With Hawkstone fast approaching 3 of the riders participating got some practice in at the weekends Le Touquet Beach Race. Mixed fortunes for the riders, check out Leok’s and Aubins Press Releases.
Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 GP rider Tanel Leok battled snow and icy conditions to race to second place overall against 1080 riders at today’s grueling Enduropale Du Touquet Beach Race in northern France.
The Estonian – at his first major international ride for the team and also in his debut at the three-hour event – recorded a total of 10 laps and was less than two minutes behind overall winner Jean-Claude Mousse (Yamaha).
Leok put his specially-modified RM-Z450 Suzuki into seventh place at the opening corner and held top three at the end of lap one. He briefly took the lead on the second lap as he fought with Frenchmen Mousse, Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) and Nicolas Aubin (Honda); a battle that lasted throughout the race, with Leok constantly alternating between second and third positions.
The 26 year old had full back-up team support from fellow Suzuki men Clement Desalle, Yohei Kojima, Petar Petrov and 2011 event winner Steve Ramon and was gaining ground on leader Mousse, but the ‘four pit-stop-strategy’ saw Leok lose an additional 60 seconds on the winner, resulting in second position.
Said Leok: “The conditions were tricky in the beginning with the snow mixed into the top layer combined with the frozen ground underneath. I rode my own race and focused on keeping a good momentum; it’s really hard to actually follow which position you are in with those Pit Stops.
“I lost a little bit time at some of my Pit Stops and could have gone a bit faster on the long straights, but overall I’m pretty happy with the race, the result and the team effort. My main focus is the MX1 GP season but I’m happy to have had the opportunity to do this race.”
Leok will resume his training schedule to prepare for the 16 rounds of the 2012 MX1 World Championship and will be entering international races at Valence in France and also at Hawkstone Park in the UK this month.
After running out of fuel at the entrance to the pits, Buildbase Honda racer Nicolas Aubin began to push…
Being a front-running French motocross star on his home turf, there were no shortage of helpers and while this outside assistance from other riders this was not to be Nico`s downfall, he did carve his way through the pits in (perhaps) a more direct route than he would have normally used!
Due to the slight deviation through the pits, the event officials took a negative view at the end of the race and decided to demote Aubin to 13th place.
Nico – “Of course this is disappointing, but I race to win, so, for me coming second was also disappointing”.
D.T – “I don`t want to dwell on ‘what if`s’. We are over it and focussing on the next event. As far as I am concerned, this was still a great effort from the whole team and a fantastic training exercise”.
Tommy Alba finished an incredible 2nd in the Youth race aboard his Oakleaf Kawasaki.