Pit Bits: MXGP of Argentina | Round One 10

An inside look at the first round of the 2019 MXGP FIM Motocross World Championship from Neuquen, Argentina.

Pit Bits: MXGP of Argentina | Round One

I’m not sure what we pictured as an Argentinian motocross track, but this looks more like Europe than South America. The track, though dark, is actually sort of sandy. You’ll see a lot of sand knobby tires on the bikes. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Red Bull KTM MX2 rider Jorge Prado put together two great rides to come away 1-1 in Argentina. His ride at MXoN was no fluke. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Here’s a closer look at Prado’s KTM 250 SX-F. Nothing too crazy. You can see a bit of the new XACT WP shock that the teams are running here as well. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Jago Geerts rides for the Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2 team. You can see they run a carbon fiber gas tank, carbon fork guards, and a way more intake action with the gaping hole in the airbox cover. It seems a little weird that they don’t cover that with a screen of some kind but most Yamaha teams have the same, non-screened set-up. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team rider Romain Febvre’s YZ450F has a similar air box opening and you can see right into the filter. Also, like most factory bikes Febvre’s has a front brake master cylinder guard, but unlike most factory bikes, it is plastic rather than the black gold that is carbon fiber. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Speaking of carbon fiber, Monster Energy Kawasaki MXGP rider Clement Desalle’s bike shows off a little bit of the carbon fiber subframe, as well as a shiny new Pro Circuit pipe. You can also see that Desalle is running Showa’s BFRC shock. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Even more shiny black weaving on Desalle’s machine. First, you can see the tank, then the fan bracket/housing, then the piece on the back of the front fender. This could be to deflect and direct sand away from the radiator louvers to keep them from being clogged. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Clement Desalle went 4-6 to get fourth overall on the weekend. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Let’s look at Gustavo Pessoa’s Bike It/DRT/Kawasaki KX250F. It isn’t unusual to see stock suspension replaced on a race bike, but you rarely see Kawasakis with A-Kit WP hardware. You can also see a custom ignition cover that has a slimmed-down profile and the timing plugs have been removed. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Gautier Paulin of the Wilvo Yamaha MXGP team gets a little TV time before the races. He was previously with Husqvarna and this was his first MXGP with the Yamaha squad. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Paulin’s 5-5 moto finishes for fifth overall doesn’t do his ride justice. In the second moto, he came back from a first turn crash to fifth, showing he is comfortable on the new machine. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

British rider Max Anstie is on the satellite team of Standing Construction KTM. Three things that stand out on his KTM 450 SX-F is the HGS exhaust, the super thin carbon fiber engine hanger and the fact that he is running stock KTM footpegs when so many other teams opt for sharper and lighter boot grippers. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Tony Cairoli’s Red Bull KTM 450 SX-F looks to have an even longer Akrapovic head pipe than the American racer’s systems. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Cairoli is an enigma. He’s just as fast, if not faster than he’s ever been and he’s got decades on some of his competitors. He won the MXGP of Argentina with convincing 1-1 moto scores, yet the big unknown is if he would have done the same if Jeffrey Herlings was lined up. Herlings is still out with a foot injury that needed surgery, and it is unknown when he’ll be back at it. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Herlings or no Herlings, you can’t take anything away from Cairoli’s style. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo
Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

A look inside the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team pits. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Here is another Yamaha with a huge opening in the airbox cover - Ben Watson’s of the Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2 team. But this time you can see a Twin Air filter cover at least. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Nice safety wire job on the exhaust sensor plug bolt. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

The Yamaha YZ250Fs also have trick carbon fiber kill switches. It is a little hard to see, but the button is recessed in the mount to make it harder to hit on accident. There is also a border of foam around the button. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Another interesting set-up for a Kawasaki. This time it is the KX450F of Alessandro Lupino on the Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki Racing Team. The fork and shock are Solva products which don’t get much attention here in the US. You can also see a custom triple-clamp to go with the unique fork. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Glenn Coldenhoff of the Standing Construction KTM MXGP Team surprised everyone at the MXoN with amazing speed but finished with 17-18 moto scores for 16th overall in Argentina. The team says that he hasn’t had as much riding and testing as he’d like before the race. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Mitchell Evans of the Honda 114 Motorsports World MX2 Racing Team finished third overall in the MX2 class with 5-3 moto scores. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Honda HRC rider Calvin Vlaanderen got fourth overall in the MX2 class with 4-4 moto scores. This is his second year racing for the Honda HRC squad on his CRF250R. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

At first glance, Vlaanderen’s pit board looks pretty normal, but then you look at the crew member to the far left. He might be just mid-wave, but I’d like to think he is miming how to ride and flicking his head up to reiterate “FOCUS TO FRONT!” Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Monster Energy Yamaha’s Romain Febvre looked great in the first moto, dicing with the top guys to get third. But a scary crash in the second moto put him down and out. He had a classic out-of-control swap, swap, swap through the rollers and he high-sided hard. We just heard this morning that he has a severely broken ankle. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

We hope a speedy recovery, but Febvre is most likely out for at least a few rounds. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Febvre’s custom Alpinestars Supertech M10. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Former MXGP champion Tim Gajser went 2-2 for second overall. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Gasjer left it all on the track, and the track left a little on him. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

MX2 rider Henry Jacobi of the F&H Racing Team surprised a lot people by running up front in the first moto, finishing on the podium with third. He charged hard from a bad start in the second moto for 5th, awarding him fifth overall for the day. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Thomas Kjer-Olson actually won the MX2 Qualifier Race but went 2-2 when it counted to collect second overall on the day. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo
Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Another look at MX2 overall winner Jorge Prado. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Jeremy Van Horebeek went 6-3 for the third step on the MXGP podium overall. He is riding for the privateer team of Honda SR Motoblouz. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

Red Bull KTM MX2 rider Tom Vialle gets a special butt patch for his first ever World GP race. A seventh place overall is a strong showing for the rookie, plus the holeshot in moto one. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

MX2 podium from Argentina: Jorge Prado in first, Thomas Kjer-Olson in second, and Mitchell Evans in third. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo

MXGP podium from Argentina: Tony Cairoli in first, Tim Gajser in second, and Jeremy Van Horebeek in third. Photo by Juan Pablo Acevedo


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