It seems that the Grand Prix contingent have visited countless Italian tracks in the past ten years, but yet we still manage to stumble onto new facilities. The Grand Prix of Lombardia, which was initially going to be held at Maggiora, will take place at the sandy circuit of Ottobiano this weekend.
A majority of those contesting the FIM Motocross World Championship are already familiar with Ottobiano, seeing as it is a popular stop for domestic events and testing. Racing around the circuit that features thirteen turns in such anger will be new to most though.
Is there a circuit that one could liken Ottobiano to? Mantova fits that slot perfectly. The base at Ottobiano is undoubtedly not as hard, but bike set-up should be fairly similar. What other characteristics do the two tracks share? Ottobiano is flat for the most part, although one section boasts slight elevation, and built up on the outskirts to allow fans the chance to see a majority of the action. It was incredibly hot in Mantova last year and it’ll be the same this time around. Temperatures reached forty-five degrees at the circuit today!
Before we move onto some of the biggest stories, a quick note on why this Grand Prix is not at Maggiora. The owners ran into "bureaucratic issues" following the Motocross of Nations and consequently cannot run events currently. Those in charge quickly jumped over to Ottobiano though and now strive to help the venue reach the same heights that Maggiora did.
A lot has transpired since the Grand Prix of Russia, which was run just two weeks ago. It is simply impossible to fill you in on everything that has gone on! Our regular feature that covers injuries will help you to determine who is sidelined, but the biggest news is that Tim Gajser will return. It was actually up in the air whether he would ride at all until a couple of days ago. That titbit should lead you to temper your expectations somewhat.
Team HRC will welcome a new face beneath their MX2 awning this weekend as well; Anthony Rodriguez will make his debut. Agueda will undoubtedly play to his strengths more than Ottobiano, so it would be wise to expect him to be more of a factor there, but don’t be too surprised if he hovers between tenth and fifteenth this weekend. The Venezuelan is more than capable and has the results to back that sentiment up.
Before we sign off and get to work on our additional content on the eve of the Grand Prix of Lombardia, an apology about the visa issues that were encountered prior to the previous fixture. MX Vice will be present at all of the remaining rounds and bringing you the latest from the FIM Motocross World Championship.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX