Quick thoughts: Magical Maggiora

What a track Maggiora is! It’s almost a computer game in real life, the ultimate SMX track if the AMA ever want to bring the series to Europe and let MXGP riders compete – it even had a triple.

Big hills, big jumps, slick turns and off cambers, the track had it all and the skill level required was high but the atmosphere was also fantastic. With Adamo having a chance at being world champ and Forato winning on Saturday, the crowds were packed on Sunday, parking on the road at 8am in a bid to make it up the hills for the perfect view. The area is compact with great viewing and that only adds the amphitheatre effect. It’s a shame Maggiora isn’t on every year, the surrounding area is beautiful too with the lakes… and then the track emerges effectively on the side of the road!

And, just to add the brilliance of the weekend, Stefan Everts rode a bike again around Maggiora in the legends parade!

Mud on Saturday but dry and sunny on Sunday – althought the track still bore the effects of the heavy rain on Saturday morning. The riders had a lot to deal with all weekend, no-one more so than Andrea Adamo, but he didn’t let his emotions of all his fans affect his riding. Solid starts, and strong rides gave him his first world title as Liam Everts bravely left it all on the track, going down hard trying to pass Benistant to keep his title hopes alive.

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In one way it was a good thing, Everts showed the world how far he will push and how tough he is, to get back on the bike after that hit shows how badly he wants it, he has the heart and the talent. What a learning experience. The kid has it.

Jago Geerts took the GP win and moved into second in the championship, but it was hard not to feel sorry for the Belgian who had to watch Adamo celebrate the title he thought he was going to get until two injuries scuppered his year.

But it was Adamo’s day and the joy was evident. The noise was defeaning for the teenage Italian, who let’s not forget is in his first year as a factory rider. Both Adamo and Everts have exceeded expectations, this was supposed to be a development year for them and, in the end, both were going for the title! Adamo reminds me of Dungey, he didn’t come in with hype but his poise, consistency and speed are there when he gets the opportunity to put himself on the radar.

Adding to Italian delight was Alberto Forato who rode fantastic all weekend. Winning the qualifying race then running with Seewer and race winner Prado for the entire first moto and again in the top five in race two. In fact, he would have been on the podium if Prado hadn’t fell in race two which would have been well deserved. Forato showed what he can do, and 2024 he could add his name to one of the contenders for a podium week in week out. He’s more than capable.

Romain Febve had the ultimate rollercoaster experience on the rollercoaster track. A DNF after a crash and then a mechanical, ended his title hopes but a classy ride in race two saw him eventually pass Prado and hold off Gajser in a thrilling moto to secure second overall in the MXGP world championship.

Jeremy Seewer took the GP win unknowingly with a 2-4 after Prado’s crash out of third and the Swiss rider’s fan base were in full flow with Jeremy taking time after the race under his tent to autograph and speak to all of them, the guy is popular. Yamaha might rue letting him go!

But the day belonged to Jorge Prado despite the late race fall that cost him the overall. The job was done in race one as he held Seewer and Forato off for the win to clinch his first MXGP title. The emotions after the flag showed how much the last few years have frustrated Prado with all the injuries and illness. Now, after riding careful all season he was free to let it all out and it showed just how much this title means. Prado now has three world titles at 22 years old, but this was the pinnacle and he reached the summit after some difficult climbs.

With his techcnique, poise and starts, there might be more to come!

Words: Jonathan McCready

Images: InFront Moto Racing