Race Report: MX Euro at Montova

Vaessen and Rubini Ride to Victory

The super fun and jumpy sand circuit of Mantova played host to the eighth and sixth rounds of the EMX250 and EMX125 presented by FMF Racing championships where Team Suzuki World MX2’s Bas Vaessen and KTM Silver Action’s Stephen Rubini topped the box in their respective classes.

Not many American riders race the world's number one amateur series, the European Championship EMX250, so when one decides to take the plunge and give it a whirl, it’s exciting to see his progression and what he learns.

American Darian Sanayei took on the challenge this year and has been getting faster and stronger with each and every round. In race one yesterday, the youngster onboard a Bud Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki took the holeshot ahead of the championship leader Bodo Schmidt Motosport’s Thomas Kjer Olsen. Olsen sat behind Sanayei for the first handful of laps before making a move for the lead. Sanayei said, “I got a good start but I wasn’t riding that good, I couldn’t see anyone’s lines so when Thomas passed me I just tried to follow him and see where he’s going.” Which is exactly what he did before finding his own set of good lines, and impressively passed the Red Plate holder back. After taking the lead, the 457 of Sanayei controlled the race for his fourth race win of the season. Olsen was second while Team Suzuki World MX2’s Bas Vaessen was third.

In race two this morning Bud Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Darian Sanayei timed the gate perfectly for his second holeshot of the weekend ahead of KTM Factory Juniors Josiah Natzke and Team Suzuki World MX2’s Bas Vaessen. Tip Top MP32 Yamaha’s Mathys Boisrame was in fourth before being knocked back to fifth by the championship leader Bodo Schmidt Motorsports Thomas Kjer Olsen who used him as a berm half of a lap in.

Mantova, MX Euro, Vaessen, Rubini
The sand circuit of Mantova was the place that allowed Vaessen and Rubini to show off their racing skills and snag podiums for their classes.Photo Courtesy of MXGP

There was some real excitement, as Olsen took no prisoners on his way forward. He muscled Natzke out of the way for third and started chipping away at the 4-second gap of Vaessen who was in second.

Sanayei was looking super fast and super smooth out front before his bike locked up and chucked him off. When he tried to re-start it, it was seized solid, which was a devastating end to what should have been an awesome weekend. In contrast, Vaessen was in his element this weekend and actually pulled away from Kjer Olsen for a massive victory, his first of the season.

The Dutch are renowned for their sand riding skills, so while it was random to see Honda’s Ceriel Klein Kromhof finish third, it possibly wasn’t THAT random. Swede Anton Gole managed to get Natzke on the last lap for fourth while the Kiwi, Natzke managed to hold on for fifth, which was by far his best result of this year.

Happy days for Team Suzuki World MX2’s Bas Vaessen who admitted “I finally was able to cross the line in first, I’m always there or close, but I did it today, so it’s good.” The Dutchman hit two milestones this weekend with his first race win and first overall victory of the season. Bodo Schmidt Motorsport’s Thomas Kjer Olsen has finished on the podium at every single round and kept that podium streak alive with a second place overall, while Anton Gole uncorked his second bottle of bubbles this season in third.

Mantova, MX Euro, Vaessen, Rubini
Bas Vaessen is happy with his results and with his two milestones this past weekend.Photo Courtesy of MXGP

EMX250 Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Darian Sanayei (USA, Kawasaki), 30:28.902; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:03.735; 3. Bas Vaessen (NED, Suzuki), +0:06.541; 4. Alberto Forato (ITA, Honda), +0:32.274; 5. Miro Sihvonen (FIN, KTM), +0:40.900; 6. Anton Gole (SWE, Husqvarna), +0:49.068; 7. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Kawasaki), +0:51.610; 8. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), +0:57.264; 9. Glen Meier (DEN, KTM), +0:59.190; 10. Jere Haavisto (FIN, Husqvarna), +0:59.945.

EMX250 Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Bas Vaessen (NED, Suzuki), 29:44.014; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:12.805; 3. Ceriel Klein Kromhof (NED, Honda), +0:23.469; 4. Anton Gole (SWE, Husqvarna), +0:25.734; 5. Josiah Natzke (NZL, KTM), +0:26.791; 6. Alberto Forato (ITA, Honda), +0:27.654; 7. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), +0:37.537; 8. Mike Stender (GER, Suzuki), +0:41.197; 9. Jere Haavisto (FIN, Husqvarna), +0:44.731; 10. Miro Sihvonen (FIN, KTM), +0:49.544.

EMX250 Overall Top Ten: 1. Bas Vaessen (NED, SUZ), 45 points; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 44 p.; 3. Anton Gole (SWE, HUS), 33 p.; 4. Alberto Forato (ITA, HON), 33 p.; 5. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 27 p.; 6. Miro Sihvonen (FIN, KTM), 27 p.; 7. Ceriel Klein Kromhof (NED, HON), 25 p.; 8. Darian Sanayei (USA, KAW), 25 p.; 9. Jere Haavisto (FIN, HUS), 23 p.; 10. Mike Stender (GER, SUZ), 22 p.

EMX250 Championship Top Ten: 1. Bas Vaessen (NED, SUZ), 45 points; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 44 p.; 3. Anton Gole (SWE, HUS), 33 p.; 4. Alberto Forato (ITA, HON), 33 p.; 5. Jorge Prado Garcia (ESP, KTM), 27 p.; 6. Miro Sihvonen (FIN, KTM), 27 p.; 7. Ceriel Klein Kromhof (NED, HON), 25 p.; 8. Darian Sanayei (USA, KAW), 25 p.; 9. Jere Haavisto (FIN, HUS), 23 p.; 10. Mike Stender (GER, SUZ), 22 p.

EMX250 Manufacturers: 1. Husqvarna, 377 points; 2. Kawasaki, 321 p.; 3. KTM, 302 p.; 4. Suzuki, 262 p.; 5. Yamaha, 207 p.; 6. Honda, 175 p.;

EuroMX125, Stephen Rubini, MXGP
Race 1 of EuroMX125 was competitive and fast-paced with Stephen Rubini putting pressure on other racers and ending up in second.Photo Courtesy of MXGP

In race one yesterday, it was the little Italian star onboard a De Carli KTM, Gianluca Facchetti, who pulled the holeshot and led the first couple of laps before he got bucked off the pegs in a choppy part of the track and looped out. Bud Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Kim Savaste then inherited the lead and inched away, but was unable to withstand the eventual pressure of KTM Silver Action’s Stephen Rubini who was flying. Rubini passed Savaste with a couple of laps to go and took the checkers for the sixth time this season. Savaste took second, while the championship leader Sahkar KTM’s Jago Geerts overcame some adversity, which included a bit of gymnastics when he cartwheeled it in the latter stages of the race, for third ahead of Facchetti, and Bud Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Brian Strubhart Moreau.

Meanwhile, IceOne Husqvarna’s Mikkel Haarup took the holeshot ahead of De Carli KTM’s Gianluca Facchetti and Italy’s Mattia Guadagnini. Sahkar KTM’s Jago Geerts was in fourth, but not for long as he made light work of Guadagnin for third on lap two.

The two hot shots from Race 1, KTM Silver Actions Stephen Rubini and Bud Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Kim Savaste were buried at the back of the pack and were left with a lot of work to do in order to catch the front-runners.

Facchetti managed to out brake Haarup for the lead on lap three, which was only the start of Haarup’s problems as Geerts started upping the pace in third. After taking chunks out of Haarup’s 4 second advantage, Geerts got close enough to show Haarup a wheel and after a lap of literally trying everything, he took a chance at hammering a berm to the pass the Dane around the outside and it worked.

Geerts was out to cause an upset among the rowdy Italian fans that wanted to see Facchetti win here on home soil, while Haarup sat back and waited for one of them to make a mistake. With 5 minutes to go, the trio of Facchetti, Geerts and Haarup were switching between attack and defense as they swapped positions, which played right into the hands of KTM Silver Action’s race one winner Stephen Rubini.

Eventually Geerts managed to find his rhythm and gapped it for his sixth win of the season with a healthy 10 second lead over his biggest rival in the championship Rubini. Haarup managed to get the better of Facchetti with a few laps to go, which left him with a season best finish of third place while Facchetti chilled back in fourth, 12 seconds clear of Bud Racing Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Brian Strubhart Moreau.

With a 1-2 result, KTM Silver Action’s Stephen Rubini took his fourth round victory of the season while the championship leader Sahkar KTM’s Jago Geerts went 3 – 2 for second. De Carli KTM’s Gianluca Facchetti put a smile on the faces of thousands of fans out here in Mantova with his 4 – 4 for third.

EuroMX125, Stephen Rubini, MXGP
Rubini had a first and second finishes in Race 1 and Race 2 respectively to keep him in the first position of the overall top ten.Photo Courtesy of MXGP

EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Race 1 Top Ten: 1. Stephen Rubini (FRA, KTM), 31:14.603; 2. Kim Savaste (FIN, Kawasaki), +0:01.991; 3. Jago Geerts (BEL, KTM), +0:45.816; 4. Gianluca Facchetti (ITA, KTM), +0:50.630; 5. Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:55.194; 6. Szymon Staszkiewicz (POL, KTM), +0:59.729; 7. Pierre Goupillon (FRA, KTM), +1:02.237; 8. Luka Crnkovic (CRO, Yamaha), +1:04.684; 9. Raivo Dankers (NED, KTM), +1:06.636; 10. Sander Agard-Michelsen (NOR, TM), +1:14.618

EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Race 2 Top Ten: 1. Jago Geerts (BEL, KTM), 29:46.456; 2. Stephen Rubini (FRA, KTM), +0:09.392; 3. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Husqvarna), +0:14.773; 4. Gianluca Facchetti (ITA, KTM), +0:39.274; 5. Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:45.301; 6. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, Yamaha), +0:46.301; 7. Szymon Staszkiewicz (POL, KTM), +0:47.998; 8. Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +0:55.693; 9. Sander Agard-Michelsen (NOR, TM), +1:03.120; 10. Emilio Scuteri (ITA, KTM), +1:09.023.

EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Overall Top Ten: 1. Stephen Rubini (FRA, KTM), 47 points; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, KTM), 45 p.; 3. Gianluca Facchetti (ITA, KTM), 36 p.; 4. Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, KAW), 32 p.; 5. Kim Savaste (FIN, KAW), 32 p.; 6. Szymon Staszkiewicz (POL, KTM), 29 p.; 7. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, HUS), 28 p.; 8. Sander Agard-Michelsen (NOR, TM), 23 p.; 9. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, YAM), 22 p.; 10. Luka Crnkovic (CRO, YAM), 20 p.

EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Championship Top Ten: 1. Jago Geerts (BEL, KTM), 257 points; 2. Stephen Rubini (FRA, KTM), 248 p.; 3. Pierre Goupillon (FRA, KTM), 194 p.; 4. Gianluca Facchetti (ITA, KTM), 162 p.; 5. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, YAM), 152 p.; 6. Zachary Pichon (FRA, YAM), 135 p.; 7. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, HUS), 131 p.; 8. Andrea Zanotti (SMR, KTM), 113 p.; 9. Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA, KAW), 109 p.; 10. Kim Savaste (FIN, KAW), 104 p.

EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing Manufacturers: 1. KTM, 300 points; 2. Yamaha, 210 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 157 p.; 4. Husqvarna, 146 p.; 5. TM, 94 p.