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Monster Energy Factory Yamaha MXGP & MX2 Teams Look to Keep Momentum in Lommel

Monster Energy Factory Yamaha MXGP & MX2 Teams Look to Keep Momentum in Lommel

Following the success of the Czech Grand Prix that saw Yamaha go 1-2 in both MXGP and MX2 classes for the first time in history, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP and MX2 teams are looking forward to their "home" Grand Prix in Lommel, Belgium.

Situated just 13 kilometers from the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP teams' workshop in Bergeijk, The Netherlands, and 33 kilometers from the MX2 team headquarters in Genk, Belgium, the notorious Lommel circuit needs no introduction. It is one of the world's most physically and mentally demanding sand circuits and is a venue where all five riders have done plenty of laps. 

While all the Factory Yamaha riders reside in Belgium or The Netherlands during the season, one of the closest to the circuit this weekend is Belgium's very own MX2 star, Jago Geerts. Fresh off a deserving Grand Prix victory last weekend, Geerts will arrive at his home Grand Prix with the championship leader's red plate firmly attached to his YZ250FM. The 22-year-old Belgian has secured 11 podium finishes thus far and has an 8-point advantage in the championship chase. 

While Geerts is likely to be the favourite going in, his hopes of a top-step celebration won't be without a challenge from his teammate Thibault Benistant who has showed an incredible return to form after missing the first three rounds of the 2022 series through injury. Over the past six rounds, Benistant has celebrated five podium finishes and has already leaped to sixth in the MX2 Championship Standings. This weekend, the 19-year-old Frenchman arrives in Lommel bolstered by the memory of the EMX250 crown that he secured at the brutal course in 2020 before making his MX2 debut at the same venue a week later. 

An exciting Grand Prix beckons for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team after a near podium lockout in the Czech Republic with Jeremy Seewer and Maxime Renaux going 1-2 and Glenn Coldenhoff narrowly missing out on third – he was fourth.  

Seewer arrives in Lommel with added confidence after an incredible Grand Prix win – his second of the season – just three days ago. The Swiss is currently second in the MXGP Championship Standings, and even though Tim Gajser has a hefty 125-point lead, the '91' knows it's not over until it's over and is still hunting the crown. 

As is teammate Maxime Renaux, who is currently fourth in the standings despite breaking his back in four places at the MXGP of Germany in May. After a month off the bike, the gritty Frenchman made a mind-blowing return to racing at the Czech Grand Prix last weekend, where he celebrated an astonishing race win and finished second overall. It was his sixth podium finish of the season. 

Making up the top-five in the standings, just 11-points further adrift, Glenn Coldenhoff will see this weekend's race as his "home" Grand Prix. Having grown up in The Netherlands, just 30 minutes from Lommel, 'The Hoff' is a natural sand rider and does not need to do anything specific to prepare. This season he has made considerable strides in the setup of his YZ450FM and has proven he can win on multiple occasions. He will arrive this weekend determined and confident he can fight for the Grand Prix win, and should he succeed, it will be his first since the MXGP of Latvia at the sand circuit of Kegums in 2020. 

In addition to the premier classes this weekend, the seventh rounds of the EMX250 and EMX125 Championships will take place. The Dutch-based Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250 team hopes to see Dutch Prodigy Rick Elzinga extend his lead in the championship. He currently has a 20-point advantage over Cornelius Toendel in second and 75-points over teammate Andrea Bonacorsi in third. At the same time, MJC Yamaha Official EMX125's trio of high-flying youngsters hope to improve their current positions in the EMX125 Championship. Karlis Reisulis is second, while teammate Ivano van Erp and Ferruccio Zanchi are fifth and seventh, respectively.

Jeremy Seewer

2nd MXGP World Championship, 452-points

"I always feel-good racing in Lommel. I live here, so I know the track well. All I need is to find a good bike setup on race day, and I am confident I can fight for the win. It will be a tough race, just like every year, but as always, the podium is where I expect to be and where I want to be." 

Maxime Renaux

4th MXGP World Championship, 410-points

"For Lommel, I hope to keep the ball rolling, similar to how it went in Loket. It was really good to return to racing with a podium finish, and I hope to do the same this weekend. The key will be to get two good starts and to have two consistent races. I have really good memories from in Lommel, I fought for the win in MX2 with Jago (Geerts) and was on the podium. It's a track I like. This time will be my first race there on the 450, so I will try to have fun and enjoy it."

Glenn Coldenhoff

5th MXGP World Championship, 399-points

"I'm really looking forward to being back in the sand. It has been a while, and since there is no Dutch GP this year, Lommel will feel like my "home GP" because it's only 30 minutes from where I live. A lot of riders train hard for the sand, but I think I will pick up the 'feeling' quickly as I grew up in it. Although many GP riders live in Lommel, I don't think there is any real benefit for the Dutchies anymore. I have been on the podium but never won, so it would be a dream to win the GP in Lommel one day."

Jago Geerts

MX2 Championship Leader, 534-points

"Lommel is a special place for me. It's close to my home, so I will have a lot of friends and fans there to support me. This week I will be training in the sand, so I have a good feeling in the sand again before the weekend. I don't think I will need to make any changes to the bike; I am happy with where we are at. I have a different suspension setup in the sand than in hardpack, but these are just minor changes and things we know already, so we will be ready."

Thibault Benistant

6th MX2 Championship Standings, 347-points

"I'm looking forward to going back into the sand. I've been feeling better and better with each GP recently and starting to ride really free and smooth. The track in Lommel gets really rough and is always one of the toughest tracks of the year, but I really like it. It's where I won the EMX250 title and made my MX2 debut, so I have a lot of good memories from there."