The last of these early-season flyaway races took place at the high altitude venue of Leon in Mexico. At 1,800 meters in elevation (Thunder Valley in Denver is around 1,600 meters) this causes the bikes to lose almost 20 percent of their power compared to races at sea-level, but one rider and machine that didn’t seem to have any problems adjusting was HRC Honda’s Tim Gajser. The Slovenian put on another dominant display in both races, winning comfortably and extending his points lead in the MXGP class to 20 points over Antonio Cairoli. The Italian rider was easily the next best man in the field but couldn’t get past a determined Gautier Paulin in the first race and had to settle for fourth. In race two he made sure that didn’t happen again with a very forceful maneuver on the first lap. Frenchman Paulin rounded out the podium in what is a good run of results for the rejuvenated Husqvarna rider.

In the MX2 class, it was Thomas Covington who repeated his 2016 success here, by once again taking victory at the MXGP of Mexico. The result was in the balance for much of the second race as with Covington out front, it all came down to where moto one winner, Jeremy Seewer, could make his way back up to. In the end, a mistake when in third saw him drop down to fourth and that was enough for the American to win the tie-breaker as they tied on 43 points. Third step on the podium was privateer KTM rider Julien Lieber who continues to exceed expectations, and now sits tied in third place in the championship with Benoit Paturel. Pauls Jonass is second after his fourth overall, which was all the more impressive after he sustained a pretty nasty elbow wound in practice. Seewer keeps the red plate for another round, actually extending his lead to eight points over the Latvian, before the season resumes on April 15 and 16 in the stunningly beautiful MXGP of Trentino.

TO BE CONTINUED

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