Red Bull KTM Factory Racing picked up a second podium trophy of the 2023 MXGP ‘pre-season’ as Sacha Coenen classified 3rd overall at Pietramurata in Arco di Trento for the second round of three in the Internazionali d’Italia.
The MX2 faction of the race team travelled to the scenic and hard-packed terrain circuit in northern Italy – a regular venue on the MXGP FIM World Championship calendar – for their second ‘warm-up’ event of ’23 and for more testing and preparation with the works KTM 250 SX-F.
One week after Andrea Adamo won a moto at Ponte a Egola and walked the box for the opening fixture of the series, it was teenage rookie Sacha Coenen who shone at Arco. The young Belgian started brightly in both motos and rode hard to score 3-5 results, ranking one point better than Rick Elzinga. Adamo was 5th overall and his second moto run to 2nd was the highlight of the day for the Italian; he also rode well to recover from a first corner crash and last place to grab 12th in the first outing. Liam Everts was top five in the opening race but two mistakes meant 14th in the second and he rested 8th in the final MX2 table.
Meanwhile Jeffrey Herlings continued his training program with the KTM 450 SX-F in Arnhem in Holland but the double MXGP world champion will be competing in high-profile events in the UK (Hawkstone Park) and France (La Capelle-Marival) in the coming weekends.
The first round of 2023 MXGP takes place at Neuquen for the Grand Prix of Argentina in three weeks time.
Sacha Coenen: “This weekend was pretty good! I had good speed in practice and Timed Practice and this was an improvement over the first race, especially as I wasn’t pushing too much. I had a great start in the first moto and was running 2nd. I made a small mistake and dropped to 3rd but stayed there the whole race. I holeshotted the second moto and led some laps. I had a small tip-over and we learned a lot about our suspension set-up for this track. Overall lots of improvements, we made the podium so I’m happy.”
Andrea Adamo: “It was not a good weekend in terms of the result – just 5th place – but my speed was good. I had to come back from the back in the first moto and it was not easy for passing on this track. I started 7th-8th next time out and began to catch the guys and finished P2 but was really close to the win. So, some positive things and we’re still in pre-season. Everything is going well with our preparation and I’m happy.”
Liam Everts: “An up-and-down weekend. 5th in the first race was OK but then I had a crash in the second moto on the opening lap after I couldn’t avoid another rider. I then went down again and my riding wasn’t the best. Not the best way to end the day but we’ve worked well and now we’ll look ahead to Argentina.”
MX2 Overall results, Pietramurata
1. Lucas Coenen (BEL) Husqvarna
2. Thibault Benistant (FRA), Yamaha
3. Sacha Coenen (BEL), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
4. Rick Elzinga (NED) Yamaha
5. Andrea Adamo (ITA), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
8. Liam Everts (BEL), Red Bull KTM Factory Racing