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Fantic close to the MXGP podium and on the top steps in EMX125

Before reaching the halfway point at the much-anticipated Italian GP in Maggiora, the 2024 FIM Motocross World Championship headed to Kegums, Lativa, for the ninth round of the season. The Fantic riders are going from strength to strength with Noel Zanocz and Simone Mancini securing another 1-2 in the EMX125 European Championship, while Glenn Coldenhoff and Brian Bogers got close to a first MXGP podium on the Fantic XXF 450 in fourth and fifth overall.

Fantic Factory Racing MXGP 

The Fantic Factory Racing MXGP riders felt right at home from the get-go on the sandy track of Kegums, despite a harder base than usual and an updated layout. At a venue he has won at in the past, Glenn Coldenhoff topped the time sheets in free practice. In time practice, it was Brian Bogers who secured the third gate-pick going into the qualifying race.

As the gate dropped on Saturday afternoon, Coldenhoff had a strong start and powered around the outside of the first corner to place himself in the top 5 and quickly moved into fourth place. With four laps to go, the Dutchman gained another position and crossed the finish line in third, while Bogers came home in eight. 

Heavens opened right before MXGP race 1 on Sunday but Coldenhoff and Bogers quickly adapted to the much-changed conditions. A top 5 start allowed them to run at the sharp end of the premier class right from the beginning and bring home outstanding third and fourth place finishes. For the first time ever, Coldenhoff placed the Fantic XXF 450 in the top 3 of a world championship race. 

Race 2 saw another strong performance by the Dutch duo which left them just shy of the overall podium. Glenn Coldenhoff finished fourth for fourth overall, just one point off the third step of the rostrum, while Brian Bogers rounded out the top 5 both in the second moto and the GP classification. 

Glenn Coldenhoff: “I was going well all weekend, with a third place already in the qualifying race on Saturday. Right before the first moto on Sunday, we had another rain shower that made it kind of tough but all in all, it was not too bad, with 3-3-4 finishes and a fourth overall. It was just a pity that we missed the podium, I felt like we were close. In the second moto the pace was a bit off, the guys in front were far. I think I need to work on a few things and try to get better, also a little bit with the bike. Now we are going to Maggiora, Fantic’s home GP. They say it is going to rain again but we are used to it by now. Anyway, P5 last week and now P4 – it is going upwards. Hopefully also next weekend, that would be good.”

Brian Bogers: “I am happy with this GP. The speed was there already on Saturday. In the qualifying race I had a bad start but still finished eight. I had a feeling that I could do more and on Sunday I felt good directly from the warm-up. In the first moto it was a little bit muddy, again. I had a good start, around sixth place, I made some passes and finished fourth. In the second moto the track was good, I had another good start and made a few passes on the first lap to stay in P5 for the whole moto. 4th and 5th for another top 5 overall, I am really happy with that. Let’s keep building, I feel really good mentally and also physically we are getting there.”

Fantic Factory Racing EMX125

Fantic’s 125 youngsters enjoyed the sandy track in Latvia. Noel Zanocz posted the fastest lap time to secure his second pole position of the season, Simone Mancini was third of his group. At the start of race 1, the Italian emerged in second at the first turn and only took a couple more corners to take over first place. Simone managed to hold onto the lead for almost half of the moto before running into some arm pump issues and settling into third place.

Zanocz found himself in tenth place right after the start of the first moto. The red plate holder from Hungary quickly moved up to sixth in the course of the first lap. It took him a little longer to reach the front guys but he managed to recover some more places to cross the finish line in second ahead of his teammate. 

Mancini was quick off the line also in race 2 and moved into third place. A solid race pace allowed the Italian rider to hold onto fourth spot. Zanocz lost ground at the start and had to work all the way up from the middle of the pack. An outstanding first lap saw him move into the top 5 and, by lap 9 of 14, he managed to reach third place and grab his second GP victory of the season. Mancini in second overall secured another 1-2 for Fantic and its XX 125. 

A difficult qualifying forced Douwe Van Mechgelen to start from the outside in both motos. Despite a far from ideal gate-pick, the Belgian managed to score two 14th places for 13th overall. 

Noel Zanocz: “I took the pole position and in the first moto I started around tenth and finished second, my riding was quite okay. In the second moto my start was bad, far outside the top 10, but I was just going full gas in the first lap and passed a lot of riders. My riding was much better and, in the end, I finished third and took the overall win. It was a good weekend; we are leading the championship by 26 points now.”

Simone Mancini: “I am very happy with the improvements I made on this sandy track, since it is not my favorite surface. I took second overall and didn’t lose too many points thanks to two good races in third and fourth position. Now we will get ready for our home GP in Maggiora. I can’t wait to race in front of my crowd.”

Fantic Factory Racing MX2

The weekend started off promising with David Braceras posting the ninth fastest lap time going into the qualifying race but a mid-pack start meant the Spaniard had to be content with 14th gate-pick for Sunday’s races, closely followed by his teammate Kay Karssemakers in P16.

Both the Fantic riders found themselves just outside the top 10 at the start of race 1. Karssemakers made his way up as far as ninth but tipped over when trying to go for eight place and missed out on a top 10 finish, eventually crossing the finish line in P12. Braceras battled it out in the middle of the pack and scored a 14th place. 

Race 2 turned out to be a tough one with a second turn incident for Braceras who was forced to retire but, luckily, escaped any injury. Karssemakers’ performance was affected by a small issue, he finished 14th both in the second moto and in the overall GP classification.

Kay Karssemakers: “The first moto was good, I had quite a good start and worked my way up. I was close to P8 and I thought I was faster, so I tried to pass but, unfortunately, I lost the front and had a small crash that dropped me back to P12. In the second moto I had an issue from the start that held me back. I am quite sad about it but it is already time to look forward to Maggiora in Italy for Fantic’s home GP.” 

For EMX250 rider Alexis Fueri it was an unlucky weekend. A few mistakes and some issues forced him to retire from both races but the Frenchman is okay and ready to put in the work in the upcoming break as the European 250 Championship will be back in action only in Lommel, at the end of July. Meanwhile, his Fantic teammates are heading to Maggiora for the Italian manufacturer’s home GP (15-16 June).


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