Who impressed: EMX125 RD1 – Matterley Basin
We’ll take a look at the opening round of the 2022 EMX125 championship which took place at Matterley Basin – the racing was absolutely immense to kick off the season!
The Fantic youngsters! The start of the season couldn’t have gone any better for the Maddii Fantic team with Cas Valk going 1-2 on the day – a dream start to the season. We shouldn’t be surprised about Valk as he came into the season as one of the favourites and he certainly didn’t disappoint going 1-2 to take the overall and it’s his first time winning at this level. It looks like the Dutch have another bright youngster to watch out for.
As for Alexis Fueri, the team signed him up as a replacement rider last year and he hasn’t disappointed. After doing enough to secure a full-time ride with the team in 2022, Fueri has started the season with a podium finishing 4-2 – he nearly won the second moto before his teammate, Valk made a move on the last lap, but this should be a big confidence boost for Fueri and validation he’s had a strong off-season.
Last year it was the Coenen Brothers impressing in this class and this year it looks like the Reisulis Brothers have taken over the reign! Let’s start with the impressive EMX125 rookie and 13-year-old, Janis Martins Reisulis – that was one heck of a way to start the season! 3-4 in the moto’s to secure his first podium and he looked very comfortable riding at the very high pace. Keep an eye on this kid, if he can continue to develop and improve Europe has another very bright youngster – another one in the production line!
Karlis Alberts Reisulis isn’t bad either and his result certainly doesn’t do his speed justice. Twelfth overall but he probably had the speed to win and certainly in the first moto as he was way out in front before a crash and then colliding with van Erp. In the second moto he came home a solid seventh but he’s another one to keep an eye on.
There’s probably about five riders that will think they had the pace to win at the season opener and Marc Antoine Rossi is certainly one of them. The French youngster didn’t have a good start in moto one whatsoever, but he can charge through a pack – he came from outside the top twenty to seventh. In the second moto he got a good start in third and after passing Fueri set his sights on the lead but then took a big crash. After dropping down to seventh he recovered to third for fourth overall, but he can certainly challenge for the title with that kind of speed. The sand races might be a test but that remains to be seen.
One rider that went quietly about his business was Spaniard, Elias Escandell. In the moto one he came from outside the top fifteenth all the way to fifth in a very impressive ride. He took a better start in the second moto and ended up fifth yet again – the RFME GasGas rider showed good speed last year but didn’t always get the results to match that so it’s a great way for him to start the season.
It was nice to see a young Brit at the sharp end and Charlie Heyman was very impressive on the SJP Moto Husqvarna. The level of the EMX125 series is very fast and deep but Heyman showed what he can do finishing 8-9 for sixth overall. An encouraging start to the season and he should continue to improve the longer he races at this level – it’s a clear step up from youth racing in the UK which should only benefit him.
MJC Yamaha’s are fast! Perhaps on another day the MJC Yamaha team would have had all their riders on the podium, but it just wasn’t meant to be. We’ve already touched on Karlis Alberts Reisulis but Ivano van Erp – this kid is fantastic to watch! He really rides with his heart on his sleeve and has a lot of speed. Unfortunately, crashes hindered his result but truthfully, he was lucky to escape the huge crash in moto one uninjured. After crashing out of the lead in race two he ended up sixth but arguably he’s the fastest rider in the class and if he can keep it on two wheels will win plenty of races this year.
Young Italian, Ferruccio Zanchi was superb in the first moto taking the win, but a DNF cost him a good overall result – the MJC Yamaha team will be hoping all three riders can learn from their start of the season because there’s no questioning that they have the speed to be at the sharp end every week.
Article: Andy McKinstry
Pics: Infront Moto Racing