The MX2 class of the FIM Motocross World Championship again saw the Monster Energy Yamaha team attempting to play a prominent role, this time at Kegums for the Grand Prix of Latvia and the eleventh round of seventeen on the schedule. Christophe Charlier, currently in a fine run of speed, form and confidence on the factory YZ250FM, scurried towards another top five finish and grabbed sixth position in the first moto while Dean Ferris gained the highest overall ranking of the factory quartet with eleventh place. Full praise must go to Bulgarian Petr Petrov who, with fourth spot in the final M2 ranking on his Kemea-Reytec Van De Laar YZ250F, secured a personal best.
Kegums presented a slightly different prospect compared to previous years. In what was a dry-run for the 2014 Motocross of Nations the wide and airy circuit was softer and rougher but still with that hard and distinctive base. Small, punishing bumps made technical sections even tougher to handle and combined with high speed created a sapping challenge for the Grand Prix elite.
Charlier had a mediocre start in the first moto and had to focus on gaining ground and slowly moving up positions to grasp sixth. His second race was practically over before it began as a crash when he landed off line and in some loose terrain propelled the Corsican over the bars and left him dazed and adrift of the pack. Another fall later in the moto meant his brave efforts to continue would result in one point for twentieth.
Dean Ferris had a mechanical problem in the qualification heat that meant a low gate entry for Sunday’s motos. A disappointing first race – by the Australian’s own admission – culminated in eighteenth position and could only be improved in the second affair. Ferris, on his first visit to Kegums, motored to seventh for a reasonably positive end to the weekend.
It was a case of ‘what could have been…’ for European Champion Mel Pocock. The Briton had won both motos at a wet Kegums last summer as part of his EMX250 dominance and led the battle for fifth position for almost half of the first race today. A small mistake led to a spectacular spill from which the twenty year old was lucky to escape unharmed. ‘119’ tried to recover his YZ250F but a damaged gear lever ended his participation. Pocock was held up at the start of the second sprint and a midpack slot on the first lap turned into twelfth position by the chequered flag. Maxime Desprey classified fourteenth in Moto1 but a misjudgement with his set-up curtailed his involvement in the second race.
In the MX2 world championship table Charlier is still the top YZ250F runner with 4th place and needs to work on a 31 point deficit to rise into the top three. Ferris is 6th and also 31 adrift of pushing to 5th while Pocock and Desprey hold 12th and 16th respectively. Hyvinkaa will be the site of round twelve next weekend with the FIM competition encompassing a Grand Prix of Finland for the first time since 2000.
“The first moto was OK in that my speed was good and I could do what I wanted on the bike on a difficult track. The start was not ideal but I was happy with how it went. I wanted better in the second moto but going up the waves I went slightly off line and landed in a really soft patch. The bike just stopped and threw me off. I struggled to stand up and was worried because I was seeing stars. It took me a while to recover and go again and I just tried to finish the race from there.”
“I was pumped about my start and in that first moto I was riding like I know I can. Like I said to the team, my speed is good and I know I can do that pace. I train hard and I ride hard; I just don’t know why I cannot hang-it-out for the last fifteen minutes. I made a little mistake that led to a big crash. I wasn’t riding out of my depth or felt out of control at all. I got away with the crash anyway, so I have to feel grateful for that. I made a good start in the second race but there was a big shunt in one of the corners and I got badly held up. I couldn’t make the passes I wanted to as the track was too heavily watered. The track was gnarly today.”
“Not the best weekend but it seems like the regular story lately. I know this deep into the season it is not good to still be looking for things to improve but anyway what happened on Saturday is part of racing. It didn’t give me the best opportunity to get starts but the first moto was terrible and maybe the worst race I have ridden in my life. I was quite good in the second and came from quite far back and was strong. We have to keep on moving forward. This was my first look at this track and I think it was the roughest we’ve had this year. Normally I should excel on this so I’m a bit disappointed.”
“A hard weekend for me. I was too far on the outside and had a bad start in the first moto. I was eighteenth on the first lap and finished fourteenth, so not too bad but I wanted more. In the second moto my shock was too soft and the bike was moving around so much so I did not finish the race. It is very hard to ride at Kegums. My feeling overall was pretty good but we had that problem in the second race.”