Our top 10 things we learnt from the 2018 MXGP of Trentino, Italy.
1: Tommy Searle injury troubles
Tommy Searle is on the road to recovery, saying on Instagram that he hopes to be back on the bike soon. “Frustrating not being able to race in Italy this weekend,” he wrote. “I’ll be out on the bike this week again tho. Hopefully shoulder feels good and I’ll be back at it!” After last year was ruined by injury he’s on record as saying this could be the most important year of his career. Hopefully he will return soon and show us all what he can do.
2: What’s the difference between a factory team and the rest?
Titanium parts? Special suspension? Maybe, but the real difference is the coffee. Wilvo Yamaha’s Factory coffee machine makes a barista quality cappuccino in seconds, but I suppose it should, it cost the same as a 250F.
3: Almost Factory for Hitachi ASA KTM
Hitachi ASA KTM revamped their truck through the winter and debuted a new awning in Trentino. Much lighter than the old one with Milwaukee logos on the roof they’re looking more like a factory team. They just need to upgrade their coffee machine now!
4: Eddie Wade – the real deal?
Eddie Wade made his debut in the EMX125 class. The 85cc World Champ broke his collarbone 10 days before Valkenswaard and didn’t qualify but its healed now. He qualified sixth in his group then went 7- 27 in the races after bike problems in race 2. He looks like the real deal, with a great family and team behind him. See what he had to say in our exclusive interview coming very soon.
5: Huge entry list for WMX – wouldn’t that be novel for MXGP?
WMX continues to grow. There were 50 women entered so qualifying was needed to eliminate 10. Compared to previous years this is good and while there is a difference in speed between the front half dozen and the rest it provides good racing and a good showcase for womens racing.
6: Lucky Italy has three Grands Prix – but why?
Some conspiracy theorists would say it’s because the Italian owners of Youthstream show favouritism. But with no MXGP in Austria or Slovenia (both countries border Italy and are only a short drive for the fans) and a big fan base in nearby Switzerland too, it probably makes good business sense. Not to mention the thousands of Italian Cairoli fans who would probably like even more MXGPs in Italy.
7: A good signing for Marchetti
Benoit Paturel returned this week, riding for the Marchetti KTM team. You may remember he signed for BOS GP but left amid a flurry of social media finger-pointing before the season started. Anyway, what we know so far is that after riding a private Honda in France he’s back in the paddock, on a KTM and now in the MXGP class. There are probably more questions than answers about what really happened. Running in sixth for half the first race before he faded back and stopped on the last lap in his first race on a 450 in MXGP, and another strong ride in Race 2 to finish in 12th, he looked like a good signing for Marchetti.
8: Henry Jacobi could have a break-out year
Henry Jacobi came alive in Race 1. Battling at the front, he re-passed Olsen for second spot. Sitting in 15th in the championship with a fifth-place being his best finish this year it was a ride that matched Conrad Mewse in Redsand. He backed it up in Race 2 with another strong ride before a crash while battling with Vlaanderen in fourth dropped him to 10th. Incredibly that was enough for third overall. Could he be the next rider to break out and start running with the factory bikes?
9: Herlings now brings a double threat
Herlings is now a double threat. He’s already the fastest rider this year and the only one besides Tony Cairoli that can come through from a bad start, which he usually gets and has been the only chink in his armour. Starting in second place in the qualifying race, holeshotting Race 1 and starting Race 2 in second place it looks like he’s sorted his Achilles heel. It could be a long season for the competition.
10: Magnetic peaks
I’m a little sceptical about Fox helmets magnetic peak system. I’m all in favour of rider safety and the peaks are designed to detach in the event of a crash, reducing the strain on the rider’s neck. But in virtually every session you see someone riding around having lost their peak when a stone or roost has hit it off. Maybe stronger magnets are needed? Or Velcro? Or plastic screws like the original Arai helmets?