Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki teenager Dylan Ferrandis ended the FIM MX2 Motocross World Championship season with a podium finish at the tortuous Lierop sand track in the Netherlands.
The talented French youngster had already shown his liking for the most demanding race track in the world series as he took a strong fourth place during qualification and he confirmed this form as he quickly moved forward to second place, headed only by the champion and local sand expert Herlings in the opening GP moto and retained that position unchallenged to the chequered flag. In the second moto he again held second place until displaced after a few laps by another Dutch sand expert, but, aware that third place would give him second overall on the day, he rode a sensible race to maintain his position to the finish. The score moved him to ninth in the final championship standings, an advance of one position compared to his ranking of the previous year, even though Dylan had encountered a difficult start to the season as he had been injured during the winter.
Arnaud Tonus of Team CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit showed good speed as he recovers from a long injury lay-off when he recorded the second fastest lap in practice, and the stylish Swiss followed this up with fifth place in the qualifying race. Overnight rain made the track even more difficult for all of the competitors, but, after missing much of the season, Arnaud found it particularly difficult to establish a rhythm during the first moto and he crashed after a good start, losing a lap to the leaders to be classified twentieth. Track conditions had improved greatly before the start of the second race and Arnaud was able to maintain sixth position throughout the race.
Teammate Alessandro Lupino fought hard to convert a fourteenth placed start into an eighth place finish in the opening GP race, but he was excluded from the results for missing one jump when thrown off-line by the deep ruts. He raced to tenth place, again one of the few riders to complete the full race distance, in the second moto and the score enabled the Italian to advance to eighth place in the final championship standings.
Bud Racing’s rookie Jason Clermont, who has little experience of racing heavy sand tracks, inevitably experienced difficulties in the final GP of the year but he persevered to finish twenty-second and twenty-fourth in the two motos.
Dylan Ferrandis: “I came to Belgium one week ago to ride in the sand and prepare for this GP, and I knew that a good result was possible. I got a great start in both motos today and for sure that helped me. I had a good rhythm and took it easy as the track was very demanding; in some sections it was more trial than motocross. My riding was relaxed and I finished second and third in the two motos. I wasn’t really expecting a second position, but I wanted a podium after I had missed it twice during the last few GPs and it’s also a great farewell present to my Bud Racing team. We had some great times together, and we both made improvements during our cooperation.”
Arnaud Tonus: “It was a pretty good weekend. I had trained hard for the last two weeks and I was happy with my rhythm on Saturday. In the first moto I crashed pretty hard when I was in the top ten; my feeling with the track was not so good as usual because I never saw Lierop like this. The second race was better; I had a better rhythm and could keep my sixth place for the entire race. Now I will practice on a 450 for the MX of Nations, and next week I have a Swiss championship race, also on a 450, so that will be a good training.”
Alessandro Lupino: “I never saw Lierop like this, and it was another tough weekend for me. I improved my riding in the sand, but I must stay more focused on these tracks; I made a couple of mistakes, and in the first race they disqualified me because the jury told that I went outside the track on one jump. The second moto was better, but the result is not what I want. The team and I know what we need to improve for next season, and we’ll work on it as I want to get more podiums than the two I managed in 2014!”
Jason Clermont: “I knew that it would be difficult for me here in Lierop as I don’t have enough experience on this sort of track. My best result was in the warm up with a sixth position this morning, but in the races it was different as I crashed several times in each race. I had no fun riding here, except at the end of the first moto when I was following Lupino for a couple of laps.”