The narrow and low hard-pack hills of Teutschenthal welcomes MXGP this weekend for the Grand Prix of Germany and round seven of 18 in the FIM Motocross World Championship.
Team Suzuki World MX2’s Jeremy Seewer comes to familiar ground having grown accustomed to his role as a leading protagonist and podium regular in the MX2 class. The Swiss has now accumulated five trophies in a row with overall results of 4-2-3-2-3-2 so far this season with his RM-Z250 and sits a clear and comfortable second in the championship standings by 37 points over 2015 MX2 runner-up Pauls Jonass.
Seewer’s emergence on the distinctive RM-Z has been one of the bright points of a contest dominated so far by Jeffrey Herlings. The 21 year old (22 in July, so 2017 will be his last term in MX2) has been revelling in his good form and growing in confidence and has already outstripped his podium tally from all of 2015 (three visits to the box) and may be touching a record for his country in terms of achievement in Grand Prix.
“In the beginning you reach the podium and you are very happy but then it happens again and then again and it tends to make the prospect of going to a GP slightly easier,” he commented. “It is a different kind of pressure; you know you can do the job – and you have that confidence – but you still need to get it done. After making the top-three for the first time you come in [to the paddock] and everybody is really happy…after the fifth time and it is a little more like ‘business as usual!’”
Having set -out his stall as a valid contender for a top-three slot after the first third of the 2016 calendar, Seewer is keeping grounded and focussed and not letting his accomplishments skewer his original orientation on the season. “I mentioned pressure but my view on a Grand Prix weekend hasn’t really changed and if people think I should or must be second place every time then I really don’t care,” he said. “I will still be happy if I have two strong races and perhaps have to finish fourth. This was the goal I set myself this season; to build-up those good motos and have the consistency to be at the front and that’s what I am doing. Obviously it would be nice to be closer to Jeffrey [Herlings] and give him more of a run, but we are working on that.”
Seewer has a familiar feeling with the slick Teutschenthal hard-pack through the many national ADAC MX Master national races and European outings at the venue. This weekend will be his third Grand Prix as a full-time member of MX2. What’s the secret to master the hard ruts, cambers and tight trajectory of Talkessel? “Good question!” he replies. “It is a track where you need to find grip…but you can also still attack it. I think it depends on how we will find the ground and the preparation. Some years the club have got it right and in others they haven’t. It is a narrow track so it can be hard to search out the good lines for passing. Overtaking is normally pretty tough and you have to line-up a move but like Stefan [Everts] says: “there is always a place to pass.
“Through the German Championship and other events I’ve ridden there many times, but actually this will be the first time since the GP last year,” he adds. “The language is very similar but the circuit is actually a long way from my home, so it is not local! I had some good friends and family coming to the race before but now with the Swiss GP later in the year, that will be a bigger one for me in that respect.”
Seewer will surely count on a few more fans among the crowd thanks to his progress in 2016: After scaling-up the MX2 classification (10th in 2014, fifth in 2015) he is now hitting new heights and it begs the question: How? “It really is a combination of things; of being a bit stronger, of the bike being a bit better and my technique,” he offers. “These things coming together and improving in each aspect has helped.”
Over in MXGP, Kevin Strijbos and Ben Townley have been riding this week with a view towards increased performance and confidence in Germany. Townley will enter his second fixture at full fitness and after gaining tough race mileage in Latvia last week coming through the pack in both motos. He will come back to Teutschenthal having last raced there in 2005.
Strijbos was denied his best finish of the year at Kegums and a possible podium bid after a damaged motorcycle ended his participation in the second race.
Teutschenthal will also see Bas Vaessen back in action for the third round of the EMX250 European Championship and just one week after the Dutch youngster scored his first podium result of the campaign.
The forecast covering the German Grand Prix is excellent with sunshine and temperatures near the mid-20s predicted across the weekend.
MXGP World Championship Standings (after 6 of 18 rounds): 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 260 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 259 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 213 p.; 4. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 203 p.; 5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 200 p.; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 197 p.; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 143 p.; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), 142 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 121 p.; 10. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 116 p.; 11. Tommy Searle (GBR, KAW), 110 p.; 12. Christophe Charlier (FRA, HUS), 98 p.; 13. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 82 p.; 14. Milko Potisek (FRA, YAM), 79 p.; 15. Ben Townley (NZL, Suzuki World MXGP), 71 p.
MX2 World Championship Standings (after 6 of 18 rounds): 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 300 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki World MX2), 230 p.; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 193 p.; 4. Petar Petrov (BUL, KAW), 165 p.; 5. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, YAM), 163 p.; 6. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 154 p.; 7. Samuele Bernardini (ITA, TM), 133 p.; 8. Vsevolod Brylyakov (RUS, KAW), 132 p.; 9. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 126 p.; 10. Alvin Östlund (SWE, YAM), 110 p.
EMX250 European Championship Standings (after 2 of 10 rounds): 1. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 90 points; 2. Hunter Lawrence (AUS, KAW), 70 p.; 3. Kevin Wouts (BEL, KTM), 64 p.; 4. Bas Vaessen (NED, Suzuki World MX2), 63 p.; 5. Even Heibye (NOR, KTM), 60 p.; 6. Darian Sanayei (USA, KAW), 58 p.; 7. Nick Kouwenberg (NED, HON), 54 p.; 8. Conrad Mewse (GBR, HUS), 50 p.; 9. Ken Bengtson (SWE, YAM), 42 p.; 10. Miro Sihvonen (FIN, KTM), 38 p.