Round 2 of the MXGP World Championship heads to the deep sands of Riola Sardo. The MXGP of Sardegna, Italy was one of the most shocking races of the year last year. In 2022, stunning the MXGP paddock, Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha’s Calvin Vlaanderen swept the weekend winning the qualifying race as well as both races on Sunday.
At the first round of the 2023 season, Vlaanderen earned an 11th and 10th in the two races. Could the Dutchman get back to the top step of the podium this weekend in the sand? Another Dutchman to be on the lookout for is Red Bull KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings. “The Bullet” is known for being one of, if not the best, sand riders ever. After missing last years season, Herlings started the year showing he is ready to fight for this championship right from the beginning. Do not be surprised to see Herlings find his way to his first win of the season on the Italian sands.
The lightning quick starter, Red Bull Gasgas’ Jorge Prado currently holds the red plate after round 1. Being one of the best starters the sport has ever seen, the young Spaniard could prove to be hard to beat. Last year, Prado had the quickest time of the two races, combine that with the ability to start quick, the red plate could stay behind the number 61 leaving the island going into round 3.
HRC Honda’s Ruben Fernandez took major strides in Argentina by winning the overall. Can Fernandez go 2-for-2 and turn his bike all red? Monster Energy Yamaha’s Maxime Renaux, Jeremy Seewer and Glenn Coldenhoff had their own issues at round 1, but look to bounce back and put themselves back in the championship hunt. Romain Febvre, Pauls Jonass and Brian Bogers have all shown to be able to run the pace at the front. The first European round of the championship will be a tough one, and will provide some good racing all through the field.
In MX2, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2’s Jago Geerts aims to continue his winning ways. Perfect at round 1, the Belgian looks to extend his points lead in Sardegna. Finishing 2nd in 2022, Geerts looks to be the favorite for the weekend.
Nestaan Husqvarna’s Kay de Wolf, Roan Van De Moosdijk and Lucas Coenen will also be strong in the deep sand. Kay de Wolf has shown incredible speed in the sand in the past. At round 1 de Wolf showed impressive speed, passing eventual winner, Geerts, before crashing. Could the youngster get his first win of the year? Or can his teammates, Van De Moosdijk or Coenen jump their way to the top of the podium?
Red Bull KTM’s Andrea Adamo and Liam Everts proved to have plenty of speed at the start of the season. The Italian, Adamo, has his sights set on his first win of his career, could it coe this weekend? The other Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 riders, Thibault Benistant and Rick Elzinga looked good in Argentina. Benistant has proven he knows how to win in MXGP in the past, and already this year showed he is ready to go all in towards the championship. Other noteables include; Red Bull Gasgas’ Simon Laengenfelder, F&H Kawasaki’s Kevin Horgmo and David Braceras are among the few that look to have shot at the podium.
Be sure to check out the action all weekend! You can watch it all live on MXGP-TV