The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP and MX2 teams are set to arrive in Villars Sous Ecot, France, this weekend for the seventh round of the FIM Motocross World Championship.
The tight and compact circuit of Villars-sous-Ecot is one of the lesser familiar circuits on the calendar. It first hosted a Grand Prix in 1982, with Belgian André Malherbe emerging as the victor. The championship returned in 1986 when French hero and Yamaha icon Jacky Vimond took the honours aboard a Yamaha YZ250. Since then, the circuit has only hosted three rounds in 1998, 2015, and 2017.
The track itself is a typical French-style clay-based motocross track that sprawls the hills of Villars-sous-Ecot. The layout, however, has undergone some significant changes ahead of the Grand Prix this weekend, which could present new challenges and opportunities for the teams and riders.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP's Glenn Coldenhoff enters the round with confidence after two weeks of conditioning training in the mountains of Spain. The Dutchman, who has already secured a race win and a podium finish at the second MXGP round in Sardinia earlier this year, is not too familiar with the track, having only raced it twice in the past. However, he enjoys racing on French soil and is looking forward to challenging the podium once again. He lines up seventh in the Championship Standings, 1-point shy of Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Supported rider Calvin Vlaanderen and 3-points clear of teammate Jeremy Seewer.
Seewer is more familiar with the track due to its close proximity to his home country, Switzerland. After a tough start to the season, the Swiss star has been gaining momentum and believes he is ready to start fighting for podiums. He arrives with many happy memories of podium finishes and Grand Prix victories in France, including a special victory at the MXGP of France in Ernee last year, and arrives this weekend optimistic of a good result.
In MX2, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team arrives refreshed after a much-needed weekend off. Jago Geerts carries the red plate into the seventh round with a solid 48-point lead in the championship and hopes to keep momentum. Meanwhile, the team's French prodigy Thibault Benistant is looking forward to his home Grand Prix, where he hopes to bounce back from the woes of the previous rounds. He is currently fifth in the standings.
At the same time, the MJC Yamaha Official EMX125 team is back to full strength this weekend as it enters the fourth round of the EMX125 Championship with the championship leader's red plate firmly attached to Janis Reisulis's GYTR kitted YZ125. The team is thrilled to welcome back Julius Mikula, who is set to make his season debut after recovering from an injury sustained in February. In addition, the French-owned team will also use its home Grand Prix this weekend to celebrate a decade-long partnership with Yamaha.
All three teams are eager to showcase their potential in France, with the MX2 and EMX125 teams looking to increase Yamaha’s lead in the Manufacturer’s World and European Championships.