The official race report service of Kawasaki Racing Team.

MX2, MXGP OF PORTUGAL - Agueda, PORTUGAL, 3 April 2022

Another podium puts Mikkel Haarup on medal course

Big Van World MTX Kawasaki’s Mikkel Haarup advanced to third in the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship points chase with his second consecutive podium at Agueda in Portugal.

The Dane took full advantage of his fifth place in Qualifying to scythe through turn one in front for the holeshot award in race one and immediately put down the hammer on a clear track to drop all of his chasers bar the 2020 world champion, leading for three laps before his more experienced rival found a gap. But the DRT teamster retained his composure to track the new leader and entering the final two laps the duo were tied together; a tremendous final effort came up just a few metres short as the rivals each recorded their fastest lap of the race. He was edged out at turn one in race two but was quickly through to fifth as a fast-moving leaderboard was covered by just five seconds for half the race; the Dane eventually found his way round the rider directly ahead of him mid-moto for fourth and was able to close the gap to second and third but just ran out of time to launch a final attack. Nevertheless he was already assured of second overall on the day – his best-ever GP result – and his forty-point haul has seen him advance to third in the championship standings after four rounds.
Mikkel Haarup: “I started out a little stiff yesterday but we kept working and as everyone can see my race pace is really good and my DRT Kawasaki is really quick; we have those things dialled in. In the first races I put in some good early laps but it was a new situation for me to be leading; I made a few mistakes but I think I handled it pretty well and second is my best moto result so far. The second start was not quite so good as my holeshot device clicked out just as I left the gate but I made some good passes on the first lap amd caught up to the top guys. It was difficult to pass further in the top-five as everyone was running the same speed but we did a really good job as a team again this weekend and I’m getting addicted to the podium. But even more important is to keep improving and getting closer to the championship; that is the focus. I’ve had some good races at Arco where we race next and made some good passes there last time so it should be another good weekend. “
Kevin Horgmo of the F&H Kawasaki Racing Team was fortunate to avoid a cartwheeling rival at turn two in the opening moto to settle into an early fourth place until he fell victim to a slippery patch halfway round the lap and was pushed back in an instant to fifteenth. By half-distance the Norwegian had broken into the top ten again and, despite another slip, continued to push to advance decisively to eighth at the finish. The young Norwegian made it two holeshots in a day for Kawasaki in race two and showed emphatically how he is maturing from week-to-week by leading for seven laps. He remained unruffled after the two championship leaders came past in rapid succession to stick with the more experienced duo; he even closed back down the eventual GP winner as the race entered the final two laps but could not quite make a pass. Nevertheless he claimed a career-first GP moto podium. Fifth overall on the day he is now seventh in the series points standings, just four points from fifth.
Kevin Horgmo: “Unfortunately I had two small crashes in the first race but my riding was solid and I had third-fastest lap time of the moto so I was confident I could have a good second race with a good start. And that’s what I did with the holeshot! My Kawasaki was perfect over the gate and through the first turn and I could lead a GP for the first time. Even when I dropped back to third I stayed right behind a world champion for the rest of the race so I could be happy with my speed. Now I’m looking forward to next weekend at Arco; I won EMX there last year so I have good memories of the track. “
A first lap fall restricted Quentin Marc Prugnières to a single point in the weekend’s first moto of the FIM European EMX250 Championship on his 9MM Energy Drink BUD Racing Kawasaki on Saturday afternoon, but the French teenager had a strong ride from thirteenth to eighth in Sunday morning’s second moto.