While the KTM MX1 duo of Jonathan Barragan and David Philippaerts and the MX 2 team of Tyla Rattray and young Tommy Searle are all in the top eight after three GPs so far this season, they all want to consolidate and score good results this weekend.
Team boss Stefan Everts is very positive.
"We have been working and training hard to correct mistakes we made in the earlier races and to improve overall," Everts said.
The 10-times world champion now at the head of the KTM MX factory team said his foursome are all mentally strong and very focused.
"Our engineers have been working hard on improvements to Tyla’s bike. They have done a very good job and Tyla likes it a lot," Everts said. "My goal in MX2 is to win a GP with Tyla and also, in time, with Tommy."
The sand at Mantova should also suit Tyla. The South African is third in the standings despite some misfortune at the Portugal GP. He has been training hard in Belgium, together with Everts and Barragan, who is still not completely recovered from a shoulder injury that has hampered him in the last two GPs.
Everts also has high hopes for David Philippaerts, fresh from his maiden MX1 podium in Portugal. He will have the support of his home crowd and the sandy conditions on the 1650 m long track should suit him.
"David has a good mental approach and is very confident after his podium in Portugal. He has the skills and he has the bike to do well," the team boss acknowledged.
"After Portugal I went to Belgium to train with Stefan and then to Italy so I could get acclimatized and get used to the conditions. The training was good and I am happy with my bike. I like Mantova and I am looking forward to the weekend’s races," Philippaerts said.
Meanwhile, the junior member of the KTM squad, 17-year-old Tommy Searle has made his presence felt with a 4-2 result in the first two MX2 GPs and is currently fifth in the standings. He has been training at home in the UK between the races and his steady improvement from race to race is raising the team’s expectations about what they might expect from him in the near future. Tommy is also itching for success.
"I like the conditions here in Mantova. I want to have fun riding and I am hoping for a podium."
Maximilian Nagl (GER) / Photo by: Jörg Domanowski / realmx.com
KTM factory-supported privateer, Max Nagl, a winner at Mantova in a pre-season international is coming to Italy hoping to be able to compete. The German crashed in Portugal, broke his collarbone and subsequently underwent surgery.
Weather too, may be a factor. Rain is forecast for the entire weekend although local wisdom says that the central plains area of northern Italy often hangs onto its sunshine. Mantova in the province of Lombardy is situated in the flat plains of central northern Italy. The track is set in 11 hectares of undulating hills shaped like an arena making it possible for spectators to have excellent vantage points to see almost the entire race.
Source: Press Release KTM