Who impressed: EMX125 & EMX250 at Ottobiano!
After dominating the first round of the series at Valkenswaard, Mikkel Haarup picked up an injury which held him back at rounds two and three of the series. He looked back to his best at Ottobiano though as he won both moto’s. The Danish kid is one of the hottest prospects in world motocross and is now only seventeen points behind Brian Moreau in the championship chase. With four rounds to go anything can happen but the momentum is currently with Haarup after his perfect weekend in Italy.
It was a good weekend for Gianluca Facchetti in front of his home crowd. He got a good start in the first moto in third but managed to move into second but just didn’t have enough for Haarup. The second moto was going even better for Facchetti as he was leading to the delight of the Italian’s. Unfortunately, on the eleventh lap he had to surrender the lead as Haarup came flying past but a second overall is still a good weekend. He will be searching for an overall win during the last four rounds of the series.
Young Swedish talent, Isak Gifting missed the first round of the series due to injury so he made his return at round two. This weekend was by far the best EMX125 race of his career! He got great start’s and looked pretty comfortable running at the front even if the heat did look to affect him near the end. In the first moto he got his first experience of leading an EMX125 race as he led for six full laps which is impressive. He ended up third overall which shows great progress. This will help him believe he is one of the best riders in the class. Will he be able to produce these results on a regular basis? We’ll have to wait and see.
One of the most exciting riders in the class is Rene Hofer but he has been struggling with his starts all season long. However, his starts this weekend were much better! He was just outside the top five in the first moto but then he crashed and was outside the top ten. He put on a charge and came back to sixth in moto one. He went one better in the second moto with a fifth, finally he broke into the top five! The Austrian currently sits sixth in the championship and is the best rookie. Keep an eye on this kid in the future.
A lot was expected of Raivo Dankers coming into the season but the first three rounds haven’t gone to plan for the young Dutch talent. This weekend was more like it as he ended up sixth overall. He will be hoping to build on this and get on the podium before the end of the season, he is certainly capable of it.
Even though Morgan Lesiardo had the championship lead heading into Ottobiano but he still hadn’t won an overall. To the delight of the Italian fans that changed this weekend, you could tell by his riding that he felt right at home. He led from start to finish in the first moto and never really looked like losing the lead. He got a bad start in the second moto so he had to work harder to come up through the pack. He was in eighth after the first lap but put on a charge and got back up to second for his first overall win of the season. He has regained momentum in the championship race and has a nineteen points gap.
Making it an Italian 1-2 was Simone Furlotti as he finished third in the first moto and then dominated moto two. Furlotti is one of the more experienced riders in the class and he is riding well at the moment. He only lost two points to Lesiardo in the championship chase so don’t rule him out just yet.
Stopping the Italian dominance was young Spaniard, Ruben Fernandez as he ended up third overall going 4-3 in the moto’s. Fernandez has always showed good speed in the races this year but he has been making too many mistakes. However, everything went plane sailing this weekend and he finally got his first podium in the class. It’s no real surprise to see him on the box as he has the speed, he will be looking to get on the box again before the end of the year.
It could have been an all Italian podium this weekend as Nicholas Lapucci showed good speed all weekend long. He ended second in the first moto which is his best moto in the class all year. However, he had a disastrous start in the second moto outside the top fifteen but he came through the pack well and got back up to eighth but it was only good enough for fourth overall. With a better start in the second moto it might have just been an all Italian podium!
I must say I was very impressed with Ken Bengtsson during the first moto. The Swede got caught up in a first lap pile up and was dead last. He charged through the field and ended up seventh. With another few laps fifth might have been podium! In the second moto he was eleventh after the first lap but worked his way into fourth by the end of the moto. Bengtsson was another rider that had podium speed this weekend but his starts cost him.
The comeback kid, Roan Van De Moosdijk was fast all weekend! You wouldn’t have thought this was his EMX250 debut. Eighth and an impressive fifth meant he ended up sixth overall. The Dutch kid will be one to watch in the future. He certainly seems to suit the 250cc more than the 125cc. He could get on the podium before the end of the season.