Both F&H Kawasaki’s ended the day in the top ten in the twelfth round of the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship at Lacapelle Marival on the edge of the Central Massif in southern France.
Roan van de Moosdijk, still riding himself back into race fitness following a mid-summer scaphoid injury, put in two steady rides at the tight old-school track to end the day eighth overall from a brace of ninth-placed moto finishes. The start was always going to be decisive as less than a second separated the first thirteen riders in Qualifying and the Dutch youngster found a good line through the hectic first turn from gate eleven to hold down seventh position for ten minutes of race one before surrendering places to the championship leader and fellow Kawasaki rider Wilson Todd on his way to ninth. Race two saw VDM ride a tremendous opening couple of laps to advance decisively from eleventh to eighth and he had a smooth ride to again finish ninth, surrendering just one position mid-moto to F&H Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team colleague Mikkel Haarup.
Roan van de Moosdijk: “It wasn’t a perfect day but it wasn’t too bad. The times were really close this morning; I was eleventh but less than three-quarters of a second from pole. I enjoyed the track but I just couldn’t find the tenths to make passes. In the first moto I got a good start around fifth or sixth but I had to go a little wide at the first turn and lost a couple of places. The first fifteen minutes were good but after that I started to feel a little pain in my hand; this track is typical French and hard on you if you are not 100% so I slowed down a little to be sure of making it to the finish. I started top ten again in the second moto; I changed line to pass Bénistant but the back wheel jumped out of the rut. I looked round in the corner, saw Mikkel and we almost touched. I tried to pass back but it was difficult to pass your teammate here as you had to force it. “
Haarup had again shown his speed with fourth-fastest time, just a quarter of a second off pole, in Qualifying but got closed down out of the gate by the championship favourites to emerge fourteenth from turn one. Despite being unable to ride through the week he showed resilience to advance to twelfth at the finish. The young Dane again made some good early passes in race two to join his teammate in the top ten as early as lap two; he eventually passed his teammate to finish the moto eighth and earn ninth overall on the day.
Mikkel Haarup: “It seems like I have Qualifying dialed now with another P4. I didn’t get off the gate well in the first race but I made a few passes to finish twelfth; the speed was really good but it’s pretty difficult to make many passes here. I made a better start in race two and had a good battle with Roan. I hadn’t been on the bike all week as I had been sick but I rode consistently all day. “
Bike It MTX Kawasaki’s Wilson Todd once more showed top ten pace and was poised for his best-ever result until an incident in race two robbed him of his just rewards. He wasn’t able to capitalise completely on his seventh place in Qualifying as he lost traction momentarily leaving the start in race one but used the benefit of an inside gate to emerge top ten from turn one and advance two further positions before the end of the moto. A fifth-placed start in race two augured well and he kept the leaders in sight until he was crudely pushed into the trackside fence by a fellow Australian. Rejoining the race twenty-second he was quickly back to sixteenth but, faced with a deficit of eight seconds to the next rider, that was also his position at the finish. He was eleventh overall in the GP, just missing another top-ten GP finish on the tie-break.
Wilson Todd: “Something happened at the start of race one but I had the inside at turn one and came out round about tenth. I settled in through the opening laps and then I closed down Roan and got round him. I went after Renaux too but I got held up and he was gone. I got a good start the second race but I ended up on my head. I’m looking to finish top ten every moto when I can and move into the top five. It all depends on getting out of the gate and how I’m gelling with the track. “
Quentin Prugnières had two more strong rides for the 9MM Energy Drink BUD Racing Kawasaki in the sixth round of the FIM European EMX250 Championship. The sixteen-year-old started the day well with fourth-fastest time in free practice but could only earn seventeenth choice of gate during Qualifying as he missed a clear lap with forty-six riders contesting for space on the tight track. Inevitably buried in the pack off the start in race one he was unfortunate to be trapped behind another rider who stalled in a tight turn on the opening lap but showed skill and determination to make a series of clever passes, heading home the series leader in eleventh at the finish. He added an eighteenth place in the second race after advancing nine places from another difficult first turn.