[Husqvarna]

HUSKY ON A MX2-CLASS TITLE TEAR

2 months ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: Bavo Swijgers

What is it they say in motor racing? That the most important guy to beat is your teammate, right? Well, when Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Lucas Coenen took his second straight MX2-class win at last weekend’s French GP and elevated himself to third place in the in the World Championship standings, the young Belgian wasn’t gloating about the achievement. Not only did Coenen respectively acknowledge his teammate, Kay de Wolf (whose second place in France meant he maintained the Championship’s red plate), but Coenen also showed plenty of class and sportsmanship on the podium by holding aloft the #198 plate in a show of support to Thibault Benistant, who was injured in a huge Saturday crash and didn’t line up for Sunday’s motos.

Here are some take-outs from the Nestaan Husqvarna team’s PR after their super-successful weekend at France’s iconic St. Jean d’Angely circuit…

The Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing Team delivered an outstanding performance at the 2024 MXGP of France. Lucas Coenen dominated MX2, celebrating 1-1 finishes in both motos to take the Overall win, while Kay de Wolf secured second place, maintaining his lead in the championship standings.

Held at the historic St. Jean d’Angely circuit, the French venue hosted its 18th MXGP, providing a thrilling backdrop for the third consecutive weekend of action in the 2024 FIM Motocross World Championship. Despite muddy conditions on Friday and Saturday due to heavy rain, Sunday started out with dry conditions, though heavy rain returned in the afternoon, challenging riders on the 1620m hardpack circuit.

In MX2, Lucas Coenen was in a class of his own, winning Saturday’s qualifying race in sticky muddy conditions. On Sunday, he showcased his dominance again, starting fourth in race one, moving to second by lap two, and taking the lead by lap seven. By lap 13, Coenen had stretched out a 10-second lead over KTM’s Andrea Adamo, eventually finishing 11 seconds clear at the flag. In race two, Coenen quickly swept into the lead by lap three, set the fastest lap on lap six with a time of 1:49.9 and stretched his lead to over nine seconds by lap 7. Despite worsening weather, Coenen secured his third Grand Prix victory, moving to third in the championship and closing in on second place.

A nice moment of fair-play and respect from Lucas Coenen on the podium of the Monster Energy MXGP of France as he holds the #198 plate aloft, showing support to Thibault Benistant after his rival was sidelined through injury after a huge crash on Saturday.

At the same time, championship leader Kay de Wolf arrived in France with a 44-point advantage. In race one, he grabbed the Fox Holeshot and, despite an early setback dropping to 11th, battled back to finish third. In race two, de Wolf moved up to second by lap five, capitalising on a mistake from Sacha Coenen. Eventually taking the flag in second place, de Wolf’s 3-2 results for the weekend extended his championship lead, completing an incredible performance for the Nestaan Husqvarna MX2 squad.

Lucas Coenen: “The first moto, I was thinking about using the outside gate start like Kay and then on the second one I gave it a try – and it all worked out. We pulled off two great motos today and the win on Saturday, so I’m super, super-happy with this result – especially after last weekend in Lugo. I will try to keep building on this and carry this momentum over to Germany next. My 1-1 on Sunday with the changing conditions is awesome; let’s keep it up. I want to say a huge thankyou to the team, and also I want to take a moment to wish Thibault Benistant a fast recovery after his huge crash this weekend.”

Kay de Wolf: “The first race was intense, but I managed to hold on. In the second moto, I eased up when the rain and storms hit, keeping the bigger picture in mind. It was definitely another great weekend – I’m really happy with the bike and my performance. Being back on the podium and extending my championship lead feels fantastic. I hope we can keep this momentum going!”

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