MXGP season underway for Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha
The first round of the MXGP World Championship set place in England at Matterley Basin during the weekend, the first time the series has started in Europe for a number of years.
IStorm Jorge hit the paddock and on Saturday morning there was damage done to MXGP infrastructure. With a heavy wind, it was decided to delay the Saturday action until midday and the MXGP riders would only get one session – free practice followed by timed practice which meant less track time for the riders.
The Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha team have a three rider line up to take on the MXGP World Championship this year and Italian Alessandro Lupino is entering his third season with the team but Matterley Basin was the first MXGP race for him on the Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha after the manufacture change.
In the first race, Lupino was running a good pace in the top ten and looked comfortable battling in the stacked MXGP field at a difficult and technical circuit. Unfortunately, Lupino struggled with arm pump and had to slow down and ended up without points in twenty-sixth. The second race was encouraging for the Italian as he came home in fifteenth – a good result and he’ll look to build on that.
Calvin Vlaanderen and Thomas Covington made their MXGP debuts at the weekend with the team. For Vlaanderen, he showed some good pace over the weekend qualifying in tenth but a bad start in the first moto meant he had work to do. In the end he battled through the pack to nineteenth despite suffering from arm pump – his first MXGP points. Unfortunately, in race two, Vlaanderen got taken out by another rider and as a result was far behind the pack so could only come home in thirty-first.
Young American, Thomas Covington is back in the GP scene and having to race conditions like Matterley Basin after a year in America would have been tough. The American ended up thirty-second in both the moto’s but will work to improve over the course of the season.
The Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha head to round two of MXGP which takes place at Valkenswaard in the Netherlands this weekend.
"It was quite a strange weekend with snow, rain and it was cold with a revised table on Saturday. I have to be honest, I’m not really happy about the race but at the same time I’m happy I know now where I can be. I can see that I’m better than last year, I feel stronger and better on the bike. I really like the team; we’ve made a good job during the winter. The result wasn’t what we expected but I’m sure that soon we will get good results. I’m disappointed about the first moto, I was riding really good in eighth but I had really bad arm pump, so I had to slow down. In the second moto, I enjoyed riding and it was a good feeling. We’ll now head to Valkenswaard, we’ll train hard for it and see what happens."
"It was a tough first GP for me but I’m happy to get the first one out of the way. I know where I am, and I know what I need to work on. Obviously, it was a bit of a crazy Saturday with only going out once for qualifying but I was happy with getting the tenth time in the rain. The races on Sunday were tough. First race, I had a bad start but came back through the pack to position nineteenth. I struggled with arm pump so was hoping for a better second race. I had a better start and was around thirteenth but got pushed back the first few laps just missing some intensity. Then I got taken out which put me last and I just rode a moto at the back of the pack trying to get some bike time, it’s not the results that I want and I feel I’m missing some speed. I need to work on getting more comfortable on the bike and the speed will follow. See you all in Valkenswaard for my home GP."
"It was a tough weekend for me. I haven’t had a tonne of time on bike the last couple of months will all the bad weather, so we are still working some kinks out. We’ll keep working to get better and improve each and every weekend."