Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP travelled to the historic venue of Maggiora, in Italy, for round three of the 2021 FIM Motocross World Championship this past weekend. The hard-pack hillside has not featured on the Grand Prix schedule since 2015 – the return of the venue was welcomed by the YZ450FM-mounted trio of Jeremy Seewer, Glenn Coldenhoff, and Ben Watson.
Glenn Coldenhoff was the strongest of the three riders – his pace aboard the YZ450FM was impressive from the very beginning of the day. Fifth was the position that he secured in timed qualifying. There was more in the tank though, as he showcased in moto one by running fourth for the duration. Fourth was the spot that he eventually secured at the chequered flag too, after fighting off the defending champion in a rather entertaining battle that gave him plenty of confidence heading into moto two.
The second stint on the Italian hillside was where he truly shined. A downpour of rain left the track very technical and challenging – Coldenhoff excelled though! Coldenhoff claimed the holeshot and led for 11 laps, before losing the lead and settling into second place. The runner-up spot gave him second overall too, tied on points with the eventual overall winner. It was his first podium on the YZ450FM and one that helped him leap into seventh in the championship standings.
Jeremy Seewer had a very consistent day, despite a circuit that was rapidly changing throughout the event, as he settled into eighth each time. The fast-paced layout made it tricky for riders to make up time and he was hindered by two mediocre starts – he was ninth at the beginning of moto one and eighth at the start of moto two. Securing eighth in each moto gave him eighth overall, unsurprisingly, and helped him maintain sixth in the standings.
Coming off a positive outing in Great Britain, Ben Watson was hungry to make some more progress and did just that. Watson begun in eighth in moto one and was able to sample the speed at the front for the first time, which was a valuable experience. Ninth was where he finished, and he followed that up with an eleventh in the muddy second moto. Ninth overall was where he was ranked in the overall classification, and he now sits twelfth in the championship standings.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP will now take advantage of a weekend off before tackling four rounds of the 2021 FIM Motocross World Championship in a row, beginning with the Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Oss on July 18.
Glenn Coldenhoff: “Straight from the first lap here in Maggiora, I felt really good. I was really comfortable on the track. First moto I started behind Tony [Cairoli]. I was a bit faster but the track felt really one-lined, which was really difficult to pass. In the end I spent quite some energy and still finished fourth. In the second moto I took the holeshot, which was really good. The team has been working so hard and I am very thankful for that. I really owe this one to them. I am really happy to be back on the podium, it’s a really good confidence booster going into Oss in two weeks’ time. I’m really looking forward to my home GP.”
Jeremy Seewer: “Honestly, I don’t feel too good. I struggled more than I expected because I loved the track out there and I felt good. It’s just my energy and my body. I have a few problems with my body that makes it tough to perform how I want to perform. I am not at all at the level I could be, but I made the best out of it. I made some points and there are some positives. I had a good start in the second moto, the bike is good, but I just need to wait and have patience for my body to return to full health so I can ride how I want.”
Ben Watson: “I’m happy with my progress since my first race in Russia, which I felt was a disaster, and then last weekend at Matterley I felt the track wasn’t technical enough for me, so to come here and enjoy this track here in Maggiora… I was happy. It was nice to get a good start and run up front with the guys for a bit. I was there and on the pace, and I felt comfortable. I tightened up a bit because I’m not used to being in that situation, so it’s something I have to get used to. The second one was interesting. The heavens opened and we had a complete mudder. I had a pretty good start but dropped back because it was a bit of shock for me in the first few corners, but in the end I got to eleventh so still good points and from here we will keep building.”news