Since the announcement of the comeback of the old-school track of Maggiora to the FIM Motocross World Championship, there have been many expectations generated around the Italian Grand Prix. Finally, the day has arrived and during the 16th June weekend up to four classes – MX1, MX2, MX3 and WMX – will race the renovated track of Maggiora located a few kilometres away of Milan in the north of Italy.
During the Italian Grand Prix Youthstream’s president Mr Giuseppe Luongo will celebrate his 30th anniversary as promoter and he could not choose a better place to celebrate it, as it was in Maggiora where he organized the memorable 1986 FIM Motocross des Nations.
This weekend will be a very special one for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli, who will race home to obtain his 60th Grand Prix victory and get closer to the seventh FIM Motocross World Title. After last weekend’s Grand Prix of France the Italian has been very busy with media commitments and he is now looking forward to racing the spectacular track of Maggiora in front of his home crowd.
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin missed the overall victory last weekend at his home Grand Prix but his second overall result secured his current second position in the point standings. The French rider has admitted several times that he loves racing in Italy; in fact, Paulin won the Italian Grand Prix in 2011 in Fermo on his debut in the MX1 class, so good racing is guaranteed for this weekend.
At the moment Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Clement Desalle keeps the third position in the MX1 standings and after his third overall position in the last Grand Prix in France is twelve points behind Paulin. The Belgian rider had some difficulties during the qualifying race on Saturday in Ernée, but on Sundayeverything was back to normal, so he is ready for another podium finish or even an overall victory.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker finished sixth overall last weekend in France and even if he is still holding the fourth position in the point standings, the Belgian is 32 points behind his compatriot Desalle. De Dycker admitted last weekend that has been having some pain on his back and he could not train on his KTM as he would have liked, but now that his training routine is getting back to normal he hopes to be fighting for a podium finish in the upcoming Grand Prix.
The fifth position in the MX1 standings is for Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Kevin Strijbos who will travel to Maggiora determined to race for another podium finish and get closer to his compatriot De Dycker in the championship standings. For Strijbos, as well as for most of the MX1 riders, it will be the first time to race in Maggiora, so anything can be expected this weekend.
Tommy Searle, who is just four points behind Strijbos, starts the second half of his rookie season in the MX1 class and last weekend in Ernée proved that he is making a big progress in the adaptation to his 450cc Kawasaki. Max Nagl is seventh in the championship and he will do his best this weekend to clinch to good starts and race for a top three finish.
Jeremy Van Horebeek had one of his best weekends of the season at Ernée with an overall fifth result, so this weekend he will be giving it all to enter the top five or even the top three. The Belgian is eighth in the MX1 standings and Rui Gonçalves and David Philippaerts, who will be racing home this weekend and will do his best to finish among to top five, are completing the top five. Evgeny Bobryshev is currently in the eleventh position and even if he is still struggling with his leg injury, he will do his best to ride among the best MX1 riders this weekend.
For Davide Guarneri, who is currently fourteenth in the championship, it will also be a very special weekend, as he is also racing home and he will have loads of fans supporting him at Maggiora.
Steven Frossard is still not ready to race this weekend and Monster Energy Yamaha has decided to give Billy Mackenzie an opportunity to race the Italian Grand Prix as the Australian has a break in his National MX series.
American Jeff Alessi, Mike Alessi’s brother, will take part in the ninth Grand Prix of the FIM Motocross World Championship this weekend as a wildcard with JK SKS Gebben Racing and he is determined to give his best even if he is not at his 100%.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings added his twenty-fourth GP victory at Ernée last weekend and he is just three victories away from the best ever Dutch rider Dave Strijbos. Herlings is looking forward to racing at Maggiora this weekend and write his name also in the history of such mythic track.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordi Tixier missed the podium at his home Grand Prix last weekend, but he keeps on being the runner up of the MX2 series with a comfortable 40 points advantage over Jose Butrón who is third. The French rider is determined to be back on the podium this weekend starting with a good qualifying race on Saturday.
KTM Silver Action’s José Butrón struggled a lot last weekend in Ernée, but he managed to keep the third position in the standings. The Spanish rider is looking forward to racing this weekend as he is really good in hard pack and he will give it all once again to obtain another podium finish. After the French Grand Prix Butrón travelled to Italy and he went directly to his team’s headquarters to get ready for the event.
Standing Construct KTM’s Glenn Coldenhoff was once again not that fortunate in France and he is now ten points behind Butrón. The Dutch rider is doing his best to try to obtain the consistent results he is missing, so it might be in Maggiora when we see Coldenhoff fighting for a podium finish as he did in the beginning of the season.
Completing the top five of the MX2 point standings is Monster Energy Yamaha’s Christophe Charlier who obtained his maiden podium of the season last weekend at Ernée. Such result was very positive for the French rider and he should now have the confidence back again to fight for a top three result at every single event.
Dean Ferris obtained his first pole of the season at Ernée last weekend, but he was finished out of the top three on Sunday. The Australian is sixth in the point standings and he will do his best to be on the podium of the Grand Prix of Italy. Max Anstie has been struggling in the last Grand Prix to find the perfect set up for him to finish in the top ten; the British rider is seventh in the standings four points behind Ferris and he is really looking forward for a good result this weekend.
Jake Nicholls did an incredible race last weekend in Ernée and he succeeded to lead the second race at some point, so he will do his best to have two good starts this weekend in order to ride with the front group and try to obtain another podium finish.
Alessandro Lupino will be racing home this weekend and his dream would be to finish again on the podium in front of his Italian fans, as he did Dylan Ferrandis last weekend in France. Lupino and Ferrandis are ninth and tenth respectively in the point standings of the FIM MX2 World Championship.
American Michael Leib will be back this weekend racing in the FIM MX2 World Championship under the structure of Honda Gariboldi. The American rider obtained his maiden MX2 podium last year in Fermo, so it is special for him to be back to the series in Italy.
Maggiora will host the fifth round of the FIM MX3 World Championship, which is more exciting than ever as there are up to four riders who are able to obtain the overall victory. Klemen Gercar will race the Italian round with the red plate on his Honda machine, but Matthias Walkner and Gert Krestinov – second and third in the standings – will not leave things easy for the Slovenian. Martin Michek, who is fourth just two points behind Krestinov, is another contender to be fighting for the overall victory this weekend.
The FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship will celebrate the third round this weekend in Maggiora, where the red plate holder Chiara Fontanesi will have more supporters than ever. Megan Rutledge and Natalie Kane are second and third in the standings and Stephanie Laier, who is currently fourth, will give his best this weekend to finish on the podium once again and enter the top three.