Yamaha’s Factory and Official motocross teams have travelled approximately 900 kilometers east of Uddevalla, Sweden, for the 16th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Hyvinkaa, Finland, this weekend. The MXGP of Finland also hosts the ninth and penultimate round of the EMX250 Championship, presenting Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250’s Rick Elzinga with his first opportunity to secure the EMX250 title. He currently has a 44-point lead over his closest rival.
Fresh off a memorable weekend in Sweden at which Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Maxime Renaux, Jeremy Seewer and Glenn Coldenhoff locked out the top-three positions in MXGP race one, the team is determined to keep momentum. For Yamaha, it was the first time three riders from the same Yamaha team swept the podium positions since 1992 – back then, it was Chesterfield Yamaha’s Donny Schmidt, Bob Moore and Alex Puzar in the FIM Motocross World Championship 250cc class.
Hyvinkaa presents uncharted territory for many of the current riders as the venue has only appeared on the calendar twice since 1991, in 2013 and 2014. Coldenhoff raced there on both occasions, while Jeremy Seewer has only been there once, and it was in his debut MX2 season in 2014.
The tight and compact sand venue typically suits the Dutch and Belgian riders as it is like the type of tracks they grew up racing. Coldenhoff finished second in the opening MX2 race in 2013 behind fellow Dutchman Jeffrey Herlings. Now, nine years later, the ‘259’ will race in Finland for the first time aboard a 450cc, and he is not shy in stating he wants to win the Grand Prix.
Coldenhoff’s goal won’t be without a challenge from Seewer, who has won three rounds this year and has shown formidable form recently. As the previous round winner, and the rider that is currently second in the Championship Standings, the ‘91’ is determined to collect as many points as possible in hopes of keeping his MXGP title hopes alive.
Renaux arrived curious, as he has never been to Finland before. However, the young Frenchman has shown himself to be unphased by new challenges as he has already celebrated five race wins and six podium finishes in his rookie season. The ‘959’ has led the most laps out of the three Factory YZ450FM riders and is fifth in the Championship Standings after missing two rounds through injury. He is currently 12-points behind Coldenhoff in fourth.
Having won the past three Grands Prix and six in total this season, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts arrives in peak condition and with a 23-point lead in the MX2 World Championship. The Belgian raced in Hyvinkaa in 2014 and dominated the European 85cc Championship with a 1-1 victory. This weekend, the ‘93’ aims to do the same again, but of course, in MX2, where he is chasing a maiden MX2 world title.
Geerts will be joined on the gate by his talented teammate Thibault Benistant, who has never raced in Finland. The recently turned 20-year-old Frenchman is fifth in the standings after missing the first three rounds of the series while recovering from an ACL repair.
In EMX250, excitement is starting to build as Elzinga inches closer to the crown. If the Dutchman wins both races, he will be crowned champion regardless of where his rival finishes. However, if he is not victorious in the races, he needs to gain at least six points on Cornelius Toendel, who is currently second in the standings.
After a luckless outing in Sweden, Andrea Bonacorsi is determined to bounce back this weekend. The young Italian needs to have two strong races to have a chance at ending the season with a medal. He is currently fifth, 9-points down on fourth, and 26 on third. Two rounds are remaining in 2022. Finland marks the second of three back-to-back rounds before ending the season in Saint Jean d’Angely a week later.
Last but not least, the MJC Yamaha Official EMX125 team are all set for the ninth and final round of the EMX125 Championship. Karlis Reisulis still has a mathematical shot at the crown, although the gap to the leader is 49-points, and there are only 50 up for grabs. Realistically, his main goal this weekend will be to secure a medal. He is currently third in the standings, 1-point shy of second, but only 3-points clear of his younger brother Janis Reisulis in fourth.
After returning to the top step of the podium in Sweden, Ivano van Erp aims to end his season with another piece of podium silverware. As does the youngest Official Yamaha rider Ferruccio Zanchi. Van Erp heads into the final round fifth in the ranks, while Zanchi is eighth.
2nd MXGP Championship Standings, 530-points
“I feel really good going into Hyvinkaa. The track is sandy, not really deep, but just the kind of track that gets really rough and technical. I raced there once when I was in my rookie season, in 2014, and I liked it. I enjoy racing these tough types of circuits. My goal this weekend is to be upfront and show everybody that I am a good sand rider too.”
4th MXGP Championship Standings, 478-points
“I’m feeling good, happy to be back in the sand, even though it’s not sand like Lommel, but we will still run a scoop tyre there. There is not much to say ahead of this one; the goal is simple, I want to win.”
5th MXGP Championship Standings, 466-points
“I’m ready for Hyvinkaa, especially after the disappointment of race two in Sweden; I am eager to bounce back. I have never raced there or in Finland, so I am looking forward to discovering a new track and country, and I’m looking forward to getting back on the box.”
MX2 Championship Leader, 637-points
“I’m excited for Hyvinkaa this weekend. After winning the last three GP’s, I have shown that I am in good form. Hyvinkaa is a really nice track; it’s sandy with some natural elevation. This suits me perfectly. I remember winning the European Championship there on my 85cc, so I have nice memories from there. I just want to continue with the same form I have had over the past few weeks, and I am sure the results will come on their own.”
5th MX2 Championship Standings, 405-points
“I’ve never been to Finland, so I look forward to riding a new track; it’s always nice. After Sweden, I want to bounce back with two consistent races with good starts. That’s the key; get a good start and limit mistakes, so this is what I will try to do this weekend.”