|Buoyed by many happy memories of previous race victories in Trentino, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP and MX2 teams are excited for the fifth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship that will take place at the stunning Crossodromo il Ciclamino Circuit in Pietramurata, Italy, this weekend.
Arco is a track that tends to suit the Yamaha and the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory riders Glenn Coldenhoff, Jeremy Seewer, Maxime Renaux, Jago Geerts and Thibault Benistant. All five riders have sprayed podium champagne at the venue in the past in celebration of some of their best memories in racing.
Coldenhoff enters Trentino confident to challenge the top step of the podium. After breaking inside the top-five in the MXGP Championship Standings, and after a strong performance in Portugal, the ‘259’ looks to build on the same form that took him to a qualifying race victory and near podium finish just days ago. The Dutch rider also carries fond memories from Trentino, which includes his most recent podium finish at the MXGP of Trentino in October last year and his second-ever MX2 race win back in 2014.
For Seewer, it was at the MXGP of Trentino back in 2014 that the young ’91’ started to gain momentum in the MX2 class. The Swiss talent recorded his first-ever top-five race finish as a ‘pro rider.’ That result quickly became the first of many as he challenged the MX2 crown in 2016 and 2017, and he ended up second overall in both seasons. It was also in ‘Arco’ that he celebrated his most recent race win and Grand Prix victory – at the MXGP of Garda on October 31st, 2021.
After another week of recovery from his fall in Argentina, Seewer expects to be close to 100% this weekend as he looks to inch closer to the top three in the championship. He is currently fourth in the standings.
Out for redemption after a challenging weekend in Portugal, Renaux feels physically and mentally ready to move past the frustration. The Frenchman arrives with a flurry of good vibrations as it was at the Italian venue that he was crowned 2021 MX2 World Champion. He also cherishes the memory of his first-ever EMX125 round win back in 2015. This weekend, he aims to build on his third position in the MXGP Championship Standings while whittling down the gap of the championship leaders.
|In MX2, Geerts carries the red plate for the fourth consecutive Grand Prix as the championship leader. The Belgian is currently the primary title challenger, having won half the races this season, two more than any other rider. With a 16-point lead in the championship, he hopes for good starts and more podium success. Last year, the ‘93’ won two Grands Prix in Pietramurata and will line up this weekend ready to maintain his 100% podium streak in 2022.
Determined to return to his race-winning form, Benistant will line up for his second Grand Prix this season after a successful debut in Portugal. Although the Frenchman is taking a calm and calculated approach to his return, he will line up quietly confident with the memory of his first-ever MX2 top-three race finish, which came during his third appearance in the pro-grade category as a wildcard rider in 2020. After missing the first three rounds of the 2022 season due to a left knee injury sustained last year and repaired at the start of November, he has already jumped up the leader board to the 18th position.
Joining the MXGP and MX2 classes at the MXGP of Trentino, the MJC Yamaha Official EMX125 team and its trio of youngsters, Ivano van Erp, Ferruccio Zanchi and Karlis Reisulis, will be lining up in contention for the second round of the EMX125 Championship.
The circuit in ‘Arco’ is very familiar to MXGP, having staged 17 Grands Prix since its inception in 1985. The track, which is hard clay and stony with some elevation and plenty of narrow sections, has undergone some significant changes to switch things up this season and will be run in the opposite direction.
3rd MXGP Championship Standings, 144-points
“I feel disappointed from Portugal, but it’s in the past and I’m already focused on Trentino and looking forward to getting back to the front. I know the track really well, but there is a major change as this year we will ride in the opposite direction. I believe it’s a good thing as it was such a long time since we were riding on the same track. Everyone will have to learn the track again. I have a lot of best memories in Arco, for sure my getting my first World Title there in 2021, but also winning my first European race in 2015 with the 125. This weekend I want to make some more good memories.”
4th MXGP Championship Standings, 124-points
“I’m feeling a lot better than after Argentina. I can see I am recovering better and better, and I should be much better in Arco, maybe not 100%, but pretty close and that should be good. Arco is a nice place, but they have changed the track around this year and we will ride the opposite way, so let’s see how that goes. I have some really nice memories from Arco, and I really look forward to racing there. My best memory from Arco is my GP win last year without any question. It was something special and I will keep that memory forever.”
5th MXGP Championship, 109-points
“I’m feeling pretty good. It was disappointing to just miss the podium in Portugal, but this has made me extra motivated to do well in Arco, to get on the box and maybe even take the win. I like the track there; I did well there last year, fighting for the first position and finishing on the podium. The track suits me well.”
MX2 Championship Leader, 174-points
“Im feeling really good on the bike at the moment. I’m happy about my riding in Portugal and I try to keep going like this for the next GP’s. The track in Arco is nice to ride but quite tight and difficult to pass. So, the starts will be crucial. In 2020, I won 2 GPs there at the end of the season so that was nice, and I also had 2 podiums in a row after a couple difficult of races, so I think the track suits me well. The focus will be on the starts this week to get them like I want Because in Portugal, the starts could have been a bit better.”
18th MX2 Championship Standings, 27-points
“I had quite a good come-back in Portugal with some positives and negatives to take away. We saw some good improvements by the end of the weekend, so that is pretty good for my first race back. I know the track in Arco pretty good, but I have heard they have made some big changes, and I like that. It means no one will know the track so we will be more even, so it will be nice.”