Who impressed: EMX250 RD1 – Matterley Basin

What a weekend it was for experienced Italian, Nicholas Lapucci as he had the perfect weekend on his Factory Maddii Fantic two-stroke. After topping qualifying he then took two moto wins as he looks at home with his Fantic machinery.  Coming into the season he was one of the main title contenders but he didn’t show any signs of pressure and looked to really enjoy his riding around the fast and flowing Matterley Basin circuit.

Pic: Nigel McKinstry

If he can maintain this form and speed throughout the rest of the season he’s going to be very hard to stop. “It was just unbelievable. I have no words to describe how I feel, it’s just the beginning of the season and just the first race of the EMX250 series. It’s really good to start like this with the perfect weekend”, Lapucci told GateDrop.com.

At the end of the 2020 season, Kevin Horgmo really wanted to secure an MX2 World Championship ride but he didn’t have the option to sign with a good team so he made the difficult decision to step down and race the EMX250 series again. However, the decision looks to be the correct one because he looks at home on the SM-Action GasGas and looks to have the full package. The Norwegian talent has the speed to contend for this championship but his starts are going to have to be better than at Matterley Basin. He was able to recover to go 3-2 in the moto’s for second overall which was a good day. This weekend Horgmo will race the MX2 World Championship in Italy and he has the potential to run in the top ten.

Pic: Nigel McKinstry

“It’s really great. We have been working well together and they do everything possible to make me the best rider as possible. They don’t just give me the equipment and that’s it, we test different stuff and what can be better. It’s all about what suits me the best, I don’t just get one bike and they tell me to go race it and get results. Now it’s more like a proper team to work together to get as good results as possible”, Horgmo told GateDrop.com. 

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Last year, Cornelius Tøndel decided to do something a little bit different as he raced the EMX Open series on a 450cc but he decided to sign with the Riley Racing Yamaha team to contest the EMX250 series once again this year and it looks to be a great decision. Tøndell is a stylish rider and rides with a lot of flow and really suits the 250cc.

Despite losing his rear break for the majority of the first moto he didn’t let it bother him and he brought home a superb second position – the best race of his career so far. In moto two he backed that up with a solid fifth to secure third overall to start his EMX250 campaign with a podium. It was a very impressive weekend for the Norwegian and one that would have made people notice him.

The past few years have been really tough for young Finn, Emil Weckman who you might remember from his time racing in the EMX150 series. Truth be told since moving up to the 250cc injuries have really hurt his career and potential. Coming into 2021 season he inked a deal with the Assomotor Honda team which has seen him working hard with Yves Demaria and it looks like that’s exactly what the doctor ordered.

Pic: Nigel McKinstry

Weckman rode great in the first moto to recover from a bad start to work his way into a solid seventh and the second moto was even better as a better start put him in a much better position. The Assomotor Honda rider ended up a very impressive third to secure fourth overall in a stacked EMX250 series class. It’s a very impressive start to the season and it should help do his confidence the world of good progressing into the rest of the season.

Just approximately three months before the start of the season, Hakon Fredriksen broke both of his wrists which saw him off the bike for a couple of months which is never ideal.  Despite the lack of preparation coming into the season opener, Fredriksen who is another graduate from the EMX150 series didn’t let it bother him.

9-4 after being docked five positions in the first moto for failing the noise test meant he ended up fifth overall. Considering he broke both wrists prior to the season that’s a good start to the season. As he gets more bike time he should only get stronger as the season develops. Fredriksen is certainly one to watch as he carries a lot of corner speed. Another point worth mentioning is that he was the third Norwegian to make the top five – for such a small country they have a lot of talent emerging and if they can all develop like expected they can have a very strong Motocross Des Nations team in the future.

Coming into the season opener, Yago Martinez didn’t have the best of preparation as he was racing an Ausio Yamaha in the Spanish Championship but then secured a ride with the VRT KTM team for the EMX250 series. The Spaniard was only on the bike four times before Matterley Basin but that did not stop him from impressing.

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It’s worth pointing out that Martinez is another EMX150 graduate (three riders in the top ten overall are) and he’s clearly stepped up a level with his riding. 5-8 for sixth overall is a very good start to the season and Martinez admits he was targeting two top fifteen results in a deep class. Now he wants to get on the podium as he continues to adapt to his new VRT KTM.

Some riders who also deserve a shout out and some praise are Florian Miot, Lorenzo Corti and Maxime Grau. Florian Miot has been racing the British Championship and hasn’t been as competitive as he’d like but eighth overall at the EMX250 opening round is a good step in the right direction.

Lorenzo Corti has a privateer setup but that didn’t stop him from impressing and he seems to be fast out of the gate which always make things a little bit easier. 15-9 for eleventh overall is the best result of his EMX250 career so far and he’ll now hope to break into the top ten sooner rather than later.

What a talent Maxime Grau looks to be. Considering he’s only ever raced one EMX125 round and this was his EMX250 debut he looked very comfortable and fast. In the first moto he finished a very impressive fourth and seemed to take it all in his stride. In moto two he had the worst possible start which saw him right at the back and he had another crash making his way through the field – he’ll forget that moto, focus on the positives and what a talent he looks at 15 years old.

Article: Andy McKinstry

Main pic: MXGP/Infront Moto Racing