The first lot of action has concluded here inintù-Xanadù – Arroyomolinos, Spain, with racing from the EMX250 and EMX125 Presented by FMF Racingriders for rounds eight and six of the European Championships.
The European riders were the first to ride the brand-new circuit here in Spain, with Husqvarna Junior Racing Maddii’s Mattia Guadagnini taking a third consecutive overall victory in the EMX250 category, while in EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing, it was the championship leader Andrea Bonacorsi of Fantic Racing who made his return to the top of the box.
As the gate dropped for the opening EMX250 race, it was Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing’s Gianluca Facchetti who led the rest of the field into the first corner, with Kay de Wolf of Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing in second and Guadagnini third.
Series leader, Thibault Benistant of Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing didn’t have the best start to the race, as he was down in 7th on the opening lap.
It didn’t take long for Guadagnini to go down the inside of de Wolf for second and then apply the pressure onto Facchetti for the lead. Though it took him a couple of laps to finally make the pass stick.
Tom Guyon from Team VRT Nordpesca Holland had a good start and was in fourth, though within a couple of laps he came under pressure from Tim Edberg and later Benistant, with both riders going through on the Frenchman.
On lap six, de Wolf was finally able to find a way to get around Facchetti for second, and Edberg followed too, as he launched past the Italian. This pushed Facchetti down to fifth.
Guadagnini then led by 10.788 seconds, with de Wolf and Benistant behind him. Not long after the gap was halved, as Guadagnini made a mistake and went down, though managed to hold on to that first place.
And while de Wolf and Benistant battled to get closer to the race leader, Pierre Goupillon and Lorenzo Locurcio from BUD Racing Kawasaki were locked in a close battle for sixth, as Hakon Fredriksen of Yamaha SM Action MC Migliori J1 Racing took ninth from Guyon.
Eventually, Guadagnini crossed the line to take his fifth consecutive race win, with de Wolf holding on to second and Benistant finishing third.
Race two saw Facchetti take the holeshot once again as he was closely followed by Guadagnini and de Wolf. Meanwhile, Benistant struggled once again in the mid-field, as he started the race in eighth.
This time around, Guadagnini wasted no time to get into the lead as he got around Facchetti on the opening lap. ASA United Husqvarna rider Jorgen-Matthias Talviku then moved himself into third, though crashed not long after and would drop down to 18th.
As the race progressed, De Wolf then lost third to Locurcio, while Benistant caught on to the back of the home rider, Oriol Oliver, to pass him for 5th place and then set his sights on de Wolf who was ahead.
Guadagnini then continued to lead Facchetti and Locurcio by 9.445 seconds, while Benistant was putting the work in to catch up to de Wolf and edge closer to the top 3. The pair were then locked in an incredibly close battle for the next few laps, with De Wolf having to ride defensive.
And this was not the only battle between the top 5, as Locurcio went after Facchetti for P2, which he managed to take with 3 laps on the clock. Things only continued to get tougher for the Italian, with the #22 crashing out with just one lap to go, and eventually finishing 4th in the race.
His teammate though had his eyes set on a podium finish, as he did his best to get around de Wolf and take 4th, but of course with Facchetti also crashing out, this moved him up another position which put him in 3rd.
In the end it was Guadagnini who won the race with an 8.695 second gap to Locurcio and Benistant finishing 3rd, just 4 seconds behind.
In terms of the overall, it was Mattia Guadagnini who claimed his 3rd consecutive overall victory, with Thibault Benistant taking to the 2nd step of the podium, while Kay de Wolf claimed the 3rd spot, making a comeback to the podium since Latvia.
With 2 rounds to go, things are getting interesting in the championship as just 18 points separate Benistant and Guadagnini – and with 100 points up for grabs over the next 2 rounds, things will be interesting heading into Lommel for the Belgian rounds.
Mattia Guadagnini: “It was almost a perfect day. I made a small mistake in the first race, but I had a good gap and I could take the win. Then I made a better start in the second race, took the lead on the first lap and then just took a good gap with no risks. One, one for my third overall victory, some good points for the championship so, we will see but for sure I will give my best”.
“We are a little bit closer now [in the championship] so, I will give it my best and will be a hundred per cent for sure and try to go for the championship, but we will see” he added.
Thibault Benistant: “The day was a little bit difficult with two bad starts. I needed to push a lot to work on that. In the beginning of the race I didn’t quite get the rhythm but towards the end the speed was there so, it’s quite good and to come back to the podium. We just need to be focused for Lommel”.
Kay de Wolf: “It was a good day for me. Struggled a little bit with the pace again and had to let Thibault [Benistant] by. The riding was actually good for me, because we didn’t train as much on hard pack. I’m born on the sand so it’s quite good to be back on the podium, especially on hard pack, so I feel really good and I’m really happy about it”.
The first EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing heat saw Meico Vettik lead the way out of the start, with Fantic Racing’s Andrea Bonacorsi 2nd and Gerard Congost of RFME GASGAS MX Junior Team 3rd.
Fellow RFME GASGAS MX Junior Team rider, David Braceras, then went after Congost and passed him for 3rd on the opening lap, with the #24 then going after the leaders shortly after.
Bonacorsi then picked up his pace after going purple in sector 1 as he took a little bit of time out of Vettik who led the way by 3.730 seconds on lap 4.
A nice battle then formed from 4th to 8th, as Max Palsson of WZ-Racing, Congost, Valerio Lata of Marchetti Racing Team KTM, Andrea Roncoli and Saad Soulimani from Team VRT Nordpesca Holland, closely fought for top positions. And as Roncoli pushed Lata for 6th, the Husqvarna rider then crashed out, to re-join the race in 10th.
Vettik then continued to lead Bonacorsi and Braceras, as Palsson was looking to close in on the top 3. Though Bonacorsi then made a mistake and lost a load of time, as Braceras and Palsson started to edge closer.
Meanwhile further down the field, things were getting interesting between Lata, Congost and Quentin Marc Prugnieres of BUD Racing Kawasaki for 5th. At the same time Braceras and Palsson continued to go at it for 3rd, while Bonacorsi was closing in on the race leader, as just 1.200 seconds separated them.
For the last two laps of the race Bonacorsi pushed hard to go for the win, even going on to set the fastest lap of the race on the last lap, as he clocked a 2:02.523. Though it was not enough and Vettik managed to hold on to that win. The Estonian won by just 0.5 seconds, with Bonacorsi in P2 and Braceras P3.
In race 2, it was Roncoli who took the holeshot as he led Braceras, Bonacorsi and Ivano Van Erp of Yamaha Europe EMX125 MJC. It didn’t take long for Roncoli to extend his lead to 3.8 seconds, with Braceras staying ahead of Bonacorsi.
Prugnieres then took 4th from Van Erp, while Congost lost two places to Soulimani and Palsson. By lap 5, Congost looked in trouble as he dropped from 7th to 10th and then 21st as his holeshot device looked to be stuck as he came past pitlane.
There was no change in the top 5 for the next couple of laps and Roncoli continued to lead the way by 6 seconds over Braceras who was still in 2nd place. But, Bonacorsi then started to pick things up as he chased down Braceras.
4 laps from the end, Bonacorsi was finally able to get around the Spaniard for P2 in the race, though Braceras was not ready to give up so easily, with the pair eventually finishing the race separated by 1 second. Eventually, the race win went to Roncoli who led every lap of the race, with Bonacorsi 2nd and Braceras 3rd.
With a consistent 2-2 result, Andrea Bonacorsi took the overall victory, while Meico Vettik finished on the 2ndstep of the box, while David Braceras made this home round a memorable one, as he finished on the 3rd step.
With 3 rounds remaining, Bonacorsi continues to lead the championship with a 42-point advantage to Vettik who has moved up into 2nd place, while David Braceras is a further 11 points down in 3rd.
Andrea Bonacorsi: “It was a good day, a solid day. Today I took two second places, so I’m really happy. Now we have two races in Lommel, so we will work hard for it. I’m feeling good and really comfortable with the bike and now we go to Lommel with the motivation to win”.
Meico Vettik: “The first race was nice; I got a good start and was holding first place. In the second race, I was a little bit not that good and then I was pushing but 5th place is not so bad. It’s nice to be second in the championship now, just need to push more and more”.
David Braceras: “In the second race I was second until four laps to the finish. I made some mistakes in the last two laps and Andrea [Bonacorsi] passed me. I came third and I’m happy with rhythm and my speed but I’m hungry for more. It’s really special to be on the podium here, because it’s my first ever race in Spain in the EMX and I’m really happy”.
Words and Photos by MXGP (Infront Moto Racing)