All 19 rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship will operate on a one-day format in 2021 due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This means that there will be no Qualifying Races this season. Instead, the riders are given one 45-minute practice session in which they need to make any required changes to the set-up of their YZ450FMs. Each rider needs to put in a fast lap in that same practice session, which will determine gate-pick.
In Timed Practice this morning, the lap times were close. Seewer finished as the best-placed Yamaha rider in sixth while Coldenhoff posted a good enough time for ninth. MXGP’s newest rookie Watson struggled to get comfortable on the track and finished the session in 21st.
In the opening race of 2021, Seewer rocketed out of the gate for a top-10 start, while teammates Coldenhoff and Watson were sandwiched off the line and shuffled to the back of the pack.
Watson crashed during the frantic hustle of the first lap, while Seewer stayed cool, calm and collected as he tried to conserve energy in the stuffy 30-degree heat.
Good starts are vital in MXGP, particularly at fast-paced venues where all of the riders are relative in speed. Coldenhoff managed to fight back to 10th despite suffering a bent front brake and some discomfort in his knee after another rider aggressively crashed into the side of him.
Seewer was content with sixth at the checkered flag, while Watson scored his first MXGP Championship point in 20th.
The second and final race of the day was a battle of attrition for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP riders. Coldenhoff got off to a blistering start on his YZ450FM but was wiped out at turn-one, while Seewer managed to complete the first lap inside the top-five.
The extremely dry and slippery clay in Orlyonok caught out many of MXGP’s finest today. One of its victims was Seewer, who suddenly lost traction on the face of the finish-line jump and crashed spectacularly. Reaffirming his status as one of the main protagonists this season, the '91' bounced back from his fall to finish fifth, while Coldenhoff and Watson felt the track was very unpredictable and were happy to finish the race in one piece – they were 18th and 21st at the flag.
Although the goal for the opening round of the 2021 FIM Motocross World Championship was higher, the team and all three riders remain optimistic for the next round of the series that will take place at Matterley Basin, in Winchester, England, on June 27th.