Roan van de Moosdijk of the F&H Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team claimed a silver medal with Team Netherlands in the 74th FIM Motocross of Nations at Mantova in Italy.
The defending champions faced a tough start to the weekend when the ballot for starting positions gave them third-last choice on a start that heavily favours the inside gate. All of the Dutch riders encountered a difficult first turn but none more so that van de Moosdijk who was dragged to the ground and faced a long hard chase to secure a deserved ninth in the MX2 qualification race. With his 450cc teammates awarded first choice of gate for both starts on race day the Kawasaki rider was always going to experience two tough races against the larger machines as each nation seeks to find the optimal balance of their forces; it was significant that the top three scorers in the MX2 division on 250cc machines had all been awarded their team’s best gate-choice for tactical reasons as persistent rain throughout race day intensified the difficulties for the MX2 riders in the pack. Initially twentieth in the opening mixed MXGP/MX2 race, VDM advanced quickly to fifteenth – sixth in class – before a couple of small slips in the deteriorating track conditions pushed him back to eighteenth at the finish. He then had less than an hour to prepare for his second ride, this time against more 450cc machines in the MX2/Open race. A better start saw the youngster hold seventeenth through the early laps before a fall cost him seven places. He regained twentieth by the finish to be ranked seventh in the MX2 class.
Roan van de Moosdijk: “Personally it was quite a tough day for me; I had to start two times from the outside and it was hard against the 450s. Of course I’m a little disappointed that I missed giving the team that fifth scoreline we needed to win by just one point. “
Mathys Boisrame gave a creditable performance in his first-ever competitive ride on a 450cc machine. He raced the 2022 KX450 stocker to an impressive fourth place in the Open class qualifier; he even led the race for several laps against more-experienced opposition. Despite starting from France’s outside gate-pick in his opening ride on race day, he was holding a solid sixteenth place through the early stages until he was rammed from behind by another rider; losing six places and a lot of time to rejoin the race he eventually took the chequered flag nineteenth. Any hopes of victory for the French team had disappeared when one of his fellow teamsters on a different brand was forced to retire due to mechanical troubles, but Mathys once again showed good speed on his 450cc debut in the final MXGP/Open race to place ninth in a full field of forty MXGP machines. His efforts salvaged fifth in the team classification for France.
Mathys Boisrame: “It was my first-ever race with a 450, and on Saturday I was happy to lead the race for several laps and help France to qualify second. Today was another day; my first experience on a muddy track with this bike. I spent the first few laps getting the feeling for the power in such conditions and I was just starting to raise my speed when another rider hit me. The bike was damaged by the impact but the KX450 was still strong enough to get me to the finish line. The last race was much better; I made a small mistake when I was sixth but I’m happy to score a top ten result in this moto. “
Mikkel Haarup, the third F&H Kawasaki teamster to be nominated to represent their country, made an excellent start to race day, holding fifteenth place on his KX250 through the opening laps of the MXGP/MX2 race against a host of 450s, thus helping Denmark to hold an early second place in the team classification until a fall pushed him to the back of the field; he pulled back through to twenty-sixth at the finish and followed this up with seventeenth in the MX2/Open race to earn tenth overall in the MX2 class.
The three F&H Kawasaki team riders return to their regular scene in the FIM MX2 World Motocross Championship at Teutschenthal, near Halle in central Germany, next weekend.