Having recovered from the opening spherical of the FIM Motocross World Championship that passed off in Argentina simply over every week in the past, the Monster Power Yamaha Manufacturing unit MXGP and MX2 groups are again on the highway and gearing up for spherical two of the sequence that may happen in Sardinia, a small Island west off the coast of Italy, this weekend.
Phrases: Press Launch | Lead Picture: Juan Pablo Acevedo
Riola-Sardo is the circuit internet hosting the second spherical of the FIM Motocross World Championship. It’s a comparatively new venue to the MXGP calendar, having hosted solely two Grands Prix previous to this weekend. It’s, nevertheless, a well-liked vacation spot for almost all of European motocross riders throughout the low season resulting from Sardinia’s drier local weather and the observe floor, which is deep sand, offering ultimate situations for the riders to enhance their health and check varied settings on their bikes, be it engine, suspension, or chassis.
The MXGP of Sardinia will mark the primary deep sand race of the season, which is an thrilling prospect for all six Monster Power Yamaha Manufacturing unit MXGP and MX2 riders, all of whom take pleasure in driving in sandy situations.
Spearheading the cost is Monster Power Yamaha Manufacturing unit MX2’s Jago Geerts, a rider that’s recognized for his spectacular sand-riding expertise and is happy in regards to the prospect of racing on such a difficult observe this early within the season. The Belgian star arrives with an 11-point lead within the MX2 sequence after an ideal begin to the season in Argentina, the place he collected all 60 factors on provide.
Arriving with the reminiscence of his first podium end final yr nonetheless recent in his thoughts, Thibault Benistant is about to line up with renewed willpower and a starvation for fulfillment. Wanting again at his efficiency in Riola final yr, regardless of lacking the whole low season and first three rounds of 2022 whereas rehabilitating an ACL restore, the Frenchman put in a formidable trip to safe two third-place finishes and a well-deserved third general. This season, the ‘198’ is absolutely match, and together with his pure potential and unwavering willpower, there isn’t any doubt that he will likely be a powerful contender for a podium place this weekend. He’s at the moment third within the Championship Standings, 8-points shy of Andrea Adamo in second.
On the identical time, Rick Elzinga, the MX2 rookie from The Netherlands, is bracing himself for a gruelling race as he prepares to sort out the deep beach-like sand of Riola. Regardless of his appreciable sand-riding expertise, the ‘44’ is aware of this spherical will likely be significantly difficult. He has spent the week main as much as the race mentally getting ready for what he predicts will likely be a “suffer-fest.” Presently seventh within the standings, Elzinga is simply 4 factors away from breaking into the highest 5, and together with his tall stature and spectacular driving expertise, he’s poised to make a powerful exhibiting this weekend.
With 1080 factors left to race for, the Monster Power Yamaha Manufacturing unit MXGP group is heading into MXGP spherical two with renewed power and focus. The group had a difficult begin to the season, however they’ve used the quick break to regroup and get again on observe.
Main the cost because the best-placed Yamaha rider within the premier class, Maxime Renaux arrives in Sardinia fifth within the championship standings, simply 10 factors shy of the championship lead. Though the opening spherical didn’t go to plan, the Frenchman is able to bounce again with a vengeance.
Glenn Coldenhoff, at the moment positioned ninth within the championship standings, isn’t any stranger to the sand and has fond reminiscences of Riola, the place he secured a podium end final season. The Dutchman is aware of that discovering the circulate on the treacherous circuit is important to succeeding; if he can do this, he has probability of ending on the rostrum.
Jeremy Seewer arrives tenth within the standings and is keen to bounce again after a dramatic begin to his 2023 marketing campaign. The ‘91’ made a exceptional restoration from a monstrous crash to complete the opening Grand Prix with a third-place end within the ultimate race. The Swiss sensation, who spent his youth driving and coaching in Riola, is in good spirits and able to put his YZ450FM on the rostrum.
Whereas this weekend guarantees to be thrilling for MXGP and MX2 followers worldwide, the thrill across the 2023 FIM Ladies’s Motocross World Championship can also be gaining momentum. Ceres 71 Yamaha’s Nancy Van de Ven, the defending WMX champion, will likely be seeking to begin her title defence on a excessive word within the opening spherical, as will fellow Yamaha riders Larissa Papenmeier and Shana van der Vlist, all three of whom will assist Yamaha defend its WMX Producers World Championship crown.
And final however not least, the EMX250 Championship can even kick off this weekend with the Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250 group on the hunt for one more title with its riders Andrea Bonacorsi, Karlis Reisulis and Ivano van Erp.
Maxime Renaux – fifth MXGP Championship Standings, 40-points
“I’m glad to go to Sardinia! It’s a pleasant place that everyone knows nicely as we spend many weeks there within the winter. I’m trying ahead to some good racing there. To arrange, I will likely be coaching in Holland and Belgium this week as that’s as near deep sand as we are going to get. We’re not doing something completely different in this system, however mentally we’re ready for a bodily demanding weekend, and we all know that bodily situation would be the key.”
Glenn Coldenhoff – ninth MXGP Championship Standings, 25-points
“Riola is a particular observe. It’s fairly troublesome to organize for as there’s nothing prefer it. Over there, it’s vital to seek out the circulate as a result of once you do, it’s very good to trip. I managed to seek out it final yr within the second race when the observe was at its roughest, and I acquired on the rostrum, so I might like to repeat that efficiency with one other podium this yr.”
Jeremy Seewer – tenth MXGP Championship Standings, 24-points
“Riola is my all-time favorite sand observe. I find it irresistible there. I’ve been driving there since I used to be a child. I’ve had plenty of good reminiscences there, significantly from after I was younger, simply hanging on the market round Christmas with my buddies, having plenty of BBQs and simply having enjoyable. We don’t do something particularly to organize for this race as a result of we trip deep sand greater than something anyway. I really feel prepared for it. I’ve performed my hours there this yr already, so I’m prepared.”
Jago Geerts – MX2 Championship Chief, 60-points
“It’s good to have a GP in Riola. It’s a very heavy sand observe so it fits me fairly nicely. A lot of the riders do various coaching there throughout the winter but it surely’s at all times completely different when there’s a race or GP. I at all times prefer to trip within the sand, so for me, it’s going to be enjoyable.”
Thibault Benistant – third MX2 Championship Standings, 41-points
“I feel everybody is aware of this observe, however I’m glad to trip there. It’s one of many hardest races on the calendar, however it will likely be good to get it out of the best way. I rode nicely there final yr, contemplating I used to be getting back from damage, so I hope to do even higher this yr. We’ve been coaching within the sand this week to prepare for it.”
Rick Elzinga – seventh MX2 Championship Standings, 33-points
“Riola is a one-of-a-kind observe. It’s a particular sort of sand, extra just like the seashore than a sand observe. It’s like actually driving in between the sand dunes so it’s a particular sort of place to race. I like driving there. It’s troublesome to organize for a race like that, however I’ll attempt to put together mentally as a result of I do know it will likely be a suffer-fest! After I consider Riola, all I can consider is myself working laborious within the winter, making an attempt to outlive these huge bumps whereas preparing for the primary race of the season.”