Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing jumped across the Atlantic Ocean for the 2023 FIM Motocross World Championship season opener, the Grand Prix of Patagonia-Argentina, where the riders got on the gas and secured fantastic results in front of a capacity crowd.
The Spanish-speaking fans would have left Villa La Angostura with massive smiles – Jorge Prado gave the passionate crowd exactly what they wanted. Prado won the qualification heat on Saturday and ten points were added to his tally, so he had a red plate bolted to his MC 450F for the second day of on-track action.
Prado was absolutely dominant in the first moto on Sunday, as he got on the gas to take the holeshot. '61' recorded the fastest lap of the race and eventually won with an advantage of more than four seconds. The second moto was much more eventful, as he was placed in the thick of the on-track battles for the duration and eventually walked away with a sixth. 1-6 scores put him in third on the day, but he still leads the championship standings by two points.
Jorge Prado: "I think that I need to be happy, after winning the qualification heat yesterday and the first moto today. The second moto was not perfect, but I am very happy about my riding. I am happy! I am really happy that the next race is in sand because I feel great on my MC 450F in those conditions too. Hopefully we can extend our gap in the championship."
Mattia Guadagnini completed a GASGAS sweep of the top two positions in the first qualification heat of the new season, as he reached the finish in second place. Sunday was harder for the Italian though; he crashed on lap one of the first moto and had to climb from outside of the top twenty to tenth at the checkered flag. The second moto was not quite as chaotic, as he finished eighth to cap off a rather consistent weekend. 10-8 scores left him in eighth in the overall classification, but he runs seventh in the championship standings.
Simon Langenfelder had a successful outing in South America, as he was much more competitive than his results may indicate. '516' fell in turn one of the first moto and moved from dead last to eighth at the checkered flag in what was an incredible showing. A mediocre start left him with more work to do in the second moto, but he progressed through the race and eventually secured fifth place. 8-5 scores put him seventh in the overall classification and fourth in the championship standings, when combined with his third place in the qualification heat.
Mattia Guadagnini: "Finishing second in the qualification race was really good! I did not have the best start in the first moto, but I was around sixth and then I made a mistake. I had to fight back from almost last place, but I made good passes and finished tenth. My lap times were good! I had a better start in the second moto, but I was not riding at my best. I am pretty happy with the first weekend of the season."
Simon Langenfelder: "I had a good Saturday – I felt so good on my MC 250F. I had an incident right at the start of moto one, unfortunately, and it was quite a big crash! I rode very good in the first race. I felt quite tired in the second race, because I pushed so hard in moto one. It can only get better from here."
There's a very small break in the Grand Prix calendar now, to allow the riders and teams to travel back from South America. The second round, the Grand Prix of Sardegna, will be run on March 25/26.
Results – 2023 FIM Motocross World Championship, Round One
MXGP – Overall
1. Ruben Fernandez (Honda) 41pts
2. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM) 40pts
3. Jorge Prado (GASGAS) 40pts
8. Mattia Guadagnini (GASGAS) 24pts
MXGP – Moto One
1. Jorge Prado (GASGAS)
2. Romain Febvre (Kawasaki)
3. Maxime Renaux (Yamaha)
10. Mattia Guadagnini (GASGAS)
MXGP – Moto Two
1. Ruben Fernandez (Honda)
2. Jeffrey Herlings (KTM)
3. Jeremy Seewer (Yamaha)
6. Jorge Prado (GASGAS)
8. Mattia Guadagnini (GASGAS)
MXGP – Standings
1. Jorge Prado (GASGAS) 50pts
2. Ruben Fernandez (Honda) 48pts
3. Romain Febvre (Kawasaki) 44pts
7. Mattia Guadagnini (GASGAS) 33pts
MX2 – Overall
1. Jago Geerts (Yamaha) 50pts
2. Andrea Adamo (KTM) 40pts
3. Thibault Benistant (Yamaha) 35pts
7. Simon Langenfelder (GASGAS) 29pts
MX2 – Moto One
1. Jago Geerts (Yamaha)
2. Thibault Benistant (Yamaha)
3. Andrea Adamo (KTM)
8. Simon Langenfelder (GASGAS)
MX2 – Moto Two
1. Jago Geerts (Yamaha)
2. Kevin Horgmo (Kawasaki)
3. Andrea Adamo (KTM)
5. Simon Langenfelder (GASGAS)
MX2 – Standings
1. Jago Geerts (Yamaha) 60pts
2. Andrea Adamo (KTM) 49pts
3. Thibault Benistant (Yamaha) 41pts
4. Simon Langenfelder (GASGAS) 37pts