Spanish sensation Jorge Prado (Red Bull KTM) got his MXGP of Latvia off to a storming start with a comfortable win in today’s MX2 qualification race.
With the start at Kegums heavily favouring the first few inside gates, the qualification result was probably more important than at any of the six world championship rounds held so far and the teenager nailed the holeshot before recording a six-second win over Britain’s Ben Watson (Kemea Yamaha).
“It was good,” said Prado. “I got the holeshot and then put some solid laps in and just controlled the race. The track was a bit tricky and it was easy to make a mistake so I’m happy with my win.”
His team-mate Pauls Jonass had very differing fortunes. Racing in front of his home crowd, the defending champion – who leads Prado by 20 points in the championship following his double win in Russia – was all the way back in 19th after the first lap and looked tight and uncomfortable as he could only improve to 12th by the end.
British teenager Conrad Mewse (Hitachi ASA KTM UK) started second behind Prado. After a couple of poor qualification performances Mewse was back on the pace as he led Germany’s Henry Jacobi (STC Racing Husqvarna), Aussie Hunter Lawrence (Honda 114 Motorsports) and Watson through the opening laps.
Jacobi began to drop off as first Lawrence and then Watson found a way past.
On lap six Watson made a pass stick on Lawrence – who’s missed the last three rounds with a broken hand – and then a lap later picked up second as he took the inside line in a sweeping left-hand turn as Mewse went wide.
Despite carrying a wrist injury, Watson immediately began to gap Mewse who succumbed to pressure from Lawrence with two laps to go.
At the line Watson had pulled 10 seconds clear of Lawrence who in turn was two-and-a-half seconds ahead of Mewse. Belgium’s Jago Geerts (Kemea Yamaha) was fifth from Jacobi and Dane Thomas Kjer Olsen (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna) who came from outside the top 20 to seventh, passing and then dropping Jonass along the way.
Ruben Fernandez (F&H Kawasaki), Alvin Ostlund (SM Action Yamaha) and Calvin Vlaanderen (Team HRC) rounded out the top 10.
Adam Sterry (F&H Kawasaki), who was 14th in the championship after Russia, suffered an ankle injury at last weekend’s third round of the Dutch Masters and is out for at least two GPs.