Successfully battling through two challenging motos, FC 250 powered Thomas Kjer-Olsen earned fourth overall in the MX2 category at the GP of Bulgaria. Wrapping up round 17 of the FIM Motocross World Championship with a strong result, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider has three more rounds to solidify his strong third place in the 2018 MX2 World Championship.
Thomas Kjer-Olsen showed impressive speed at the hard-packed track of Sevlievo. After fighting his way to a strong third place result in the opening MX2 class moto, the young Dane found himself with a mountain to climb following a first-turn crash in moto two. Picking himself up Thomas put his head down to secure a solid fifth in the second race.
For Thomas Covington, the GP of Bulgaria proved to be one of mixed emotions. Winning the Qualifying Race in style, the American went on to secure a strong fourth place result in the first MX2 race. Involved in the same moto two crash as his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team partner, Covington claimed 11th in moto two to earn himself seventh overall at the GP. Collecting 28 points in Bulgaria, Covington has moved up to fifth in the provisional MX2 World Championship standings.
In the MXGP category, Gautier Paulin raced his FC 450 machine to a positive sixth overall at the GP. Placing fifth in the opening MXGP moto, the Frenchman wrapped up the weekend in Bulgaria with ninth in the second and final moto.
Unable to finish the opening MXGP moto following a fall, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Anstie bounced back to secure a strong sixth place result in moto two. The Brit claimed 13th overall at the GP.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will return to action at the 18th round of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship in Turkey on September 1/2.
Thomas Kjer-Olsen: “It was a tough GP and I did my best for a good overall result. In the opening moto I got off to a good start and quickly placed myself inside the top-five. The pace on the first two laps was really high. I got into fourth behind Thomas [Covington] and was able to make the move into third. It was a good race and a great result. In the second moto Thomas crashed in front of me right after the start and there was no way to avoid him. Restarting the race, I knew I had to work hard and this is what I did. I made a lot of passes and managed to place myself in fifth position at the line. I’m quite happy with these results. My speed was good and I really tried my best after the fall in moto two.”
Thomas Covington: “The weekend started off really well with me getting the Qualifying Race win on Saturday. Then during the final motos on Sunday I was looking forward to keeping that same momentum going. In the first moto I was lacking a bit of intensity so found myself in fourth position at the chequered flag. Then in moto two I hit a big piece of dirt in the first corner and immediately lost my front wheel. I ended up crashing and losing a lot of time. Overall, it was a tough weekend but we are moving forward. Our eyes are set on next week’s Turkish GP now and I’m hoping for a better overall result there.”
Gautier Paulin: “We keep on working with the goal to wrap up the season on a positive note. In Bulgaria I had some good battles for the top spots. In the opening moto I got a decent start and fought my way from eighth to fifth at the line. I was happy with my riding and was looking forward to moto two. In the second race my start was not that good and had to push hard to secure a spot inside the top-10. I was searching for the best lines throughout the moto and I ended up posting my best lap times close to its end. The bike is working great at the moment and we are now off to Turkey next weekend.”
Max Anstie: “I felt good despite the treacherous track conditions. In the opening moto I had a good position in the opening lap, but unfortunately, I crashed and bent my handlebars. I did my best to keep going but it was impossible to finish the moto. In moto two I got a good start and battled my way to sixth at the line. Despite the slippery conditions and the dust, I felt that my speed was where it needed to be especially in the second moto. We’re now heading to Turkey and it’s going to be another opportunity for me to show what I’m capable of.”
Results – 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship, Round 17
MXGP – Overall
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 50pts; 2. Tim Gajser (Honda) 42; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 38… 6. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 28… 13. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 15… 15. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 13… 22. Klemen Gercar (Husqvarna) 1
MXGP – Race 1
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 18 laps, 35:25.270; 2. Tim Gajser (Honda) 35:41.212; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 35:46.622… 5. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 36:00.165… 14. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 37:04.289
MXGP – Race 2
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 18 laps, 35:21.881; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 35:36.247; 3. Tim Gajser (Honda) 35:47.539… 6. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 36:09.633… 9. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 36:16.824… 15. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 36:55.309… 20. Klemen Gercar (Husqvarna) 17 laps, 36:46.368
MX2 – Overall
1. Jorge Prado (KTM) 47pts; 2. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 45; 3. Hunter Lawrence (Honda) 38; 4. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 36… 7. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 28… 15. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 13
MX2 – Race 1
1. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 17 laps, 34:34.818; 2. Jorge Prado (KTM) 34:40.289; 3. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 34:46.408; 4. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 34:54.525… 8. Brent Van doninck (Husqvarna) 35:38.626
MX2 – Race 2
1. Jorge Prado (KTM) 17 laps, 34:56.251; 2. Hunter Lawrence (Honda) 34:56.856; 3. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 35:14.294… 5. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 35:43.634… 11. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 36:29.999
Championship Standings – After Round 17
1. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 783pts; 2. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 710; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 581… 6. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 483… 10. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 313… 18. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 115… 28. Harri Kullas (Husqvarna) 18… 30. Lewis Stewart (Husqvarna) 13; 31. Ander Valentin (Husqvarna) 8… 33. Aidi Lazaroni (Husqvarna) 6; 34. Rizky Hanif Kusparwanto (Husqvarna) 6… 43. Klemen Gercar (Husqvarna) 2
1. Jorge Prado (KTM) 739; 2. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 709; 3. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 555… 5. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 480… 9. Henry Jacobi (Husqvarna) 278… 15. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 185; 16. Brent Van Doninck (Husqvarna) 179… 33. Muhammad Delvintor Alfarizi (Husqvarna) 28… 35. Diva Ismayana (Husqvarna) 24… 37. Hilman Maksum (Husqvarna) 20… 42. Jy Roberts (Husqvarna) 15… 46. Yoshua Pattipi (Husqvarna) 8… 49. Dylan Walsh (Husqvarna) 6… 51. Enzo Toriani (Husqvarna) 3; 52. Anthony Bourdon (Husqvarna) 3… 55. Andrea Zanotti (Husqvarna) 2