Honda Racing Xtreme Academy riders Michele Cervellin and Riccardo Righi were crowned Italian Minicross champions after yesterday’s final round held at the Castiglione del Lago track in Italy.
Cervellin, who has ridden well all year, won race one and rode a calculated moto two where he finished in second position aboard his CRF150R to win the overall and the ultra-prestigious Italian senior minicross class title. The 14-year-old youngster has twice previously lost championship titles at the final event, so he rode a sensible race to earn himself the title against some tough competition.
In the junior class Righi rode hard in the opening moto and controlled the race from the front of the field to take the win, which was enough to secure the national championship title after a solid run of form aboard his CRF150R. In race two, undeterred by the fact he was already champion, 12-year-old Righi recovered from a steady start into sixth to battle it out in gritty style to take the win in the final race of the year.
Following Saturday’s track walk and a training talk yesterday with former double world champion, John van den Berk, this was an exciting way to conclude the season for the Italian youngsters who will now be recorded in the record books for their efforts, and have begun to pave their way as big prospects for the future.
“This is a truly special day for our riders, and it is very exciting to win both the junior and senior Italian national titles in a championship dominated by other manufacturers. It’s a credit to the hard work by the staff, families and riders themselves, and I am sure that both Michele and Riccardo have a bright future ahead of them. They have certainly provided us with a lot of entertainment and great racing this year,” said HM Racing Off-road manager, Michele Berera.
“The Xtreme Academy has certainly been well received this year, and the riders have enjoyed having exclusive access to John and all the tools provided by Honda. The CRF150R is a race-winning machine out of the crate, and our riders have demonstrated that this year, so it is important we work hard to help riders develop their skills on this bike as they prepare for racing in the bigger pro classes. I really believe in this project, and I am looking forward to making it grow into something even more special to help the young talent and riders in the future,” concluded Berera.
The Xtreme Academy racers were presented their awards for the championship, which is solely for CRF150R riders contesting in the Italian minicross series. In the senior class Cervellin again took the laurels with Luca Di Nunzio in second and Quetzal Balducci in third place, while Righi took the win in the junior class with Davide Cislaghi in second and Tommaso Gaiffi in third position. Each rider was presented with a Honda Xtreme Academy cheque organised by HM Racing, as well as their prizes from Airoh, Renthal and Vans, which were awarded to fifth place.
It’s now a long time before the Italian version of the series will kick off again, but Honda Motor Europe and HM Racing is looking forward to welcoming new riders to take part in the Xtreme Academy Championship, which is being run in the UK, Italy, Sweden, Finland and South Africa in 2010 – with more countries expected to sign up for 2011. Young CRF150R riders can benefit from recognition as a Honda rider, access to an exciting prize pool, specialist training with John van den Berk and a whole lot more. For more information please visit the Honda Pro Racing website by logging onto: www.hondaproracing.com.