The podium champagne sprayed at the Finnish Grand Prix has barely had time to dry as the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team shifts its focus to the 17th and penultimate round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Saint Jean d’Angely, France, this weekend. The MXGP Charente Maritime marks the third of three back-to-back Grands Prix and the final stop on European soil. With only two rounds remaining in 2022 and the MXGP world title now out of reach, the chief focus in France will be the battle for the silver and bronze medals inside the premier class and Jago Geerts’ fight for the title in MX2.
In addition, the 10th and final round of the EMX250 Championship will also take place with Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250’s Rick Elzinga expected to secure the crown. The 20-year-old Dutchman has a 40-point lead in the series and will only need to score 6-points this weekend to clinch the title.
Yamaha’s run of form inside the premier class in 2022 has been impressive. Between the three Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP riders, Jeremy Seewer, Glenn Coldenhoff and Maxime Renaux, the boys in blue have celebrated 20 podium finishes, 12 race wins and five Grand Prix victories.
Seewer arrives in France with one hand on the silver medal, as he sits second in the Standings with a solid 45-point advantage over Coldenhoff in third. The ‘91’ enjoys French tracks, a statement evidenced by his race to victory at the French Grand Prix in Ernéé earlier this season – his first of three. He is the only rider to win more than one Grand Prix this year, other than the recently crowned World Champion Tim Gajser.
While Seewer is looking like the likely bet for the runner-up position inside the premier class, the primary battle is for third, with Coldenhoff holding a narrow 8-point advantage over Jorge Prado in fourth and 19-points on Maxime Renaux in fifth. It will be a dogfight to the finish, with Coldenhoff trying to hold off the former MX2 World Champions, Renaux and Prado.
In MX2, the edge-of-your-seat battle for the crown between Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts and his only remaining rival, Tom Vialle, is expected to rage on. Geerts arrives as the Championship Leader with a 15-point advantage and aims to extend his championship lead at Saint Jean d’Angely, the same venue he won his very first MX2 race – in 2019.
While Geerts will be going for glory, so will his teammate Thibault Benistant. Despite a slight shoulder injury, the ‘198’ is confident he can perform well this weekend for his home crowd. He is currently fifth in the series.
The collective success of the five Factory riders after 16 rounds has launched Yamaha to the top of the Manufacturer’s World Championship standings in both MXGP and MX2 classes. If the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP riders can keep their winning momentum, that would secure Yamaha the Manufacturer’s crown for the first time since 2015. At the same time, a successful title defense in MX2 would see Yamaha keep the crown for a third consecutive year.
2nd MXGP Championship Standings, 570-points
“I feel good going into Saint Jean because I am in good shape at the moment, and you see that with the last six or seven GP’s being really good for me. Also, I like the track there. It’s one of my favourite tracks, especially if it’s prepped well.”
3rd MXGP Championship Standings, 525-points
“It was good to get a GP win, but we’re going into another GP this weekend, so it will start from zero again. It is good for the confidence, but it will be a hard fight as we are with three riders fighting for third in the championship, but I am ready. The track in Saint Jean d’Angely is nice. I always like French tracks. They are technical and the track prep is good most of the time. Only the roost hurts, so it will be good to get some holeshots.”
5th MXGP Championship Standings, 506-points
“I’m feeling good going into Saint-Jean. I like the track there and it’s always a nice event with a lot of fans. The goal is going to be to be back on the podium and get consistently strong starts. That should make life easier and help me be upfront.”
MX2 Championship Leader, 676-points
“I’m feeling good and ready for Saint Jean this weekend. I’ve been riding really well these past couple of weeks, so I just want to get back out on track and race. I won my first moto in MX2 there in 2019, so it’s a special track for me. My goal is to be consistent the whole weekend and try not to make any mistakes.”
5th MX2 Championship Standings, 434-points
“I can’t wait to go to Saint Jean this weekend. It’s where I got my first podium in EMX250 and I was also on the podium in EMX125, so I am really looking forward to seeing what I can do in MX2 too. It’s also a French round, so it will be crazy with the fans. I should be able to ride this type of track without pain in my shoulder, so I look forward to that. I want to start up front and hopefully fight for the win like I did in Ernee.”