Noel Zanocz wins in Riola and leads the EMX125 European Championship

Riola Sardo hosted the third round of the Motocross World Championship and the season opener for the EMX125 European Championship that saw Fantic Factory Racing 125 and Noel Zanocz on the top step of the podium. On one of the most demanding tracks on the MXGP calendar, Brian Bogers clinched a top 10 result in the premier class at his debut on the Fantic XXF 450.

In race 1, Noel Zanocz took the lead early on and tried to open up a gap on his rivals. With only four laps to go he had to take a step back, also because of his wrist which was not at 100%, still finishing second. Douwe Van Mechgelen put in an impressive performance as well and secured a fourth-place finish. Simone Mancini was involved in a turn 1 crash and had to work his way up, eventually finishing 17th.

Zanocz didn’t get the best of starts in the second moto, but was quick to make up ground. He worked his way into the lead and secured his first ever victory in the European Championship in a stunning way. By doing so, he will take the red plate to Fantic’s home race in Arco di Trento. Another solid race in P7 put Douwe Van Mechgelen fifth overall. Mancini experienced an unlucky weekend with an issue that forced him to retire early in the second moto.

Noel Zanocz: “I picked up a small wrist injury last week while training but I still came here with a good feeling. In time practice I made a few mistakes which didn’t allow me to get a very good gate pick. I still managed to get a good start in the first moto around 5th place. In the first lap I took over the lead and was leading almost all the race, finishing second in the end. In the second moto the start was not as good, I was just outside the top 10 in the first lap but I worked my way up to the first place – and I finished there. I still can’t believe this happened and I struggle to find the right words but it’s a brilliant feeling. I even felt like crying on the podium but I didn’t work [he smiles], I can’t even say how happy I am right now. Now we are looking forward to Arco and we will try to keep going like this.”

Fantic Factory Racing MXGP went into the third round of the World Championship with the new two-rider line-up, as Brian Bogers joined his fellow Dutchman Glenn Coldenhoff under the awning. Both are well known for their sand riding skills and started the weekend in Riola Sardo off with a solid Qualifying Race, with Coldenhoff securing seventh gate pick just in front of his new teammate Bogers in eight place.

In Race 1, Glenn Coldenhoff was fast out of the start gate and found himself in the front group right from the beginning, eventually crossing the finish line in a strong fourth place. Brian Bogers showed promising race pace on his debut in Fantic Factory colours, battling within the Top 10 right from the start and taking home P8.

At the start of the second moto, Coldenhoff lost several positions after a contact with another rider in turn 1. Glenn had to come back from outside the top 15 and had to settle for ninth place and sixth overall. It was again a solid showing for Bogers with an 11th place in race 2 and a ninth overall at his first GP of the season and his first official outing on the Fantic XXF 450.

Glenn Coldenhoff: “The first moto was quite okay, I had a good start and could keep my pace, P4 was definitely not bad. I think that was the most positive note this weekend. The start was good again in the second moto but I got tangled up with other riders in the first turn. I was far back, I pushed hard but I was struggling a bit. I didn’t show what I was capable of. Even though I gave everything my speed wasn’t that good and I could only finish in P9. Sixth overall is still decent but it’s not what I am working for so hard. I want to perform well and be around the podium spots. I know it’s hard in the MXGP class at the moment but I feel that I am definitely capable of being there on a good day. We keep working, we are doing some tests on Wednesday and get ready for Arco – to hopefully be on the box there.”

Brian Bogers: “I am quite surprised with my performance. Yes, I am a sand rider but you also need to be fit for these kind of tracks – and just coming in I am normally not fit enough. I was still in the top 10 in five out of six sessions, I also can’t complain about a top 10 overall in my first GP back. I am very lucky guy to get this opportunity and I am very happy with the performance I have shown already this weekend. The bike feels already amazing, that is a really big advantage. We can only go upwards from here and it will be interesting to see what we can do when I am 100% fit.”

David Braceras and Kay Karssemakers struggled to find the right feeling with the demanding track of Riola Sardo in the Qualifying Race, finishing in P17 and P20. That meant a not ideal gate pick for Sunday’s races – and the start is crucial in order to achieve a solid result. However, Braceras still brought home a 15th place in race 1, while Karssemakers, who is not yet in perfect physical condition, was 17th.

In Race 2, Kay Karssemakers struggled at the start but increased his rhythm in the first laps and worked his way up till 12th place which also placed the Fantic Factory Racing rider in 13th overall. There were positive signs for Braceras as well, the Spaniard was running in P12 for most of the second moto but unfortunately, a problem forced him to retire with only a few laps to go.

Kay Karssemakers: “Finally a good step in the right direction with P12 in the second race. I am quite happy and it feels good to get a nice result again after two injuries. Thanks to Fantic and my team, let’s go for other good results!”