2023 MXGP of France | Race Highlights & Results
PHOTOS | YAMAHA
TEXT & VIDEO | MXGP
The MXGP of France displayed an incredible and eventful weekend of motocross backed by the loud and cheering French crowd that came to Villars sous Ecot to voice their excitement.
The 7th round of the 2023 FIM Motocross World Championship was marked by a redesigned circuit prone to increase overtakes and deliver a fantastic show in general. At the end of the day it was Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team’s Jeremy Seewer who got on the top step of the podium for the first time this season while home rider Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre managed an emotional second place in his country with a race win. Red plate holder Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado was back on the podium in third place.
In MX2, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team’s Thibault Benistant made the French public go wild with a dominant first GP win at home. On the second place was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Andrea Adamo who is edging closer to get the red plate. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Liam Everts managed a second podium in third place.
The MXGP of France has delivered an outstanding show with many French riders rising up to the occasion to spoil the devoted and passionate French public.
MX2 RACE REPORT & RESULTS
In MX2 race 1 it was F&H Kawasaki Racing Team’s Kevin Horgmo who clinched his second FOX Holeshot of the season while Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Roan Van de Moosdijk took the lead after that. Van De Moosdijk managed to lead in front of his teammate Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kay de Wolf and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team’s Thibault Benistant who went full gas, front wheel in the air to take the 3rd place from Horgmo.
Between the front three riders, the French atmosphere suited Benistant the most as the French rider managed to set the fastest lap and then pass both Nestaan Husqvarna riders on lap 7 to take the lead. Benistant edged away to win the first race of his home Grand Prix.
Things never settled behind him as both de Wolf and Van De Moosdijk got under pressure by another set of teammates, Andrea Adamo and Liam Everts from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing. It was Van De Moosdijk who got passed twice in a row on lap 8 to move down to 5th where he stayed until the end. De Wolf resisted for 2 laps but Everts passed him on lap 10 to go 2nd. Adamo followed his teammate a lap later to go 3rd but had to battle with de Wolf over the 3rd position in a give and take over 6 laps. It was eventually Adamo who would make the pass stick with 2 laps to go to finish 3rd. de Wolf settle for 4th in the end.
Following a very fast start Horgmo got overtaken few times and finish at a really good 6th place. Finishing the race in 7th was Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Lucas Coenen who showed that we can always count on him to never give up. L.Coenen made a great comeback as he found himself 13th on lap 1 after an average start to climb his way up to 7th.
The young EMX250 French rider Team VRT KTM Factory Juniors’ Marc-Antoine Rossi started his first MX2 Grand Prix on home soil with a bang as he demonstrated a lot of control and calm to ride a strong race. Finding himself in 7 after lap 1, he got up to 6th for one lap after overtaking Horgmo and in the end settled for a promising 8th place. The performance of the race was without a doubt the one from WZ RACING TEAM’s Mikkel Haarup who had shown incredible skill after a poor start that saw him turning lap 1 in 22nd position. The Danish rider methodically moved up the rank to finish 9th in front of VHR Racing Team’s Isak Gifting who rode consistently in the top 10 to settle for 10th.
In race 2, L.Coenen took the best of the pack as he got the FOX Holeshot and took the lead to never give it up. L.Coenen showed incredible pace this weekend. Unfortunately the young Belgian missed his first podium for 1 point.
Behind L.Coenen was his teammate de Wolf who pushed but could not make a move for the lead. However it was all about Benistant as the French rider kept showing a very good pace as he went 3rd on lap 1 and tirelessly kept charging forward to finally overtake de Wolf on the inside to take the 2nd place. Benistant went on to keep his 2nd place until the end and could enjoy the feeling of winning in front of fans cheering for him. With a strong 2-1 Benistant got his second GP win of the season and reduce the gap in the Championship.
De Wolf experienced the same kind of race as he could not contain Adamo and Everts speed and had to settle for 5th in the end for a 5th overall.
We are now getting used to a battle between Adamo and Everts with both riders showing so much strength and competitiveness to push each other. This time it was Adamo who got the best on Everts as he overtook him on lap 14 after going from the 8th place on lap 1. Everts settled for 4th. Both riders made the podium which can only increase the confidence.
The surprising Rossi showed another amazing performance as he also had to come behind after an average start in 12th. The young EMX250 rider acclimated very quickly to the demanding challenges of MX2. Rossi didn’t shy away from the battles and climbed up to 6th in the end. With 8-6 and a 7th overall, the young rider proved that he has what it takes to compete with the best riders.
Van De Moosdijk had to draw a lot of energy after a bad start. The Dutch rider was 20th on lap 1 but managed the incredible feat to move up to the 7th place in the end showing how high his confidence and quality are.
The other VRT KTM Factory Juniors rider Ferruccio Zanchi also showed that he has plenty of quality to perform at the highest level. The young Italian managed a very good 8th place going 11-8 for 9th overall. After having to retire in race 1, EMX250 French rider Bud Racing Kawasaki’s Quentin Prugnieres displayed a very strong ride getting 10th on lap 1 and riding inside the top 10 all throughout the race to finish 10th.
The most incredible performance of race 2 has to be attributed to Horgmo as the Norwegian was 28th after lap 1. Showing his well-known quality and a tireless determination, Horgmo managed to climb his way up regularly to finish at a spectacular 9th place which place him 8th overall. TEM JP253 KTM Racing Team’s Jan Pancar continues to be consistent as he managed another top 10 overall with a 16-11 placing him 10th.
Thibault Benistant: “I will remember that one with so many fans. It was not easy mentally for a couple of races but we found the solution as I bounce back. I feel very good at the moment and I am very happy about this weekend!”
Andrea Adamo: “My start in race two was not great but I started to go and go to catch the guys. It’s unbelievable to be on the podium and now we look forward for Latvia.”
Liam Everts: “I feel pretty good to get my second podium. It was a battle with Andrea (Adamo} all weekend but I think it’s good as it pushes us both forward. Overall a pretty strong and consistent weekend. I’m super happy with third overall and my second podium.”
MXGP RACE REPORT & RESULTS
In MXGP race 1, it was Jeremy Seewer who got the fastest start as he clinched his 5th FOX Holeshot of the season. Jorge Prado quickly took the lead of Seewer after few turns while Romain Febvre got to 3rd on lap 1.
Seewer demonstrated great qualities on a track that seems to suit him as he made a charge on Prado on lap 5 and took the lead. Seewer kept riding strong and rode to victory for his first race win of the season. Behind the battle for 2nd place raged between Prado, Febvre and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings who placed himself 4th on the turn of lap 1.
Febvre made a move on Prado and even took the second place for few turns but Prado took his place back right away. It was then the turn of Herlings to show his immense talent as he set the fastest lap mid race and closed on Febvre on lap 12. The speed of the ‘bullet’ was too quick as Herlings passed Febvre for 3rd on lap 12. Herlings’ run was not finished as he continued his effort to put pressure on Prado quickly and managed to pass him on lap 14 with 3 laps to go. Herlings finished the race 2nd while Prado could not keep Febvre behind him on lap 15. Febvre went on to pass Prado to finish 3rd. Prado settled for 4th in the end.
Team HRC’s Rubén Fernández spent a much less eventful race as the 3rd in the Championship Standing managed to stay 5th throughout the whole race. He was followed by Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Mattia Guadagnini who also kept his rank into 6th during the race.
Ship to Cycle Honda SR Motoblouz’s Valentin Guillod showed a good pace as he started at the top but found himself 8th on the turn of lap 1. He managed to capitalise on SM Action Racing Team Yuasa Battery MXGP’s Alberto Forato crash to get up to 7th. Forato who continued on his marvellous effort from Saturday was 6th when he completely fell off his bike on a jump and unfortunately had to retire from the race.
Team Gebben Van Venroy Yamaha Racing’s Calvin Vlaanderen made a good start and quickly passed JM Honda Racing’s Brent Van doninck for 9th and kept a good pace behind Guillod. He eventually also benefitted from Forato misfortune to finish in 8th. Van doninck keeps showing impressive skill as the Belgian rode solidly into the top 10 the whole race to settle 10th in the end.
The great performance of the race went to Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team’s Glenn Coldenhoff as the Dutch rider did not start well and found himself 13th on lap 1 but eventually picked up his rhythm to overtake MRT Racing Team Beta’s Ben Watson
MRT Racing Team Beta’s Alessandro Lupino and Standing Construct Honda MXGP’s Brian Bogers early on to get to 11th on lap 3. He kept going to get to a good 9th place. Lupino settled for 13th in the end.
Race 2 started similarly to race 1 with Seewer clinching the FOX Holeshot and kept going with the lead. It looked like he was going for the perfect 1-1 but Febvre was determined to win his first race of the season at home. Febvre took his time but managed to get on the back of Seewer with the home crowd on their toes waiting for that moment. On lap 12, Febvre got on the inside of the Swiss and go through in a turn to let public erupt of excitement. With 6 laps to go it was a done deal as Febvre managed to enjoy the last lap and celebrate with his famous heel clicker. Seewer was happy to get 1-2 for his GP win of the season.
Prado went to ride strongly and throughout the whole race in 3rd position getting an excellent 4-3 to get up to the podium. Prado knew that getting these points were vital after the Herlings retirement of the race on lap 3 as he had a disastrous chain of events. The GP wins record man first got a problem with his goggles that broke and hindered his vision. Following a stop to the goggle lane to change them, Herlings had already a mountain climb when on the following lap his foot peg also broke on a landing. This unlikely series of bad luck got him to retire from race 2 and miss on vital points for the championship.
Fernandez experienced another quiet but succesfull race as he managed to keep his 4th place from start to finish for a consistent 5-4 to bring good points along the way. Similarly Vlaanderen also went 5th on lap 1 and kept his rank until the end to go 8-5 for a good 5th overall. Coldenhoff also showed good speed in this second race as he managed to pass the always consistent Guillod on lap 9 to finish 6th in the end. Guillod settled for 7th.
Van doninck is another efficient rider that is showing a lot of great ridings so far this season as he finished 8th for 8th overall. Riding at home seemed to suit Paturel as he finished 9th while showing very skills on this demanding track.
It was a good overall Grand Prix for KTM Kosak Team’s Tom Koch who emerged in the top 10 with 5 laps to go as he went from 14th on lap 1 to finish in 10th position. With a 14-10 the German finished 11th overall. Standing Construct Honda MXGP’s Brian Bogers is getting his rhythm back as he managed to get a 11-11 for a good 10th overall for the Dutch rider.
Guadagnini unfortunately had to retire following a crash while he was on his way up in 7th position. The Italian had to go to the medical centre on site to make checks. Further updates will follow in due time.
Jeremy Seewer:” Of course I wanted to win the second race also but Romain (Febvre) was very quick, anyway it is amazing after all to win the GP in front this incredible crowd. I want to thank everybody, my team and my family because it is a lot of hard work behind the scene. We keep going and it gives me some energy again and I’m now looking forward for the next GPs.”
Romain Febvre: “I feel I deserve that place after what happened in Spain. We thought that the season could have been over and I am now here nearly winning a GP which is fantastic for the team, my family and everyone involved. Let’s keep working and try to reduce the gap with the lead”
Jorge Prado: “Overall it was a good weekend, I felt very good in the first race even if I lost a couple of places and in the second race third was the best I could do, I give my 100% as the guys in front were riding very fast. We extended the lead in the Championship which very important and another podium that shows consistency which is the key. I’m super happy and thanks to my team and everyone supporting me.”