The sixth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship and the first of three back-to-back Grands Prix in Faenza, Italy, was characterised by scorching hot temperatures and action-packed racing as Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Jeremy Seewer charged to a 2-2 result for second overall. Teammate, Gautier Paulin finished inside the top-five in Race 1, but his efforts were spoiled by a spectacular crash in Race 2 which dropped the flamboyant Frenchman down to ninth in the Grand Prix classification.
An enthralling start to the MXGP of Italy saw Seewer and Paulin place their YZ450FMs inside the top-10 off the gate. Paulin was initially the best placed of the pair but was shuffled back to ninth in the fast-paced drama of the opening lap, as Seewer put himself in contention for a maiden race victory.
With a first-ever race win in sight, Seewer threw everything at the front runners for the entire 30 minute + 2 Lap duration of the race. With 3-Laps to go, the ‘91’ managed to make an impressive pass on the nine-time World Champion Antonio Cairoli for third before inheriting second position from a fallen Jorge Prado.
Cairoli attempted a last-lap come-back, but Seewer was too strong and maintained second position all the way to the flag. In the shadow of the edge-of-your-seat battle for the lead, Paulin rode a smooth and consistent pace for all 17-Laps to finish fifth.
With temperatures soaring well above 30 degrees Celsius for Race 2, Seewer got off to a blazing hot top-three start as Paulin diced his way through the field to complete the opening lap in fourth position.
Remaining within an inch of Prado and Jeffrey Herlings, the pulse-raising thrills of race one continued well into Race 2 as Seewer chased the eventual Grand Prix winner, Herlings, home for another second place finish.
While putting in some fast laps with the leaders in sight, Paulin washed his front-wheel under brakes into a right-hand turn, caught his foot on a bank and was thrown spectacularly from his motorcycle. The Frenchman made an impressive remount after such a gigantic crash where his bike ended up stuck in the fence, and put in a spirited ride for 11th.
After setting the fifth-fastest time in Qualifying Practice, Arnaud Tonus’ day was spoiled by lackluster starts, crashes and bad-luck. He was 16th in Race 1 and crashed out of Race 2. He was classified 21st overall.
As the runner-up in both races, Seewer finished second overall for the second time this season and has moved up into fifth position in the MXGP World Championship Classification.
Paulin was ninth overall for the day, a result that does not reflect his speed around the Italian circuit and has been nudged back to seventh in the championship chase.
The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place here in Faenza, Italy, in two-days’ time, on September 9th.
2nd MXGP of Italy, 45-points
5th MXGP World Championship, 178-points
“I feel super good especially being second on a day like this. I didn’t expect it. I was close to the win. Jeffrey (Herlings) was always there. We did take some time to pass Jorge (Prado) but he was riding well until he got a bit tired. But as I said, it’s a tough time for me and I am happy to do my job, and now I am looking forward to having some rest.”
9th MXGP of Italy, 26-points
7th MXGP World Championship, 155-points
“My feeling is good here; I have good speed. I made my way back to fifth in race one, I had the speed to go with the guys up front but I made a couple of mistakes. I was happy with that and I recovered well in between races. In the second moto, my goal was to be better. I go into fourth but then I made a big mistake, I washed the front and touched the bank with my footpegs which took my feet off the footpegs and caused a gnarly crash. After that, I stood up quickly, but my bike was stuck in the fence. I lost 25-seconds there and had to start from 20th, but I came back to 11th. I have a good feeling and will be back for more on Wednesday.”
21st MXGP of Italy, 5-points
14th MXGP World Championship, 69-points
“I had a terrible day. I messed up the start in the first race. I moved too soon for the gate, and then I had an issue with the rear brake. In the second moto, my start was better but then I crashed on the first lap, and then came back through the pack and crashed again and hurt my ankle. The X-Rays have come back clear, so perhaps it’s a bad sprain, but we will see how it goes and just hope for the best.”