Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Maxime Renaux was nothing short of sensational at the ninth round of 19 in the FIM Motocross World Championship in Madrid, Spain. The recently turned 22-year-old Frenchman stormed to two emphatic race wins for his first-ever premier-class Grand Prix victory. Teammate Glenn Coldenhoff took a stunning Qualifying Race win and finished fifth in Race 1 and second in Race 2 for his second consecutive podium finish – on the second step. At the same time, Jeremy Seewer had to overcome some adversity for eighth overall.
On Saturday afternoon, Coldenhoff endured a stifling hot race to take his second Qualifying Heat win of the season. At the same time, teammates Renaux and Seewer put in strong rides to qualify third and fifth, respectively. Faced with even hotter temperatures on race day, the Spanish Grand Prix was a sizzling survival of the fittest. When the gates dropped for race 1, the full capacity crowd erupted as Renaux went bar-to-bar with fan favourite Jorge Prado around turn one.
Thriving under pressure, Renaux went from strength to strength, while Prado made a couple of costly mistakes. Capitalizing on Prado’s error, the current Championship Leader Tim Gajser took second position and applied some pressure to the reigning MX2 World Champion, Renaux. While Gajser kept the Frenchman honest for the entire 30-minute and two lap duration of the race, he was ultimately denied victory with ‘The Rookie’ holding on for a thrilling race win – his second of the season.
Starts were of the essence at the Xanadu-Arroyomolinos circuit, with the tight and twisty, rough and rutty clay-based venue proving difficult to pass on. Coldenhoff started fifth, despite feeling dizzy after a big crash on the sighting lap. Nevertheless, he managed to control the position to the flag.
At the same time, Seewer started on the cusp of the top-10 but spectacularly crashed out of seventh on lap-5. Fortunately, the ’91’ could make a quick remount and was able to salvage 11th.
Going into Race 2, Renaux was beaming with confidence. The French ace rocketed out of the gate, chasing Coldenhoff and Prado around turn-one. The teammates, ‘Hoff’ and Renaux, swapped second position a few times before Prado fell from the lead.
Once at the forefront, Renaux reveled. The Race 1 winner took full advantage of a clear track and impressively stormed to another stunning race victory to celebrate his first-ever premier class round win with a perfect 50-point score.
Coldenhoff remained unchallenged in second position, while Seewer made significant progress after making changes to his bike set-up and ended his day on a positive note in fourth.
After a memorable weekend in Spain, Renaux has strengthened his grip on second position in the MXGP Championship Standings. He now has a 46-point advantage over Seewer in third, while Coldenhoff remains fifth.
The MXGP of Spain was the first of three back-to-back Grands Prix. The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place in Ernee, France on the weekend of June 5th.
MXGP of Spain Winner, 50-points
2nd MXGP Championship Standings, 338-points
“My first overall win in the MXGP class and it’s my Mum’s birthday tomorrow, so it’s a nice gift for her. That was great. I felt great on the track this weekend, already from Saturday. I managed to get some good starts today and put together two consistent motos with no mistakes, so I am very very happy and cannot wait for my home GP next week.”
2nd MXGP of Spain, 38-points
5th MXGP Championship Standings, 272-points
“Before Argentina, we did some testing and we made some big improvements in all areas, so we are on the way up. Yesterday was really good to win the qualifying heat, which gave me a good gate pick for today. Before the first moto, I made a huge crash, there was so much water on the track and I did not see it, so before I knew it, I was down on the ground. So, I felt a bit dizzy for the first moto, which was really tough for me, but I still managed to get a fifth. In the second moto I had a good start and a good fight with Maxime. I was following Max, but he was a bit too strong today, so 5-2 was the result. Another good weekend and like I said, it will only go up from here.”
8th MXGP of Spain, 24-points
3rd MXGP Championship Standings, 292-points
“Overall, this has been a weekend to forget. I did turn it around a little bit in the second moto, but still, I just seem to struggle here even though I did arrive here happy and confident. I was better this year than last year, but I just made mistakes at the worst time and did not feel good on the bike. I don’t think my riding was too bad, but I couldn’t find my rhythm on this track. I made some changes to the bike set-up for the second moto, and it feels like we always find the right set-up then, but that’s something we need to work on. But for now, I am looking forward to the next GP’s. Some of my all-time favourite tracks are coming like Ernee and Teutschenthal, so I hope to find a good combination between me and the bike there, and then I can be much better.”