2021 MXGP of Russia – Race Report
After a seven-month break since the last round of 2020, MXGP returned at the weekend in the south of Russia, where the Orlyonok circuit held Round 1 of the 2021 championship.
Reigning World Champion Tim Gajser began the year in fine form as he looks to defend his crown, taking victories in both races of the weekend.
The Slovenian rider heads away from Russia with a ten-point lead in the standings over Jeffrey Herlings ahead of Round 2 of the MXGP season in Great Britain in two weeks.
MXGP Race 1
The opening race of the year got off to a straightforward start for HRC rider Gajser, who led for the large majority and crossed the line at the end with a 16.794s gap ahead of Romain Febvre, Antonio Cairoli rounded off the top-three.
Jeffrey Herlings put his KTM in fourth at the end of the race, with Alessandro Lupino and Jeremy Seewer in fifth and sixth.
Brent Van Doninck finished the first race of the year in seventh ahead of Danish rider Thomas Kjer Olsen who had a strong first MXGP race.
Jorge Prado looked to be on the pace with the front-runners early on but went down just a short way into the race which dropped him to 22nd, forcing him to put in a solid recovery ride to ninth. Glenn Coldenhoff rounded off the top-ten standings in Race 1.
MXGP Race 2
The second and final race of the weekend got off to a dramatic start, as front-runners Gajser and Prado both ran wide at the first corner, dropping the Race 1 winner outside of the top-20.
The HRC rider proved why he is two-time MXGP World Champion with an incredible ride through the pack, which saw him back in third on lap 5 and then up to the lead of the race by lap 12.
Gajser went on to win the second race of the day by 5.865s ahead of Herlings, and a further 24.559s ahead of Pauls Jonass who ended in third.
Lupino finished Race 2 in fifth and ahead of Seewer once again as the Swiss rider settled for fifth. After a second placed finish in Race 1, Febrve ended the first round of the year in sixth with Olsen ending off a strong debut MXGP weekend in seventh.
After his drama at the start of Race 2, Prado ended up in eighth at the chequered flag, a damage limitation weekend for the Spaniard who looked to be on the pace.
Arnaud Tonus and Jordi Tixier ended Race 2 in ninth and tenth place.
MXGP GP Classification (Top 10)
- Tim Gajser (SLO, HON) - 50 points
- Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM) - 40 points
- Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW) - 37 points
- Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KTM) - 34 points
- Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM) - 31 points
- Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS) - 27 points
- Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM) - 25 points
- Pauls Jonass (LAT, GAS) - 20 points
- Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, BET) - 20 points
- Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM) - 20 points