Seewer, Renaux, Coldenhoff and Geerts on heading to MXGP opener

After the shortest off-season on record, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP and MX2 teams are ripe and ready for another intense season of action-packed racing. It all starts this weekend with the opening round of the FIM Motocross World Championship set to take place in front of a full-capacity crowd at the spectacular Matterley Basin circuit in Winchester, England.

The 2022 season will begin with new motivation for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team and its riders Jeremy Seewer, Glenn Coldenhoff and Maxime Renaux. For Seewer, the opening round of the MXGP World Championship will mark his 147th consecutive Grand Prix start, making him the most consistent rider on the gate. Recognized for his four silver medals (two in MX2 and two in MXGP), seven Grand Prix wins, and 40 podium finishes, the 27-year-old Swiss rider remains ambitious and determined to challenge the crown while maintaining his remarkable record of consistency.

With five Grand Prix wins and 21 podium finishes to his credit, Coldenhoff is also an already accomplished MXGP star raring to go as he enters his second year on the Factory YZ450FM after a learning year in 2021. Looking forward to the return to normality with MXGP going back to its usual two-day schedule instead of the one-day format that was adopted as a response to the global pandemic, the 31-year-old Dutchman has had a decent off-season and is eager to fight for the title.

Adding some youth to the fray, 21-year-old rookie, Renaux will want to make his mark inside the premier class immediately. After an incredible 450cc debut where he went unbeaten at one of the biggest pre-season events this year, the Lacapelle-Marival International in France, Renaux has quickly adapted to the YZ450FM and is poised for MXGP stardom.

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In MX2, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team hopes to celebrate its 25th year with Yamaha by adding another gold plate to the trophy cabinet. Last year, the team won its first-ever MX2 World Championship with Maxime Renaux and became the first-ever Yamaha team to secure the gold and silver medals inside the MX2 World Championship in the same season.

This year, the team returns with its young stars Jago Geerts and Thibault Benistant, however, only Geerts will attend the opening round as Benistant continues to focus on the rehabilitation of his left knee, which he had surgically repaired in November last year.
Having finished third in 2019, and second in 2020 and 2021, Geerts is going for gold this season. As one of the most decorated riders in the lower capacity class, with 53 top-three race finishes, 20 races wins and 27 podiums to his credit, the 21-year-old Belgian enters his fifth season with Yamaha and the team with one goal; to win the MX2 World Championship.

Although Benistant will miss the opening round, Yamaha will still have a strong presence in MX2 as Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250 stars Andrea Bonacorsi and Rick Elzinga get set to make their MX2 debuts. The pair will race the event as wild card riders, using the experience as part of their preparation for the upcoming European Motocross Championship, which will kick off on the weekend of March 6th in Mantova, Italy.

Jeremy Seewer
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP rider
“Our winter preparation this year was super short. I was happy with how it went; I had a lot of fun. Even though there was almost no ‘off-season’ I feel really strong, relaxed and fully recovered both mentally and physically, so I am ready to start the new season. This year I want to be as far up front as possible and fighting for podium finishes every weekend. Obviously, I want some GP wins, because the one I had in Arco last year felt amazing, and I want more of this feeling. I am feeling super on the bike. We didn’t make too many changes, but what we did adapt is going in a good direction. I feel good in all areas of my life, with the bike, on the bike, and especially with the people I have around me in ‘Team 91’, so I’m ready!”

Glenn Coldenhoff
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP rider
“The off-season was short, like for everybody. In general, it was good. I didn’t have so much time on the bike, but the days I have had until now were of good quality, so I’ll be ready for round one. This season I am happy to have a two-day event again. We can get into the rhythm and racing on Saturday and then we are all ready for Sunday where my goal will be to have two strong and consistent motos. It will also be good to have the fans again at the races. The British crowd is always very enthusiastic, so I am looking forward to it.”

Maxime Renaux
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP rider
“My winter preparation went really good; everything went to plan. I feel ready for the new season with the new bike. My goal for round one is to start steady. I don’t want to rush it, so the plan will be to get two good starts and two solid results to bank some good points for the championship. For me, this season will be about learning as much as possible and to push to the front. The 450 really suits my riding style and we found some good settings, I feel really good on the bike and I am really looking forward to racing in Matterley, I really love the track there.”

Jago Geerts
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2
“My winter preparation went really well. I’m feeling very comfortable on the bike and my physical condition is the best its ever been. I rode a lot of different tracks in US and also in Sardinia. I want to fight for the world title again this season. Round one is always quite difficult because everyone wants to start the season well, but I hope to finish on the podium and build from there.”

Words and pic: Yamaha