EMX 125 and 250 European Championship:
Fredriksen and Lata secure EMX Overall victories in France
Day one of race action in Lacapelle Marival has concluded with Riley Racing’s Haakon Fredriksen and MRT Racing Team KTM’s Valerio Lata taking overall victories in EMX250 and EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing at the round of France.
The first day of the French Grand Prix did not disappoint as a large crowd of fans gathered at the Georges Filhol circuit to support the home riders.
The first EMX250 race of the day saw SM Action Racing Team YUASA Battery’s Kevin Horgmo who took the holeshot ahead of Jeremy Sydow of Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing, Riley Racing’s Haakon Fredriksen and Tom Guyon of Team VHR KTM Racing Team.
Championship leader Nicholas Lapucci of Fantic Factory Racing Maddii was unlucky in the first lap as he got caught up behind some riders and started way down the order in around 19th place.
There was a change for the lead as Horgmo crashed and so did Sydow. Fredriksen was the new race leader with Guyon second, Cornelius Toendel of Riley Racing third and Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing’s Andrea Bonacorsi in fourth.
At one stage Toendel was the fastest rider on track as he set his sights on catching Guyon for second position. Once he was able to catch him the pair then had a nice battle, trading places a couple of times before the Norwegian was able to make a pass stick.
Fredriksen then led the race by 5.066 seconds over Toendel and Bonacorsi caught onto the back of Guyon once again as he searched for a way past the home rider. Eventually he was able to get it done.
Further down the order, Lapucci was struggling to make a comeback as he was stuck in 17th. Eventually he came back to 12th.
Though as the chequered flag fell, it was Fredriksen who took his first race win of the season ahead of Bonacorsi who managed to get past Toendel, who finished third.
In race two, Lapucci was not messing around as he got out in front from the very beginning. The Italian took the holeshot ahead of Guyon, Fredriksen and Emil Weckman from Honda Racing Assomotor.
Horgmo started the race in seventh ahead of Liam Everts of KTM Liamski.
Guyon then came under attack from Fredriksen who was keen to repeat his success of race one as Horgmo made up two spots and moved into fifth. But then Bonacorsi was able to get past the Norwegian, pushing him back to sixth.
Lapucci then led Fredriksen by 3.933 seconds, as Weckman came under attack by Bonacorsi who was pushing hard to get fourth place. And not long after he did just that. A couple of laps later the Fin then came under more pressure as Horgmo, Everts and Rick Elzinga of TBS Conversions Racing Team all line up behind him.
Horgmo went through first as Everts followed. Weckman dropped to seventh. Everts then got Horgmo as did Elzinga, with the GasGas rider dropping back down to seventh position.
Lapucci extended his lead to 7.445 as Bonacorsi started to close in on Guyon. In the end the Italian was able to find his way through.
In the final few laps there was no change in the top five, as Lapucci secured his eighth race win of the season, with Fredriksen second and Bonacorsi third. Despite winning the race, Lapucci failed to mount the podium as Fredriksen took the overall win, with Bonacorsi second and Guyon third overall at his home round.
Lapucci still leads the championship by 36 points heading into the final four rounds in Italy.
Haakon Fredriksen: “This year has been a big struggle, so it is really nice to have the overall today. I had two good starts and two solid races which was good enough for the overall, so I am really happy. Of course, it’s a big confidence boost to know that I am also here competing on hard pack because I have been a little bit off the speed in the past. Now it seems that I have figured it out, so it’s a big confidence boost”.
In the first EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing heat it was Marc-Antoine Rossi of Tech32 Racing Team who was flying out of the gate and led the race from early on. Ferruccio Zanchi from Yamaha Europe EMX125 was second, followed by Sacha Coenen of 9MM Energy Drink BUD Racing and Bobby Bruce of ASA United GasGas Racing. Meanwhile the championship leader Valerio Lata from MRT Racing Team KTM started the race down in sixth position.
Coenen then went down, while Bruce set the fastest lap of the race as he started to close in on Zanchi, passing him not long after. The gap between Bruce and Rossi was 2.549 at that point in the race.
Meanwhile Lata had Kay Karssemakers of Husqvarna SKS Racing NL and Juliu Mikula just ahead of him and needed to be smart to make up those positions fast.
Bruce then took over the lead, but it did not last long as the Brit crashed out. This allowed Rossi back in the driving seat, as the Frenchman was encouraged by the enthusiastic home fans.
Lata then got Karssemakers to move into fourth, while Ivano Van Erp of Yamaha Europe EMX125 fought way down the order in 25th after hitting the gate in the beginning of the race.
The second 9MM Energy Drink BUD Racing rider Lucas Coenen was also fighting his way up the order as he got around Mikula to take seventh. A couple of laps later Coenen picked up two more spots which put him fifth and that’s where he finished the heat.
In the end, it was Rossi who took his first ever race win in the EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing category, crossing the line 8.282 seconds ahead of Lata and Bruce who managed to come back to third.
In the second heat it was Zanchi with the holeshot ahead of Lata, Van Erp and Sacha Coenen. Despite having a much better start in race two, Van Erp once again found himself in trouble, as he went down on the opening lap.
While at the top end of the field, by the end of the opening lap Zanchi already had a 5.050 second lead over Lata who was quick to set some fast laps to chase down the Yamaha rider for the win.
Once again, Sacha Coenen might have had issues in the first few laps as he started well but was not showing inside the top 20, while his brother Lucas was climbing up the field.
Zanchi continued to lead Lata, Bruce, Karssemakers and Lucas Coenen, as Van Erp made a good comeback to 13th with 15 minutes plus two laps left.
Lucas Coenen then went after Karssemakers for fourth, as Karssemakers worked hard to defend his position, while Lata started to work away at the 5 second lead that Zanchi held.
Some laps later, Coenen was finally able to find a way past Karssemakers who did not make it easy for the Kawasaki rider, as Bruce went down and out of third position.
As two laps remained, it was Lata’s final chance to chase down Zanchi and while he was doing that, Coenen was able to close in and apply the pressure onto the series leader. Eventually it was Zanchi with the race win as Lata held on to second place, with Coenen finishing third.
With 2-2 result in the race, Valerio Lata stood on the top step of the podium for the first time in EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing category, while Marc-Antoine Rossi celebrated his first EMX podium on home soil ahead of Lucas Coenen who secured his second consecutive podium with third overall.
Heading into the next round in Spain, Lata leads the championship by 17 points ahead of Karssemakers and Bruce.
Valerio Lata: “It was a good day. I am very happy. The track was though, but I had a good second race. I had the first victory in the European Championship this year. I want to thank everyone, my family, team, sponsors and see you next week in Spain”.