It was a special day for Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing’s Thibault Benistant who clinched the EMX250 title in style with a race win in the second heat, and an overall victory. This gave the Frenchman the best opportunity to celebrate his gold plate on the top of the box as he claimed his sixth-round win of the season.
This season Thibalut Benistant showed great form, which all began at the Latvian triple-header, where the Frenchman swept the podium at all three rounds after he missed the podium in Valkenswaard by 1 point. His closest rival, and this year’s vice champion, Mattia Guadagnini of Husqvarna Junior Racing Maddii then responded with his own string of race wins and podiums in Mantova, as he won the rounds of Città di Mantova, Europe and then also the round of Spain.
The championship chase came down to the wire here in Lommel, with Benistant having the perfect day during the first round of Flanders, as he secured two strong race wins. Guadagnini was looking to respond and give it his best shot for today’s races though it didn’t work out. Despite winning the opening race, while having a close battle with the series leader, the second race was much different for the Italian, who crashed out of the race and did not score any points.
And while the focus was on who the winner will be this season, the third spot of the championship also opened up, after an unfortunate crash side-lined Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kay de Wolf, who was absent from the races today. The third-place medal ended up going to Hakon Fredriksen of Yamaha SM Action MC Migliori J1 Racing, who in the second half of the series was showing some strong results, finishing on the podium a total of five times, three of those times consecutively. During today’s races, the Norwegian put in an impressive performance, finishing the races in fourth and then second, which also put him on the second step of the box.
Though with Guadagnini unfortunately not scoring any points in the second race, this left another spot on the podium up for grabs. And it was Jorgen-Matthias Talviku who confirmed his second podium of the season, with a third and a seventh-place finish in the races, to also secure fifth in the championship this year, a brilliant position to build upon as he plans to enter the series once again in 2021.
Thibault Benistant: “Of course it’s amazing to win another European Title, all the season I tried to stay focus because I knew that you cannot win every race so I worked really hard with the team, with Yamaha and with everybody to get the best result every race and finally we did it and I’m really happy about that. Of course, I’m looking forward to next season and now I have some news goals. Going to the MX2 class and I need to be really focused on that.
Haakon Fredriksen: “I started the season only in Latvia because I wasn’t in Valkenswaard; I just worked hard all the season and once I got the possibility I took it. Today I’m happy about my riding, I got the third overall in the championship and I’m really satisfied about that. My favourite moment of the season was the race win in Mantova, I really enjoy that, and I had a special feeling”.
Jorgen-Matthias Talviku: “I’m really happy about today and I really enjoied the track, but today the first race for me has been quite tough so in the second one I pushed really hard to get this result and be on the podium 3rd today. I’m also really happy for the 5th place I get in the championship. For the new season I want to keep in the EMX250 Championship and I’ll work a lot in the wintertime and do everything I need to be ready and focus next year. I want to thank my manager, my team and my trainer, the Estonian federation and my family because it has been a fantastic year for me!”.
EMX250 – Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, Husqvarna), 29:57.541; 2. Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:09.329; 3. Jorgen-Matthias Talviku (EST, Husqvarna), +0:19.802; 4. Hakon Fredriksen (NOR, Yamaha), +0:20.573; 5. Marcel Conijn (NED, KTM), +0:27.386; 6. Gianluca Facchetti (ITA, Yamaha), +0:29.752; 7. Albin Gerhardsson (SWE, Husqvarna), +0:32.004; 8. Lion Florian (GER, KTM), +0:34.492; 9. Anthony Bourdon (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:50.292; 10. Oriol Oliver (ESP, KTM), +0:52.331.
EMX250 – Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), 30:34.916; 2. Hakon Fredriksen (NOR, Yamaha), +0:07.820; 3. Tim Edberg (SWE, Yamaha), +0:14.687; 4. Bastian Boegh Damm (DEN, KTM), +0:29.301; 5. Marcel Conijn (NED, KTM), +0:37.160; 6. Albin Gerhardsson (SWE, Husqvarna), +0:44.335; 7. Jorgen-Matthias Talviku (EST, Husqvarna), +0:53.340; 8. Rick Elzinga (NED, KTM), +0:57.739; 9. Maximilian Spies (GER, Husqvarna), +1:07.822; 10. Lorenzo Locurcio (VEN, Kawasaki), +1:09.185
EMX250 – Overall Top 10 Classification: 1. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 47 points; 2. Hakon Fredriksen (NOR, YAM), 40 p.; 3. Jorgen-Matthias Talviku (EST, HUS), 34 p.; 4. Marcel Conijn (NED, KTM), 32 p.; 5. Albin Gerhardsson (SWE, HUS), 29 p.; 6. Bastian Boegh Damm (DEN, KTM), 27 p.; 7. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, HUS), 25 p.; 8. Lion Florian (GER, KTM), 23 p.; 9. Gianluca Facchetti (ITA, YAM), 23 p.; 10. Tim Edberg (SWE, YAM), 20 p.
EMX250 – Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 423 points; 2. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, HUS), 377 p.; 3. Hakon Fredriksen (NOR, YAM), 293 p.; 4. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 272 p.; 5. Jorgen-Matthias Talviku (EST, HUS), 269 p.; 6. Tim Edberg (SWE, YAM), 232 p.; 7. Lorenzo Locurcio (VEN, KAW), 211 p.; 8. Tom Guyon (FRA, KTM), 178 p.; 9. Bastian Boegh Damm (DEN, KTM), 160 p.; 10. Gianluca Facchetti (ITA, YAM), 157 p.
EMX250 – Manufacturers Classification: 1. Yamaha, 452 points; 2. Husqvarna, 442 p.; 3. KTM, 366 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 222 p.; 5. Honda, 47 p.
Main Photo: EMX250 Championship Podium
Fom left to right: Infront Moto Racing CEO David Luongo, Maddii Racing’s Team Manager Marco Maddii, Thibault Benistant, Hakon Fredriksen and FIM Europe President Martin De Graaff.
Bottom Photos: 1. EMX250 Start; 2. Thibault Benistant
In the EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing category, it was David Braceras of RFME GasGas MX Junior Team, who took the top step of the podium for the very first time this season and he did so with a second and a race win. For Braceras, this was his fifth podium of the year, and his second race victory, which also helped him keep the championship chase alive, as the Spaniard whittled down on the lead of Fantic Racing’s Andrea Bonacorsi who now heads into the final round on Saturday with a 38-point advantage.