European joy at Trentino Grand Prix
Pietramurata was a bumpy and punishing stage for the Grand Prix of Trentino and the fourth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship but Yamahas MX2 division produced some eye-catching results and the start of the 2015 European Championship saw Ander Valentin take a EMX250 podium and Maxime Renaux win the EMX125 contest.
32,000 spectators created a busy first European fixture of 2015 and a rapier start was essential around the tight and stony layout. Kemea Racing Yamaha and Standing Construct Yamaha riders Valentin Guillod, Benoit Paturel, Brent Van Doninck and Julien Lieber filled positions 7, 8, 9, 10 respectively in the overall standings. Guillod battled hard to sixth and eighth places while Lieber was unable to nail good launches from the gate to get into contention for a second podium finish this year with tenth and eleventh.
Van Doninck in just his second Grand Prix for Kemea rode well to eleventh in the first moto but it was his charge from outside the top twenty to tenth in the second race that really had the Kemea crew excited with the young Belgians performance and current level of speed. BVD now heads into his preferred terrain of sand next week for the Grand Prix of Europe and the Belgian squad cannot wait to see what their prospect can deliver next at the highest level.
Team-mate Benoit Paturel gained plenty of TV air-time in the second moto as he circulated as lofty as fourth for twelve of the nineteen laps. The Frenchman used the power of the YZ250F to make a superb jump away from the line and comfortably inside the top five for the entire race distance. Finally fifth position marked a personal best in just his fourth Grand Prix. Arco di Trento was also a frantic scene for the launch of the 2015 European Championship classes. Over two hundred riders entered in EMX250, EMX125 and EMX150 categories and Yamaha had forceful presence with YZ250F and YZ125 machinery in two of the divisions. Standing out was French teenager Maxime Renaux. On his very first appearance in EMX125 as part of Kemea Racing and with the YZ125 959 ran on to a pair of runner-up positions in the motos and claimed the overall top step. In EMX250 Damon Graulus managed a 13-6 and his recovery from a terrible first lap in the second moto was impressive. The Belgian was outshone on this occasion by Spaniard Ander Valentin who was decisive out of the gate on his Ausio Yamaha and a fifth and second place in both motos gave him a very first podium finish in EMX250 with third overall.
The Grand Prix of Europe will represent round five and means a trip into the rippling sand of Valkenswaard. The meeting will take place next weekend for the last GP this month and ahead of races in Spain and the UK in May.
"The first race was difficult for me because of a bad start. I wasn't happy with my level and improved this in the second moto. It was great to be up there. Im really pleased with my first top five. I have to thank the team, they have been so professional and I could not be happier."
Brent Van Doninck
"I was a bit worried about this race because I think this one of the most difficult tracks in the GPs but I knew if I could do well here then I could anywhere. The first race was good and I was really happy with it; I came from twentieth to eleventh. My starts were bad and I need to practice those more. I came up to ninth and Bogers passed me back because I lost my rhythm slightly and made some mistakes. I also had some sand in my eyes. I was a bit busy and getting distracted. Anyway Im really happy with how this race went and now I cannot wait for Valkenswaard."
"I'm really happy with the weekend and two positive races. My starts were not great but I rode well and to win and be leading the championship is amazing. I have a good team and I worked hard this winter. Im ready for a good season."
"Im so happy; my first podium in EMX250. I didn't start so good yesterday but rode well and I didn't expect to finish fifth. I could see that I was able to run with the leaders and when I started near the front today I knew I had to push. The track was complicated but I didn't take risks. I cannot be happier and hope to continue like this. We go to the sand next and we don't really have terrain like that at home but honestly - I like it and if you are happy then you tend to go well. Last year at Lommel I didn't start well and did nothing special but I think this time, with a bit of training, it could go better."