MXGP heads for Maggiora!
Maggiora park is used to the kind of pandemonium that lies ahead this coming weekend with the ninth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship, MXGP of Italy set to take place.
As the ninth round of eighteen, this grand venue is the centerpiece of the most thrilling season of motocross ever. While the track dates way back to 1966 with its first ever round of the FIM Motocross World Championship taking place in that year, it is actually most famous for the 1986 FIM Motocross of Nationswhere team USA won with their “dream team” Ricky Johnson, David Bailey and Johnny O’Mara. The 1986 Motocross of Nations hits a soft spot for many motocross enthusiasts, which makes MXGP of Italy the tribute to that amazing event with a lot of the teams and riders running retro themes.
Also adding to the action this weekend, the seventh round of the European Championship EMX125 will take place with Spaniard Jorge Prado leading the way, as will the third round of the EMX300 with Belgian Yentel Martens as the front runner.
Another hard surfaced and heavily elevated circuit could work in favor of the new kid on the block, the deserving MXGP of France winner Yamaha Factory Racing Yamalube’s Romain Febvre. Febvre is obviously working hard and well with his Italian based team who are likely to do something special here in Maggiora for their home grand prix.
Despite being one of the most magnificent tracks in the world, Maggiora was off the calendar for a good fourteen years before retuning in 2013. When it finally returned, it was Team HRC’s Gautier Paulin causing the upset that day with a narrow victory over the favorite Antonio Cairoli. This season we are still waiting for GP21 to come out of his shell and challenge for race wins, while the surprise lies in his teammate Evgeny Bobryshev who appears to be working his way toward the to the top step.
The bar for crowd enthusiasm was set last year when Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli took one of the most hair-raising victories in history. We had never seen a crowd as pumped for their hero as they were for Tony that day and with Tony looking more focused than ever as he tries to chop down the points lead of Max Nagl, we could be in for another “home town hero impresses in Italy” situation.
As for the red plate holder Red Bull IceOne Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl, he still has the most MXGP overall victories this year and continues to ride smart and consistent. With Germany being the next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship after Maggiora this weekend, it would be amazing if Max could hold onto the red plate for his home fans.
In terms of the local riders, it will be a fun and exciting event for DP19 Racing Yamaha’s David Philippaerts, as well as TM Racing Factory Team’s Davide Guarneri who could be making his return after the concussion he suffered in Matterley Basin. Rounding out the Italians in MXGP is Team Assomotor Honda’s Alessandro Lupino.
MXGP Championship Top Ten: 1. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 332 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 313 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 291 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 282 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 252 p.; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 247 p.; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 169 p.; 8. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 138 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 134 p.; 10. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 133 p.
2014 MXGP of Italy, Maggiora, MXGP Top 3
1. Antonio Cairoli
2. Jeremy Van Horebeek
3. Kevin Strijbos
Since the return to the calendar, after a fourteen-year absence, Maggiora has been good to The Bullet Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings who has dominated the MX2 class there for the last two years. Herlings, as always, will be a safe bet for the win, although we have come to learn that it is never a given.
This weekend will be dependent on Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser’s roller coaster pattern. When it’s up, it’s up! But with every up is a down and the Slovenian just has to learn what he can and enjoy the ride.
Meanwhile Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jordi Tixier is doing exactly what he did last year when he won the FIM Motocross MX2 world title. Consistency. Consistency. Consistency. Another podium will give the Frenchman his sixth consecutive.
If anyone can challenge Jeffrey fairly it would Standing Construct Yamaha Yamalube’s Valentin Guillod. Guillod has been the breath of fresh air to MX2 this year so we hope he brings that flamboyant style and phenomenal speed to Maggiora this weekend!
MX2 Championship Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 358 points; 2. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 246 p.; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 245 p.; 4. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 229 p.; 5. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 218 p.; 6. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 209 p.; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 208 p.; 8. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 205 p.; 9. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 184 p.; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, KAW), 183 p.
2014 MXGP of Italy, Maggiora MX2 Top 3
1. Jeffrey Herlings
2. Jordi Tixier
3. Arnaud Tonus
Saturday: EMX300 Free/Timed practice 08:20; EMX125 Group 1 Free/Timed practice 08:55; EMX125 Group 2 Free/Timed practice 09:30; MX2 Free Practice 10:15; MXGP Free Practice 10:45; EMX125 Last Chance Qualifying Race 11:50; EMX300 Race 1 13:20; MX2 Time Practice 14:00; MXGP Time Practice 14:35; EMX125 Race 1 15:20; MX2 Qualifying Race 16:10; MXGP Qualifying Race 17:00.
Sunday: EMX300 Warm-up 08:45; EMX125 Warm-up 09:00; EMX300 Race 2 10:30; MX2 Warm up 11:10; MXGP Warm up 11:30; EMX125 Race 2 12:00; MX2 Race 1 13:15; MXGP Race 1 14:15; MX2 Race 2 16:10; MXGP Race 2 17:10.