Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing Official MXGP Team rider Jeremy Van Horebeek raced to a top five finish in Mantova on Sunday, overcoming the hot, humid Italian summer weather as well as a tight, gnarly circuit that forgave no mistakes.

Van Horebeek shook off the last of a wrist injury that has bothered him since early May, and roared off to a great start on his YZ450FM in the first moto, finishing fifth with lap times among the fastest on the day. The Belgian tussled with Dutch rider Glenn Coldenhoff and Russian Evgeniy Bobryshev on a blazing hot day in northern Italy, swinging through the choppy lines carved into ruts over two days of motocross action.

Wild Card Chad Reed registered a DNF after a technical issue in moto one sent the AMA Supercross superstar out of the race, but not before thousands of cheering motocross fans got to meet the veteran rider and take an autograph or pose for a selfie.


In the second moto Van Horebeek was slower off the start and finished seventh with lap times that began to show the effect of the heat on the entire MXGP pack. But what influenced the race more than the 37-degree temperature and the 60% humidity was a full set of racing classes before the main event, with hundreds of motocrossers turning dozens and dozens of laps to chew up and deteriorate the loose sand on top of the hard base beneath. Lines changed from lap to lap, and the need to focus closely took its toll on everyone as the race wore on.

“The heat wasn’t the biggest problem,” said Van Horebeek, “but it was hot for sure. We’re still looking for solutions to the start, but it’s not easy. I think we will get there. But it’s no time for vacation, we will keep going.”

Guest rider Chad Reed greeted the cheers of Italian fans in Mantova and met with hundreds of passionate motocross aficionados in his two wild card rounds at MXGP. In both Matterley Basin and Mantova, wherever Reed walked in the busy paddocks, dozens of happy people lined up to shake hands and pose for an obliging photograph with the rider.

Van Horebeek remains in sixth overall in the 2016 FIM World Championship standings with six rounds to go. He trails Russian Evgeniy Bobryshev by 46 points as the MXGP riders return at the end of July to Loket in the Czech republic. Guillod trails Van Horebeek in seventh by 79 points. Romain Febvre sat out the weekend to continue his recovery after a heavy crash in Matterley Basin, and will return in Loket to try and earn back a 32-point deficit to Antonio Cairoli for second overall.

Kemea Yamaha Official MX Team rider Valentin Guillod raced a steady set of motos at Mantova, finishing ninth and eighth and finding his instincts in the jumps to be more precise than most of his competition. The Swiss rider has raced to great results so far during his first year in the premiere class, and on Sunday moved up a notch in the 2016 championship standings to remain in the top 10 overall.