The first races of the weekend have concluded in Mantova for the round of Lombardia, with action from the EMX250 riders, that saw Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing’s Thibault Benistant have a successful end to his day as he took a fourth consecutive overall victory in the category.
This morning’s practice and qualifying sessions set the stage for the perfect day of racing, as home GP rider, Mattia Guadagnini of Husqvarna Junior Racing Maddii lined-up on the start gate first after posting the fastest lap time in the group timed session.
As the gate dropped for the opening EMX250 race of the day, it was Meico Vettik who got off to a flying start and was the early race leader. He was followed by Emilio Scuteri of Celestini Racing and Tom Guyon of Team VRT Nordpesca Holland.
Bastian Boegh-Damm of W-Z Racing didn’t have such a good start to the race as he crashed out and seemed to be in discomfort as he hopped towards his bike. He did re-join for a couple of laps though eventually retired from the race.
Meanwhile Husqvarna Junior Racing Maddii’s Mattia Guadagnini and Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing rider Thibault Benistant didn’t get off to the best start in the race, as both were down the field, with Guadagnini 10th and Benistant 14th. Another rider struggling in the beginning of the race was Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kay De Wolf who was further down the order in P17.
Back with the leaders it was Vettik who had already pulled a 5.654 second gap over Guyon, as Scuteri, Oriol Oliver and Hakon Fredriksen of Yamaha SM Action M.C Migliori – J1 Racing, were locked in a battle for third position. The second Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing rider Gianluca Facchetti was having a great ride in 4th place.
Meanwhile Vettik could not afford to relax as his 5 second gap was being cut short rapidly as the group caught up. And things then went downhill for the Estonian who crashed out of the lead, though was able to pick himself up pretty quickly and re-join in 4th position. Guyon then moved into the lead, though this didn’t last long as the KTM rider crashed out and was dropping down the race order fast.
This then allowed Fredriksen to inherit the lead, all while Guadagnini was making good progress and was already up into 5th on lap 5 of the race. Fredriksen then continued to lead the race as he opened up a 7 second gap over Facchetti and Vettik, while Guadagnini was catching the pair as he searched for higher positions. The Italian eventually was able to find a way through into third pushing Vettik to fourth in the race.
As the race progressed, Guadagnini then started to go after Facchetti and after several attempts was able to jump into second. At the same time the Husqvarna rider also set the fastest lap time of the race with a 1:56.878 with just 3 laps to go.
Facchetti then was being caught by Vettik for P3, though was able to retain his position as Fredriksen crossed the line to win race 1. Guadagnini finished second.
In the second EMX250 race, it was Guadagnini and Guyon who led the way, though things changed quickly as Guadagnini went down. Guyon then came under fire from Benistant who was eager to get into the lead and finish the day with a solid result.
As Guyon tried to hold off Benistant, this allowed Tim Edberg to get closer.
Meanwhile further down the order, Vettik was not having the best start to the race as he was down in 18th on the opening few laps of the race.
Guadagnini then continued to cruise around the circuit, passing pitlane and giving the crew a signal at the bike, which must’ve taken an impact from his crash a lap earlier. He continued to ride around for a few more laps before going out of the race.
By lap 3, Benistant was the new race leader as he led Guyon, Edberg and De Wolf. Though Guyon looks to have made a mistake as he lost 2 positions and dropped to 4th in the race. Benistant then went on to set a fast lap of the race, with 12 minutes plus 2 laps on the clock.
Just 5 seconds separated the top 3 riders, as De Wolf was searching for a way into 2nd place and after several attempts was able to do just that as he moved up a position past Edberg.
As the race progressed, Benistant continued to edge away from the rest of the field as he pulled a 10.441 second gap over De Wolf and Edberg who remained 2nd and 3rd. In the end not much changed in the top 10, as Benistant claimed his first race win of the day, with De Wolf and Edberg crossing the line to finish in the top 3.
A 5th and a win was enough to give Thibault Benistant the overall as Hakon Fredriksen claimed his first podium of the season to finish 2nd and Tim Edberg also getting the 3rd spot on the box.
As it stands Benistant now leads the EMX250 Championship by 57 points, with Guadagnini and De Wolf tied on points in second and third.
Thibault Benistant: “The day started not so easy as I finished a little bit far on the lap time. In the first race I tried to start a little bit far from the outside and I needed to push hard for a comeback, but I did quite a good race and finished fifth. In the second race I started better, I was third and there was a crash at the front. I waited for a mistake from Tom [Guyon] and then I was leading. I kept the gap and win the race”.
“I feel good, I like the track when it becomes a little bit bumpy, so I hope to do the same” he added.
Hakon Fredriksen: “It’s my first podium so I’m happy about it, the second race was not so easy as I had an incident on the first lap but I made it happen. It will be great to get the Norwegian flag on the top and that’s my motivation for the next race”.
Tim Edberg: “The last race was really good. I gave it my all race and I finished third and third overall. I’m really happy and we have worked really hard to get here so it’s paying off, I’m really happy”.
EMX250 – Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Hakon Fredriksen (NOR, Yamaha), 29:47.089; 2. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:12.463; 3. Gianluca Facchetti (ITA, Yamaha), +0:15.855; 4. Meico Vettik (EST, KTM), +0:17.032; 5. Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:28.999; 6. Tim Edberg (SWE, Yamaha), +0:32.315; 7. Oriol Oliver (ESP, KTM), +0:33.759; 8. Jorgen-Matthias Talviku (EST, Husqvarna), +0:42.538; 9. Lorenzo Locurcio (VEN, Kawasaki), +0:42.770; 10. Emilio Scuteri (ITA, KTM), +0:45.622.
EMX250 – Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), 29:53.245; 2. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:10.129; 3. Tim Edberg (SWE, Yamaha), +0:12.670; 4. Tom Guyon (FRA, KTM), +0:15.289; 5. Lorenzo Locurcio (VEN, Kawasaki), +0:20.515; 6. Maximilian Spies (GER, Husqvarna), +0:38.570; 7. Gianluca Facchetti (ITA, Yamaha), +0:42.550; 8. Hakon Fredriksen (NOR, Yamaha), +0:42.942; 9. Meico Vettik (EST, KTM), +0:45.182; 10. Gianmarco Cenerelli (ITA, Husqvarna), +0:47.318.
EMX250 – Race 2 – Top 10 Overall: 1. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 41 points; 2. Hakon Fredriksen (NOR, YAM), 38 p.; 3. Tim Edberg (SWE, YAM), 35 p.; 4. Gianluca Facchetti (ITA, YAM), 34 p.; 5. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 31 p.; 6. Meico Vettik (EST, KTM), 30 p.; 7. Lorenzo Locurcio (VEN, KAW), 28 p.; 8. Jorgen-Matthias Talviku (EST, HUS), 23 p.; 9. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, HUS), 22 p.; 10. Maximilian Spies (GER, HUS), 19 p.
EMX250 – Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 215 points; 2. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, HUS), 158 p.; 3. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 158 p.; 4. Isak Gifting (SWE, KTM), 128 p.; 5. Tim Edberg (SWE, YAM), 126 p.; 6. Meico Vettik (EST, KTM), 114 p.; 7. Jorgen-Matthias Talviku (EST, HUS), 112 p.; 8. Hakon Fredriksen (NOR, YAM), 110 p.; 9. Lion Florian (GER, KTM), 87 p.; 10. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 87 p.
EMX250 – Manufacturers Classification: 1. Yamaha, 229 points; 2. Husqvarna, 208 p.; 3. KTM, 204 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 79 p.
Main Photo: EMX250 Start
Bottom Photos: 1. Thibault Benistant; 2. Hakon Fredriksen