The 3rd of 3 back to back weekends of racing takes to Trentino, Italy for the 4th round of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship this Saturday and Sunday! Set against the Dolomite Mountains of Italy the 2019 MXGP of Trentino will also host the first Italian round of three this season.
The beautiful Pietramurata venue is far from typical with its amazing location and surroundings. The circuit will be the first hard pack race of 2019 but with rain expected anything is possible. The Italian fans are expected in force as always and as some of the most passionate in the world the atmosphere created will be bar none.
This weekend’s addition classes of the FIM Europe Motocross Championship include the EMX250 category and EMX125 presented by FMF Racing. The EMX250 class last raced in Great Britain where Maddii Racing Husqvarna’s Alberto Forato had a dominant 1-1 showing. Last weekend Forato was a wild card entry into MX2 where he scored an impressive 7thoverall. This weekend the Italian returns to the EMX250 class for the home round against 92 other entries into the class.
EMX125 presented by FMF Racing will also hold its second round in Trentino after the first take place last weekend in Valkenswaard. The category’s current points leader hails from the same Maddii Racing Husqvarna team as Forato, Mattia Guadagnini. The Italian will fight against 100 ultracompetitive entries for the second week in a row.
Continuing the home GP tradition is Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli as the MXGP points leader. Cairoli has won the Trentino GP 3 times of his 6 attempts and aside from his worst result of 5th he has never finished off the podium. Though the Sicilian has seen much success here the home venue is not his favorite and with the packed schedule, it will be interesting to see how he handles the weekend.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser has been the fastest rider not to win this year and this is mostly due to his massive crashes at the past two rounds. Even so, the Slovenian has a perfect podium record so far and with the added fans expected to make the trip across the Slovenian border, Gajser is the other favorite for the win in Trentino this weekend. Gajser won the MX2 category here in 2015, reached the podium in 2016 and 2017 but finished 7th last year.
Standing Construct KTM’s Max Anstie is one to watch this weekend after leading laps in the Netherlands before a small but costly error set him back. The Brit had a top 5 result in Trentino during his 2015 MX2 campaign but with potential rain forecasted his years of British mud riding could help propel him to the podium for the first time this season.
Also worth considering is Belgium’s Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team rider Clement Desalle who took 2ndoverall last weekend and at this very GP last year. Desalle surprised even himself with the result in the Netherlands after injuring his hand one week prior. Winning the Trentino GP in 2014 and taking the past two wins on the MXGP of Russia’s similar soil don’t be surprised to see the “MX panda” back on the podium.
Belgian compatriot Jeremy van Horebeek from Honda SR Motoblouz made hard charges through the field in the Netherlands to tie in points for 3rd overall but finish 4th. Van Horebeek’s best Trentino result also comes from 2014 when he finished 2nd behind Desalle.
Additional Italian fans’ favorites this week include Standing Construct KTM’s Ivo Monticelli and Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki’s Alessandro Lupino. Monticelli has looked like a new rider so far this year battling in the top ten and even proving to be a hard customer to pass in the battle for the top 5 last week.
2018 MXGP of Trentino top 3 (MXGP):
- Jeffrey Herlings
- Clement Desalle
- Antonio Cairoli
MXGP Championship Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 147 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 125 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 103 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 102 p.; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 102 p.; 6. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 92 p.; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 78 p.; 8. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 64 p.; 9. Julien Lieber (BEL, KAW), 62 p.; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, KTM), 56 p.
The MX2 category is currently led by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen but the return of defending MX2 Champion Jorge Prado and his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machine was a dominant one last Sunday in Holland.
Prado has strong memories from Trentino as well seeing as he won his first ever MX2 overall here in 2017 then took the win again last year. In addition, Prado now considers Italy his second home as he rides and lives with the Italian based De Carli squad. All of which combined make him the favorite for this weekend.
Aside from Olsen looking to take the win away from Prado F&H Racing Kawasaki’s Henry Jacobi will be looking for his first career win. The German has made massive strides in his riding as of late and has consistently been battling for the top 5 if not the podium so far this season. Jacobi’s career-best finish prior to the 2ndoverall in Great Britain two weeks ago was his 3rd place here in 2018.
Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen is 2nd in the points presently but has just missed the podium with 4th place finishes at each of the first three rounds this season. Vlaanderen’s drive to improve his results by at least one position could take him even further forward this weekend.
Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha Official MX2’s Ben Watson and Jago Geerts will be one to watch this week after Geerts reached the podium via a last lap pass on Olsen days ago. Watson currently is 5th in the points standings but one issue or another has held the British rider from reaching his full potential.
Other riders to note this weekend include the Italian entry, Yamaha SM Action MC Migliori’s Michele Cervellin and newly signed BUD Racing Kawasaki rider Mitchell Harrison from the USA. Cervellin is a native of the region making it a true home GP while Harrison has raced 3 prior GP’s in the MX2 category scoring 5th at the 2017 Monster Energy MXGP of the USA, 3rd at the 2016 Monster Energy MXGP of the USA, and 7th at the 2016 Monster Energy MXGP of the Americas.
2018 MXGP of Trentino top 3 (MX2):
- Jorge Prado
- Thomas Covington
- Henry Jacobi
MX2 Championship Top Ten: 1. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 136 points; 2. Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 113 p.; 3. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, HON), 107 p.; 4. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 100 p.; 5. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 95 p.; 6. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 86 p.; 7. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 81 p.; 8. Davy Pootjes (NED, HUS), 65 p.; 9. Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 63 p.; 10. Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 60 p.
TIMETABLE in Local Time GMT+2/UTC+2
SATURDAY: 7:45 EMX125 Group 1 Free Practice, 08:10 EMX125 Group 2 Free Practice, 08:35 EMX250 Group 1 Free Practice, 09:00 EMX250 Group 2 Free Practice, 09:40 EMX125 Group 1 Qualifying Practice, 10:20 EMX125 Group 2 Qualifying Practice, 11:00 EMX250 Group 1 Qualifying Practice, 11:40 EMX250 Group 2 Qualifying Practice, 12:30 MX2 Free Practice, 13:00 MXGP Free Practice, 13:55 EMX125 Race 1, 14:40 MX2 Time Practice, 15:15 MXGP Time Practice, 16:05 EMX250 Race 1, 16:55 MX2 Qualifying Race, 17:40 MXGP Qualifying Race.
SUNDAY: 09:45 EMX125 Race 2, 10:25 MX2 Warm-Up, 10:45 MXGP Warm-Up, 11:30 EMX250 Race 2, 13:15 MX2 Race 1, 14:15 MXGP Race 1, 16:10 MX2 Race 2, 17:10 MXGP Race 2