As the gate dropped for the opening MX2 race of the day, it was Diga Procross GasGas Factory Juniors Isak Gifting who claimed the first FOX Holeshot of the day. He was followed by Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts, as Mikkel Haarup of F&H Kawasaki Racing slipped into second position.
Though Geerts led the way, with Maxime Renaux of Yamaha SM Action MC Migliori – J1 Racing in second, and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle third. A few moments later Geerts crashed out of 1st, to re-join in 7th behind his teammate Ben Watson.
As Vialle moved into second, he needed to be careful as a hard charging Thomas Kjer Olsen was catching up to the back of him.
Haarup then crashed out of 5th and looked to have re-join the race, before pulling into pitlane and eventually heading back to the paddock. Honda Racing Assomotor’s Alvin Ostlund was another rider who retired from the race, as he walked back to the paddock.
Geerts then struggled to pass Watson, as Renaux led the race with Vialle and Olsen pushing on. The top 3 were only separated by 1.9 seconds and that point, which really made things interesting for the fans.
As the three continued to battle, Geerts was making a comeback as he caught on to Roan Van de Moosdijk of F&H Kawasaki Racing. He eventually passed him with 4 minutes plus 2 laps to go. Then after making a mistake, Van de Moosdijk lost another position to Watson and was down in 6th.
For Geerts things only got worse as he crashed once more, to re-join in 8th with not much time left of the race in order to make up vital positions.
Back in the lead, Renaux continued his way onto a race win, while Vialle was coming under fire from Olsen. Olsen then forced the issue, passing Vialle and going after Renaux with just 2 laps to go of the race.
Olsen then put on two good laps to take the lead from Renaux on the final lap, though Renaux was not going to let him get away and the two almost collided. In the end Olsen confirmed his race win, with Renaux second and Vialle third.
In the second MX2 race, it was Vialle, Jed Beaton of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Racing and Van de Moosdijk who were the riders out in front while Renaux and Watson had a disastrous start, with both going down and having to pick themselves up in last.
Van de Moosdijk then passed Beaton for 2nd, as Geerts moved into 4th. Olsen was also making moves as he got around Conrad Mewse of Hitachi KTM Fuelled by Milwaukee, for 5th position. Though Beaton was able to fight back, taking the position back from van de Moosdijk not too long after. Van de Moosdijk then lost another position, and that time it was to Geerts, who was keen on making up for lost ground in the opening race.
A mistake from Geerts gave Beaton a bit more breathing room, though it didn’t last long as a little later on, he lost 2 positions to Geerts and his teammate, Olsen. Beaton then continued to fall down the order as Mewse was able to find a way through.
Bailey Malkiewicz of Honda 114 Motorsports was having a great rider in 7th, as he passed Nathan Renkens of NR83.
Vialle then led the way by 3.332 seconds with just 2 minutes plus 2 laps to go. Renaux then passed Mathys Boisrame of F&H Kawasaki Racing for 8th. Geerts then crashed out once again, though was able to pick himself up in 5th, as Olsen moved into second.
In the end, Vialle took the race win, as Olsen crossed the line in 2nd and Van de Moosdijk finishing 3rd in the race.
Thomas Kjer Olsen confirmed his success here in Mantova, with a back-to-back Grand Prix victory, as Tom Vialle made his return to the podium with 2nd overall and Roan Van de Moosdijk making his comeback to the box, to occupy the 3rd step.
As it stands, Vialle leads the MX2 championship on 431 points, with Geerts a further 46 points back and Renaux remaining in 3rd.
Thomas Kjer Olsen: “For sure, ever since we came here, I have been feeling a lot better and it’s great to have that aggressive riding back. To be back on top of the podium today is just amazing and I would say I really had to battle hard for it, especially in that second race. My fitness seems to be good and it’s really nice to be on top”.
Tom Vialle: “Today was not so bad. In the first race I completely missed my start, I was completely last, and I passed a few riders in the first lap and was close. After two or three laps Jago [Geerts] crashed and I was already second. I didn’t find any good line to pass Maxime and, in the meanwhile, Thomas passed me. In the second race I took a really good start; I led the whole race though Jago was coming fast. Even if didn’t make mistake in the start I needed only to stay focus because there are still a lot of races. I need to be focused because in that track the start is really important, so now I’m really focused on Sunday”.
Roan Van de Moosdijk: “It felt like quite some time since I’ve been on the podium. My qualifying was really good and that’s why I could stay on the inside, I knew if I got a good jump I was safe and in the first race I just closed the gap too early, I didn’t ride like I used to and I got arm pump, but still managed to finish in fifth place. In the second race I had a good jump, I was behind Tom [Vialle] and following him for quite a few laps, but then again I felt a little bit tight, so I dropped back to fifth I think and then I found my rhythm again and came back to third”.
MX2 - Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), 35:56.454; 2. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:01.490; 3. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:03.279; 4. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:04.536; 5. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Kawasaki), +0:11.427; 6. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:13.050; 7. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +0:18.569; 8. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:30.411; 9. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Yamaha), +0:32.272; 10. Isak Gifting (SWE, GASGAS), +0:33.590.
MX2 - Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 35:28.261; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:03.400; 3. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Kawasaki), +0:10.067; 4. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +0:15.077; 5. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:22.379; 6. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:26.071; 7. Bailey Malkiewicz (AUS, Honda), +0:46.888; 8. Isak Gifting (SWE, GASGAS), +0:50.391; 9. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:44.340; 10. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:52.712.
MX2 - GP Top 10 Classification: 1. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 47 points; 2. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 45 p.; 3. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 36 p.; 4. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 34 p.; 5. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 32 p.; 6. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 30 p.; 7. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 29 p.; 8. Isak Gifting (SWE, GAS), 24 p.; 9. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 24 p.; 10. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, YAM), 22 p.
MX2 - World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 431 points; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 385 p.; 3. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 329 p.; 4. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 316 p.; 5. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 279 p.; 6. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 275 p.; 7. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 252 p.; 8. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 217 p.; 9. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 215 p.; 10. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, YAM), 186 p.
MX2 - Manufacturers Classification: 1. Yamaha, 447 points; 2. KTM, 447 p.; 3. Husqvarna, 365 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 351 p.; 5. Honda, 229 p.; 6. GASGAS, 128 p.