The FIM Motocross World Championship continues to carry the momentum of the thrilling 2020 season into the third and final event here in Mantova, this weekend, with the MXGP of Europe!
Just eight rounds remain of the 2020 MXGP and MX2 Championships and things are heating up as Team HRC’s Tim Gajser looks to defend his 2019 title, as he leads the championship by just five points over Antonio Cairoli of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Jeremy Seewer from Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing.
Meanwhile, in MX2, Tom Vialle, rider of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing has managed to find a little bit of breathing room as he extended his lead yesterday to 46 points over Jago Geerts of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing MX2, who remains second, despite a tough few races.
Alongside the main world championship races, the MXGP of Europe will also see the rounds of the EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing and the EMX250 Championships, as Andrea Bonacorsi will be looking to put his Fantic Racing machine out in front once again, as he chases his fourth consecutive overall victory in the 125cc class, while in the 250cc category, Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing’s Thibault Benistant will be looking for redemption, as Mattia Guadagnini of Husqvarna Junior Racing Maddii will be looking to repeat his success from Tuesday and go for another double race victory.
After some incredibly close battles during the last two GP’s, the MXGP of Europe is set to deliver nothing less, as Team HRC’s Tim Gajser will be looking to add some more solid results under his belt and extend that MXGP championship lead. Starts will be vital for the Slovenian, who will be looking to make the job a little bit easier by getting out in front early on, which is vital in this stacked field.
Gajser finished third on the podium yesterday, though was not entirely satisfied with his riding, so it will be interesting to see if the three days until the next race will give him enough time to work on some things, ready for the races on Sunday.\
Of course, Romain Febvre of Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team is guaranteed to be one of the many riders who will look to challenge for race wins, following some fantastic races yesterday, that saw him claim his first MXGP race win and overall victory of the 2020 season.
The Frenchman has been a threat here in Mantova throughout the last two events, and now with the confidence of winning yesterday injecting some more motivation, there is no doubt that he will line-up on Sunday with only winning on his mind.
Meanwhile, for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Seewer, the next couple of races will be the perfect opportunity for redemption as he looks to get back on the podium and pull back some points. Over the last two GPs, Seewer has proven that he has exactly what it takes to lead the field around the Mantova circuit, though small mistakes and crashes have been the biggest issue for the Yamaha rider.
For Sunday’s races, it will be important for the Swiss to keep it on two wheels if he wants to remain with a fighting chance of the title this season. Though still plenty of rounds remain and like always anything can happen.
His teammate, Gautier Paulin, could also surprise us at the MXGP of Europe, as that second-place finish yesterday, which he battled Gajser for, really goes to show that with a good start Paulin fits right in with the top championship runners. He also showed a glimpse of this in Faenza, so to see Paulin finally make a podium appearance would not be too surprising.
Meanwhile, Antonio Cairoli of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing will no doubt be wanting to finish the triple header on a positive note as he looks to get back on the podium at his home GP. While Cairoli may have missed out on the podium at the last two rounds, he’s been pretty consistent otherwise, especially with his 4-4 result yesterday. And the consistency is paying off as he’s just 5 points off the red plate, which gives him a great fighting chance to go for title number 10.
Then there’s Jorge Prado of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing who has declared himself a real threat every race so far here in Mantova. The Spaniard won his second ever race in the premier MXGP class yesterday in race one, and with his recent battles at the top end of the field, it would not come as a surprised anymore to see him win more races and make another podium appearance, if anything it would be strange not to see him fighting with the leaders.
MXGP of Città di Mantova Top 3:
MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 352 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 347 p.; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 334 p.; 4. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 317 p.; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GAS), 303 p.; 6. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 275 p.; 7. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 263 p.; 8. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 257 p.; 9. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 248 p.; 10. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 238 p.;
In MX2, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen has continued his journey back to the top end of the field, as he claimed a second consecutive overall victory yesterday with a near-perfect 1-2 result. Olsen has been looking stronger every race so far and now a potential third podium could be on the horizon if things continue to head in a positive direction.
It’s clear that he’s taken well to the hard sand track, as his confidence to push for passes, especially as he chased down Renaux in the first race yesterday, the show’s that. It will be interesting what Olsen will bring to the next round and whether can make it three in a row.
His teammate Jed Beaton will of course want to get in on the action and aim for higher positions, than yesterday’s 6-6 result. He podiumed at the MXGP of Lombardia and even won a race, so he clearly knows how to get around the track here in Mantova and can also cope well under pressure. Starts will be important for Beaton, in order to make his races easier, without having to fight through the pack.
Meanwhile, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle will want to continue heading in a positive direction, as his races in Mantova started out a little bit tough. Yesterday’s third place and a win were enough to get him back on the podium which added some more positives.
The next race will be another opportunity for Vialle to extend his championship lead, as now 46 points separate him and Jago Geerts in second.
And for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jago Geerts the next race is going to be crucial if he wants to whittle down those points. The previous two rounds in Mantova have been far from perfect, as numerous mistakes and crashes have put him out of battles at the top end. Yesterday then Belgian did get his chance to fight for top positions but it was those crashes that cost him vital points.
Maxime Renaux of Yamaha SM Action MC Migliori – J1 Racing had a tough day yesterday. He came close to a race win in the opening heat, though after leading pretty much every lap of the race, the Frenchman could not do anything about the hard-charging Olsen, who passed him on the very last lap of the race. The second race was much tougher for the Yamaha rider who got caught up in a first turn crash and then had to fight his way through from dead last. He eventually came back to 9th which is pretty impressive, and it goes to show that he has the speed and can make the passes, so It’s all about getting a good start and keeping it on two wheels.
For Roan Van de Moosdijk, rider of F&H Kawasaki, the next round will be another opportunity to fight for the podium. After yesterday’s races, the Dutchman knew he could have done better, as he revealed he didn’t ride like himself for both races. And the third overall yesterday could help to give him that motivation and positivity that he needs, after some tough races in Faenza. Let’s see if he can make a podium appearance twice in a row.
MXGP of Città di Mantova Top 3:
1.Thomas Kjer Olsen
3.Roan Van de Moosdijk
MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 431 points; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 385 p.; 3. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 329 p.; 4. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 316 p.; 5. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 279 p.; 6. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 275 p.; 7. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 252 p.; 8. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 217 p.; 9. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 215 p.; 10. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, YAM), 186 p.
TIMETABLE (Local Timing CET/GMT+2)
SATURDAY: 09:30 EMX125 Free Practice, 10:00 EMX250 Free Practice, 11:10 EMX125 Qualifying Practice, 11:45 EMX250 Qualifying Practice, 13:00 EMX125 Race 1, 13:50 EMX250 Race 1, 15:00 EMX125 Race 2, 15:55 EMX250 Race 2.
SUNDAY: 09:15 MX2 Free/Time Practice, 10:15 MXGP Free/Time Practice, 12:05 MX2 Race 1, 13:05 MXGP Race 1, 15:00 MX2 Race 2, 16:00 MXGP Race 2.