Yamaha Teams All Set for an MXGP Sizzler in Spain
After a much-deserved weekend off, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP and MX2 teams will be back in action for the ninth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Madrid, Spain. The MXGP of Spain will mark the first of three back-to-back Grands Prix, with the 10th and 11th rounds of the 19 round series taking place on the weekends of June 5th and 12th in France and Germany.
With MXGP welcoming full capacity crowds this season, the MXGP of Spain is expected to be a busy and exciting stop on the calendar. The track was built and launched in 2020, and after an incredible response from the Spanish fans, even amidst the global pandemic, it comes as no surprise that the Xanadu-Arroyomolinos circuit is back on the schedule for a third consecutive year.
Located just 30 minutes from Madrid-Barajas airport, the Spanish circuit is clay-based, tight and jumpy. All three Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP riders arrive inside the top-five in the MXGP Championship Standings, with the rookie Maxime Renaux at the forefront in second position, 24-points clear of Jeremy Seewer in third, while Glenn Coldenhoff currently rounds out the top-five.
While the start is often a deciding factor in the result of a Grand Prix, the riders believe that due to the compact layout of the 'Xanadu-Arroyomolinos’ circuit, getting a good jump out of the gate is crucial. Placing extra emphasis on the start for the upcoming rounds, Coldenhoff has been testing various settings on his YZ450FM to improve the bike out of the gate. The Dutchman feels progress has been made and arrives confident after a podium finish at the previous round in Sardinia.
Joining the ‘259’ in the challenge for the podium are his teammates Renaux and Seewer. Renaux arrives with fantastic memories of a hard-fought Grand Prix win in MX2 last year, where he charged from outside of the top-five to pass his closest rivals thrillingly. After taking a weekend off to celebrate his 22nd birthday with family and friends, the gritty Frenchman feels fresh, fully recharged and ready to add to his current collection of four podium finishes.
As for Seewer, the season so far has not been without some challenges, but the flamboyant Swiss rider has taken some time at home in Switzerland to regroup for the next three back-to-back Grands Prix. Having landed on the podium twice this season at two hard-soil tracks, in Great Britain and Italy, the ‘91’ is currently third in the hunt for the title and looks forward to the upcoming run of hard-pack races.
In MX2, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts is determined to extend his lead in the Championship. The 22-year-old has finished on the podium at seven of the eight rounds raced this season and has won the most races – eight. The Belgian star arrives on high with the memory of a race win at the Xanadu-Arroyomolinos venue in 2020, with added motivation to retain the championship leader's red plate. He currently has a 6-point lead over former World Champion Tom Vialle.
Starting his 25th Grand Prix since making his MX2 debut as a wild-card entry at the end of 2020, Thibault Benistant is focused on becoming a consistent podium threat. Despite suffering a five-month setback after an ACL reconstruction that saw the young talent miss the final two rounds of the MX2 series in 2021 and the first three rounds of 2022, the 19-year-old has already bounced back with an impressive podium finish at the MXGP of Sardinia less than two weeks ago. Finishing third overall for his second-ever podium cheers has given the ‘198’ confidence as he focuses on riding fast and free just as he does in training.
Joining Geerts and Benistant on the gate in MX2 this weekend will be Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250 stars Rick Elzinga and Andrea Bonacorsi. After celebrating the EMX250 round of Sardinia on the top-two steps of the podium, the dynamic duo have entered as wild-card riders and look forward to putting the GYTR kitted YZ250F through its paces in the pro ranks this weekend.
Boosting Yamaha's presence in Spain, Yamaha’s leading ladies will be back in action for the fourth and penultimate round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship, with Ceres 71 Yamaha’s Nancy van de Ven carrying the red plate as the championship leader with a 12-point advantage over JK Yamaha Racing’s Lynn Valk. In addition, the MJC Yamaha Official EMX125 team will also be back on the gate for the fourth round of the EMX125 Championship, with Karlis Reisulis looking to extend his podium streak and build on second place in the Championship Standings, while teammates Ivano van Erp and Ferruccio Zanchi hope to improve their respective positions, fifth and seventh.
For the Timetable from the MXGP of Spain, click here.
2nd MXGP Championship Standings, 288-points
“It was nice to have a free weekend. I went back to France to see my family for my birthday, so I relaxed and recharged the battery. I like the track in Madrid, it is a nice layout with some nice jumps, and I also have some nice memories from last year there. I have been training on hard pack to prepare. This weekend I will be looking for some good starts and getting back on the podium. That would be nice.”
3rd MXGP Championship Standings, 264-points
“I went home to Switzerland after some training in Italy. Had some fun with friends and could recharge my batteries really well. I’ve had some challenging races in Madrid in the past, but I‘m positive that I can turn things around and make things work on this track as well. To prepare, I have just invested some time training on some good hard pack tracks. Stayed in Italy for that and now I am going to France to have some proper hard pack tracks. I really want to be on the podium this weekend and will do anything to achieve it!”
5th MXGP Championship Standings, 234-points
“Last week I took some time off to get healthy again, and I was able to do that. The Spanish GP is always a good show, especially with all the grandstands and a lot of public there to support the Spanish riders Jorge Prado, and this year for Ruben Fernandez too. In Spain, starts are very important. If you start in the top-three, you probably finish in the top-three too. It will all depend on the start.”
MX2 Championship Leader, 338-points
“It was nice to have a weekend off to recover for the next three GP’s in a row. The track in Spain has really good soil, so there is a lot of grip and ruts. In 2020, I won the second moto there so that’s a nice memory. Going into this one, I haven’t done anything crazy, just some hardpack training. I took it a bit easier because the 3 GP’s in a row will be tough. The goal will be to be consistent during the whole weekend and try to fight for the victory.”
11th MX2 Championship Standings, 153-points
“I had a good week off. I continued to train as usual, didn’t change anything much except for making my off-the-bike sessions a little bit longer. I like the track in Madrid, I feel pretty comfortable on it, and I like the ruts, so it’s good. I hope to finally ride 100% free like I am doing when I am training. The key will be to make a good start and enjoy the ride, and then the result will come.”
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