EMX250: Who impressed in Italy?
When Simone Furlotti signed for a new team in the paddock, the Yamaha SM Action outfit it had been expected that he would contest the European rounds of the MX2 World Championship. However, in a late change of plan he contested the first round of the EMX250 series and he didn’t disappoint. He was sublime in the first moto winning by a huge margin – over twenty seconds! In the second moto he didn’t get as good a start as he was outside the top five but he was able to work his way up to third before the end of the moto and that was good enough for the overall victory. The Italian takes the championship lead heading into the sand of Valkenswaard. It will be interesting to see how he performs in the sand and if he puts in a good performance there then that could make him the championship favourite.
To the delight of the home fans it was an Italian 1-2 in the EMX250 class as Morgan Lesiardo put in a superb performance on his KTM to take fifth in the first moto. The second moto was much better, he grabbed the holeshot and simply never looked back. He led every lap and the win was enough to give him second overall. Morgan is clearly talented as David Philippaerts signed him for his team last year in which he managed to score fifteen championship points. At the first round this year he has already bettered that so he has clearly had a very productive winter even though he had a collarbone injury just around a month ago.
Finland talent, Miro Sihvonen is possibly the favourite for the championship and he had a good first round. In the first moto he didn’t have a good start whatsoever as he was outside the top ten on his DIGA KTM. However, he didn’t panic and worked his way through the pack quite efficiently. At the end of the moto he found himself in a solid fourth. Thankfully he had a much better start in moto two as he was inside the top five and he worked his way into second which was good enough for third overall. Miro wanted to grab some good championship points at round one and that is exactly what he done. He should be one to watch at Valkenswaard this weekend at round two as you might remember he won there in the EMX125 class two years ago beating Jorge Prado.
It was an impressive weekend for Karlis Sabulis on his SDM Yamaha. We shouldn’t be too surprised to see him at the front of the class as he showed good speed last year when he got drafted into the Kemea Yamaha outfit in the MX2 World Championship. In the first moto with Furlotti in impressive form, second is the best Sabulis could have done and that’s exactly what he did as he just about held of Alberto Forato. In the second moto he suffered from a disastrous start as he was down in fourteenth at the end of lap one. He put his head down and charged through the pack. The Latvian got himself back to fifth which is the best he could have done. He just missed out on a podium in fourth overall on the day but he had the speed to be on the box.
A shout out to British rider, Todd Kellett as he put in a superb second moto to finish in eigth and ahead of a previous EMX250 Champion in the form of Nick Kouwenberg. He can take plenty of confidence from that and hopefully use this to improve on from here. Brad Todd also showed good speed but hasn’t got the results to show for it with a few crashes but it would be nice to see the Brits do well in a very competitive class.
The EMX250 championship is still pretty wide open as three riders in the top ten overall classification picked up no points in a moto so it’s all still to play for heading into Valkenswaard for round two.