Julien Lieber of the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team overcame sickness to post a ninth-placed finish in the ninth round of the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship at Kegums in central Latvia.
The Belgian’s hopes of another top six placing after his strong result one week earlier in Russia were dashed already at the start of race one when he was involved in a first-corner shunt; rejoining the race twenty seconds behind the pack he continued for two laps despite pain in the elbow before pulling out after another fall. Eighth for the first two laps of race two he dropped back to eleventh for a time before finding a better rhythm again to move back into the top ten just after half-distance and take over ninth place two laps from the close. Julien is eleventh in the points standings at the halfway point of the eighteen-race series.
Julien Lieber: “I have been sick this week so I knew it would be tough, but when another rider hit me at the start of the first moto it got even worse as we crashed and I had pain in my elbow; I had no feeling in the hand but I did a few laps before I crashed again and retired. The second start was better but it was tough to find a good rhythm and I just tried to secure some points; I’m expecting more in Germany where I have usually a good feeling.”
BOS Factory’s Tommy Searle rode a strong first race to finish eleventh after starting thirteenth but was forced out of race two on the opening lap after he crashed when other riders got out of shape directly in his path.
Tommy Searle: “We have been working with the team in the right direction and I came here expecting a solid weekend. The first race went OK with eleventh and I think I could have repeated that in the second one but at the start a couple of riders got sideways right in front of me and I had no place to go; it was a hard crash. I was winded a little and I hit my head and shoulder but everything will be OK for Germany. I can see all the efforts the team has put in and it was a lot better with the bike.”
Benoit Paturel of Gebben Van Venrooy Kawasaki withdrew from the GP after Warm-up on Sunday morning when a knee injury sustained the previous day proved too painful for him to continue.