Get the real lowdown from the 8th round of the FIM World Motocross Championship in Lativa.
Herlings vs Prado
Once Renaux and Febvre both got injured in Spain, the 2023 MXGP championship became a two-horse race with Prado seeking his first MXGP title, while Herlings looks for his third. So far, Prado has held the red plate for the duration of the season but right now the pendulum has definitely swung in Herlings’ favour. He went 1-1-1 in the three races in Kegums and excluding his bike-related DNF in France, has beaten Prado in eight of the last 11 races they’ve competed in. Due to that DNF he is still 25 points behind, but momentum, speed and the ability to come through the field all seem to point to Herlings as the man to beat. However, you can’t count out Prado when he consistently gets holeshots.
De Wolf makes his claim
If ever there was a time to get your first overall, Latvia was the moment for Kay de Wolf. The stylish Dutch rider has been close on a number of occasions, but always come up just short. However in Kegums he won all three races (whilst making mistakes) for a maximum 60-point weekend. Not only that, but the Husqvarna rider now has the red plate and a bucket-load of confidence as the series heads to Germany. I wouldn’t count out Adamo or Benistant just yet though as consistency has been a problem for all of them but with just 19 points separating the trio, this MX2 season is just getting started…
What a difference rain makes
Ruben Fernandez was third in free practice, third in timed practice, third in the qualifying race and third in the first moto. Then the rains came and the Spaniard was no longer the third best rider. It was a shame because the #70 has deserved another podium with his consistent form, but instead a big off on the step-up left him with a bent bike and a big drop in points to his rivals. Febvre looked a totally different rider after rains came and looked like he might have something for Jeffrey before the #84’s turbos ignited and he stormed through to win.
Lucas Coenen was pissed
Lucas Coenen proved in France that he could win races. Now he has to add consistency to his undoubted speed. Unfortunately he wasn’t helped by a bike malfunction in race one that stopped him in his tracks and left the youngster with a DNF instead. In race two, the #96 was leading comfortably before a lappers roost caused him to fall and lose the lead he’d built up. He is way down in the championship standings but every moto from now until the end of the season is a possible victory for this bright talent.
The crowd returns to Kegums
It’s been a while since the crowd in Kegums has been this big. Sure, Covid didn’t help but even without Pauls Jonass on track (injury) the crowd came out in force and still got behind the Latvian riders (the Reisulis brothers especially). Even the heavy rain storm didn’t scare them off, so it is good to see the slow attendance decline halted at this popular venue.
Main image: KTM Images