It was a return to the familiar for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team with Jeremy Seewer, Arnaud Tonus and Gautier Paulin lining up in Kegums, Latvia, for the second of three Grands Prix that will take place at the ‘Zelta Zirgs’ venue in the space of seven-days.
Starting the day with another hotly contested Timed Practice session, Tonus came fractionally close to going Pole with a 1:53.985 for second position, while Paulin finished up in sixth with a 1:54.580. Seewer had a small crash but still finished inside of the top-10 with a time of 1:55.167 for ninth.
The first race of the day got off to a spectacular start for Tonus as he battled up front for the entire 30-minute duration of the race before crashing out of second position on the penultimate lap.
Behind the number ‘4’ plenty of drama unfolded starting with a first turn pile-up in which Paulin was buried at the bottom of, while Seewer did his best to avoid the chaos but lost positions in the process.
The championship protagonists were truly tested in the opening race. Seewer found himself mid-pack and in the thick of a raging battle with former World Champions Romain Febvre and Jeffrey Herlings, while Paulin did his best to fight back from last position after an additional crash with another rider.
At the flag, Seewer had to eventually settle for fourth position after chasing Herlings for the entire race, while Tonus and Paulin recovered from their crashes for ninth and 13th respectively.
In the final race of the day, Seewer and Tonus were well placed on the exit of turn-one with both YZ450FM riders inside the top-seven. With his sights set firmly on a podium finish, Seewer took no prisoners as he charged up into fourth before capitalizing on mistakes from Herlings and Antonio Cairoli to take over second position with two laps remaining.
Similar to what happened in Race 2 at the MXGP of Latvia only 48 hours ago, the ‘91’ came ever-so close to a first ever MXGP race win, finishing within 1-second of the eventual race winner Arminas Jasikonis.
With an extreme depth of talent in MXGP in 2020, the top-15 riders are evenly matched in speed which makes passing extremely difficult. Paulin managed to move up into eighth position from outside of the top-15 while Tonus got stuck in tenth on Lap-4.
In the final classification, Seewer came up a mere 3-points short of a maiden Grand Prix victory. Tonus managed a season best eighth overall while Paulin rounded out the top-10.
After matching his career best result with second overall, Seewer has moved up to fifth in the MXGP Championship Standings. Paulin remains eighth and Tonus is 12th going into round five of the series which is set to take place on Sunday 15th August here in Kegums, Latvia.
For full results from the MXGP Grand Prix of Riga, click here.