With restrictions surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic starting to ease, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing teams are eager for the MXGP season to recommence. After completing two rounds earlier this year, the new MXGP calendar will see the MXGP and MX2 riders’ race a further 14 rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship between August and November with a new and unique one-day format. In the premier class (MXGP) Jeremy Seewer, Gautier Paulin and Arnaud Tonus will be chasing championship medals on their YZ450FM’s while in MX2, Championship favourite Jago Geerts hopes to put his YZ250FM on the top step of the podium with his Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 teammate Ben Watson alongside him.
To fit 28 championship races into a 16-week timescale, two locations will host three consecutive Grands Prix in the space of seven days. The first triple-header will be held in Kegums, Latvia, with the popular sand circuit selected to host the third, fourth and fifth rounds of the MXGP and MX2 World Championships, on Sunday 9th of August, Wednesday 12th and Sunday 16th. The compact trio of rounds will be followed by the sixth round of the series which will take place in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey on the weekend of September 6th, before heading to Italy for a two-round doubleheader in Faenza.
The ninth round of the MXGP and MX2 World Championship’s is provisionally scheduled to take place at Matterley Basin in Winchester, Great Britain – the same location that hosted the opening round of the championship earlier this year. Round ten is scheduled to take place at Mantova in the Lombardy region of Italy before heading back to Belgium for another tripleheader in the challenging sand of Lommel. The 15th round of the now 16 round series will take place at the familiar Pietramurata venue in Trentino, Italy, while the final round is expected to take place in Patagonia, Argentina, on the weekend of November 22nd.
With less than three weeks until the MXGP restart, the teams and riders are starting to warm up at National events across Europe. Geerts was the first to race after the lengthy break in the calendar. He attended a Czech International in Kaplice (July 5th) where he easily defeated the current MX2 Championship Leader, Tom Vialle, in both races for the overall victory.
Meanwhile, last weekend (July 19th) Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s duo of Gautier Paulin and Jeremy Seewer dusted off their YZ450FM’s at an Italian Motocross International in Faenza, Italy. Faenza was the scene of Paulin’s first-ever Grand Prix win back in 2009 on an MX2 bike, and it would seem he still gels well with the hard-pack track as he was unbeaten in both MXGP class races. He was joined on the box by his teammate, Seewer, who finished third overall. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Ben Watson also got his tyres dirty in Faenza, where his sole goal was to ease back into racing. He finished 11th overall.
This weekend (July 26th), the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP and MX2 teams will be at full strength at a Dutch International race in Arnhem, The Netherlands. All five riders are looking forward to racing at the sandy venue in preparation for the third, fourth, and fifth rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship which will take place in the sand of Kegums, Latvia, on and during the week of August 9th – 16th.