EMX125 & EMX250: Who Impressed in Italy?
Italy hosted the first round of the EMX125 and EMX250 rounds, there were a handful of riders who impressed over the weekend for many different reasons. We will take a look at who impressed during the course of the weekend.
Well, let’s start with the overall winner, Maxime Renaux who was solid on his Kemea Yamaha all weekend. I have to say it is a bit of a surprise winner, last season he was outside the top twenty. However, he’s got himself on a good team for the Europeans and worked hard over winter, it is clearly paying off as he finished second twice to snatch his first overall victory. Obviously as he’s French that helped him deal with the tough hard pack track. Now that he’s won the first round he is surely looking at winning the title, he’s not the best in sand but if he can get a top five overall at Valkenswaard then that would be a solid result.
The first moto of the year winner was a bit of a surprise as Glen Meier got the holeshot and led start to finish to take the win. I don’t think too many people expected Glen to win the first moto of the year! His Kosak KTM didn’t get out of the gate as well in moto two so this was more of a test, he started in fourteenth and made his way to seventh by the end of the moto, salvaged a good result to get second overall. I expect there to be plenty of riders capable of winning moto’s this year so consistency is going to be key. After his showing in Italy there is no reason why he can’t go on and challenge for the title.
DIGA KTM have put faith in Finnish rider Miro Sihvonen for this season, the season didn’t get off to the best of start for him. He had a disaster of a start in the first moto as he got out of the gate in twenty fifth but was able to finish the moto in eleventh, that’s a pretty impressive ride. After that moto I knew he could be at the front as he set the second quickest lap time of the race and that was through traffic! Thankfully for him he got a much better start in the second moto, quickly got to first and controlled the race at the front! It was a very impressive ride for him, this weekend we will see if he can ride the sand!
One of the biggest surprises for me was Stephen Rubini, he’s currently fourth in the French 125 championship which is decent. I thought if he finished around the top ten that it would be good for him but he really gelled with the track and managed to finish fifth and sixth to take a sixth overall. He must be really happy with that result as the talent in that class is no joke! It will be interesting if he can keep getting results like this, if he can then France have another top talent coming through the ranks.
Garcia Prado deserves a shout out as he managed to get a third overall in which was his first race in the class as a rookie, very impressive. He will be a major force when he grows but Factory KTM must be really happy to have signed the talented Spaniard who is still only 14 years old!
Well, Maxime Desprey might have been the forgotten man going into the season but he certainly isn’t anymore, he’s like a new rider! He has clearly worked hard after a terrible season in MX2 last year and is motivated to show that he is a top quality GP rider. BUD Kawasaki is a really good team and he seems to have gelled with the bike brilliantly, he also working with Jacky Viamond, that’s pretty massive for him! It’s going to take something special to beat him to the title, his competitors have a lot of work to do. However, I can’t see him winning Valkenswaard as he’s not great in sand but it will take something special to beat him in hard pack and especially if he keeps getting good starts.
Adam Sterry was solid all weekend, he finished second and third for a second overall. He got average starts so had to work hard for the second overall too. Adam is good in sand so he will have a chance to win in Valkenswaard if his starts are better and I believe he will be Maxime’s biggest challenger for the title but he has a lot of work to do in hard pack if he wants to win the title.
Rookie of the weekend went to Alvin Ostlund, this may be a surprise to some of you but I really rate this guy. He started thirteenth in the first moto and ended up in eighth which is solid for his first ever race in the class. The second moto didn’t go quite as good but he ended up eleventh which is solid and it meant he ended up seventh overall which is pretty impressive. He will take confidence from this and I am sure he will only get better, in 2016 I am pretty sure he will be on a top team!
Spaniard, Ander Valente deserves a mention as he got his first ever podium in the class with a third overall, he was impressive this weekend and especially in the second moto as he got into second and Sterry couldn’t catch him. Ander has set the standard high for himself at the start of the season, it will be interesting to see if he can keep it up and get consistent podiums in the class!
Article: Andy McKinstry