Top Ten – This Week
This week’s top ten could really be full of the name Cairoli. His performance last weekend was everything this sport is about. Completely against the odds, after a second turn crash, and with Tim Gajser riding off into the sunset, the Italian legend put in a ride that will be remembered for years to come. He is our number one, and as mentioned, he could also be number two, three, four and so forth.
Second place must go to the rookie who captures his first GP victory, Jorge Prado Garcia. We all know this kid is good, and he showed often in the pre-season, and last year as a 15-year-old, that he will be running up front sooner, rather than later. His win against a very in-form Pauls Jonass and Jeremy Seewer must put a little fear in the older rider’s minds. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if Prado Garcia wins a bunch more GPs in 2017
Tim Gajser, the nearly man of Trentino gets third place. He must have felt so confident when he burst out of the start and began to build a lead on the fellow MXGP riders. If he looked across the track and saw the position of Antonio Cairoli, he would have been sure he picked up his third straight GP win, but it wasn’t to be. Still with 1-1-1-1-1-1-3-3-1 from his last nine moto’s, its hard to think he is getting nervous from last weekend’s performance by Cairoli.
Fourth place and its Pauls Jonass, the second-best man in MX2. Once again, he looked in perfect control, and like Gajser he has looked solid all year, apart from his mud riddled disappointment of Indonesia. A more matured Latvian, and a lot of confidence, he will be looking over his shoulder at Prado, but it’s hard to imagine he is unsettled by the youngster’s debut win.
I am going to give fifth to Jeffrey Herlings, not from his overall finish, but the fact he got a good start and was able to finish inside the top five. It’s a run in the right direction, and coming into two sand races you would expect that confidence to grow and grow. He has mentioned he isn’t looking at pushing too hard for the win in Valkenswaard, but it sure would be nice if he did.
Thomas Kjer Olsen, like Prado Garcia (well a little less), also scored his first win of the year. Be it only in the Saturday qualification race, it is still a massive confidence booster and you would expect this cool, calm, and very controlled Dane to be pushing for his debut GP victory sometime soon.
Julien Lieber continues to be one of the stand-outs in the MX2 class. With third place on the weekend, and third place in the MX2 points, the Belgian rider is showing that he deserves a factory ride in 2018. Let’s hope these results continue and maybe he can also help Belgium to another MXoN victory in September.
Arnaud Tonus is our eighth-placed man after going 2-7 in Italy. The friendly Yamaha rider knows that he is good enough to win a GP, and sooner or later he might just get it. On hard-pack he is the master and he proved that in the MXoN at Maggiora last September. Still down in 8th place in the MXGP points, he will be fighting hard to not only climb the points standings, but also the GP podium.
Evgeny Bobryshev has been solid this year, and his fourth place on the weekend, his fourth place in the points and his continued fight against sickness and minor injuries impresses everyone. Maybe the nicest rider in the paddock, but we are sure the Russian would rather be known as much for his racing as his personality.
Last in our top 10 is Mexican GP winner and fifth placed man last weekend, Thomas Covington. The American continues to improve and build his confidence. He showed enough last weekend to give you the feeling that another GP win can’t be far off. He has won a moto in the sand in Assen, and Kegums in Latvia will be to his liking, so let’s hope the factory Husqvarna rider continues to improve and also drags some extra American fans to the MXGP series.
1. Antonio Cairoli
2. Jorge Prado Garcia
3. Tim Gajser
4. Pauls Jonass
5. Jeffrey Herlings
6. Thomas Kjer Olsen
7. Julien Lieber
8. Arnaud Tonus
9. Evgeny Bobryshev
10. Thomas Covington
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