The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team salvaged as many points as possible at the ninth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey, after a turbulent day in the office. Jeremy Seewer and Glenn Coldenhoff both recovered from spectacular mistakes to score 15-points each. They were classified 13th and 14th at the end of the Afyon Grand Prix, while Ben Watson improved on his result from Sunday, scoring 10-points for 16th overall.
After a tough Grand Prix only two days ago, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team had much higher hopes for the second round of the Turkish doubleheader. The MXGP of Afyon today, Wednesday 8th September, started well for Coldenhoff. The Dutchman qualified inside the top-10, while his teammates, Seewer and Watson, were disappointed to qualify 14th and 22nd, respectively.
As always, a good start is essential to a decent result. Seewer powered his YZ450FM to a top-five start but had a violent high-side on lap four while maintaining the fifth position. Fortunately, the ‘91’ was unhurt in the incident. Still, a significant knock to the body, in addition to the chronic fatigue he was suffering as a result of Epstein Barr Virus, meant he could only fight back to 14th position.
Coldenhoff started inside the top-10 but made a big mistake on the opening lap that shuffled him back to 18th position. From there, the ‘259’ had to get creative with his line selection as he diced his way through the field. He was feeling good out on the fast-paced, rough and bumpy circuit, and after a high-spirited performance, the 30-year-old managed to finish the race in eighth.
In the final race of the day, more adversity followed for all three riders.
Coldenhoff crashed amidst a battle for 10th on lap five and could only recover for 19th position due to low energy levels.
As a strong rider that is usually good at charging forward and making passes, Seewer felt too weak to push his limits. With his current physical condition, the ‘91’ knew the day would not be easy, and while he wishes things were different, his goal was just to score points. He finished 13th.
Watson’s results were 100% dependent on his starts. Despite feeling well out of his comfort zone, the 24-year-old emerged from turn-one in 12th position in the opening race and managed to finish 11th. Meanwhile, in the final race, he started and finished in 21st position.
After an incredibly challenging day, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team has shifted its focus to the next Grand Prix, which will take place in Riola Sardo, Sardinia, on Sunday 19th September.
All three riders remain in the top-10 in the championship. Seewer is sixth, Coldenhoff is eighth and Watson is 10th.
13th MXGP of Afyon, 15-points
10th MXGP Championship Standings, 249-points
“It’s hard to find the words. The result today was not what we wanted. I actually arrived here pretty tired today. I can’t train to ride at this pace because of my health problem, so I was unable to fully recover. I tried to survive, but I was a bit unlucky. I had a massive high sider, which I couldn’t really do anything about. All that did was show that I am not ready to ride at that pace and it was just too much at the moment. I scored some points and I go home healthy. Now we’ve got to decide what we will do in the future, but I will try to stay positive.”
14th MXGP of Afyon, 15-points
10th MXGP Championship Standings, 212-points
“Really difficult day. We tried a few things in the morning, and it didn’t really work out, so we put everything back to what I am used to, and it was much better. In the first race I ended up completely off-track. I lost 10 positions, I think. Still, it was a good moto because I fought my way back to eighth on a track where there was almost nowhere to pass. In the second race, my start was not great, and I struggled with my breathing. I crashed, and from there on, I had nothing left.”
16th MXGP of Afyon, 10-points
10th MXGP Championship Standings, 145
“I have had another disaster day, if I am honest. It’s a similar story to Sunday. I haven’t felt like myself out there on that track. I am not willing to take the risk that the other guys are on a track like this. I need to work on that. I am happy to leave here in one piece and get ready to go again. I’m looking forward to some of the races coming up, we’re back in the sand next and I look forward to that.”