With three rounds of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship complete, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing MXGP is going to Pietramurata, Italy, this weekend – for the fourth round of the MXGP series. Romain Febvre is feeling fit and ready to make his first podium appearance of the season, while teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek is looking to pull-back important championship points following his heavy fall at round two in The Netherlands.
Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP‘s duo of Jeremy Seewer and Shaun Simpson will also be on the grid this weekend, April 7th and 8th, at the picturesque venue of Pietramurata, in the Trento province of Italy.
In contrast to the first three rounds of the series that were held on much softer surfaces, this weekend the riders will test their skills on the rock-hard clay of Trentino – on a circuit that is firmer and much more compact with plenty of elevation in the way of slick uphill’s and rough descends.
Romain Febvre managed to win a race at the Grand Prix of Trentino back in 2016, where he finished second overall on the day. The Frenchman is feeling confident and ready to repeat, or better, that same success this weekend.
While Febvre and Simpson both lined up at the Dutch Masters in The Netherlands last weekend, where Febvre finished second-place and Simpson tied on points for third, their teammates Jeremy Van Horebeek and Jeremy Seewer both decided to take the weekend off to rest and recover ahead of what remains a busy season.
Like his Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing teammate, Van Horebeek is familiar with the sight that can be seen from the podium in Trentino having finished two races inside the top-3 to stand on the second step of the podium back in 2014. On that exact same weekend, Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s rookie, Seewer, also had a good day in MX2, where he finished a race inside the top-5 for the first time in his professional career.
After a mediocre start to the season, by his own standards, Shaun Simpson will be implementing a new strategy this weekend. The gritty Scot is not the biggest fan of the polished and pebble-like clay in Pietramurata. He feels that good starts, a calm mind, and smooth throttle control will be the key to two strong and consistent results.
In the MX2 ranks, Kemea Yamaha Official MX2‘s Ben Watson will line-up tied on 81-points for fifth in the MX2 Championship Standings, while his teammates Vsevelod Brylyakov and Jago Geerts round out the top-11 in that order.
Supporting the premier classes this weekend, the MJC Yamaha Official EMX125 team will be lining up Thibault Benistant and Jörgen-Matthias Talviku for the second round of the EMX125 Championship.
The Pietramurata track, shadowed by the Dolomite Mountains, will also play host to the opening round of the FIM WMX World Championship. Yamaha’s trio of WMX stars are ripe and ready for the new season that will take place over six rounds – three of which will be held in Italy. The defending WMX champion, Italian, and last years’ WMX round of Trentino winner, Kiara Fontanesi will line-up on her FontaMX Yamaha Official WMX YZ250F fit and hungry for her sixth world title, while two of her toughest rivals – and fellow Official Yamaha Racing riders – Altherm Yamaha Official WMX‘s Courtney Duncan and NoFear Yamaha Official WMX‘s Nancy van de Ven will be both returning from injury and determined to claim their maiden WMX crowns.
The first WMX race of the season will be at 15:25 (Central European Time) on Saturday 7th April, followed by the Qualifying Race for MX2 at 16:25, and MXGP at 17:10 with the EMX125 class wrapping up day 1 with their first race at 17:55.
4th MXGP Championship Standings
“I think the track will be the same as it was previous years, it’s really hard-pack and stoney. It’s like riding on one big stone, really slippery and strange but I actually really like tracks like this. I hope that I can do well. I feel like my condition and my speed is getting better and better, so I hope to stand on the podium.”
Jeremy Van Horebeek
7th MXGP Championship Standings
“I like racing in Italy, the atmosphere is always really good. I haven’t been feeling 100% since my crash in Valkenswaard, with my wrist and my neck, but things are slowly getting better. I just hope to get out of the gate well, two good starts and two good results and I’ll be happy.”
9th MXGP Championship Standings
“I decided to take the weekend off last weekend to get some rest and prepare mentally and physically for the upcoming season. There are still plenty of races left and it is going to be really busy. I am looking forward to going to Italy. I like the track and the area in Trentino. It’s really beautiful and the atmosphere is always good there too. So I am ready for it.”
13th MXGP Championship Standings
“Traction is hard to come by in Trentino. The track is clay, it’s really slippery and it’s really tight and compact, so on a track like that it’s hard to find new lines. It looks like it will be damp on the days leading in, which might play into the tracks favor and make it a bit more technical. Nevertheless it’s a cool GP. There is always a good crowd and it’s well organized. I’m taking a different approach to this one. I just want to get two good starts and some consistent results because at the opening rounds I had much higher expectations, and I feel like I have come up short every weekend. I think now is the time to not strive for a result, but just aim for two really solid results.”