Stunning 1-2 for Fantic in EMX125 at the French GP

Saint-Jean-d’Angély is one of the most iconic stops on the calendar of the FIM Motocross World Championship and the MXGP of France 2024 did not disappoint with crazy weather adding to the challenge. The Fantic youngsters in the EMX125 class mastered the tricky track conditions in the best possible way, as Simone Mancini grabbed his third overall victory of the season with red plate holder and race 2 winner Noel Zanocz in second overall.

Fantic Factory Racing EMX125
The Fantic EMX125 riders were off to a fast start in France with Noel Zanocz and Simone Mancini setting the first and second best lap time in their group, while Douwe Van Mechgelen was 12th. Heavy rain that fell during the day completely changed the track conditions for the first moto but didn’t slow Mancini down. The Italian took the lead in the second corner and pulled away at the front, opening up a considerable gap on his rivals and securing a dominant race win.

Zanocz had a tougher start to the moto as a contact with another rider made him lose several positions but he quickly charged through the field and worked his way up till third place. Van Mechgelen finished in P9 with a solid race.

In race 2, Zanocz chose the outside gate and pulled off an incredible start to take the holeshot. From there, the Hungarian didn’t look back and led every single lap on his way to an impressive race win. Mancini moved into second straight away, he couldn’t quite keep the pace of his teammate in the opening laps but brought home P2 and his second consecutive overall victory. Zanocz claimed the second step of the podium and continues to lead the championship, while Van Mechgelen finished tenth and placed a third Fantic XX 125 in the top 6 overall.

Simone Mancini: “It was a difficult weekend with the heavy rain that provided for a challenging race track, especially on Saturday with the deep ruts. On Sunday, I didn’t have the best feeling in the first five laps or so and I lost touch with the leader. Later on, I started to ride really good, I made up some ground but second was fine in the end to secure my second overall victory in a row and my third win out of five GP weekends.”

Noel Zanocz: “I was first in my time practice group but in the first race my start was not so good, I was behind but managed to finish third. In the second moto my Fantic helped me to get the holeshot, I led all of the race until the checkered flag and was very happy with my riding. It was a good weekend with the second overall, I still hold the red plate and I am happy with that.”

Fantic Factory Racing MXGP

Saturday at the MXGP of France started off well with Glenn Coldenhoff posting the sixth fastest lap time in a dry time practice session. Just before the qualifying race, a rainstorm hit the beautiful hillside circuit of Saint-Jean-d’Angély. While Brian Bogers secured a solid eight place despite battling illness, it was a tougher heat in the mud for Coldenhoff who crashed hard and had to settle for 22nd.

The sun was out again for the first moto on Sunday and Brian Bogers powered his Fantic XXF 450 to a top 5 start. He was running in fifth for half of the race distance but had to drop a few positions in the final stages, eventually crossing the finish line in P9. Just like his teammate, Coldenhoff had a good start in sixth but struggled to find the right feeling and had to be content with P8.

Heavens opened again before the final moto and provided for another mudfest. Both Bogers and Coldenhoff didn’t get a good start and had to battle with the tricky track conditions, ending up in P12 and P13 for 10th and 11th overall.

Brian Bogers: “All in all, I had quite a good weekend, considering that I got sick on Friday. On Saturday I felt even worse and we started with a P21 in free practice – and finished the qualifying race in eight place, so I was happy with that. On Sunday I had a good warm-up, I felt good on the track. In the first moto I had a good start, I was riding in fifth for around 15 minutes. I got a bit tired, I had also a little bit of arm pump, I had to drop off a bit and finished in P9. In the second moto I spun on the gate and had a bad start. It was raining a lot, there was quite some water on track and that caused some visibility issues. While trying to pass another rider I made a mistake and crashed. I ended up in P12 for tenth overall. Anyway, we are getting better step by step, that is the most important.”

Glenn Coldenhoff: “I had a hard crash on Saturday, I hit my head pretty hard but it was quite alright on Sunday. I just didn’t feel comfortable at all in the first moto. My start was okay, I was in sixth for a while but I started to get a little bit of arm pump and dropped back. In race 2, I had wheelspin at the start and was completely in the back, maybe I was also a bit too careful in the beginning. It got better after a few laps but I was a bit off the pace and the results were just not good. I think we have to figure a few things out. The good news is, we have two weeks to do that. Hopefully, I will get a solid result again in Germany.”

Fantic Factory Racing MX2

The MX2 squad was back to full force in France, as David Braceras was cleared by the doctors after having missed both motos of last weeks’ Spanish GP due to a heavy crash in the warm-up. The Spaniard was immediately back on speed, posting the tenth fastest lap time in time practice on the French hard-pack track. As the rain started to fall before the qualifying race, Kay Karssemakers impressed in tricky conditions and finished just outside the top 10 in eleventh. After a mid-pack start, Braceras had to settle for 14th.

In a dry race 1 on Sunday, Karssemakers was fast out of the gate on his Fantic XXF 250 and battling for fifth spot in the first part of the moto. Cleary finding his form, the MX2 rookie brought home a season’s best ninth place. Braceras had a tougher race with a fall that slowed him down, eventually finishing in P16. A more complicated start for both of the Fantic riders affected their second moto. Braceras tried to bounce back but a stone hit his hand and damaged his brake lever. The Spaniard finished in P15 while Karssemakers crossed the finish line in P17.

Kay Karssemakers: “The first race was good, with a very good start. I lost a few places because I am still not very used to the pace of the front guys but I am very happy to finish in the top 10. In the second moto we had a few issues but it is what it is. Now we will regroup and get ready for the next race.”

It was an unlucky home GP for EMX250 rider Alexis Fueri who was running in sixth place in race 1 on Saturday but two crashes dropped him to P13 under the pouring rain. Weather conditions improved for race 2 on Sunday but the Frenchman was involved in a start incident that forced him to retire.