Quick thoughts: International Italian Championship RD2 – Arco di Trento
Looking back at the second International Italian Championship race which took place at Arco di Trento.
- Tim Gajser’s huge crash and resulting injury: Let’s start with the real negative of the weekend. Tim Gajser had a huge crash which has put a real dampener on the upcoming MXGP World Championship as it’s now been confirmed he has broken his right femur which will see him out of race action for some time.The crash itself was quite a strange one, Gajser who had a bad start in race two was in a rush to get to the front of the pack and looked to be carrying too much speed on the run up to a double but then hit a bump/kicker on the jump face. After that he was just a passenger and hit the ground with quite the impact. The Slovenian is as tough as they come and has walked away from big crashes in the past but when he was still on the ground after a few laps you knew this was serious. We send our best wishes to him as he recovers and can’t wait for him to get back to action. Last year it was Romain Febvre and Jeffrey Herlings who didn’t start of the season and this year it’s Gajser. Can we just have one year everyone can at least start the season healthy? That’s all we ask for!
HRC Honda now have a decision to make. Do they sign a fill-in rider until Gajser’s return or will Ruben Fernandez be left to fill the void on his own. Jed Beaton, Kyle Webster or Dylan Wright would all be good options if that latter has recovered from a recent injury of his own.
- The Coenen Twins looking the real deal: The opening round of the series at Ponte A Egola was solid for Lucas Coenen going 8-6 for seventh overall. Sacha would have been disappointed with the opener finishing 17-17 for eighteenth overall but what a difference a week can make. Both had their starts dialed at the unique track of Arco di Trento and looked super comfortable all day long.Lucas took the overall win with Sacha rounding off the podium in third overall. Two twins on the podium so no doubt it’s a very special day for them but you get the feeling this could just be the start. Lucas especially looks superb on his Nestaan Husqvarna and is a bit more calculated and measured than his twin but with Sacha, once he grows and matures could also be a force to be reckoned with.
It wasn’t long ago two brothers in the form of Hunter and Jett Lawrence were making a name for themselves in the GP paddock before heading to Amercia. We haven’t had too long to wait for the next set of brothers and this time it’s twins! The Coenen Brothers with full factory material behind them and the likes of Joel Smets, Antonio Cairoli and Rasmus Jorgensen in their corner – the future is very bright!
- Positivity for Ben Watson: It was only the British riders second race on the Factory Beta Marchetti Racing machine but it was a real positive one and should surely fill him with confidence heading into the MXGP World Championship campaign. At the opening round in Ponte A Egola it was 9-DNF for the Brit. Arco di Trento immediately went better with a solid eighth in race one but the second moto was a big step in the right direction after a really good start. Watson was second during the opening laps and after twelve minutes before the red flag, was third. A superb ride battling with elite riders.
It’s no secret that the 2022 season didn’t go according to plan for Watson being part of the Factory Kawasaki team and carrying the burden of being the only rider under the awning. For 2023, hopefully Watson can get back to enjoying what he is doing and being a consistent top ten rider in MXGP.
- Jeremy Seewer has that winning feeling: There is no questioning the Swiss riders talent, work ethic or how much he wants it. Every time he goes out on the track you know he gives it his absolute best which is something to be admired. He also has consistency going for him and that’s why he always ends up at the very sharp end of the MXGP standings come the end of any season.
Seewer’s Achilles heel throughout his career has been not winning enough to mount a serious championship challenge. However, this pre-season he’s won three out of four moto’s to clinch the International Italian series. One other thing to note are his starts have been pretty impressive on the new Yamaha and Seewer is looking at home on the new bike. Come the start of the season, can he beat the likes of Febvre, Prado and Herlings consistency enough to be a serious championship threat? It remains to be seen but he’s had an amazing pre-season and looks to be heading into the MXGP campaign in very good form.
This weekend, MXGP warm up races continue with the Hawkstone International event as well as the Sommierois International event in France. The MXGP World Championship 2023 season edges ever closer.
Article: Andy McKinstry
Images: Off Road Pro Racing