The 5th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship and the first race in Europe is ready to start this weekend in Italy at the MXGP of Trentino where Team HRC’s Tim Gajser and Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer are back on European soil with the Red Plate.

The first round at this spectacular hard pack track at Pietramurata was back in 1987.

With it being the first race in Europe Trentino will host the first round of the 2017 European Championship EMX 250 of the year. With 86 riders signed up to race the EMX 250 class, it can be sure there will be some bar banging action.

In addition Round 2 of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship will take to Trentino this weekend as well. Courtney Duncan is in the best spot coming into this event as the points leader from her overall victory in Indonesia. Courtney Duncan will have stiff competition though such as Nicky van Wordragen, Shana van der Vlist, Anne Borchers, Livia Lancelot, Nancy Van De Ven, and 40 other women, including the italian native Kiara Fontanesi who will be on a mission to rebound after struggling in Indonesia. The WMX class is sure to provide great battles that you won’t want to miss.

For Team HRC’s Tim Gajser everything seems to be clicking as he now sits 20 points ahead of second place in the championship. Gajser has been dominant the past 2 race weekends winning every race in Patagonia and Leon. Gajser will try to replicate these results in Pietramurata but as always, he will have competition from the rest of the field.

Some of the strongest competition this weekend will likely come from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli. Cairoli will have the fans of his home country motivating him to win, a feat he accomplished in 2016 and narrowly missed in 2015. Cairoli admits to feeling the pressure but is excited to race in Italy for the first time of the season.

Sitting third in the championship Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle may be an underdog for the win but not one to count out as he has shown flashes of brilliance and impressive speed so far this year. In addition the Belgian won the MXGP of Trentino in 2014 and he was in the top 5 in 2015. At the very least another top 5 finish is well within reach for Desalle.

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek comes into Trentino 4th in the points championship and seems to be gaining comfort at each round so far this season. Van Horebeek is definetely a podium contender this weekend.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin showed he can handle pressure after a solid performance in Mexico. Gautier nabbed the FOX holeshot in Race 2 on Sunday and his ability to fight off the advances put him on the podium which will boost his confidence as he strives to improve week after week.

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre was second at last year’s MXGP of Trentino and after a less than special Leon the 2015 World champ is hoping for a podium result to get his 2017 season on the right track.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings may be new to the 450 but he is experienced at this circuit where he won last year in MX2 class. Herlings has been improving since the beginning of the season and he looks to continue that trend here in Trentino.

2016 MXGP or Trentino MXGP Top Ten

  1. Antonio Cairoli
  2. Romain Febvre
  3. Tim Gajser

MXGP Championship Top Ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 156 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 136 p.; 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 119 p.; 4. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 116 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 112 p.; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 111 p.; 7. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 89 p.; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 78 p.; 9. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 73 p.; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, YAM), 70 p.

Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer came into Leon with the points lead and battled for the win, but after a mistake in Race 2 he settled for second overall. Seewer maintained the red plate for the first race in Europe but he will be looking to not only battle for the win but to stand on the top step of the podium for his second time this season.

Meanwhile Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass showed he has the mental and physical strength of a champion after fighting through an injury in Leon. Though he was injured he finished fourth overall and he lost miminal points. Coming to Trentino he has had nearly 2 weeks to heel up and with his stellar performances thus far you can bet he will provide a impressive result once again.

Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 Team’s Benoit Paturel is looking to break a trend of fighting through the field. Paturel has the speed but he has recieved bad luck off the starts. If he can start up front the chances of him staying there are very high.

Now 4th in the championship LRT KTM’s Julien Lieber is also looking to break the mold he has found himself in which of third place. Lieber can fight with whomever comes along but he clearly wants to win. For him it may just be matter of time before he grabs a win and what better time than this weekend in Trentino?

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen is fifth in the championship and his consistent results have brought him there. After seeing his teammate win last weekend it may be the push he needs to move even higher up in the field.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Covington will come to Trentino with renewed confidence after winning his first GP of 2017 in Leon. Covington had a lack luster season until Leon but he will strive to keep the momentum of his win with him for this weekend.

TM Racing Factory Team’s Samuele Bernardini, an Italian hero in MX2, will look to better his 4th place from last year and to reach the podium in front of his home crowd. Look out for 321 TM machine this weekend as he could claim his second podium this year.

2016 MXGP or Trentino MX2 Top Ten

  1. Jeffrey Herlings
  2. Dylan Ferrandis
  3. Pauls Jonass

MX2 Championship Top Ten: 1. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 153 points; 2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 145 p.; 3. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 139 p.; 4. Julien Lieber (BEL, KTM), 139 p.; 5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 127 p.; 6. Brent Van doninck (BEL, YAM), 102 p.; 7. Michele Cervellin (ITA, HON), 84 p.; 8. Thomas Covington (USA, HUS), 83 p.; 9. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, KAW), 81 p.; 10. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), 80 p