Putting in two committed performances at the Neuquén track in Argentina, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer-Olsen has started the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship with a solid runner-up overall result in the highly-competitive MX2 class.
Combining speed with impressive consistency, Kjer-Olsen wrapped up his weekend in Argentina with third in moto one and second in moto two. Enjoying great starts in what was a solid overall performance, the FC 250 powered rider heads back to Europe as runner-up in the MX2 World Championship’s provisional standings.
For Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Covington, the season opening GP of Patagonia brought some mixed fortunes. Battling from a poor start in the opening moto, the young American managed to finish in 10th place. Finding himself racing in the runner-up spot before the end of the second moto’s opening lap, Thomas eventually placed 18th at the chequered flag.
In the MXGP category, Gautier Paulin kicked off the 2018 season with a strong sixth overall in Argentina. Showing consistency in both motos, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing rider enjoyed good starts and went on to cross the line in sixth position in each race. Knowing he has the speed to finish even higher, the Frenchman is looking forward to the coming GP on European soil in two weeks’ time.
For Paulin’s Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MXGP team partner Max Anstie, the Brit arrived in Argentina looking to capitalise on his positive results from pre-season international races. Suffering crashes in both motos, Anstie wrapped up the season opening GP with 12/15 results for 13th overall in Argentina.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will return to action at the second round of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands on March 17/18.
Thomas Kjer-Olsen: “It’s always great to start a new season with a podium result. I’ve done a good job with the team and myself this winter so I am feeling good at the moment. Things worked out quite well here in Argentina and I’m happy with my speed. My goal was to remain consistent throughout the day and I’m happy I made it happen. My starts were also good and this shows we’re in a good spot for the rest of the championship. I am really looking forward to the next GP in The Netherlands.”
Thomas Covington: “Things did not go our way this weekend but I will do my best to come back stronger as we return to Europe. I struggled to get a good feeling throughout the weekend and I felt tired quite soon in the races. In the opening moto I battled from a not so good start to finish inside the top 10. Then in moto two my start was a lot better and I could battle with the leading group of riders for a few laps. Unfortunately, I felt tired quite fast so could not hold on to a good pace. I now have a week to recover so I’m hoping I can be back fighting for the top spots at the next GP.”
Gautier Paulin: “We made some progress during this weekend and I’m happy for that. On Saturday during qualifying I struggled with arm pump and wasn’t feeling really comfortable. But we made some good improvements with my bike setup so on Sunday things were a lot better. My starts were good in both motos and I rode consistently to two sixth place results. It is a little bit frustrating that I could not push for an even better result, but the truth is I did not feel 100% during this weekend. Last week I was sick so I guess my body has not fully recovered yet. There are no excuses and I am already looking forward to the next GP. My bike is awesome and the team do their best for us. We got some good points here in Argentina so now it’s over to the next one in Europe.”
Max Anstie: “We got the first GP of this long season out of the way and now we can focus on the ones to come. In the opening moto I didn’t manage to get a good start but I came through and was racing inside the top 10. Unfortunately, with two laps to go I had a crash and that dropped me back to 12th at the line. Then in the second moto I was in a great position after the gate drop, but I got tangled with another rider and crashed in the first corner. Hitting the ground, I got covered in sand and this made everything harder afterwards. It’s a shame I couldn’t show my potential here in Argentina, but I did salvage a few points eventually. It’s onwards and upwards now and I’m looking forward to the next GP now.”