After a 5-week break in the MXGP calendar, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Jeremy Seewer and Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP’s duo of Gautier Paulin and Arnaud Tonus will be back in action this weekend as the FIM Motocross World Championship recommences with the fifth round of the series taking place in Mantova, Italy.
The last time Mantova staged a Grand Prix was back in 2016. Gautier Paulin was the runner up that day. After tightening his grip on third place in this years’ championship where he has stretched out a 22-point buffer over the rider in fourth, the 29-year-old Frenchman is determined to inch closer to the leaders and battle for the Grand Prix win.
Fresh off of a season best finish, Paulin’s Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP teammate Arnaud Tonus is looking to carry his top-five pace from the previous round, in Trentino, into Mantova. After a masterful performance for fourth overall on the clay of Pietramurata, the Swiss rider leap-frogged five riders in the Championship Classification and was able to break inside the top ten for the first time this season.
Desperate to secure a career best finish inside the premier class, which will be anywhere inside the top-five, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Jeremy Seewer has been working hard both on and off the bike over the past 5-weeks. Aiming to improve his seventh position in the Championship, the 24-year-old Swiss rider feels has returned to full strength and fitness after battling illness at the start of the year and is ready for the season to resume so he can start hitting his race targets.
In MX2, there is everything to play for with both Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2 riders within 45-points of the championship lead. As it stands, 21-year-old Ben Watson is currently fourth in the standings, 4-points clear of his 19-year-old teammate Jago Geerts who has accumulated two consecutive podium finishes at the last two rounds of the championship.
Both riders have used the break in the calendar effectively and are feeling reenergized and excited for the remainding fourteen rounds of the season.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Romain Febvre was the winner of the Lombardian Grand Prix back in 2015. Regrettably, the 26-year old Frenchman is not yet ready to race, although he is back on the bike with his strength improving by the day.
Coinciding with the Grand Prix of Lombardia in Mantova, Italy, the third round of the EMX125 Championship will offer the MJC Yamaha EMX125 trio of Florian Miot, Luca Diserens and Magnus Smith another chance to add to their experience of racing on the world stage.
3rd MXGP Championship Standings, 142-points
“The 5-week break went really quickly because I raced a Dutch Championship race and then a Swiss Championship race before getting back to testing and training. It has been a great 5-weeks, I feel we needed it to step up and we have made some good improvements, so I happy with the work we have done. This weekend in Mantova my expectation remains the same. Remain focused and keep pushing forward.”
7th MXGP Championship Standings, 98-points
“I took some rest because we had three GP’s in a row before the break. I raced a small Swiss race for the Swiss fans as we don’t have a GP there anymore. After that I went to Italy to work with the team and do some testing on the bike to improve everything as well as my own condition. I have been working on fitness a lot, not only on the bike. I look forward to the season “really” kicking off now because it seems like those first four GP’s were a warm-up.”
10th MXGP Championship Standings, 71-points
“I took a little bit of time off at the beginning of the 5-week break. I went back to Switzerland and enjoyed being home in the mountains breathing fresh air. I did a small race in Frauenfeld where the Swiss GP was last year and then went back to Holland to resume training in the sand. Basically, I have just been trying to build on my form from Trentino because where I had good results. I want to carry that same speed into Mantova and hopefully come away with a top-five finish.”
20th MXGP Championship Standings, 20-points (injured)
“It has been good to be back on the bike. At the moment my ankle is not perfect but it’s good enough to ride and to put some hours on the bike. It gets better every day, but it needs more mobility, so I am able to put my foot where I want, especially on hard-pack corners, but it has been good to start training. Right now, I am trying to catch the time back on the bike and it is cool that I can train with Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2’s Ben Watson, which helps me get back into the rhythm because we can push each other and it’s really good for me. Much better than riding alone. I am hoping to be back for Portugal, but if I’m not ready, I think France.”