Entering the opening round of the hotly contested EMX250 Championship with high hopes in 2022, last years’ bronze medalist, Elzinga, was quick right off the bat. The Yamaha star topped the timesheets in practice to take the first pole position of the new season. At the same time, teammates Andrea Bonacorsi and Dave Kooiker qualified in fifth and 12th in their respective groups.
After starting inside the top-five in the first race of the weekend, the pacesetter Elzinga was quick to put the hammer down. The ‘44’ made a series of incredible passes and eventually stole the lead from David Braceras on lap 7. From there, the tall Dutchman raced his GYTR kitted YZ250F to a stunning race win, the third of his bright 250cc career.
Kooiker finished 18th, while Bonacorsi could not finish the race after he was cleaned out of fifth position by an overly aggressive rider.
In the final race of the weekend, Elzinga had to fight for every point scored. After starting outside of the top-15, the Race 1 winner worked hard to find new lines, which allowed him to fight back to fourth position.
Like Elzinga, Bonacorsi had to brawl his way through the field outside the top-20. The 18-year-old Italian put in an astonishing charge to finish sixth position, which bumped the ‘35’ up into 12th overall after a DNF yesterday.
Kooiker finished 12th in Race 2 for 14th overall.
Adding to Yamaha’s success at the MXGP of Lombardia, Yamaha ladies Nancy van de Ven and Lynn Valk dominated the opening round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship in Mantova, Italy. Both riders claimed a race win and a second-place finish to tie on points for the overall victory. As the winner of the final outing, van de Ven was awarded the Grand Prix overall, her first since the WMX round of Lombardia 2018, edging Dutch compatriot Valk to the second step.
Valk got her YZ250F off to an incredible start, going bar-to-bar with the reigning World Champion Courtney Duncan around turn-one. Establishing herself as a title threat in 2022, the young Dutch lady pressured Duncan for the first three laps before blasting down the inside of the Champion as they crossed the Finish Line jump and turned left onto the start straight.
After taking the lead, the ‘172’ put on an absolute masterclass performance as she stormed to an impressive race win – the second of her WMX career.
Starting from Pole Position, van de Ven got off to a decent start, chasing Duncan and fellow Yamaha star Valk around turn-one. Taking a much calmer approach to her racing in 2022, the ‘85’ was shuffled back to fourth but quickly responded with two incredible passes to take second position from Duncan on lap-6. From there, the Dutch lady remained cool, calm and collected as she charged to a second-place start to the season.
The tight and compact Mantova circuit was heavily watered going into the second race of the weekend. After hitting the gate in Race 1 yesterday, Larissa Papenmeier bounced back with a vengeance and took a vital holeshot. Van de Ven started fourth but quickly slungshot past the front runners to take the lead on the opening lap, while Valk, the Race 1 winner, completed the lap in third position.
Once at the front of the field, van de Ven stormed to an emphatic race win – the 17th of her career.
Valk blasted past Papenmeier to take second position on lap-3 but had lost too much valuable time to her Dutch compatriot and had to settle for second. Papenmeier eventually finished sixth.
After two great races, van de Ven celebrated her sixth ever Grand Prix victory, while young Valk celebrated her second ever race win and a second podium finish.
The next round of the EMX250 and WMX Championships will take place in Agueda, Portugal, on the weekend of April 3rd.