MXGP launched across a new frontier with the eighteenth and final round of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship. The Grand Prix of China brought the highest level of the sport to the country for the very first time, and the Fengxian area - south of the sprawling coastal metropolis - was home to a sandy, jumpy and challenging new track for the elite.
In warm temperatures 25,000 curious spectators ventured into the new grandstands throughout the weekend as a long MXGP campaign rolled across the finish line. Jeffrey Herlings and Jorge Prado celebrated victory for the second weekend in a row – the KTM duo had triumphed in Turkey the previous Sunday – but there were other small distinctions in the wake of the last four ‘motos’ of 2019.
Wearing a smile as wide as the silver FIM medal that decreed his position as MXGP runner-up, Jeremy Seewer walked the Chinese podium in 3rd place overall. The consistent and ever-present Swiss was thrilled with his distinction as No.2 in just his second full campaign in the premier class. He would eventually bag six trophies in total but 2019 started auspiciously for #91 with a heavy virus. He swiftly grew into his role as a factory Monster Energy Yamaha racer.
“It has been incredible,” he said. “My winter preparation for this season was horrible. I was in bed sick for three weeks. I came into the season battling to be in the top-ten and I had to fight my way back. I am really happy to be here now. It was a process, I started to break into the top five after the few weeks we had off in May, and then eventually got on the podium and then got six podiums and now I am here, second in the world!”
Sadly Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha brandmate Gautier Paulin was pipped to 3rd in the final standings by Glenn Coldenhoff. Teammate Arnaud Tonus was ruled out of action on Saturday with a fractured left hand.
Over in MX2 Belgian Jago Geerts did make sure of a bronze medal. The Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha star was fourth overall and hauled enough points to deter the threat of French rookie Tom Vialle – just six marks split the eighteen year olds when the roost had settled in Shanghai.
All heads now turn to the TT Circuit Assen. The 73rd Motocross of Nations will see Seewer, Tonus, Paulin, Team USA’s Justin Cooper and Geerts change numbers and liveries to compete against the best riders from over thirty countries across the Dutch sand.