Jeremy Seewer made a positive return to racing with an impressive third-place finish in the opening race after making a costly mistake while running second position. The 25-year-old Swiss rider redeemed himself in the Superfinale with an easy second-place finish for second overall in the final classification.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team uses the pre-season races as a stage for the riders to start building race fitness in preparation for the FIM Motocross World Championship, which will commence in Winchester, England on March 1st.
Gautier Paulin also uses the pre-season races to continue testing the set-up of his YZ450FM. In the opening race the 29-year-old Frenchman soon realized his suspension setting for the soft and rough sand of Riola was not right. He ended up fighting the bike and the track while trying to navigate his way through the field on his way to eighth place, but felt much better in the second and final race where he finished fourth after a major off-track excursion while trying to avoid the carnage at turn-one.
In MX2, Jago Geerts and Ben Watson got their 2020 campaigns off to a powerful start with their dominant performances in Riola. Geerts rocketed out of the gate on his new and improved YZ250FM and took an exciting holeshot, while his teammate Watson made a hasty pass on SM Action M.C. Migliori’s YZ250F mounted Maxime Renaux for second position.
The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 duo remained unchallenged at the front of the field and were separated by less than 1-second at the chequered flag with Geerts taking a narrow victory over Watson. Renaux recovered from a small crash and finished third.
In the second and final race of the weekend, the MX2 stars lined their 250cc motorcycles up against the worlds quickest 450cc riders. Despite their obvious lack of power with 200cc less than their MXGP counterparts, the dynamic duo showed incredible form as they fought hard to round out the top six in the combined result as the best placed MX2 riders.
After two commanding performances today where they celebrated from the top-two steps of the podium, Geerts and Watson have already proved their status as 2020 MX2 title contenders. Renaux also confirmed his potential as the third best placed MX2 rider in the SuperFinal where he was ninth in the combined result.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Arnaud Tonus will start his pre-season ‘race prep’ in Ottobiano, Italy next weekend, February 2nd, while Seewer and Paulin’s next event will be at the French International, La Capelle-Marival in France on February 16th.
The next event for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team will be the Hawkstone International in Shropshire, England on February 9th.