Looking forward to lining up at the sandy Dutch circuit that is located less than 7km from the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP teams’ workshop in Bergeijk, The Netherlands, Jeremy Seewer, Gautier Paulin and Arnaud Tonus are all chasing a place on the podium.
In MX2, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team will arrive in Valkenswaard with the red-plate firmly attached to Jago Geerts’ YZ250FM as the MX2 Championship leaders.
Situated between Eindhoven and the Belgian border, Valkenswaard marks MXGP’s first sand race this season. The venue has staged 33 rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship since its first in 1974 which makes it one of the most familiar tracks on the 2020 calendar.
After a thrilling first race at the season opener in Matterley Basin, Great Britain, only three days ago, Seewer is motivated to line his YZ450FM up for more top-three action where he hopes to celebrate the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP teams home Grand Prix from the box. He is currently fourth in the championship chase, 12-points off of the leader, but only 3-points from inheriting the second position. To put his results into perspective, the Swiss rider finished second overall in the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship after a tough start to the season where he was 29-points down on the front-runner. This year, he is off to a much stronger start and is already showing phenomenal speed and fitness as he goes for gold.
Valkenswaard was the track at which Paulin won his last Grand Prix, back in 2017. It was also the scene of one of his most memorable victories, in 2015, where the Frenchman proved his incredible sand-riding prowess by completely dominating both races that weekend.
Currently sixth in the 2020 MXGP Championship Standings, only 3-points shy of Seewer in fourth, the #21 is eager to make his first podium appearance of 2020 at the MXGP of The Netherlands this weekend.
Tonus favours the black sand of Valkenswaard and has admitted he enjoys riding the slightly hilly, rough and rugged sand track as it is the same venue that he topped the charts in Timed Practice in his rookie season, 2017. Much for the #4 will depend on the healing of his left thumb which was bothering him at the opening round of the championship. As a result, the Swiss sensation is currently 14th in the overall standings.
Valkenswaard is renowned for its popularity and hugely animated crowds, which are bolstered by the influx of passionate Belgian motocross fans who cross the border. This weekend will be extra special for the Belgium-based Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team as they lead the MX2 World Championship for the first time with Belgian prodigy Geerts.
The champagne sprayed after winning his first Grand Prix and the MX2 season opener has barely had time to dry as Geerts shifts his focus to retaining the championship lead. The 19-year-old has been distinguished throughout his budding career by his incredible ability and technique in the sand. This weekend he will race in Valkenswaard, 30km from his home residence, with every intention of putting his YZ250FM back on the box and keeping hold of the red-plate.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Ben Watson is also a rider that typically excels in the sand, and after an unlucky start to his 2020 campaign, the 22-year-old Brit is fired up and determined to show what he is capable of.
Geerts leads the FIM MX2 World Championship by 3-points, while Watson is 29-points adrift in 15th position.
Joining the MXGP and MX2 Championships this weekend, the Hutten Metaal Yamaha Official EMX250 will contest the opening round of the EMX250 Championship with title threats Thibault Benistant and Gianluca Fachetti.
The second round of the FIM WMX World Championship will also take place with Yamaha Germany’s Larissa Papenmeier targeting her first win of the season after finishing second overall at round one.
Additionally, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team owner Hans Corvers will join former Yamaha ace, Paul Malin, on the live MXGP Studio Show at 11:00 (CET) on Saturday 7th March. The show will be free to view on www.mxgp-tv.com.