Following the recent update to the 2020 MXGP calendar, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP and MX2 teams are making their way to Faenza, Italy, for the second triple-header of this year’s FIM Motocross World Championship. Rounds six, seven and eight of the MXGP and MX2 series will take place at the well-established ‘Monte Coralli’ venue on Sunday 6th, Wednesday 9th and Sunday 13th September.
Situated 50 kilometers southeast of Bologna, inside the Ravenna province of Italy, Faenza’s history as a Grand Prix circuit dates back to 1979 where Yamaha legend Heikki Mikkola was victorious. Since then, the old-school, tight and craggy clay circuit has hosted 10 rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship with the most recent round to have taken place in 2012. At present, the MX2 class has age restrictions. The minimum age requirement is 15 years old and the maximum age is 23 years old. Due to these restrictions, not a single MX2 rider will have ever raced a Grand Prix in Faenza.
After a heavy fall at the fifth round of the MXGP series in Latvia, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Jeremy Seewer made a quick and strong recovery and is feeling fit and primed for the next three Grands Prix. Following the notification of yet another revised calendar, the ‘91’ wasted no time in traveling to Italy to prepare his YZ450FM for the hard-packed hilly circuit of Faenza. Having grown up racing on similar surfaces, the talented Swiss rider is confident he can post some good results in hopes of reinserting himself into a top-five position in the overall classification. He is currently sixth in the Championship Standings, 5-points clear of teammate Gautier Paulin in eighth.
Familiar with the rock-hard, steep and twisty track where he has experienced previous success including his first-ever Grand Prix victory – in MX2 back in 2009 – and a double-race victory at an Italian International just two-months ago, Paulin is excited at the prospect of three consecutive events in Faenza. Although the 30-year-old Frenchman has been nursing an injury to his right index finger, he feels that he is physically as ready as he can be to bounce back and add points to his current eighth position in the championship.
Like Paulin, Tonus also has fond memories from Faenza with the venue being the site of his first-ever Qualifying Race win – in 2009. 2020 has been a challenging year for the number ‘4’ with a string of small injuries making it difficult to compete for a place inside the top-five, but he remains positive for the upcoming rounds where he is determined to turn things around and build on his present place in the Championship – 13th.
Currently second in the MX2 Championship Standings – a mere 8-points off the leader – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts is eager to reclaim the red-plate. The 20-year-old Belgian has been rigorously testing his suspension on hard-pack surfaces and is happy with the current set-up of his YZ250FM. Although the ‘193’ has not done a single lap around Faenza in the past, he has been watching and analysing some old videos from the venue and is looking forward to the challenge.
Joining Geerts on the line in MX2, teammate Ben Watson remains motivated to move back up the leader board after some luckless rounds of racing. The ‘919’ is currently seventh in the MX2 Championship Standings, 26-points shy of SM Action M.C. Migliori’s YZ250F riding star Maxime Renaux who is in fourth.
Faenza will also stage rounds two, three and four of the 2020 EMX125 Championship where MJC Yamaha Official EMX125’s duo of Mairis Pumpurs and Ivano Van Erp look to compete with Europe’s fastest young 125cc riders. The MJC pair will also be joined by Hutten Metaal Yamaha’s 14-year-old Dutch prodigy Dave Kooiker who will make his EMX125 Championship debut this weekend.
6th MXGP Championship Standings, 134-points
“I’m feeling really good, I have had some good days on the bike and some good weeks of training. I recovered really well from my crash which is really good. I did an Italian Championship race there a couple of months ago. It is a super cool track I just hope they can step up a bit to make it more technical and at a GP level. I like these hard-pack tracks, it’s kind of what I grew up on, so I look forward to that.”
8th MXGP Championship Standings, 129-points
“I’ve only had two weeks to let my finger recover from the six races we had in Latvia, so it’s not good but it is getting better. Physically, I feel good. I’ve had some good experience on the Faenza track. It’s a good track, a nice old-school track, but we will see how it is prepared because it could be like concrete, asphalt, hard or it could be rutted. It’s really interesting.”
13th MXGP Championship Standings, 64-points
“I feel like I’ve been riding a rollercoaster lately, I’ve had a few crashes and have been struggling a little bit to recover. I do feel like I am in a good place now and my training has been good, so I am looking forward to going to Faenza. I’ve raced there in the past. I like the track and I think it’s a track that suits me so I really looking forward to racing.”
2nd MX2 Championship Standings, 209-points
“I’m ready for the tripleheader in Faenza. After Latvia I started training on hardpack again after a pretty long time. I’m feeling on the bike is good and I’m looking forward to the first race on Sunday even though the track in Faenza is new for me. I watched some videos and it looks like a nice natural and more like an old school track. I think it will be good for racing and will create a lot of good battles.”
7th MX2 Championship Standings, 127-points
“I am looking forward to it. I have had some good days training on the bike on the hard pack since Latvia and physically I am feeling good too. I have ridden the Faenza track once but not for a GP. I think they will prepare it good with watering and ripping the track, so we have lots of line choice which hopefully makes for some good racing.”