Fast out of the blocks in Timed Training, Coldenhoff was feeling fast and confident on the Turkish clay. The Dutchman, who finished second overall at the most recent Grand Prix here in Afyon back in 2019, qualified strongly in second position, while teammates Seewer and Watson had a tough morning out on track and only mustered up enough speed for the 14th and 22nd gate picks.
Coldenhoff and Seewer powered their YZ450FMs to excellent starts, although Seewer was bumped off course after a rider on the inside of him made a mistake. As Seewer fought to keep his biken on two wheels, Coldenhoff challenged the lead.
The Dutchman crossed the line on the opening lap in third position, but after suffering some arm-pump, he could not ride to his full potential and ended up fading back to the eighth position. Meanwhile, despite suffering from the Epstein Barr Virus, Seewer showed his determination as he bounced back from his first turn woes to finish seventh.
Hoping for more in the second race of the day, Coldenhoff made some changes to his YZ450FM and after a top-five start, he instantly felt that it handled much better. The ‘259’ ran the pace of the front-runners for the first six laps before a small mistake ruined the fruit of his labour, and he ended up finishing the race in 11th position.
Seewer continued to battle hard and managed to wrap up the day with another solid ride from 10th off the start to seventh at the flag.
As for Ben Watson, the 24-year-old rookie worked to find a basic set-up that would give him added confidence on the hard, slick and choppy Turkish clay course. The Brit was desperate to improve his pace, but regardless of his efforts, he was unable to gel with the track and only managed to finish 20th in Race 1 and 19th in Race 2.
All three Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP riders hope to raise their game ahead of the next Grand Prix, which will take place on the same circuit here in Afyon, Turkey, in two days’ time – on Wednesday 7th September.