Coldenhoff on his Arco podium: It’s good to be back where I belong
A tightly contested MXGP of Trentino saw four of the top-five MXGP riders finish on 38-points, with Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Glenn Coldenhoff taking second overall. Despite finishing on the same points as his teammate, Jeremy Seewer was classified fifth while Ben Watson ensured all three YZ450FM riders were inside the top-10.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team arrived in Pietramurata, Italy, for the 14th round of the 18 round FIM Motocross World Championship, determined to finish on the podium. Seewer got the day off to a sensational start, securing his first pole of 2021 with a 1’37.314 lap to qualify ahead of the championship leader, Jeffrey Herlings, and Italian legend Antonio Cairoli. Fellow YZ450FM rider, Coldenhoff qualified ninth with a 1’38.812, while Ben Watson was 22nd with a 1’40.023.
In the opening race, the ‘91’ powered his YZ450FM to an impressive holeshot and led the MXGP title protagonists for the first 20-minutes.
The battle for the lead was an absolute thriller. Herlings demoted Seewer to second position with nine minutes left on the clock, leaving the Yamaha star to defend a charge from former World Champion Romain Febvre and the defending Champion Tim Gajser.
Febvre and Gajser pushed Seewer hard for the final 10-minutes, but in the end, the Swiss rider held onto second; demonstrating an impressive return to full health while proving his potential to win races.
In a race that saw riders struggling to make passes around the picturesque Ciclamino circuit, Coldenhoff did his best to dice his way through the pack. The ‘259’ was eighth on lap one and made a few brilliant passes to finish inside the top-five in fifth.
Watson fell from second position on the opening lap but managed to fight back to 15th.
A dramatic start to race two saw all three YZ450FM riders narrowly avoid some carnage that occurred at turn-one. Coldenhoff emerged in third position and quickly passed Henry Jacobi for second, as Watson battled to retain a place inside the top-five.
As the title contenders Herlings, Febvre and Gajser closed in on each other, an intense four-way battle ensued. Coldenhoff dived down the inside of Febvre and made a spectacular pass for the lead on lap-13. He led the way for five laps until a fast and furious Herlings made a pass with three laps remaining.
Going into the final lap, Coldenhoff went bar-to-bar with Gajser, and impressively defended the challenge from the current champion to secure second overall.
Seewer showed an astonishing return to form as he fought from the back of the pack to finish the race in fifth position, as Watson turned a decent start into a seventh-place finish.
After tying on points for second overall at the MXGP of Trentino, Seewer has moved within 8-points of the top-five in the championship chase. Coldenhoff remains eighth as Watson gains one position and moves up into 12th.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team will be back on the gate here in Pietramurata in two days, with the 15th round of the 2021 series taking place on Wednesday 27th October.
2nd MXGP of Trentino, 38-points
“I’ve been struggling all year long, except at round three in Maggiora (Italy), so it’s good to be back here on the podium. It’s been a very long road and hard road too. It’s good to be back where I belong. I felt good this morning, and the first race was average with a fifth. The second race was quite intense, to say the least, I had a lot of pressure from behind and I managed to take the lead and lead a few laps and I can honestly tell you, that was a great feeling. I am definitely looking forward to more races like that, and it’s nice to start the Trentino tripleheader on a positive note. I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”
5th MXGP of Trentino, 38-points
“Today was one of my best days so far this season. The bike seems to work well on this track, which is really positive. I feel good, I feel sharp and I am enjoying riding my bike. I am having a lot of fun; I am quick. I managed to get pole position, which is usually not my strong point. It was cool to get the holeshot and lead in the first moto for a while, and I was close to winning. Going into the second race I felt good, but was I got squeezed off the start and was very lucky not to go down. I clipped Jorge (Prado)’s back wheel and had to go straight. To recover to P.5 was great because I started last. It’s a shame I am not on the podium. We are with four riders on the same points, so let’s look at the positives, good points, and I’m looking forward to going racing here again in a couple of days.”
10th MXGP of Trentino, 20-points
“I had good starts today and that is a positive point. It always helps. Around here, it’s really difficult to pass. I am still not feeling 100%. My ankle is not perfect, and in general, I’ve not had a lot of time on the bike since I’ve injured it, so I am a bit behind. I felt pretty good out on the track, I just had a couple of crashes in the first race, but in the second one, I was consistent with consistent laps. Overall, not a bad day.”
Words and pic: Yamaha Racing