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RACE REPORT

2024 MXGP of Spain | Race Highlights, Report & Results

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2024 MXGP OF SPAIN | COMPLETE COVERAGE

PHOTOS | GASGAS & Husqvarna
TEXT & VIDEO | MXGP

From the unique volcanic surface of Argentina’s opening round, the MXGP World Motocross Championships had to deal with high temperatures and baked-hard ruts here in Spain as the 2024 season reached European soil for the first time.

The Spanish fans who had flocked to the circuit near the nation’s capital of Madrid were certainly treated to the spectacle that they would have wanted to see, as home heroes Red Bulll GASGAS Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado in MXGP, and RFME GASGAS MX Junior’s Daniela Guillen in the WMX Women’s World Motocross Championship season opener, both drove the crowd into rapturous applause as they dominated their classes with perfect unbeaten weekends.

Whilst MX2 saw close racing again, the overall winner was also the same as in Argentina, as Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kay De Wolf increased his Championship advantage with the overall victory, but Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Andrea Adamo gave notice that he will not give up his crown easily with a win in the second race to climb the podium for the first time as defending World MX2 Champion.


MX2 Race Report & Results

After his RAM Qualifying Race win on Saturday, Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s red plate holder Kay de Wolf started to look close to unstoppable, which was maybe the reason why Thibault Benistant decided to make a strong move with his Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 machine in the third corner of race one to keep the Dutchman from advancing any further!  They were all chasing the Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing rider Simon Laengenfelder, who took his first Fox Holeshot Award of the season ahead of Benistant and his fast-starting teammate at Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2, Rick Elzinga.  

F&H Kawasaki rookie Quentin Prugnieres got in on the fun by block-passing Liam Everts, back from injury for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, for 4th place in a frantic first lap!  On the run up to the finish area, De Wolf roared round the outside of Elzinga for 3rd, but simultaneously his teammate Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Lucas Coenen suffered a slide that put him directly into the path of Prugnieres! Quentin had nowhere to go and hit the ground, eventually recovering to 17th.  

Langenfelder attempted to sprint away at the front as De Wolf took until the third lap to get past Benistant for 2nd.  The Yamaha man had a difficult race as he lost several positions, finally finishing 7th after a rough-looking crash on a downhill corner.

Almost at the 20-minute mark, De Wolf found a burst of speed and forced Laengenfelder to back out of doing the big uphill triple jump, pulling a spectacular “stork” move to clear the distance himself and take the lead, which he never lost!

Laengenfelder had a threat from Lucas Coenen as well, but the Belgian lost his footing in a rut on the final lap and the top three stayed in that order with Everts a solid 4th and Mikkel Haarup a charging 5th for Monster Energy Triumph Racing after making a late move on Adamo.

Just when MX2 might have started to look a little predictable, race 2 saw a shake up in the order again as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Adamo showed the strength of his resolve.  The team was briefly running 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at the start as Sacha Coenen took the Fox Holeshot ahead of Adamo and Everts, although Benistant broke up the party with two swift passes to climb to 2nd by the start of the first full lap!

De Wolf was once more on the charge and passed Benistant with an over-jump that looked painful on landing, but got the job done! He swept around Sacha Coenen to lead after four minutes and it looked like the race was over,  but Adamo was having none of it and also demoted his younger teammate shortly afterwards.  Sacha made a mistake in the waves and dropped several positions to eventually come home in 8th.

Adamo dug into his reserves to chase down De Wolf, something few people have done this season, and by half-distance he had closed the gap and made a sharp move up the inside of a flat right-hander!  The Reigning Champ passed the current Championship leader, and Kay could not stay with his pace.

Behind them, Laengenfelder, from a start outside the top ten, had to make passes on first Everts, then Benistant, to climb to 3rd. Monster Energy Triumph Racing’s Camden McLellan briefly challenged Everts but would finish in 7th, the first Triumph rider home as Haarup dropped his machine with two laps to go!  

Both Everts and Benistant fell prey to a charging Lucas Coenen, who got up to 4th by the flag, but all eyes were on De Wolf as he resumed his charge on Adamo in the closing laps, only to miss a rut with his rear wheel and slide to the floor! He picked it up in time to just hold off Laengenfelder, and although Adamo celebrated both his first race win and overall podium finish as reigning World Champion, it was Kay De Wolf who brought home the overall Grand Prix victory for the second round in a row, and for the third time in his career!

De Wolf now leads the standings by 12 points from Laengenfelder, who took 2nd overall. With Adamo’s win lifting him up to 3rd in the GP as well as the in the Championship, he heads with renewed confidence to the next two rounds on Italian soil that start on the first weekend of April, although with Sardegna’s treacherous sand to come, everyone knows that it’s going to be an awesome confrontation!

Kay De Wolf: “I’ve worked really hard in all the races especially for the second one where the pace was really fast and incredible for all of us; I tried to catch Andrea till the last lap but then I did few mistakes that made me think of the classification and relax a bit and follow my rhythm. I can’t thank enough the team for all the hard work they did this weekend and for preparing the bike in the best shape possible.”

Simon Laengenfelder: “I rode really well attacking almost all Race 2, even if I was faster than Kay I couldn’t find a good line to pass him and I had to keep the third position but for the next race I’m sure I can do better”

Andrea Adamo “Like I said already, it was a really tough winter for me; I’ve been struggling a lot and I came in Argentina totally not ready for it and only my team knows how hard it was for me. Here in Spain I’ve found more confidence with the bike and session after session once I go on the track I’m getting faster and more confident and finally today I got the win in race 2 which feels like a GP win. Now I’m really happy and I want to keep going in this way.”


MXGP Race Report & Results

Jorge Prado was focussed on the job in hand all weekend, even with the extra pressures of being World Champion, Red Plate Holder, and national hero, he simply was not going to be denied in front of his adoring fans.  With frightening accuracy, he launched his Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing machine into the lead immediately in both races, with the Fox Holeshot Award an absolute formality both times. 

In race one, it was the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP pairing of Maxime Renaux and Calvin Vlaanderen that gave chase as Prado put in devastating sub-1:52 lap times that no-one else could match.  Team Ship to Cycle Honda rider Valentin Guillod made his presence felt early, but title contenders such as Tim Gajser for Team HRC, Romain Febvre for Kawasaki Racing Team, and Jeffrey Herlings for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing all had to fight forward from average starts. 

One-by-one the former World Champions fired past Guillod, but Prado built an insurmountable lead that nobody could overhaul.  Renaux started to drop back with pain from his foot injury sustained here last May.  He would not make it to the start of race two. Gajser brought the Honda home in 2nd place over 8 seconds ahead of the cruising Prado, while Herlings won a back-and-forth battle with Febvre to take 3rd ahead of the Frenchman.  Renaux clung on to 5th ahead of Fantic Factory Racing rider Glenn Coldenhoff. 

Race 2 promised a more intense battle as Gajser and Febvre both got away in Prado’s wheel tracks, 2nd and 3rd, and Herlings quickly moved up to 4th by the start of the first full lap.  This time they had no cause for complaint – they had started right with the Champ!

In front of a baying crowd though, urged on by trackside commentators who will surely need the throat sweets tomorrow morning, Prado showed that he can now pull away from the three former World Champions as he left them all in his wake.  His best lap time came again on lap two, amazingly a tiny nine-thousands of a second faster than his best from race one!

Although Febvre got close to challenging Gajser with around five minutes left to go in the race, he could not find a way past as the circuit had reached its most challenging level of the weekend, and the top five stayed as Prado, Gajser, Febvre, Herlings, and Vlaanderen throughout the race. Vlaanderen put in his best ride yet on the factory Yamaha team to help make up for the absence of Renaux.  Coldenhoff got close to him but took a tumble before the finish line to knock himself out of the race.

The overall result was the same as race two’s, except for Jeremy Seewer taking fifth overall for the Kawasaki Racing Team through consistent 7-6 finishes.  Prado extends his Championship lead to ten points over Gajser, with Febvre 12 further back in 3rd and Herlings now up to 4th.  All three chasers will be hoping that the sands of Sardegna, in two weeks’ time, will give them the opportunity to claw back some points on the runaway defending Champion.

Jorge Prado: “This is all about racing, winning here in Spain is special! It has been a perfect weekend just winning every single time I went out on track. I can’t be more happy to be honest and do it on home-soil makes everything special with so many fans that came here and me giving them this victory is amazing. I feel super proud of what I did and of course I want to thank all my team RedBull GasGas Factory Racing that supported me during all weekend; we are doing an amazing job and let’s keep it rolling.”

Tim Gajser: “It was a consistent weekend and to be honest I need to be happy, today Jorge was really impressive, in Race 1 I had a good start and I couldn’t reach him I saw he had a consistent gap of 12 second so I didn’t even push to not make any mistakes. In Race 2 I’ve tried becaue we were together but then he made a little gap and from behind I had Romain pushing hard so I prefered taking the points and be consistent. Thanks to all my team and my family for the great support during the weekend.”

Romain Febvre: “I’m happy to finish on the podium because this weekend I really struggled on the starts. As you could see in Race 1, I had a really bad start so we decided to make a big change for Race 2 and it worked because I’ve almost took the FOX Holeshot so for that I’m a bit disappointed that we found the solution only at the end of the weekend but the pass was good and anyway Jorge was really fast this weekend so I’m happy to be third on the podium. Thanks to all the team for the work and let’s keep going.”

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Michael Antonovich

Michael Antonovich has a wealth of experience with over 10 years of moto-journalism under his belt. A lifelong racing enthusiast and rider, Anton is the Editor of Swapmoto Live and lives to be at the race track.

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