Route77Energy Honda podiums at Valence MX International

With a fortnight to the beginning of the 2013 FIM World Motocross Championship, the

Route77energy Honda team made their way to the sunny South of France for the annualValence

MX International. With weather sunny but crisp, the conditions at the track on the outskirts of the

town were perfect for a great day’s racing.

After two free practice sessions on Saturday afternoon, the team’s riders put in some very

respectable times during qualifying on Sunday morning. In the MX1 class, Tanel Leok was just a

fraction of a second off pole in third, while Jason Dougan set a time that put him just outside the top

ten in thirteenth. In the MX2 class, Arminas Jasikonis found himself in twentieth at the end of the

session.

For Leok, the first race didn’t get off to a good start. A mid-pack start delayed his ascent up the

pack, but it only took three laps to return him to the top ten. After spending much of the race

hovering in ninth, a second wind gave him another three position by the chequered flag. Determined

to do it better the second time around, Leok set off much better, in eighth. A quick move into fifth

followed, but after a battle with Clément Desalle, he had to settle for sixth place.

In the final race of the day, Leok showed his brilliance. With the bike working like a well-oiled

machine and the rider at his best, Leok got out of the gate in fourth and held his position before

moving into third halfway through. Defending third from his rivals to the end earned him a third

overall on the weekend.

Dougan also suffered problems in the first race. Caught up in a messy first lap incident, he started

again from the back to make solid progress throughout the race to end the race in sixteenth. Dougan

got off the blocks better the second time, but after tangling with Jonathan Barragan, he found

himself dead last again. A furious 25 minutes and fifteen laps later, he streaked across the finish line

in thirteenth, a position down on his starting position.

Dougan’s bad day continued with the third race too. After a mid-pack start, he made progress to

twelfth before settling into thirteenth. With but minutes to go, another crash put paid to Dougan’s

hopes for a top ten finish, and it was best to call it a day. With the final race a zero score, Dougan

had to make do with a thirteenth place overall on the weekend.

For Jasikonis, the day went well. Although his first start left him in the back of the pack, he worked

his way forward throughout the race, ending the race in eighteenth. He improved his second race

start, and again made good progress throughout. This time around though, he missed a top twenty

spot by a whisker, ending just a few bike lengths behind in twenty-first. The overall put him in

twenty-first for the day, missing out on the super final.

Commented team principal Mark Chamberlain: “Overall I’m pleased with the steady progress we

have made. Like a lot of the Teams we have tested at the races which isn’t ideal but its had to be

done. The new Honda has been good straight away so we can only build from this point.”

Tanel Leok (#40): It’s good to be on the podium. The first two heats weren’t that great but we are
still in testing with parts and settings so as the day went on the bike got better. During the final race,
I felt very good already.

Jason Dougan (#85): Poor starts cost me this weekend. In the first moto, my gate never dropped
properly, then I got caught up in a pile-up on the first lap. I came from last to sixteenth, which I
was happy with considering the difficult to pass track conditions. I had a better start in the second
moto, came together with Barragan and crashed on the first lap, came from last again to thirteenth
and was happy with my riding again. In the last race had an average start, was running eleventh in
the combined race, but crashed with about five minutes to go and decided to call it a day. On a good
note, the bike is working well and I’m happy with the team and everyone’s efforts.

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