani (Husqvarna) 36:12.400

Championship Standings – After Round 3

1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 141pts; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 141; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 103… 5. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 98… 14. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 45… 20. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 20; 21. Harri Kullas (Husqvarna) 14

1. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 150pts; 2. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 120; 3. Jorge Prado (KTM) 105… 12. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 50… 15. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 38… 17. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 35… 22. Brent Van Doninck (Husqvarna) 14

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