Situated 50 kilometers southeast of Bologna, inside the Ravenna province of Italy, Faenza’s history as a Grand Prix circuit dates back to 1979 where Yamaha legend Heikki Mikkola was victorious. Since then, the old-school, tight and craggy clay circuit has hosted 10 rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship with the most recent round to have taken place in 2012. At present, the MX2 class has age restrictions. The minimum age requirement is 15 years old and the maximum age is 23 years old. Due to these restrictions, not a single MX2 rider will have ever raced a Grand Prix in Faenza.
At present, the MX2 class has a minimum age requirement of 15-years with 23-years being the maximum age limit. Due to these age restrictions, not a single MX2 rider will have ever raced a Grand Prix in Faenza prior to this weekend.
After a heavy fall at the fifth round of the MXGP series in Latvia, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Jeremy Seewer made a quick and strong recovery and is feeling fit and primed for the next three Grands Prix. Following the notification of yet another revised calendar, the ‘91’ wasted no time in traveling to Italy to prepare his YZ450FM for the hard-packed hilly circuit of Faenza. Having grown up racing on similar surfaces, the talented Swiss rider is confident he can post some good results in hopes of reinserting himself into a top-five position in the overall classification. He is currently sixth in the standings, 5-points clear of teammate Gautier Paulin in eighth.
Familiar with the rock-hard, steep and twisty track where he has experienced previous success including his first-ever Grand Prix victory – in MX2 back in 2009 - and a double-race victory at an Italian International just two-months ago, Paulin is excited at the prospect of three consecutive events in Faenza. Although the 30-year-old Frenchman has been nursing an injury to his right index finger, he feels that he is physically as ready as he can be to bounce back and add points to his current eighth position in the championship.
Like Paulin, Tonus also has fond memories from Faenza with the venue being the site of his first-ever Qualifying Race win – in 2009. 2020 has been a challenging year for the number ‘4’ with a string of small injuries making it difficult to compete for a place inside the top-five, but he remains positive for the upcoming rounds where he is determined to turn things around and build on his present place in the Championship – 13th.
Currently second in the MX2 Championship Standings - a mere 8-points off the leader – Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts is eager to reclaim the red-plate. The 20-year-old Belgian has been rigorously testing his suspension on hard-pack surfaces and is happy with the current set-up of his YZ250FM. Although the ‘193’ has not done a single lap around Faenza in the past, he has been watching and analysing some old videos from the venue and is looking forward to the challenge.
Joining Geerts on the line in MX2, teammate Ben Watson remains motivated to move back up the leader board after some luckless rounds of racing. The ‘919’ is currently seventh in the MX2 Championship Standings, 26-points shy of SM Action M.C. Migliori’s YZ250F riding star Maxime Renaux who is in fourth.
Faenza will also stage rounds two, three and four of the 2020 EMX125 Championship where MJC Yamaha Official EMX125’s duo of Mairis Pumpurs and Ivano Van Erp look to compete with Europe’s fastest young 125cc riders. The MJC pair will be joined by Hutten Metaal Yamaha’s 14-year-old Dutch prodigy Dave Kooiker who will make his EMX125 Championship debut.