Strong Start to MXGP Season for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

25 02 2017

Top Six Overall Results for Gautier Paulin an Thomas Kjer-Olsen at
Season Opening MXGP of Qater

February 25, 2017 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Enjoying a positive start to their 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship campaigns, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing riders wrapped up the MXGP of Qatar earning top honours in both the MXGP and MX2 classes. In his first GP aboard FC 450 machinery Gautier Paulin finished sixth overall in MXGP, with young Dane Thomas Kjer-Olsen getting an impressive fourth overall in the MX2 class.

With the MXGP series starting once again under the bright lights of the Losail track, Gautier Paulin showed great speed and consistency throughout the racing weekend. Starting the GP with an impressive third place result during the qualifying race, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider was a strong contender for the top three in both MXGP motos. Collecting 6/5 place results he wrapped up his first GP as part of the team with a promising sixth overall in the 450cc class.

For MXGP class rookie Max Anstie, the GP of Qatar ended with the young Brit claiming a strong 10th overall in the category. Getting a good jump out of the gate in the opening moto Anstie suffered a small mid-race mistake that forced him to settle for 13th. Coming back stronger in moto two, the Brit found himself racing as high as seventh to eventually cross the finish line in 10th.

Collecting promising results in his pre-season races, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl arrived in Qatar looking to fight for the top in MXGP. Getting a good start in moto one the German found himself racing in fourth. Pushing hard to stay close to the top he suffered a few small mistakes that dropped him to eighth. Battling to retain his spot inside the top 10 in moto two Nagl suffered a crash that forced him to settle for 16th.

In the MX2 category, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer-Olsen raced two impressive motos to wrap up the GP of Qatar with fourth overall in the 250cc class. A strong contender for the top three in both races, the young Dane found himself racing as high as second before finally settling for fourth in both motos.

For Kjer-Olsen’s teammate Thomas Covington the GP of Qatar was proof that the American has the speed to fight for top honours in MX2 class. Starting the opening MX2 moto in sixth place, Covington had a mid moto fall that dropped him to 13th. Battling his way back he managed to finish race one in eighth. Getting a convincing holeshot in moto two Thomas was racing in fifth place before a crash made it impossible for the American to finish the race.

Enjoying a challenging first GP for the season, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Conrad Mewse struggled with his starts in both motos. Finding himself outside the top 20, the young Brit wrapped up the event with 24/21 results.

The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will return to action at round two of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship in Indonesia on March 04/05.

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Gautier Paulin: “I’m really satisfied with my performance in Qatar. To start the season with two consistent moto results for sixth overall is hugely important. It just shows there’s a great base for us to continue working during the season. The weekend started with a good third place result during qualifying. It was a good confidence booster for the rest of the GP. My bike has been working great throughout the weekend as well. In moto one I made a small mistake after the start and had to fight from the back of the pack to finish sixth. If I hadn’t lost time at the start, I believe a top three result was well within our reach. Then in moto two I didn’t get a great start but made some quick passes and found myself in fifth. Getting some consistent lap times I managed to finish fifth.”

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Max Anstie: “It was a good start to the season. We proved in Qatar that we’ve done our work. I felt fast throughout the weekend and overall I’m happy with my performance. I got a good start in moto one but a few laps later I got off track and lost some time to finish 13th. Then in moto two I got an even better start and battled my way to 10th at the chequered flag. It was my first GP on a 450cc bike and I believe I showed I’m in a good place with my speed. We can continue working hard with the goal to improve from here. I’m expecting the GP in Indonesia to be a good one and I’m looking forward to it.”

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Max Nagl: “My riding kept getting better as the racing went on. To be honest, I wasn’t feeling so comfortable on the track during the qualifying moto, but worked hard and managed to get a good pace during the final races. I got a great jump out of the gate in the opening moto, but lost a bit of time entering the first corner. Getting an eighth place result I think is good for the start of this championship. Then in moto two I had a better start but as I was battling with Coldenhoff I hit a kicker on a jump and went over the bars. It was a big crash but luckily I got away unhurt and managed to finish the race. I’m going back to Europe now to continue my training schedule for a few days, before boarding the plane to Indonesia, where the goal is to improve on my results.”

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Thomas Kjer-Olsen: “I couldn’t have thought of a better way to start the season. I might have done two GPs in MX2 last year, but this feels like a whole new experience. I can’t thank the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MX2 squad enough for all their great support. The work we’ve done during the off season has paid off and we were capable to battle for the top in Qatar. I got two great starts and kept battling for the top three throughout both motos. We had some great battles with the riders in front and I kept pushing until the end of each race. The speed is there and we shall now focus on remaining consistent. This season is going to be really long and we are hoping for the best.”

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Thomas Covington: “It’s been an up and down weekend for us. In moto one I believe I showed the speed is there. I got a decent start and was racing within the first six riders, but a small fall dropped me to 13th. Then I started pushing hard again and managed to cross the line in eighth place. My holeshot in moto two was a good confidence booster. Midway through the moto and as I was running in fifth I had a crash and then couldn’t start the bike. I know I can do a lot better and I’m really looking forward to the coming races. Next week we’re racing for the first time in Indonesia and the goal will be to battle for the top in MX2.”

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Conrad Mewse: “It was a tough GP for us. We tried our best during the weekend but nothing seemed to work out for me. Getting poor starts in both motos didn’t help either, so I ended up battling for the top 20. This is definitely not the results I was looking for coming to Qatar but this was just a bad GP for me. We all know the season is really long and I will give my best to go get what’s there for me next week in Indonesia. I believe there is still a lot of opportunities for me to prove my abilities and I am more than willing to go after them.” Download high-resolution images here.

Results – FIM Motocross World Championship, Round 1

MXGP – Overall
1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 50pts; 2. Tim Gajser (Honda) 42; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 40… 6. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 31… 10. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 19… 12. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 18… 18. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 9; 19. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 8

MXGP – Race 1
1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 18 laps, 35:02.202; 2. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 35:11.106; 3. Tim Gajser (Honda) 35:14.756… 6. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 35:28.278… 8. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 35:35.274… 13. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 36:12.923… 16. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 36:25.333… 19. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 36:30.047

MXGP – Race 2
1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 18 laps, 35:00.353; 2. Tim Gajser (Honda) 35:05.271; 3. Romain Febvre (Yamaha) 35:23.728… 5. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 35:30.449… 10. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 35:57.742… 15. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 36:28.292; 16. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 36:31.576; 17. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 36:41.720

MX2 – Overall
1. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 50pts; 2. Benoit Paturel (Yamaha) 44; 3. Julien Lieber (KTM) 40; 4. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 36… 16. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 13… 21. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 2; 22. Anton Gole (Husqvarna) 2

MX2 – Race 1
1. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 18 laps, 35:24.348; 2. Benoit Paturel (Yamaha) 35:26.107; 3. Julien Lieber (KTM) 35:44.387; 4. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 35:47.913… 8. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 36:11.969… 20. Anton Gole (Husqvarna) 36:38.630; 21. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 36:39.884… 24. Conrad Mewse (Husqvarna) 37:06.681… 28. Ivan Petrov (Husqvarna) 17 laps, 35:58.280

MX2 – Race 2
1. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 18 laps, 35:32.077; 2. Benoit Paturel (Yamaha) 35:33.092; 3. Julien Lieber (KTM) 35:35.322; 4. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 35:39.961… 19. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 36:49.722; 20. Anton Gole (Husqvarna) 37:07.517; 21. Conrad Mewse (Husqvarna) 37:29.651… 25. Ivan Petrov (Husqvarna) 17 laps, 36:12.828

Championship Standings (After Round 1)

MXGP
1. Antonio Cairoli (KTM) 50pts; 2. Tim Gajser (Honda) 42; 3. Clement Desalle (Kawasaki) 40… 6. Gautier Paulin (Husqvarna) 31… 10. Max Anstie (Husqvarna) 19… 12. Max Nagl (Husqvarna) 18… 18. Tanel Leok (Husqvarna) 9; 19. Rui Goncalves (Husqvarna) 8

MX2
1. Pauls Jonass (KTM) 50pts; 2. Benoit Paturel (Yamaha) 44; 3. Julien Lieber (KTM) 40; 4. Thomas Kjer-Olsen (Husqvarna) 36… 16. Thomas Covington (Husqvarna) 13… 21. Iker Larranaga (Husqvarna) 2; 22. Anton Gole (Husqvarna) 2

Husqvarna Motorcycles. Tradition on two wheels since 1903.

Husqvarna Motorcycles are widely known and respected in the off-road world for a heritage of competition and numerous motocross and enduro world championships. Originally founded in Sweden in 1903, Husqvarna Motorcycles have been designed and manufactured in Mattighofen, Austria since 2013.

Rockstar Energy Drink

Rockstar Energy Drink is designed for those who lead active lifestyles – from Athletes to Rockstars. Available in over 20 flavors at convenience and grocery outlets in over 30 countries, Rockstar supports the Rockstar lifestyle across the globe through Action Sports, Motor Sports, and Live Music. For more information visit: www.RockstarEnergy.com

Source: Husqvarna Motorcycles GmbH

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