For only the second time in the history of the sport the relatively new circuit inside the Parque Metropolitano de León will host the Grand Prix of Mexico this weekend and bring the 2015 FIM Motocross World Championship up to the penultimate fixture of 18.
MXGP moves away from Europe and to South America for the second time this year and in a period of one week where the Monster Energy U.S. GP will bring the season to a close. Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe will again see German Champion, Latvian GP winner and Assen podium finisher Glenn Coldenhoff in action on the RM-Z450 as the Dutchman looks to confirm eighth position in the standings in his first term in the premier class.
With Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP duo Clement Desalle and Kevin Strijbos both in the rehabilitation stages of their respective injuries it is left to Coldenhoff to again fly the flag on the works RM-Z450. The 24 year old has had an active and eventful week since taking his second rostrum finish of the year at his home round at Assen 10 days ago.
“We went to France for two days with the Dutch team for some preparation for the Motocross of Nations,” he explains. “We rode on Wednesday and I felt great. I went to the wedding of a really good friend a few days later and then picked up my German Championship trophy at the ceremony at Gaildorf. I had an easy week and then did some physical training just before leaving for Mexico.
The long trip to the city of Leon precedes round 17 of 18 in 2015 and around a technical and jumpy track located in the north of the metropolis. The level park setting houses a grippy and hard-pack terrain and the altitude of the region will also mean some set-up work needed during practice and qualification on Saturday. The team will have some settings from the 2014 Grand Prix but this coming edition will be Coldenhoff’s first on the bigger motorcycle and could take place in damp conditions according to the long-term forecast. ‘The Hoff’ will nevertheless be aiming for sufficient points to safeguard his ranking in the standings. “I don't really like the dirt in Mexico but I hear it is going to rain so we will see if it feels any different,” he said. “I’m eighth in the championship now and it looks like I am going to finish there but anything can happen so I will be focussed. The goal was the top-10 and it looks like I am going to make it.”
Coldenhoff will share his paddock workspace with Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe MX2 team-mates Jeremy Seewer and Brian Hsu. The latter is set for just his second Grand Prix appearance and after recovering sufficiently from a right arm injury picked up at the Lombardian round three weeks ago. Seewer is very close to securing a top-five finish in the MX2 championship in just his second season in the class and on the RM-Z250. The Swiss is 49 points ahead of Julien Lieber and just six behind countryman Valentin Guillod. He will need 34 points to catch Max Anstie in third place. There is a maximum of 100 points left to win in Mexico and the USA.
“I’m looking forward to the final races, I feel fit and my speed at the overseas events is always interesting,” ‘#91’ commented. “We go to the hard-pack now but in a way I’m sad that we’ve left the sand because I was really enjoying it a lot and showed that I’m pretty fast in it now.
“Leon is mainly flat and with what feels like a lot of jumps,” he offered. “I liked it last year but the altitude affects the bike quite a lot and means some work during practice to get it at the best level.”
With a crowd of 30,000 spectators for the inaugural incarnation of the Grand Prix at Leon – that was also the curtain-closing event in 2014 – and with good support and promotion in the local town another decent attendance is expected this weekend.
MXGP World Championship Standings (after 16 of 18 rounds): 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 638 points; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 536 p.; 3. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 499 p.; 4. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 437 p.; 5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 416 p.; 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 414 p.; 7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 394 p.; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), 361 p.; 9. Clement Desalle (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), 331 p.; 10. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 324 p.; 11. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), 287 p.
MX2 World Championship Standings (after 16 of 18 rounds): 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 518 points; 2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 505 p.; 3. Max Anstie (GBR, KAW), 474 p.; 4. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 446 p.; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Rockstar Energy Suzuki), 440 p.; 6. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 423 p.; 7. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 393 p.; 8. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 391 p.; 9. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 320 p.; 10. Petar Petrov (BUL, KAW), 301 p.