Moto podium for Lupino as van Doninck shows potential
As the 2020 MXGP World Championship draws closer to an end, the Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing team were hoping for a good penultimate round of the MXGP World Championship. Arco di Trento presented the riders with a very slick track which meant good throttle control was paramount.
During qualifying the times were very close – Lupino put in the eleventh quickest time with van Doninck posting the sixteenth fastest time but just over two seconds off the pace. The track was smooth for qualifying but had already changed for the opening moto.
In the opening moto it was almost a dream start for the Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha pair as they were both positioned in the top five. Lupino made a few passes on the opening lap to get himself into third and was running an incredible pace at the front of the pack. The Italian who has only returned to racing was able to keep the leaders well within his sights. Towards the end of the moto he had some pressure from behind in the form of KRT duo, Clement Desalle and Romain Febvre but he managed to hold on for a superb third position – his best race result in the MXGP class!
Van Doninck was in a strong fourth in the early stages with his team mate just ahead as both Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha riders were clearly feeling comfortable and setting a high pace. After only just getting drafted into the team, it was only the Belgian’s second time on the bike, but he had no issues adapting. The likes of Gajser, Desalle and Febvre made moves on van Doninck but he came home a very strong seventh which outlines the potential he has on the 450cc.
In moto two, van Doninck took another great start but lost some positions on the opening lap as the pace was incredibly fast at the front. The Belgian was sat in sixth after the first official lap and started to find a good rhythm and locked onto Monticelli’s rear wheel to come home in another impressive ninth position. 7-9 meant van Doninck ended up ninth overall on the day and will head into the final round with even more confidence.
Unfortunately, Alessandro Lupino who had a potential podium on the cards couldn’t replicate his good start in moto two. Buried down in fifteenth on the opening lap made things difficult around a track that was hard to overtake but the Italian came through to eleventh. 3-11 was enough for sixth overall on the day which ties with his best MXGP overall result – he’ll be hoping to secure a top five at the final round of the series at a track he excels at.
The Gebben Van Venrooy team had a good day with both riders in the top ten and are now turning their attentions to the final round of the MXGP World Championship this Sunday.
Alessandro Lupino (6th overall): I am pretty happy about this GP. I am a little frustrated because it was almost the perfect weekend, but it just didn’t happen in the end. The first moto was good, it was really good and I enjoyed a lot to be at the front. In the second moto the first start was good but then there was a red flag. The second start didn’t go as planned, I was twenty-second on the first lap so I threw away a possible podium. It would have been something amazing to have happened so I am disappointed about that but I still had a moto podium. To do that on a private bike is something really big I think, not many riders can do that so thanks to the team and everyone around me.
Brent van Doninck: (9th overall): My second day on the Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha and it was a good one. The bike was working awesome and I pulled two really good starts. I’m not used to riding in front with these guys because it’s my first year in MXGP so that made me a little nervous. I made some small mistakes because of that. I feel great on the bike and I feel there is still room left for improvement if I could get more time on the bike. One more to go on Sunday! Thanks to the whole Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing team.
Words: Press Release
Pic: Stefano Taglioni