Andrea Adamo strengthened his hold on the 2023 FIM MX2 World Championship with a superb double moto win and the second Grand Prix victory of the season - and his career - today in Finland. The Italian took his KTM 250 SX-F to P1 in both motos through the damp Vantaa sand of the circuit next to Helsinki airport to stretch his margin at the peak of the standings to 60 points. Teammate Liam Everts was also on the podium in 3rd overall and Jeffrey Herlings made a return to MXGP action with a top five classification.
MXGP cut through Finnish sand for the second year in a row but instead of circulating the curves of Hyvinkaa the series returned to another former Grand Prix site in Vantaa; on the periphery of Helsinki international airport. The venue had undergone modifications to welcome the world championship once more but was still a typically flat, soft and rough terrain. The fourteenth appointment on the MXGP schedule was temperate and damp but the racing was close and intense.
Sacha Coenen was highest placed through the RAM Qualification Heats on a wet Saturday, earning 9 points for 2nd position and a ‘personal best’ for the rookie so far. His MX2 teammates were also in the top six. Jeffrey Herlings had set the fastest MXGP lap-time in Free Practice and Timed Practice but was understandably rusty with his stars and race speed.
On Sunday Herlings completed a measured day with rides to 8th (suffering a goggle problem) and 4th in the MXGP class. He ranked 5th overall after recuperating from a fractured vertebra sustained in a fall at the German Grand Prix. Red Bull KTM looked towards their three young starlets in the MX2 division who continue to create category-leading speed and potential.
Adamo’s most effective day of the season was built on a focused approach to the conditions and the demands of Vantaa. He tussled with Simon Laengenfelder in the first moto before pulling clear of the German to win by nearly three seconds. In the next race he took the lead from teammate Liam Everts on lap seven of nineteen and again seized the checkered flag. Adamo had clinched his first career moto win only two rounds previously in the Czech Republic and bounced back to the podium for the first time since the Indonesian Grand Prix.
Everts also had his fair share of track disputes with Laengenfelder. The Belgian entered the top three for the eighth time this term thanks to 3rd place in the first moto. He then briefly ran with Adamo and registered 4th in the second race. His final scorecard permitted a fifth rostrum appearance of 2023. Sacha Coenen looked keen and was determined to make up for the bad luck and misjudgment during his home Grand Prix the previous weekend. A 9-6 delivered 7th overall on the day.
Adamo’s peerless performance and strong weekend gave him a 55-point gain over principal title rival Jago Geerts. The gap is now 60 points between the pair as Adamo pulls his run with the red plate to seven Grands Prix. Everts has a 31 points advantage over his next nearest pursuer while rising to 3rd in the competition. Coenen has also scaled positions and is 13th. MXGP finally has time to breathe next weekend but the championship remains in northern Europe with the hard-pack of Uddevalla staging the Grand Prix of Sweden in two weeks.
Jeffrey Herlings, 8th and 4th for 5th overall in MXGP: “The first moto was a bit unfortunate because a stone hit my goggle and the roll-off broke in two. I was around 5th, I think, but had to pull-over to change and that put me back to 12th. In the second moto I was battling the top guys and had the speed, so I was very happy with that. To have just one day on the bike this week, come back and then be 5th overall is a pretty good return. We were looking at this like a ‘preparation run’ so 5th overall is great and the team did an amazing job. I’m looking forward to Sweden and we’ll aim for the top five so we can go for the podium and maybe the win at Arnhem.”
Andrea Adamo, 1st and 1st for 1st overall in MX2: “Honestly, I did not expect this result today. I came here with the same mentality of trying to take the best finish possible and then seeing where we end the day. I was feeling good and enjoying the track and I had two good starts. I was never in the lead after the second corner though! So I still had work to do in both motos. A perfect day in the end so I’m happy. I knew if I could put things together then I could win. We were close in the Czech Republic and Lommel was not easy. I came here to reset and we did a great job.”
Liam Everts, 3rd and 4th for 3rd overall in MX2: “This weekend was pretty tough actually even though we were quite consistent with results and we were able to battle at the front and get back on the box. It was good to lead for a while in the second moto but then I had to go into defense mode and lost the tow with Andrea. I should have been looking forward instead of always hitting the inside all the time. I cramped-up a bit and they got me at the end. It will be good to have a weekend off now.”
Sacha Coenen, 9th and 6th for 7th overall in MX2: “Saturday went quite well. I was not pushing and had a good flow. I messed-up the start of the first moto and it felt like I was in last place. It was a hard fight to come back to 7th but then my front brake was a bit damaged and seemed to be sticking; that affected the last the last ten minutes but we could keep going and 9th was OK. I almost had the holeshot in the second moto, so that was much better and I made a couple of mistakes on the first lap. I lost some positions and I also think that cost me the win. My riding was quite OK today so for that I’m happy and we’ll see what we can do in Sweden.”
Tony Cairoli, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team Manager: “It was a very positive weekend and important for us to have Jeffrey back. The MX2 boys did a super job. Sacha made his best result on Saturday and I was really proud of how he rode on a difficult track with the rain. Today unfortunately he missed the start and then struggled with some lines but no big mistakes and I think he can build on this for the next GP. Andrea was outstanding to go 1-1 and it was very important for the championship and also Liam, P3 overall and P3 in the championship, was really good and I hope we can keep this momentum into Sweden.”
Results MXGP Finland 2023
1. Romain Febvre (FRA), Kawasaki, 1-2
2. Jorge Prado (ESP), GASGAS, 3-1
3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED) Yamaha, 4-3
4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI), Yamaha, 2-5
5. Jeffrey Herlings (NED) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 8-4
Standings MXGP 2023 after 14 of 19 rounds
1. Jorge Prado (ESP), GASGAS, 720 points
2. Romain Febvre (FRA), Kawasaki, 622
3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI), Yamaha, 550
4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED) Yamaha 525
5. Ruben Fernandez (ESP), Honda, 489
7. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 418
Results MX2 Finland 2023
1. Andrea Adamo (ITA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 1-1
2. Simon Laengenfelder (GER), GASGAS 2-2
3. Liam Everts (BEL) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 3-4
4. Lucas Coenen (BEL) Husqvarna 5-3
5. Kevin Horgmo (NOR) Kawasaki 4-7
7. Sacha Coenen (BEL) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 9-6
Standings MX2 2023 after 14 of 19 rounds
1. Andrea Adamo (ITA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 619 points
2. Jago Geerts (BEL), Yamaha, 559
3. Liam Everts (BEL) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 532
4. Kay de Wolf (NED), Husqvarna, 501
5. Simon Laengenfelder (GER) GASGAS, 492
13. Sacha Coenen (BEL) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, 189