The 2016 FIM Motocross World Championship dashes onto round eight and the third meeting in as many weeks with the Grand Prix of Trentino in Italy this weekend around the tight, winding and hard-packed layout of Pietramurata in Arco di Trento.
The Dolomite mountain setting on the fringes of Lake Garda is one of the most scenic locations on the MXGP trail and the special characteristics – narrow, stony, bumpy – make this trip to Northern Italy one of the hardest to judge with an acute and important focus on race starts coming to the fore.
For Team Suzuki World MXGP it represents another chance for both Ben Townley and Kevin Strijbos to move up from their current positions around the fringes of the top five of the premier class on their works RM-Z450s and aim for the crew’s first podium trophy of the campaign and for what will be the eighth stop of 18.
MXGP has been coming to Pietramurata every season since 2013 with the Motoclub Arco endeavouring to expand and modify the small locale to accommodate more paddock and parking space. The Grand Prix is typically ‘Italian’; making up for modest and compact limitations with a ritually vibrant and passionate atmosphere from the fans that pack closely into the pockets of spectator zones.
Strijbos missed the 2015 edition of the Grand Prix through injury but in 2014 raced to third place overall. Townley comes to the cambers of Pietramurata for the first time in his career. The riders’ experiences at the circuit could be determined by the weather this weekend. The outlook is less-than-inspiring with rain forecast for both days. A wet Saturday-Sunday combined with EMX250 and EMX125 support classes could have repercussions on the terrain and cause the Italian soil to get rougher, slower and …read more