With rain and stormy weather predicted for the Italian Grand Prix, the Infront Moto Racing track crew left the track un-watered and unripped ahead of racing on Saturday. But, as the rain did not arrive, the track ended up incredibly flat and extraordinarily fast. Nevertheless, it was the same for everyone, and it just meant that any mistake would be costly as making up time was difficult.
In the opening race on Saturday afternoon, a cluster of riders came together on the start straight and caused some high-speed carnage. All three Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250 riders managed to avoid the incident, but it came at the cost of a great start. Rick Elzinga emerged from turn one on the cusp of the top-five but was shuffled back to 15th after a few mistakes on the opening lap, while Dave Kooiker and Bonacorsi made up the top-10.
Bouncing back from a tough opening lap, Elzinga made a series of brilliant passes to finish seventh at the end of the 14-lap sprint, ahead of Bonacorsi, who had to push hard for eighth. Kooiker finished 16th after keeping up with the front-runners in seventh position for the first 7 laps.
As for Race 2, heavy overnight rain made the track very muddy and highly challenging. It was so much so that Elzinga decided not to do the sighting lap ahead of the race to keep his bike clean, which would mean less weight, and more power and traction off the start. But unfortunately, as soon as the gates fell, the tall Dutchman suffered a rare technical issue and had to withdraw from the race after one lap.
In contrast, everything went right for Bonacorsi, who looked completely in his comfort zone. The Italian sensation powered his GYTR kitted YZ250F to a top-10 start and quickly set about his charge forward. Although the track had limited line choice, the ‘35’ never settled and was rewarded for his efforts with his first top three finish of the 2022 season - he was third.
At the same time, Kooiker was a victim of the tricky conditions and crashed on the opening lap. Nevertheless, the young Dutchman mounted a comeback and managed to fight his way back to 19th.
Combining the results from both races, Bonacorsi was classified fourth overall, while a null-point score in Race 2 dropped Elzinga to 15th. Kooiker ended the weekend 21st.
The Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250 team will now travel to Riola-Sardo, in Sardinia, for the fourth round of the EMX250 series on May 14th and 15th. Elzinga is currently second in the championship chase, while Bonacorsi has moved to ninth. Kooiker is 21st.