This weekend the FIM Motocross World Championship moves from the sand to the hard-pack of Pietramurata, Italy, for the final trio of races as we conclude this year’s FIM Motocross World Championship.
Pietramurata is one of the most scenic circuits on the MXGP calendar, always producing the best atmosphere and stunning racing. And while the event will run behind closed doors this time around, there just something so special about that place that even without the crowds of cheering fans, it will still guarantee three awesome races.
The stony clay circuit will host the FIM Motocross World Championship for the ninth consecutive time, having become a regular on the MXGP racing calendar since 2012. The first FIM Motocross World Championship race to take place here was back in 1987 that saw Massimo Contini victorious in the 125cc category. Other winners at the hard pack circuit includes the likes of Max Nagl, Clement Desalle, Antonio Cairoli, Jeffrey Herlings and Tim Gajser, just to name a few.
And of course, alongside the MXGP and MX2 World Championships, we will also be joined by the Women’s Motocross World Championship and the EMX Open class during the round of Trentino this weekend.
In WMX, it’s all coming down to the wire as just four points separate Championship leader Nancy Van De Venfrom Courtney Duncan of DRT Kawasaki, while Larissa Papenmeier is just a further 2 points back on 160 and Kiara Fontanesi not far behind too on 156 points. And there is no doubt that these ladies will give it their all, as we have seen plenty of times before. For Fontanesi, the round of Trentino is much like a home round and a circuit she enjoys and has had plenty of success at.
While in EMX Open, Karel Kutsar will enter the races here in Italy as the championship leader, ahead of Kim Savaste who sits second in the championship, 21 points ahead of Miro Sihvonen who is third. It has been a while since we have seen the Open class out in action, the last time being the Latvian triple-header, so it will be interesting to see who can perform well on the hard pack over the next three rounds.
Last year, the main attention of the MXGP of Trentino was on the gruelling battle between Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli and Team HRC’s Tim Gajser who had us all on the edge of our seats. The GP in Trentino was a turning point in the championship, as it was the first time that Gajser was able to beat Cairoli, with two race wins, while Cairoli was forced to settle for second.
Now we return to Trentino for the home stretch of this year’s world championship to witness yet another Gajser vs Cairoli battle, as the pair go head-to-head for the title. There are 74 points separating the two in terms of the standings, so every race and every point will be more vital than ever during the upcoming GPs.
Cairoli is someone who knows how to win around here, as he has done so three times before, in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Though his results this weekend will be more important than ever, if he wants to stay in contention for that 10th world title.
Meanwhile for Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s, Clement Desalle, this will be his final stint in the FIM Motocross World Championship as he prepares to hang up his boots at the end of the season. The Belgian won the MXGP of Trentino back in 2014, so it would be good to see the Kawasaki rider add another podium as he concludes his GP racing career.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin was a podium finisher here last season also, as he scored two solid thirds, for third overall. It would be good to see the Frenchman grace the podium once again, following his success in Lommel just over a week ago. Of course, his teammates, Arnaud Tonus, who narrowly missed out on a podium here last year, and Jeremy Seewer, who is pushing to secure a medal this season, as he currently sits third in the championship, will no doubt be pushing for top results too.
2019 MXGP of Trentino Top 3, MXGP:
MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 583 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 509 p.; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 499 p.; 4. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 476 p.; 5. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 465 p.; 6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 403 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, GAS), 375 p.; 8. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 362 p.; 9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 289 p.; 10. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 263 p.
And in MX2, things are just as interesting as exactly the same point margin divides Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle and Jago Geerts of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing. And for the pair, it will be an opportunity to go after their first victory in Trentino, as the class was previously dominated by Jorge Prado, who has now moved up to MXGP, leaving the door open for a brand-new winner.
Both riders finished on the podium last year, with Geerts taking to the second step while Vialle was third. And while the pair will be battling for the top spot, there are also two other riders who will no doubt be going at it for as many points as possible and that is Yamaha SM Action MC Migliori J1 Racing’s Maxime Renaux and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Jed Beaton who are separated by 20 points for third in the standings.
Additionally, Monster Energy Yamaha Racing’s Ben Watson has been on the rise, with a good podium track record at the previous triple header in Belgium, where the Brit went 3-2-1 during the three GPs. Of course, the terrain will be different this weekend, though looking at last year’s results, Watson went 7-3 here last season, to miss out on the podium by just a mere point, so with that in mind, we could possibly see the Yamaha rider continue his podium success.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen also missed out on a podium spot last season by a single point, just like Watson. During the second half of this season, the Dane has been strong, pushing inside the top 5 during most races and going after race wins too, so it will be interesting to see if he can put in two solid results here in Trentino.
2019 MXGP of Trentino Top 3, MX2:
MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 651 points; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 577 p.; 3. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 476 p.; 4. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 456 p.; 5. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 446 p.; 6. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 440 p.; 7. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 417 p.; 8. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 307 p.; 9. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, YAM), 279 p.; 10. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 234 p.
TIMETABLE (Local Timing CET)
SATURDAY: 09:20 EMX Open Free Practice, 09:50 WMX Free Practice, 10:20 EMX Open Qualifying Practice, 11:00 WMX Qualifying Practice, 12:30 EMX Open Race 1, 13:20 WMX Race 1, 14:30 EMX Open Race 2, 15:25 WMX Race 2.
SUNDAY: 08:15 MX2 Free/Time Practice, 09:15 MXGP Free/Time Practice, 11:05 MX2 Race 1, 12:05 MXGP Race 1, 14:00 MX2 Race 2, 15:00 MXGP Race 2.