BIENVENUE TO ST JEAN D’ANGELY FOR THE MONSTER ENERGY MXGP OF FRANCE

MONACO (Principality of Monaco) 15 May 2024 – The FIM Motocross World Championship fires up into northern Europe for round seven, the Monster Energy MXGP of France, at the spectacular hillside venue of St. Jean d’Angely near Bordeaux on the western coast of the country.  The third straight weekend of action will see the leading contenders hoping to go into the small break with some serious momentum behind them, and the classic French circuit has certainly seen some fantastic racing over the years!

The hillsides have played host to 17 MXGP events, stretching back to 1984, when France’s first World Champion Jacky Vimond took his first ever individual race win to the delight of the home crowd, even though eventual Champion that season, Austrian KTM legend Heinz Kinigadner, claimed the overall victory. The next Grand Prix at the event was an incredibly wet affair in 1989, won by Briton David Thorpe. 

The 1990s saw a win for Joel Smets in his first title year of 1995, before David Vuillemin became the first home winner of an overall GP there in 1999.  The 2000s saw the circuit become a more regular fixture in the calendar, with 13 events being run there since 2002, as well as two Motocross of Nations events in 2000 and 2011.  Team USA won the event both times, and two riders from the 2011 event will line up for the GP in 2024 – Jeffrey Herlings and Jeremy Seewer. Amazingly, Jeremy’s Kawasaki Racing Team manager Antti Pyrhonen also competed for Finland on that day! All of the top four in the 2024 MXGP World Championship have had success there, whilst none of the MX2 line-up has won an overall GP at this venue!

The EMX125 Championship Presented by FMF series also joins the party for the third straight weekend, and after four rounds it is being led by Fantic Factory Racing EMX125 rider Noel Zanocz from Hungary, who has just a 5-point lead between himself and Racestore KTM Factory Rookies star Gyan Doensen! Spain’s Salvador Perez holds third for the RFME GASGAS MX Junior Team, and French racer Mano Faure will surely enjoy some solid local support as he lies in sixth for MJC Yamaha Europe.

In EMX250, Valerio Lata continues his quest for the title with an 18-point lead in the series for Beddini GASGAS Factory Juniors, but local hero Mathis Valin, who grew up just under 200km from the track, will have the passionate French fans behind him as he looks to make up ground for Bud Racing Kawasaki. Meanwhile, Gabriel SS24 KTM rider Cas Valk will be hoping to carry his momentum from the double win in Portugal and hack down the 7-point gap he has between himself and the Frenchman.

 


In what is turning into a memorable battle for supremacy, the MXGP World Championship is being fought out between four riders with 14 world titles to their names, including the last six in this class! At the MXGP of Galicia, the reigning MXGP World Champion Jorge Prado re-took the series lead for Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing after losing it through a tough weekend in the mud of Portugal the weekend before.  However, even though he has now won five of the six rounds held so far, there is only a two-point margin between himself and Tim Gajser, who has shown some incredible speed despite being yet to claim an overall victory for Team HRC.  

The two other big hitters with eyes on the prize are both in the hunt for race wins, but now needing to make up a points deficit that is threatening to grow beyond catching distance. Kawasaki Racing Team firebrand Romain Febvre is 31 points behind Prado, while Jeffrey Herlings is 52 off the lead for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and admitting that he needs to improve his early race intensity to match the amazing pace that he showed in the final ten minutes at Lugo.

Another rider with a world title to his name, Pauls Jonass  of the Standing Construct Honda MXGP team, broke his six-year drought of GP success with the overall win in the mud at Portugal, and he lies fifth in the standings, 81 behind Prado.

The top four riders in this year’s series have all tasted the sweet wine of success in the French hillsides.  Gajser has won the last two MXGP events at St Jean, in 2022 as a newly crowned five-time World Champion, when the circuit hosted the MXGP of Charente Maritime.  Tim was also triumphant in 2019, when Prado claimed his second MX2 victory at the track in two years.  Herlings won the MXGP class in 2018, to add to his three MX2 successes of 2012, ’14, and ’16.  We are back on an even-numbered year, so Jeffrey’s hopes must be high! “The Bullet” holds the record for wins at the circuit, with 4 overall GPs and 7 individual races. 

For sure the vast majority of the French crowd will be making noise for their 2015 MXGP World Champion, Romain Febvre.  Even though he hails from the other side of the country, his win at St Jean in 2016 as defending champion was wildly celebrated and much needed in his title battle with Gajser that year. His teammate Jeremy Seewer won in France last season, and as he currently lies 6th in the Championship, the Swiss ace will be very keen to get back to the top step again.

The MXGP World Championship is shaping up to be an absolute classic, and the MXGP of France is likely to be a key moment of the season!

MXGP - World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 298 Points;  2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 296 Points; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 267 Points ; 4. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 246 Pts; 5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HON), 217 Pts; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, KAW), 193 Pts; 7. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 191 Pts; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, FAN), 179 Pts; 9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, HON) 120 Pts; 10. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, HON) 115 Pts.

     

Main Photo: MXGP Start St Jean D'Angely 2022

Bottom Photos: 1.Romain Febvre; 2. Jorge Prado


The battle for the 2024 MX2 World Championship continues to be fascinating, with six separate riders all taking a chequered flag so far, and three more knocking on the door! The one with the best combination of blinding speed and metronomic consistency has definitely been the red plate holder Kay de Wolf, winner of the first three rounds of the year for Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing. It has been far from simple for the tall Dutchman though, as his teammate Lucas Coenen has often been his equal in terms of sheer pace, but has lost ground with mistakes and a niggling shoulder injury. 

Speaking of injury, Simon Laengenfelder lies second in the points chase for Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing, but a broken collarbone sustained in Portugal has put him on the back foot, despite toughing it out to a ninth overall finish at Lugo.  He is 44 points behind De Wolf, and just 18 ahead of the winner of that Portuguese Grand Prix for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, Liam Everts, who has himself recovered from a thumb injury that kept him out of the opening round. 

Behind Liam, the rest are closer in terms of points, with Thibault Benistant taking two overall podium results and a RAM Qualifying Race win for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2, putting him just four markers back from Everts, with Lucas Coenen another three back! Then in sixth comes the reigning Champion in the class, Everts’ teammate Andrea Adamo.  The Italian is 81 points behind De Wolf despite taking a RAM Qualifying win on home ground at Trentino and a GP race at each of the two rounds in Spain.  The speed is evident, but the consistency that earned him last year’s crown has so far evaded him.

Throw in other hopefuls like Rick Elzinga, growing in confidence for Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2, leading holeshot artist Sacha Coenen, who is getting stronger through the races for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, and the ever-threatening pace of Mikkel Haarup on the surprising new Monster Energy Triumph Racing machine, and it’s clear to see why MX2 is so brilliantly entertaining at every round!

As with several circuits this year, none of the current MX2 riders have claimed a GP win at St. Jean d’Angely.  Lucas Coenen took a double win at the track in EMX250 back in 2022, while Benistant took the win in MX2 race one and 2nd overall that year. He also took the overall result at his home GP at Villars-sous-Ecot last season, so the Yamaha man will be seriously motivated to perform well again front of his home crowd!

Exciting rookie talents Marc-Antoine Rossi of Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing and Quentin Prugnieres for F&H Kawasaki will also enjoy their first GP race in France as full-time MX2 competitors, following their wild card appearances at Villars sous Ecot last year!

While Kay de Wolf has held the red plate since the end of the opening round in Argentina, each event has proven to be totally unpredictable with the colourful cast of MX2 in 2024!

MX2 - World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 292 Points; 2. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 248 Points; 3. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 230 Pts; 4. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 226 Pts; 5. Lucas Coenen (BEL, HUS), 223 Pts;  6. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 211 Pts; 7. Rick Elzinga (NED, YAM), 190 Pts; 8. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, TRI), 182 Pts; 9. Sacha Coenen (BEL, KTM), 141 Pts; 10. Camden McLellan (RSA, TRI). 126 Pts.

     

Main Photo: MX2 Start St Jean D'Angely 2022

Bottom Photos: 1.Thibault Benistant; 2. Lucas Coenen

 

 

Don’t miss your chance to watch the MXGP action from France this weekend. Get your tickets HERE! and VIP Tickets HERE!

All the photos from the MXGP of France will be available HERE.

You can find the complete results HERE.

 

TIMETABLE 

SATURDAY: 08:00  EMX125 Free practice Group 1, 08:30 EMX125 Free practice Group 2, 09:00 MXE Time Practice, 09:20 EMX250 Free practice, 09:50 EMX125 Qualifying practice Group 1, 10:30 MX2 Time Practice, 11:00 MXGP Free Practice, 11:55 12:00 MXE Race 1, 12:20 EMX125 Qualifying practice Group 2, 13:00 EMX250 Qualifying practice, 13:40 MX2 Time Practice, 14:15 MXGP Time Practice, 15:00 EMX125 Race 1, 15:45 EMX250 Race 1, 16:35 MX2 RAM Qualifying Race, 17:25 MXGP RAM Qualifying Race.

SUNDAY: 09:15 EMX125 Race 2, 10:25 MX2 Warm-up, 10:45 MXGP Warm-up, 11:30 EMX250 Race 2, 12:20 MXE Race 2,  13:15 MX2 Race 1, 14:15 MXGP Race 1, 16:10 MX2 Race 2, 17:10 MXGP Race 2.

 

LINKS

Infront Moto Racing

FIM

FIM Europe

St Jean D’Angely
 

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