Two rounds of the 2023 MXGP remain after the Grand Prix of Turkey, where Red Bull KTM Factory Racing toasted Liam Everts’ third MX2 victory of the season. The Belgian rode to 3-2 in the motos around the fast, jumpy and rough hard-pack of Afyon to keep in title contention with teammate Andrea Adamo who classified 6th overall and continues to lead the series.
Red Bull KTM were concentrated fully on the MX2 division in Afyon with Jeffrey Herlings still recovering from a broken right collarbone and due for another scan on the injury this week. With Andrea Adamo and Liam Everts currently running 1st and 2nd in the series and with rookie Sacha Coenen improving and learning every Grand Prix, the crew were optimistic of more success with the far-flung journey to the flat and hard-packed course of Afyon; the host of the Turkish event since 2018.
On Saturday Everts was able to run to a strong 2nd position in the RAM Qualification Heat with his KTM 250 SX-F. The race was lucky to take place as a heavy storm then blew across the venue and forced the MXGP Heat to be cancelled and the gate positions for Sunday’s Grand Prix motos to be taken from Timed Practice.
A calmer race day was decent for Everts who again used the power of his works bike to make two rapid starts. He rode from 4th to 3rd in the first moto and was a steady 2nd to Kevin Horgmo in the following race to make sure of the overall P1 ranking. An early crash for Adamo in the first moto dropped him to almost last position. He recovered to 10th and made a better job of the second run to reach the top five and exercise damage limitation. Sacha Coenen was 12th at the first time of asking but the rookie pulled out of the second moto after an issue with his vision.
A maximum of 120 points is up for grabs in the remainder of 2023. Adamo leads Everts by 48 with an 82-point margin over Jago Geerts in 3rd place.
The season will then finish with back-to-back Grands Prix in Italy (Maggiora Park, in two weeks) and the UK (Matterley Basin) before the Motocross of Nations in Ernee with at least three of the Red Bull KTM crew expected to represent their countries in France on October 8th.
Liam Everts, 3rd and 2nd for 1st overall in MX2: “Super-happy. I made a little mistake in the second moto but otherwise I felt comfortable all weekend and that’s not normal because these high-speed tracks are not my thing, but I was fast and in control. As I’ve said before, the championship was not really my goal coming into the season; just to get on the podium was good and then a GP win was unbelievable but I’m a believer, and I will never stop until the last lap and last corner!”
Andrea Adamo, 10th and 5th for 6th overall in MX2: “Not the best weekend. P11 in the Quali race meant it was quite hard for the start today and if you don’t make the starts then it is not easy to catch the guys at the front. I crashed in the first moto and that was my fault. I need to keep calm and not make these mistake because they cost me a lot of points. I came back very fast in the second moto and was riding good. We have two weeks now to rest, regroup and try again in Maggiora.”
Results MXGP Turkey 2023
1. Tim Gajser (SLO) Honda, 2-1
2. Romain Febvre (FRA), Kawasaki, 1-3
3. Maxime Renaux (FRA), Yamaha, 3-2
4. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED), Yamaha, 4-5
5. Alberto Forato (ITA) KTM 5-7
Standings MXGP 2023 after 17 of 19 rounds
1. Jorge Prado (ESP), GASGAS, 841 points
2. Romain Febvre (FRA), Kawasaki, 774
3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI), Yamaha, 676
4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED) Yamaha 628
5. Ruben Fernandez (ESP), Honda, 570
7. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 456
Results MX2 Turkey 2023
1. Liam Everts (BEL) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 3-2
2. Kevin Horgmo (NOR) Kawasaki 6-1
3. Jago Geerts (BEL) Yamaha 2-4
4. Simon Laengenfelder (GER), GASGAS 1-6
5. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED) Husqvarna 4-3
6. Andrea Adamo (ITA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 10-5
15. Sacha Coenen (BEL) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 12-16
Standings MX2 2023 after 17 of 19 rounds
1. Andrea Adamo (ITA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 732 points
2. Liam Everts (BEL) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 684
3. Jago Geerts (BEL), Yamaha, 650
4. Simon Laengenfelder (GER) GASGAS, 645
5. Lucas Coenen (BEL), Husqvarna, 520
15. Sacha Coenen (BEL) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 232