Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado and Tom Vialle walked the top steps of both podiums at the Grand Prix of Limburg as the Spaniard and Frenchman ruled their respective classes around the demanding sand of the Lommel circuit in Belgium. Tony Cairoli was 3rd overall at the 14th round of 18.
Red Bull KTM news from the Grand Prix of Limburg:
Windy and overcast conditions marked the Grand Prix of Limburg and the second event in the 2020 FIM World Championship to take place in the deep Lommel sand. A rainy morning caused the terrain to become even softer, rougher and slower and therefore also more physically draining.
Jorge Prado – The Spaniard started race day with his 15th holeshot of the season in the first moto. He led the race twice: once in the opening stages from Tim Gajser and then again when the Slovenian briefly crashed. Prado could not keep pace as Gajser recovered and fought back but collected a strong 2nd position. In the next outing Prado flew in formation with teammate Tony Cairoli. The pair circulated close together and Prado was able to keep the Sicilian at bay for his fifth checkered flag of 2020 (the second highest total of all the riders). Prado’s eighth podium appearance in his rookie term means he is now only two points behind Cairoli in the world championship standings and 57 points from the lead.
Tony Cairoli – Cairoli improved his Qualification position to 8th and made a reasonable start in the first moto. He kept a consistent pace and moved up from 7th to 5th where he finished. In the second race #222 was immediately part of a top-three breakaway with Jorge Prado and Tim Gajser. After Gajser’s off-track excursion Cairoli fought with Prado until the line but was handicapped by a lack of roll-off that meant he had to keep wiping his goggles. The 5-3 allowed the former world champion to open his sixth bottle of champagne in 2020 and remain 2nd in the MXGP table.
Jorge Prado: “It was a tough day and I didn’t feel 100% but I fought as much as I could. Tony and I had a good race in the second moto and I gave my ‘all’ for that victory; I’m really happy to have made it. The injuries at the start of the season meant that I missed bike time and I was racing without preparation. Now I am starting to feel better and I think it’s normal that it takes some time to get to a good level. Now we have to recover and get ready to go again on Sunday.”
Tony Cairoli: “I liked today. Last weekend was an ‘ugly copy’ of me because everyone knows I can ride the sand. Today was still not my best day on this surface but the second moto was good, and I had a nice feeling on the bike. I made some mistakes but got closer to the front. I was a little bit faster than Jorge in some places but was already out of roll-off so I didn’t get the chance to overtake him again and [Romain] Febvre was closing in. I was trying to go for the win but Jorge was strong. He deserved the overall. We’ll try to be better on Sunday and go for the win, for sure.”
Tom Vialle – Vialle chased title rival Jago Geerts for the first six laps of the opening MX2 race. The pair sprinted away from the rest of the pack and had an even bigger margin after Roan Van de Moosdijk retired. Geerts then crashed and handed Vialle the lead but the Frenchman eased off his pace and the Belgian was able to catch and retake first place. Vialle was 2nd for 22 points compared to Geerts’ 25. In the second moto he didn’t make a similar misjudgment. When Geerts again faltered, Vialle was clear to win his 12th race of the year by almost three seconds from Ben Watson. It was his second triumph this week and third in a row. Vialle has an impressive 12 podium finishes from 14 Grands Prix and an advantage of 61 points at the top of MX2.
Tom Vialle: “A fantastic GP for me again. When Jago crashed in the first race I lost my rhythm a bit. I thought ‘he must be far behind’ and in fact he wasn’t! My lap-times went off and I had arm-pump. I enjoyed the second moto much more and I’m really happy with the set-up of the bike. It is such a difficult track - physically also - so it’s important to stay on the bike and don’t do crazy stuff. I’ll be focused on that on Sunday.”
The Grand Prix of Lommel will bring the Belgian triple header to a close this coming Sunday, October 25th.
Results MXGP Grand Prix of Limburg 2020
1. Jorge Prado (ESP) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (2-1)
2. Tim Gajser (SLO) Honda (1-3)
3. Tony Cairoli (ITA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (5-2)
4. Romain Febvre (FRA) Kawasaki (3-4)
5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI) Kawasaki (4-7)
Standings MXGP 2020 after round 14
1. Tim Gajser 533
2. Tony Cairoli 478
3. Jorge Prado 476
4. Jeremy Seewer 461
5. Romain Febvre 421
10. Jeffrey Herlings 263
Results MX2 Grand Prix of Limburg 2020
1. Tom Vialle (FRA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (2-1)
2. Ben Watson (GBR) Yamaha (3-2)
3. Jago Geerts (BEL) Yamaha (1-7)
4. Isak Gifting (SWE) GasGas (5-5)
5. Maxime Renaux (FRA) Yamaha (8-4)
Standings MX2 2020 after round 14
1. Tom Vialle 616
2. Jago Geerts 555
3. Maxime Renaux 438
4. Jed Beaton 429
5. Thomas Olsen 410
25. Rene Hofer 73