There were contrasting fortunes for Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe at Agueda for the Grand Prix of Portugal and across the continent in other competitions today.
Under hot sunshine for the sixth round of 17 in the FIM Motocross World Championship Max Anstie classified 10th overall on the factory-backed RM-Z250 while Jeremy Seewer was able to kick off his European EMX250 campaign – the feeder series to the MX2 class – with a podium result and third place.
Agueda, with 15,000 spectators through the weekend, was a bumpy, rutty and very rough prospect that was a challenge both physically and mentally through the limited overtaking chances away from a faster single line. Anstie was hampered by mediocre starts in his motos: The Brit had earlier showed good pace around the undulations with top three lap-times in the practice sessions. For the 35 minute and two-lap races Anstie fought through to ninth and 11th positions, recovering from a second moto crash to get near the top 10.
At the same event, Seewer competed earlier in the day and across a damper terrain. The track had been watered to help contain dust and create a softer surface and the European EMX125 (two stroke machinery) and EMX250 bore the brunt of the muddier conditions.
But first in front of the crowds was Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe team-mate Brian Hsu on the RM125. The teenager circulated just outside the upper-part of the leaderboard and a stomach problem in the second part of the single moto meant he could rise no higher than 11th.
Seewer wheeled out his RMZ-250 for the EMX250 sprint and was making decent laps to remain inside the top four. By the end of the race distance the stylish Swiss had moved up to third and launched his viable bid for the title with a solid result.
On the other side of Europe, Gianluca Facchetti took his RM85 to a double-moto victory at Montevarchi for the third round of five in the Italian Championship while Crisztian Tompa finished fourth overall in the latest outing of the European 85 series to now lead the standings.
The Grand Prix of Brazil at Beto Carrero will represent the next major international meeting for the Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe team on May 19th.
“Everything went well yesterday and I put in good times and we were third in both timed sessions; even when I went down in the qualification heat I was able to get up and move my way through. In both races I just felt like I was struggling. We didn’t get out of the gate and I don’t know why because we have been working so much on the start – it is all I have been doing during the week. On the track I felt like I was coming through OK but having to push very hard to pass. I made a few mistakes and went down in the second moto when I clipped some guy in the air. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time for a few moments today and it set me back. A shame; it could have been a much better weekend.”
“I’m happy with third in the first race but for sure the win would have been nicer. We have seven races to go so it was a solid way to start. I know I can do better and my goal is the title; top three overall for sure. I have to look towards Ernee and the Grand Prix of France now. The track was completely different today; yesterday it was dry and hard and because of the watering, it was deep and with many ruts. I didn’t struggle but there was just one good line in the morning and it was difficult to pass another rider.”
“My physical condition was good today but I had a stomach ache from the middle of the moto. I just kept going and tried to get as far as I could. I didn’t like the single moto final so much: It means just one chance. There is no second moto or second opportunity. Anyway, I’m enjoying the RM125 because there is plenty of power. With the 85 I was pushing the bike! I like the 125; it’s great for learning.”