Cobwebs have been blown off of the all-new circuit of Afyon, Turkey, which is playing host to round eighteen of the FIM Motocross World Championship, as the practice sessions are complete and the first blows have been exchanged. A couple of points stood out from the on-track action, as well as discussions had in the paddock, and those are in the bullet points below.
– An interesting chat was had in the paddock this morning, as Steve Dixon was discussing ways to improve the Grand Prix of Great Britain and make it more accessible for fans. This really is a hot topic currently, as tickets for the event will go on sale to the public next week. The good news does not stop there, however, as it will cost just five pounds for a child (up to fifteen) to watch for the entire weekend. Madness! An adult ticket will be just fifty pounds for the entire weekend too, making it one of the cheapest events on the FIM Motocross World Championship calendar.
– Valentin Guillod is still struggling with the illness that surfaced following Indonesia. Guillod has nothing left when there are ten minutes to go in a moto and cannot train properly in the week, so things are not exactly going well in that camp. Guillod is determined to get to the bottom of the issue though and show his true self at the Motocross of Nations next month. The biggest issue that he is currently facing is that the lacklustre results are making it difficult for him to find a deal for next year. The second seat at Standing Construct KTM has already gone.
– A few fans have questioned why Pauls Jonass was sporting a bandage on his elbow yesterday. After washing out in the last turn at the Grand Prix of Bulgaria last week, he was left with a nasty gash on his elbow. The bandage is there to obviously stop it getting infected. It is nothing that will slow him this weekend, however, so those theories should be squashed. The times that he posted in practice today serve as proof of that anyway. Jonass has really mastered the art of possessing the intensity to record a single quick lap time.
– The track at Afyon is very similar to Qatar, but arguably has bigger jumps. There were a couple of leaps that the MX2 riders struggled to get over cleanly each lap. It is tough to say what sections are going to make a difference and separate the competition this weekend, as the track is still developing. There are no support classes this weekend and therefore it is going to take some time for the track to deteriorate. It was rather peculiar to see riders venture out onto a completely groomed track for their free session.
– Romain Febvre ended the free session at the top of the charts in a somewhat surprising turn of events. When was the last time that he actually managed that? It was at the Grand Prix of Great Britain two seasons ago. Febvre then crashed out of the timed session and was unfortunately taken away in an ambulance. Yamaha released this update on his condition.
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: Sean Ogden