Seewer, Paulin, Tonus, Geerts and Watson on the upcoming Mantova MXGP
The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP and MX2 teams are set to return to Italy for the ninth, 10th and 11th rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship. This time the teams will be travelling 160-kilometers north of Faenza – where the previous three Grands Prix were staged – to the city of Mantova which is situated in the Lombardy region of the country. This triple-header is the third of the 2020 season. The trio of events will take place on Sunday 27th September, Wednesday 30th September and Sunday 4th October.
In contrast to the hard-packed, fast-paced, hilly clay of Faenza, the Mantova circuit is flat, soft and compact with plenty of man-made jumps. The 1660-meter long venue has been a happy hunting ground for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Gautier Paulin in the past. The Frenchman has celebrated from the second and third steps of the podium at the Grands Prix hosted in Mantova in 2016 and 2019.
Only 30-points from the Championship Leader, Jeremy Seewer is determined to win more races on his quest for a maiden MXGP world title. The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory YZ450FM mounted rider is currently fourth in the Championship Standings and with the absence of the early series leader, Jeffrey Herlings, the ’91’ is expected to move up into the top-three over the next 10-days.
Currently ninth in the Championship Standings, Paulin continues to face adversity with a niggling finger injury that is struggling to heal due to the density of the new schedule, and a stiff neck after his spectacular ‘get-off’ at the Italian Grand Prix two-weeks ago. The 30-year-old knows he is better than his current position in the standings and is determined to return to the front of the field.
After withdrawing from the Grand Prix of Città di Faenza due to a severely sprained right ankle, Arnaud Tonus has been monitoring his healing progress and will attempt to ride in three-days’ time.
In MX2, the title crusade continues for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts. Although the ‘193’ is currently 21-points down on the MX2 Championship Leader, the Belgian still holds the record for the most race wins this season with eight victories to his credit. While his speed and style onboard his YZ250FM has been impressive, his bid for the 2020 MX2 world title has not been without hardship. The youngster picked up a slight shoulder injury after a fall while training at a track local to his house in Belgium. He was immediately examined by top shoulder surgeon Dr. Toon Claes and was cleared of any fractures or serious injury. He may need to power through the pain barrier this weekend but with a maiden world title in sight, he will be determined to do so.
Joining Geerts on the gate in MX2 will be fellow sand specialists Maxime Renaux and Ben Watson. Currently third in the MX2 Championship Standings and after celebrating a first-ever MX2 race and Grand Prix win in Faenza, Renaux is hungry for more top-step success and will be pushing the limits of his SM Action M.C. Migliori Yamaha Supported YZ250F to get there.
Watson will also be in the mix for race wins as a rider that grew up racing on similar tracks. The 23-year-old, who is currently sixth in the championship chase, is always a podium contender in MX2 but tends to fall short on luck. Should the Brit’s stars align over the next week or so, the ‘919’ could find himself collecting some MX2 podium silverware.
Coinciding with the MXGP series, the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds of the EMX250 Championship will take place where Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250’s Thibault Benistant hopes to extend his comfortable 43-point lead.
Additionally, the second and third rounds of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship will also take place with Yamaha Germany’s Larissa Papenmeier chasing her first ever WMX crown. The small statured German is currently second in the Championship Standings, 5-points shy of the leader Courtney Duncan.
4th MXGP Championship Standings, 255-points
“I had some time off after Faenza and spent some time at home in Switzerland. I kept myself busy with things to do and recovered well. My feeling is quite okay going into Mantova. I’ve ridden at Mantova a lot in the past, I’ve been training there, and I’ve also raced GP’s there. It’s not the most special track, but I enjoy it, it’s nice dirt and it gets quite bumpy so it should make for some good racing.”
9th MXGP Championship Standings, 201-points
“At the moment I am recovering day-by-day. I’ve had some medical treatment in this past week for my finger and also for my neck, which I still feel some pain, but we will take it day-by-day and see how Mantova will work. As for the track, the triple-headers make the track different to how it would usually shape up, so I go into the Grand Prix with no expectation for the track, I will see how it is when I get there.”
17th MXGP Championship Standings, 71-points
“The weekend was quite rough, but on a positive note my ankle is getting better. I was worried about how the healing would go, I know it will take time, but I am happy that it is heading in the right direction. I will try to race and will give it my all. I don’t have any expectations for the race, I just want to ride and to be able to ride, and I will be happy with that. “
2nd MX2 World Championship Standings, 333-points
“I had a couple of easy days after Faenza. Three races in one week is pretty heavy and it takes a couple days to recover from. I was feeling really good going into Mantova until I had a big crash on Saturday while training. I hurt my shoulder. It’s pretty sore now but I will do everything I can to recover for the races. I like the track. It’s not the biggest and pretty tight but the layout is pretty nice. I have had some good results there in the past so I’m looking forward to go out there on Sunday.”
6th MX2 Championship Standings, 191-points
“So it’s Mantova up next, a track I really enjoy racing on. It’s the style of track I grew up practicing on, being a little bit sandy and having some jumps. After Faenza, they weren’t the most physically demanding GPs, so I have made sure I am recovered, but also still kept going. I just made sure I was feeling 100% after my hit before training properly again. Mantova should be a fun race, I am feeling good. I have been happy with my riding lately so I will try to go there again with the same mindset of enjoying it and let’s hope we can get on the box.”
Words and. Image: Yamaha