Coldenhoff, Watson and Seewer on Maggiora

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Glenn Coldenhoff raced his YZ450FM to the second step of the podium in contrasting conditions at the third round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Maggiora, Italy. The talented Dutchman finished on the same points as the eventual Grand Prix winner but was demoted to second, with the overall result favoring the final race winner. Teammates Jeremy Seewer and Ben Watson finished eighth and ninth, respectively.

Overnight rain and cloudy skies made for a damp yet enjoyable start to the day. Coldenhoff instantly gelled with the track and posted the fifth-fastest time with a 1:44.521, fractionally quicker than Seewer, who posted a 1:44.579 for sixth. Watson achieved his best gate-pick of the 2021 season. His best time was a 1:45.955, which was good enough for 16th.

Building on a good start in the opening race of the day, Coldenhoff proved his place at the front of the field as he challenged Antonio Cairoli for a place inside the top-three. Unfortunately, as the track started to dry, it created one fast ‘race line,’ making it difficult to pass. Nevertheless, he still put in an impressive ride, holding off the current championship leader Tim Gajser for the entire race to finish fourth.

Meanwhile, Seewer had to push forward from outside of the top-10 to finish eighth, after edging his young teammate Watson who came home in ninth.

This article continues below

The second race was hit by heavy rain and thunderstorms, making the typically fast, hard-pack track much slower, rougher and muddier. Although it was a wet and messy affair, the tricky terrain favoured Coldenhoff, who used his smooth and precise riding style to challenge the race and Grand Prix victory. The ‘259’ was impressive aboard his YZ450FM, leading the first 11-laps before losing the lead to the 2018 MXGP World Champion Jeffrey Herlings with five minutes left on the clock.

Struggling with some minor health issues, Seewer felt great around the spectacular Italian track but suffered from a lack of energy in both races. Nevertheless, the 26-year-old Swiss rider was happy to salvage two eighth place finishes for eighth overall. At the same time, Watson was pleased to post more solid points with an 11th place finish as he continues to gain experience inside the premier class.

Seewer remains sixth in the MXGP World Championship classification, 11-points shy of the top-five and 4-points clear of Coldenhoff, who gained two positions to move up to seventh. Watson took another leap up the leader board and is now 12th.

The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place in Oss, The Netherlands, on July 18th.

Glenn Coldenhoff
2nd MXGP of Italy, 40-points
“Straight from the first lap here in Maggiora, I felt really good. I was really comfortable on the track. First moto I started behind Tony (Cairoli). I was a bit faster, but the track felt really one-lined, which was really difficult to pass, but in the end I spent quite some energy, but still finished fourth. In the second moto I took the holeshot, which was really good. The team has been working so hard and I am very thankful for that. I really owe this one to them. I am really happy to be back on the podium, it’s a really good confidence booster going into Oss in two weeks’ time and I’m really looking forward to my home GP.”

Jeremy Seewer
8th MXGP of Italy, 26-points
“Honestly, I don’t feel too good. I struggled more than I expected because I loved the track out there and I felt good on the track, it’s just my energy and my body. I have a few problems with my body that makes it tough to perform how I want to perform. I am not at all at the level I could be, but I made the best out of it. I made some points, and there are some positives. I had a good start in the second moto, the bike is good, but I just need to wait and have patience for my body to return to full health so I can ride how I want.”

Ben Watson
9th MXGP of Italy, 22-points
“I’m happy with my progress since my first race in Russia, which I felt was a disaster, and then last weekend in Matterley, I felt the track wasn’t technical enough for me, so to come here and enjoy this track here in Maggiora, I was happy. It was nice to get a good start and run upfront with the guys for a bit. I was there and on the pace, and I felt comfortable. I tightened up a bit because I’m not used to being in that situation, so it’s something I have to get used to. The second one was interesting. The heavens opened and we had a complete mudder. I had a pretty good start but dropped back because it was a bit of shock for me in the first few corners, but in the end, I got to 11th, so still good points and from here we will keep building.

Words and pic: Yamaha Racing