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MXGP heads to Italy

MXGP continues its intense season with round 14 of the FIM Motocross World Championship this weekend in Pietramurata, Italy, for the MXGP of Trentino.

The Grand Prix of Trentino will be the first of a trio of races taking place at the breath-taking Pietramurata venue this weekend as the fierce battle for the title carries on.

While five rounds remain of the MXGP and MX2 World Championship, this weekend we will see the finale of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship as Bike it MTX Kawasaki rider Courtney Duncan will look to secure her third WMX World Title. But Kiara Fontanesi will no doubt put up a fight as the Italian is just 16 points behind the Kiwi heading into the final round. Ceres 71 Racing’s Nancy Van De Ven is third in the standings a further 12 points behind Fontanesi, so the championship is far from over, and as always in this sport, anything can happen.

Additionally, we will see round six of the EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing championship as MRT Racing Team KTM’s Valerio Lata will enter his home round with the red plate. The Italian leads the series 11 points over ASA United GasGas Racing Team’s Bobby Bruce and Kay Karssemakers of Husqvarna SKS Racing NL who is just five points behind the Brit.

Also entered for the European 125cc races are EMX85 Finals top three Marek Vitezslav who wrapped up the title in Sardinia, while Janis Martins Reisulis and Lotte van Drunen who were second and third will also line-up for the races as they make the move up to the bigger class.

The MXGP of Trentino is set to be a fiery one as huge fan support is expected at the spectacular Pietramurata venue and what’s more is that the paddock is finally open to the public which means fans can get even closer to their heroes!

Entering the MXGP of Trentino, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings leads the MXGP standings by 12 points over Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre. Herlings added another overall victory at the MXGP of Spain, making it his 96th career, while Febvre had a mixture of a weekend. The Frenchman went on to win race one in incredible fashion but was much unluckier in race two, managing to fight back to seventh place.

Team HRC’s Tim Gajser remains third in the championship but is just three points behind Febvre and this upcoming weekend will be a chance for the Slovenian to claw back some points and hopefully get closer to the lead. Last season Gajser won two out of the three GPs in Pietramurata and also secured his fourth world title there, so the place holds fond memories for the Honda rider who could get back on the top step and even get the red plate back by the end of it.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli also could find himself back on top at his home round also, especially after his victory there last season. But Cairoli has been struggling during the last several GPs. He’s struggled to get inside the top three but has battled well inside the top 10. It’s not clear whether it’s the crash from Sardinia that’s affecting the 9-time world champ or whether it’s something else, but hopefully the home support in Trentino will give him the boost he needs to finish off his racing career on a high at the last five rounds.

His teammate Jorge Prado was impressive at his home round just a week ago, as he fought hard at the front of the field in both races. This was somewhat of a surprise considering the fact that he struggled so much in France the previous weekend. The incredible home support must’ve given a huge adrenaline kick and hopefully he can carry that momentum into the remaining rounds as he remains fourth in the standings, 50 points behind Gajser. 

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Seewer seemed to be back to his old self in Spain, as the Swiss battled at the front with the likes of Febvre, Gajser, Prado and Herlings. Seewer finished the weekend seventh overall, while his teammate Glenn Coldenhoff placed 13th. The third factory Yamaha rider, Ben Watson had another tough weekend, after twisting his ankle before the Spanish Grand Prix which made racing harder. He was 19th in race one but failed to line-up for race two. Watson will now return to Trentino, a place where he secured an overall victory as he finished off his MX2 career in the best way possible. And with that memory hopefully fresh on his mind, this could give him a much-needed boost.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen will head to Trentino after some good races there last season. The Dane finished second on the podium at the MXGP of Trentino so will no doubt will search for more positive results as he nears the final races of his rookie season in MXGP.

One of the most talked about things entering the weekend has to be the pending debut of Mathys Boisrame with his new team Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team. The Frenchman has joined the factory Kawasaki team for the remaining Italian rounds, replacing injured Ivo Monticelli. For Boisrame this is an important opportunity to show his abilities as he looks to move up to the MXGP class in 2022.

But this weekend will be a big one for the home riders Alessandro Lupino of MRT Racing Team KTM and Alberto Forato of SM Action Racing Team YUASA Battery who will want to put on their best performance for the Italian fans. Both Lupino and Forato have had some very positive results this season and hopefully they get do the same again in Trentino.

Meanwhile this weekend we will see the return of the former world champion David Philippaerts as he will make a wildcard appearance, along with Morgan Lesiardo and Andrea La Scala who will also line-up for the MXGP races.

2020 MXGP of Trentino – MXGP Top 3:

1. Antonio Cairoli

2. Tim Gajser

3. Clement Desalle

Main Photo: MXGP Start from 2019

Bottom Photos: 1. Jeffrey Herlings 2. Antonio Cairoli

MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 505 points; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 493 p.; 3. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 490 p.; 4. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 440 p.; 5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 419 p.; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 373 p.; 7. Pauls Jonass (LAT, GAS), 352 p.; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 302 p.; 9. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KTM), 233 p.; 10. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 220 p.;

Meanwhile in MX2, the title chase is a little more relaxed as Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Maxime Renaux has full control of the red plate. The Frenchman is 108 points ahead of his teammate Jago Geerts, while Geerts begins to come under pressure from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Mattia Guadagnini who is just a single point behind him!

Renaux had a strong weekend in Spain as he obtained his fourth Grand prix victory of 2021. The victory must’ve been a big step for the Frenchman mentally as he continued to prove that he is able to challenge Tom Vialle of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing who had been dominant at the last few races.

Vialle finished second overall last weekend after struggling to find his rhythm in the second heat and will no doubt be looking to be on the top step in Trentino, where he claimed his maiden MX2 world title this season.

Geerts had a chance to get himself on the podium in Spain, but once again fell short as he finished sixth overall after a hard first race. The Belgian was 13th in race one after crashes once again cost him vital positions and points, but he was however able to make a comeback in race two to finish second behind his teammate. The final five GPs will be a real test for the title contender, as he will need to keep it on two wheels and deliver some consistent results to keep the championship chase alive and avoid being caught by Guadagnini.

Meanwhile Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jed Beaton added a third podium to his season tally last weekend and will no doubt be motivated to carry this energy into the MXGP of Trentino. Last season, Beaton finished on the podium once out of the three races in Pietramurata, so if he can get the start, there is no doubt he will be challenging for top positions once again as he looks to end his MX2 career on a positive note. His teammate Kay de Wolf will want to do the same after a hard race in Arroyomolinos.

While Renaux and Geerts will be focused on going for the win, the third Monster Energy Yamaha Factory rider Thibault Benistant will have the same motivation. While Benistant only has one podium this season, he has consistently been fighting inside the top 10. Last season Benistant made line-up for his first MX2 race in Trentino after he wrapped up his EMX250 title and the result that he delivered on that occasion was pretty remarkable. While he missed out on a podium spot, he did however finish second in the second heat. It will be interesting what he can do this season, as he nears the end of his rookie season in MX2.

Of course, this weekend the focus will be on the home rider, Guadagnini, who will look to get back on the box and deliver some consistent results to stay in the title fight and have the chance to take over second place from Geerts.

Keen to perform well on home soil as well will be Andrea Adamo of SM Action Racing Team YUASA BatteryGianluca Facchetti and Filippo Zonta who recently signed with Honda Assomotor. And making a wildcard appearance in MX2 are Giuseppe Tropepe of Millionair Racing Team and Emilio Scuteri.

2020 MXGP of Trentino – MX2 Top 3:

1. Jago Geerts

2. Thomas Kjer Olsen

3. Tom Vialle

Main Photo: MX2 Start from 2018

Bottom Photos: 1. Maxime Renaux 2. Tom Vialle

MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 535 points; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 427 p.; 3. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, KTM), 426 p.; 4. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 417 p.; 5. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 395 p.; 6. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 364 p.; 7. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 362 p.; 8. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 331 p.; 9. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 292 p.; 10. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 230 p.;


SATURDAY: 09:00 WMX Free Practice, 09:30 EMX125 Group 1 Free Practice, 10:00 EMX125 Group 2 Free Practice, 10:35 WMX Qualifying Practice, 11:10 EMX125 Group 1 Qualifying Practice, 11:45 EMX125 Group 2 Qualifying Practice, 13:10 WMX Race 1, 14:00 EMX125 Race 1, 15:10 WMX Race 2, 16:05 EMX125 Race 2.

SUNDAY: 09:15 MX2 Free/Time Practice, 10:15 MXGP Free/Time Practice, 12:15 MX2 Race 1, 13:15 MXGP Race 1, 15:10 MX2 Race 2, 16:10 MXGP Race 2.