With fond memories of previous victories in Trentino and a recent triumph in Switzerland, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP and MX2 teams are eagerly awaiting the fourth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship at the picturesque Crossodromo il Ciclamino Circuit in Pietramurata, Italy, this weekend.
The ‘Arco’ circuit is well-known in MXGP, having hosted 18 Grands Prix since 1985. The track, featuring hard clay, stoney terrain, elevation changes, and several narrow sections, is expected to favor Yamaha and its Monster Energy Factory riders Maxime Renaux, Jeremy Seewer, and Glenn Coldenhoff. Each of these riders has celebrated with podium champagne at this venue in the past, marking some of their most memorable racing moments.
Fresh off a grand prix win in Switzerland, Renaux is looking to maintain his momentum and continue his success on the track. The Frenchman, who won the MX2 World Championship at the Italian venue in 2021, is focused on staying cool, calm, and collected in his hunt for a maiden premier class world title. He is hoping to build on his third position in the MXGP Championship Standings and close the gap on the championship leader.
Coldenhoff and Seewer enter Trentino hoping to bounce back from the woes of Switzerland with a podium finish. Both riders are focusing on recovery this week, as they are both suffering the effects of their falls on Monday. Coldenhoff is currently seventh in the MXGP Championship Standings, and after a rough weekend, the ‘259’ looks to build on the same form that took him to a race win and podium finish at the second round of the series in Sardinia three weeks ago. The Dutch rider also carries fond memories from Trentino, which includes 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 one of his most memorable Grand Prix victories inside the premier class – at the MXGP of Garda in October 2021.
In MX2, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team have dominated every round of the championship thus far. Between its two title protagonists, Jago Geerts and Thibault Benistant, the team have won all three Qualifying Races and all three Grands Prix this season. Geerts carries the red plate for the fourth consecutive round as the championship leader. The Belgian is the primary title challenger, having won half the races this season, two more than any other rider. With a 20-point lead in the championship over teammate Benistant, the ’93’ hopes for good starts and more podium success.
Determined to keep his race-winning form, Benistant will line up chasing a second consecutive Grand Prix win. The thrilling win last weekend was a huge boost in confidence for the 21-year-old, who enters the MX2 round of Trentino 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.
Fresh off of a difficult weekend at Frauenfeld, MX2 rookie Rick Elzinga is looking forward to returning to a track he loves. The Dutchman has had some health struggles over the past few weeks but hopes to be close to 100% this weekend. He currently sits 12th in the championship and is eager to move up the ranks.
Joining the MXGP and MX2 classes at the MXGP of Trentino, the Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250 will be onsite with their Italian star Andrea Bonacorsi, who after a dominant performance aboard his GYTR kitted YZ250F at the opening round of the 2023 series in Sardinia already has a 10-point lead in the championship. After a standout EMX250 class debut, Ivano Van Erp is fifth in the standings, just 3-points shy of the top three, while Karlis Reisulis has recovered from the fall that cost him a good result at round one and hopes to bounce back this weekend. He is currently tied for 10th in the standings.
The MJC Yamaha Official EMX125 team has also made its way to Pietramurata for the second round of the EMX125 Championship. The team’s young star Janis Reisulis is determined to reach the top step of the podium and take the championship lead. Despite a spectacular crash three days ago, the 15-year-old Latvian is currently in third in the points standings. He will be joined by teammate Salvador Perez, who made an impressive EMX125 debut in Switzerland with a top-10 start and is currently in 10th place.
Perez is a rider who has progressed through the YZ125 bLU cRU FIM Europe Cup and has shown great improvements in his riding and race craft. His performance at the opening round of the EMX125 Championship in Switzerland was a testament to his hard work and dedication. Like Perez, last year’s bLU cRU Cup winner Nicolai Skovbjerg has also started his first full season of EMX125 racing and is currently in 11th place. Skovbjerg races a GYTR kitted YZ125 on the JK Yamaha Supported team, alongside another YZ125 bLU cRU Cup star, Nicola Salvini, who is currently in sixth place after an impressive 6-5 result in Switzerland.
3rd MXGP Championship Standings, 131-points
“I’m feeling good going into Trentino, obviously after taking my first win of the season, my confidence is high. I do realize I need to keep cool and keep my focus. I really like the track in Trentino. I’ve had some nice memories there, so it’s a special place for me.”
7th MXGP Championship Standings, 90-points
“I feel pretty sore after the crash in Switzerland, so I will try to recover as quick as possible. It’s just a big disappointment what happened there, but we need to move on and look ahead. Arco is a track I like, and I have had pretty good results there over the years, so the goal for this weekend will be to bounce back with a podium.”
8th MXGP Championship Standings, 79-points
“I feel a bit second hand, I might need a couple of days to regroup, but I’m keeping positive, I should be fine by the weekend. The plan is to look ahead and be as close to 100% for this weekend. I always like Arco. It’s an amazing place. I usually perform well there. The goal for the weekend is to stay out of trouble and try not to get hit or landed on by anyone. I’m really looking forward to turning the page and getting my championship back on track, and to show what I am really capable of.”
MX2 Championship Leader, 159-points
“I will take it easy this week because I am still quite sore, but I will focus on recovering well, to be ready to bounce back with a good result. I like the track in Arco, it’s a fun track and I have had some good races there in the past. It’s just difficult to pass so a good start will be the key. My goal for the weekend is to be on the podium, but the ultimate goal will be to win.”
2nd MX2 Championship Standings, 139-points
“I’m looking forward to Arco this weekend, especially after taking the win last weekend, this is a big boost for my confidence. I really like the track and I have had some good races there in the past, so this weekend the goal will be to take good starts, and then ride free, without mistakes, and we should be on the podium again.”
12th MX2 Championship Standings, 56-points
“It’s hard to come away with a good feeling after a poor weekend, but I am focusing on the positives, and that is that I like Trentino, and I know what I am able to do there, so I am looking forward to bouncing back. This week I will be trying to get back into my usual training rhythm with the goal on race day being to ride like I know I can, and do what I do best.”