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Who will be the Arco here?

The 2024 MXGP World Motocross Championship runs in consecutive weekends for the first time as the teams and crews head directly from the island of Sardegna to round four at the beautiful “Il Ciclamino” circuit at Pietramurata between the cities of Arco and Trento in northern Italy for the MXGP of Trentino on 13th and 14th of April

With an amazing location at the foot of the Garda Mountains, and the manic enthusiasm of both the Italian and travelling Slovenian fans, there is no doubt that this venue is one of the jewels in MXGP’s crown. There have been 19 GP events held in its history since the first in 1987, a 125cc contest won by Italian hero Massimo Contini on an Italian Cagiva machine. The circuit has hosted more Grands Prix in the last decade than any other, having been on the schedule every year since 2013, and running six events across the two years affected by the COVID pandemic.  

Three of the major contenders for MXGP glory this year have had a great amount of success in this arena, whilst only one rider in the current MX2 line-up can claim to having won in Trentino.  With incredible crowds and an electric atmosphere, it is one for any MXGP fan’s bucket list, so we certainly hope you can tune in, or better still join us in person for a memorable weekend of racing action!

The EMX125 Championship Presented by FMF joins the main classes in the journey over from Sardegna, with Hungarian prospect Noel Zanocz looking to defend his Championship lead for Fantic Factory Racing EMX125, while the first race winner Gyan Doensen will hope to make up for a crash-affected fourth for Racestore KTM Factory Rookies in race two

They are joined by the EMX250 series for their second round, as rising Roman star Valerio Lata looks to defend his narrow Championship lead, where he won last year, on home ground for Beddini GASGAS Factory Juniors against the BUD Racing Kawasaki of Mathis Valin and the chasing pack!

Another perfect weekend for Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s reigning MXGP World Champion Jorge Prado in Sardegna saw him extend his series lead to 17 points, and the only consolation for his main opposition is that they were able to finish directly behind him throughout that weekend. Team HRC’s Tim Gajser lost a minimal amount of points to keep the red plate holder within his sights, and Jeffrey Herlings moved up into third in the standings for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, albeit 49 points behind Prado.

All three men have great records at Trentino. Gajser and Herlings have each won 10 individual races, and 5 overall Grands Prix there, and victory for either will see them set the record for GP wins at the circuit, as they are both level with Italian legend Antonio Cairoli as it stands.  “The Bullet” won MX2 in 2013, ’14, and ’16, plus the MXGP class in both 2018 and the first of the three GPs in 2021. Gajser won in his sole MX2 title year of 2015, then took MXGP victory in 2019, two in 2020, and the last GP he contested here in 2022.  The Honda man usually has a massive swell of support from his home country, as the circuit is around 300km from the Slovenian border. After being knocked out of the early 2023 season with injuries from a big crash at this track, his fans will also return to try and urge him on to more success.

However, if Prado continues his current run of success at each GP so far this year, he will join them all on 5 wins as well, after winning his fourth GP at the venue last season, his first in MXGP after consecutive MX2 victories in 2017, ’18, and ‘19. The Spaniard has won 5 individual races at the track, although he suffered his worst RAM Qualifying Race of the year in 2023, finishing in 10th after a rare poor start and even rarer crash.  He rectified that with 1-3 finishes for the GP win, although Herlings took race two with a stunning charge to claim 3rd overall after a 9th in race one, behind Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Maxime Renaux who went 2-2 for 2nd overall.  

The RAM Qualifying Race winner was Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre, but his dream Saturday was followed by a nightmare Sunday with a first corner crash in race one and a steady second race to go 12-4 for 7th overall.  The Frenchman has won races here in 2016, 2020, and 2021, but never any better than 2ndoverall, which he claimed in 2016 and the final race in 2020. He has also been third three times at Trentino.

One rider with an excellent record at the circuit, albeit in the Youth and EMX classes, is Mattia Guadagnini.  Very much a local rider just over an hour’s drive from his home town, it’s unclear whether or not Mattia will make his debut for Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing, but he is on the Entry List and home fans will be hoping he can join MRT Racing Team Beta factory man Ivo Monticelli, as the man from Ancona is the only Italian to have scored points in the class so far this season.  Ivo currently lies 15th in the series.

Pauls Jonass is only 10 points behind Febvre in 5th, and the Standing Construct Honda man will look to build on that at a venue where he last saw the podium in his title year of 2017 in MX2, when he shared the race wins with Prado.  Jeremy Seewer has won a GP in Trentino, the MXGP of Garda Trentino, the third round here in 2021, and his learning with Kawasaki Racing Team will continue as he lies 6th in the points chase.  The only other former GP winner here who lines up in MXGP is Ben Watson, who won the final round in 2020 and looks to lift his MRT Racing Team Beta up from 12th in the standings.

All eyes will be on that lead battle, however, as the big question right now is “Who can stop Jorge Prado?”, and the two five-time World Champions in the class will be raising their hands!

MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 174 Points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 157 Points; 3. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 125 Pts; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 123 Points ; 5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HON), 113 Pts; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, KAW), 99 Pts; 7. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 90 Pts; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, FAN), 83 Pts; 9. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, HON) 64 Pts; 10. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 63 Pts.; 

Main Photo: MXGP Start Trentino 2023 

Bottom Photos: 1. TIm Gajser; 2. Jorge Prado

The MX2 class has provided some brilliant racing already this year, but so far the top step has continually been occupied by Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing team leader Kay de Wolf. The Dutch teenager has managed to win each GP this season, but there have also been race wins for three other riders. Simon Laengenfelder, who lies 2nd in the points chase for Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing,  won the opening race back in Argentina, reigning MX2 World Champion Andrea Adamo won race two in Spain for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, and De Wolf’s even younger teammate Lucas Coenen won the first RAM Qualifying Race of the year, as well as the first GP race in Sardegna. Even though the Dutchman holds a 29-point lead going to Trentino, he knows that his pursuers will look at the hard-pack circuits to come and like their chances on them.

The red-plate holder recorded a consistent 5-4 scorecard in Pietramurata last season, but he has form at the track as he took a fine 2nd overall in 2022. His main challenger this year, Laengenfelder, won both the RAM Qualifying Race and the second GP race, although a lowly 9th in race one kept him off the overall podium.  Lucas Coenen didn’t have the best of days here last year, but he went 1-1 in the EMX125 class at one of the rounds in 2021, and will have been fired up by his speed in Sardegna.

It will be home hero Adamo that will be looking to repeat his victory of last season, which was the first of his career, and he now returns as World Champion and the main source of hope for a home victory in the eyes of his home fans.  There is no doubt that the speed is there and with a 70-point gap to the leader after just three GPs, there is also no doubt that he absolutely needs to climb that top step once again.  He can take confidence that he is the only rider lining up in MX2 who has won an overall GP in Trentino.

Liam Everts completed a 1-2 for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing here in 2023, and he sits equal on points with his other teammate Sacha Coenen after sitting out the first round with a thumb injury. Sixth in the points chase is Mikkel Haarup, who enjoyed one of his 6 career podium finishes at the circuit back in 2022.  His Monster Energy Triumph Racing teammate Camden McLellan sits directly behind him in the table, a single point back, after his first career GP podium in Sardegna.  

Beyond their Champion Adamo, local supporters will be looking to get behind Monster Energy Yamaha MX2 rider Andrea Bonacorsi, who won a race at Trentino in the EMX250 division last year, and has had a steady start to his rookie year in MX2. Ferruccio Zanchi will again be sidelined for Team HRC after missing Sardegna due to a mid-week practice crash.  

As with the MXGP class, the pack will be hoping to make a dent in the leader’s record of winning every GP so far, and this should result in a fantastic weekend of all-out action!

MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 170 Points; 2. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 141 Points; 3. Lucas Coenen (BEL, HUS), 124 Pts; 4. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 106 Points; 5. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 100 Pts; 6. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, TRI), 96 Pts; 7. Camden McLellan (RSA, TRI), 95 Pts; 8. Marc-Antoine Rossi (FRA, GAS), 80 Pts; 9. Rick Elzinga (NED, YAM), 78 Pts; 10. Sacha Coenen (BEL, KTM), 77 Pts; 

Main Photo: MX2 Start Trentino 2023 

Bottom Photos: 1. Andrea Adamo; 2. Lucas Coenen


SATURDAY: 07:55 EMX125 Free practice Group 1, 08:25 EMX125 Free practice Group 2, 08:55 EMX250 Free practice Group 1, 09:25 EMX250 Free practice Group 2, 09:55 EMX125 Qualifying practice Group 1, 10:30 MX2 Time Practice, 11:00 MXGP Free Practice, 11:30 EMX125 Qualifying practice Group 2, 12:25 EMX250 Qualifying practice Group 1, 13:00 EMX250 Qualifying practice Group 2, 13:40 MX2 Time Practice, 14:15 MXGP Time Practice, 15:00 EMX125 Race 1, 15:45 EMX250 Race 1, 16:35 MX2 RAM Qualifying Race, 17:25 MXGP RAM 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.