The EMX125 European Championship series will get under way this weekend, at Arco di Trento in Italy, at the fourth round of the 2014 FIM World Motocross Championship.
Arco di Trento and the European stint of the MXGP calendar will ignite another dimension of Yamaha’s comprehensive off-road racing spread. Europe’s brightest and best talent will arrive at the Grand Prix of Trentino, some armed with YZ dirt-bikes, as the full development ‘pyramid’ of the sport kicks into life.
EMX125 (all two-strokes) will take to the track this weekend and then the EMX250 (250cc four-strokes) – a level higher and the feeder series to the FIM world championship – comes into play just seven days later at the Grand Prix of Bulgaria.
On a continental stage the blossoming EMX divisions are gaining prestige as valuable ‘shop windows’ for the best racing prospects and some important and essential testing ground for diverse motorcycle technology.
Yamaha are prominent in Grand Prix with their 2014 YZ250F and YZ450F as works prototypes, as well as competitive Yamaha Rinaldi Research and Development [YRRD] special kitted engines. But the European contests showcase the performance of the YZ125 and YZ250F production models often equipped with the latest YRRD customer kit racing material.
The eight round EMX125 – bulging with an entry list of over 90 riders – will begin at one of the most scenic circuits on the GP trail before moving to Bulgaria, Holland, France, Germany, Czech Republic and Belgium in the coming weeks and months.
A rider to watch out for at the opening round is Belgium’s Cyril Genot. He grabbed attention at the final round of the 2013 EMX125, when he finished on the podium on his very first European outing on the YZ125. Tutored by GP great, Marnicq Bervoets from the Kemea Yamaha team framework, the 15-year-old is another emerging athlete expected to produce the goods at Arco and across the next five months.
Also in EMX125 is 16-year-old Swede, Alvin Ostlund, who is fielded by the Mafi Yamaha crew. He broke into the top four at the British Grand Prix last summer; earning a championship position of ninth at the end of 2013.
Ahead of the opening round, an EMX125 test session took place on Tuesday in Italy. It was overseen by Michele Rinaldi and former Grand Prix winner, Erik Eggens. It gave the riders a chance to get some vital practice in before the European season opener.
The Yamaha Motor Europe Off-Road consultant said: “The riders arrived with some national races already under their belts and a good base bike set-up. But there are always some settings and riding techniques than can be improved.”