The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP and MX2 teams are preparing for the final three rounds of the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship. The last triple-header will see the 16th round of the series take place at the Arco di Trento circuit in Pietramurata, Italy on Sunday 1st November, immediately followed by the 17th round on Wednesday 4th and the 18th and final round on Sunday 8th.
In complete contrast to Lommel’s soft sand, Arco di Trento is a hard pack track with some elevation and plenty of narrow sections. The track has proved difficult to pass on in the past but has always delivered close, action-packed racing.
All three of the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory riders have had memorable performances at the venue previously. For Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Jeremy 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 with Seewer challenging the MX2 crown in 2016 and 2017 – he ended up as the Championship runner up in both seasons.
Fresh from the third step of the podium at the MXGP of Lommel a few days ago, Seewer is currently third in the MXGP Championship Standings and only 10-points from Antonio Cairoli in second. He grew up racing on circuits similar to ‘Arco’ and is confident he can challenge the top-three over the next three events.
Currently sixth in the MXGP Championship, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Gautier Paulin is hungry for more. The 30-year-old Frenchman proved he can still challenge for race and overall victories following his emphatic race win in Lommel just over a week ago. The ‘21’ finished third overall at the MXGP of Trentino last year and is determined to celebrate more of the same over the next 10-days.
Quietly confident going into the final three rounds at Arco, Tonus is ready to end his injury-struck season on a positive note. The ‘4’ has had a challenging year with many niggling injuries, but after taking more than a month off racing, he proved his bravery when he decided to make his return in Lommel – the track touted as the ‘heaviest’ in the world. The 29-year-old has made a strong recovery after the three back-to-back races in the sand and is looking forward to returning to Arco di Trento. At Arco, he celebrated his first podium finish in the premier class, MXGP, which was with the Wilvo team back in 2017.
Following the news that he will be stepping up to the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team in 2021 after celebrating a milestone first-ever Grand Prix win in Lommel last weekend, Ben Watson is riding a wave of confidence. At 23-years-old, Watson has hit the age limit in MX2 and must step up from the 250cc to the 450cc next season. Towering at 183 centimeters tall, a bigger bike is something that the Brit looks forward to, but for now, he is focused on enjoying the final three races of his MX2 career where he hopes to place his Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 YZ250FM inside the top-five. He is currently sixth position on the MX2 leaderboard, 6-points from fifth.
Determined to return to his race-winning form, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts feels physically and mentally ready to move past the frustration of the previous three Grands Prix in Lommel. Mathematically, the MX2 title is still achievable although 74-points is a harsh margin to reduce over three rounds. Fortunately, the ‘193’ has a 101-point advantage over SM Action M.C. Migliori’s Maxime Renaux in third position, so he will line up second in the championship and free from pressure.
Yamaha stars, Watson, Geerts and Renaux will be joined on the gate by the reigning EMX250 Champion Thibault Benistant. Benistant impressed with a top-five finish and seventh overall at his MX2 debut in Lommel just three-days ago. The Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250 rider will line up for the next two rounds of the MX2 World Championship but will miss the 18th and final round as he gets ready to start his winter preparation with his new team, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2.
Saturday 31st of October could be a very ‘Happy Halloween’ for Ghidinelli Yamaha Racing’s Nancy van de Ven and Yamaha Germany’s Larissa Papenmeier. Both ladies will be lining up for the final round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship in the hunt of a maiden WMX world title. Van de Ven is the current series leader with a 4-point advantage over Courtney Duncan, while fellow YZ250F rider, Papenmier is a further 2-points adrift in third.
3rd MXGP World Championship, 499-points
“My feeling after Lommel is really good. I have recovered well, and we survived Lommel, which is the most important. I am happy to go back on the hard pack, it’s what I grew up on and its where I feel the most natural. I am looking forward to going to Arco, I’ve had some good memories there, some good results and it was one of my first ever GP’s. My strategy will be to be consistent. It’s strange, because it’s the end of the season but there are still three GP’s left. I try not to stress too much and just be there challenging for the podium, or even better would be to get another GP win. That would just be awesome.”
6th MXGP World Championship, 403-points
“I’m looking forward to Arco, the weather forecast is looking good and with this type of weather, the track will be much better. I’m looking forward to it, it’s a track I enjoy so I am definitely happy to go there. Unfortunately, there will be no awesome Italian fans, I will miss them, but I am sure they will be watching on TV. So, we are ready for another three in a row, I am getting used to them now and I am really enjoying it, so I do look forward to the final three races.”
18th MXGP World Championship, 122-points
“I felt better after Lommel 3 than I did after Lommel 1, I think it is because my body is starting to adapt to racing and tough conditions again. I am quite happy with that. This week I will still train, but training is much softer than three GP’s in Lommel so I am sure I will feel fresh on Sunday. I feel at home on hard pack tracks, so it won’t be a significant step from the sand to the hard pack for me. In Arco, the start is important, like any GP, but there especially, so I will focus on getting a solid start and hold on up front. I’ll do my best, I’m just looking forward to racing on hard pack and having some more seat time on the bike, which will be good for me.”
2nd MX2 World Championship, 577-points
“I’m still a little bit frustrated about the last three races in Lommel. The races didn’t go the way I wanted but I gave everything I had and that’s the most important thing. Physically I feel good and now it’s an easy week so I will be ready for Trentino. I think it’s not really a problem to go from sand to hardpack in one week. I will ride one time this week to get the hardpack feeling again and that will be enough to feel comfortable in Trentino normally. My goal is to feel good on the bike and have fun. If that’s all good then the results will come so i don’t have to many worries going in to the last three rounds of the season.”
6th MX2 World Championship Standings, 440-points
“After Lommel I am of course feeling really good. It’s been an emotional week but it’s time to focus on Italy. Physically I feel good, I will ride just one day this week on the hard pack to get the feeling back and some recovery training and then I will be ready. To go from three in Lommel to three in arco could be strange, the tracks couldn’t be any more different, but it will be the same challenge for everyone and I’m looking forward to that. I don’t have a strategy heading to Italy, I will go to enjoy my racing and do my best, I’ve loved every minute of the past few weeks and with these being my last races on the 250 I want to end on a positive.”