Guillod back on the box as Fontanesi takes second double of the year in WMX


The Grand Prix of Germany was the platform for frantic scenes in the tenth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship and the latest appointment in the MX2 class of the series where Standing Construct Yamaha’s Valentin Guillod ran to third overall at a cloudy Talkessel in Teutschenthal. Also in action was the FIM Women’s World Championship and the penultimate outing of six was dominated by Yamaha’s Kiara Fontanesi.

Bumpy, quick, narrow and challenging hard-pack was the typical test offered by the Talkessel terrain at the staple venue for Grand Prix in Germany. With close lap-times and a lack of depth in choice of racing lines, starts were again a key factor. 32,000 spectators found space around the grassy banking of the venue and were treated to warmer conditions and a kinder wind compared to the wintery climate that blew across on Saturday.

The first MX2 moto blasted off with Alex Tonkov earning the holeshot. Guillod pursued a top five slot with team-mate Julien Lieber in close company. Kemea Yamaha Racing’s Benoit Paturel was also in the top ten. The second Kemea athlete, Brent Van Doninck was further back and also struggling to find a good feeling on the hard-pack. With Tonkov and Jeffrey Herlings crashing out, the race grew in tension. Guillod stalked the rear wheel of Jordi Tixer and finally moved past the world champion and into second place two laps before the finish. Lieber pushed Petar Petrov hard but could not overtake the Bulgarian and had to settle for fifth. Paturel rode largely by himself in seventh while Van Doninck came back from twenty-second to fifteenth.

Moto two almost ended before it began for Guillod as he nudged forward off the line too early and hit the gate. ‘92’ had to getaway from almost last place and then commenced a chase back to the top five with some accomplished and brave riding. In the final two laps Guillod was harrying Lieber’s rear wheel in fourth. The Belgian had been unable to track Jeremy Seewer ahead and then had to work to keep his team-mate at bay for his second top five result of the weekend. Lieber was assisted by a slip from Guillod that meant he ran out of time to launch another assault before the chequered flag was waved. Paturel was solid again in eighth and passed Brian Bogers to earn the position. ‘6’ was eighth overall for yet another appearance in the top ten in his first MX2 term. Van Doninck came home sixteenth for fifteenth overall.

In the fifth round of nine in the EMX250 European Championship Kemea’s Damon Graulus stalled his bike in the second moto and his recovery to fourteenth (aided by an exciting win from the first race on Saturday) meant fourth place overall in Germany. His work was still enough to give the Belgian second place in the competitive series that sees four riders split by just nine points with the next fixture taking place in a fortnight’s time in Sweden.

The penultimate meeting of six for the FIM Women’s World Championship saw Kiara Fontanesi on blazing form. The three times number one won both motos (for her second double and third victory of the year on the YZ250F) ahead of main title rival Livia Lancelot and has reduced the points gap to just two with the final race set for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic at the end of next month.

Guilod retains a decent third place in the MX2 points table and trails Jeffrey Herlings by 101 (and Tim Gajser by just 1) as MXGP enters the second half of the calendar. Lieber is ninth, Paturel twelfth and Van Doninck in sixteenth. More hard-pack and the shifting stones of Uddevalla will entertain the Grand Prix of Sweden (an event that has been a staple part of the calendar since the beginning of the century) in two weeks time.