Route77energy Honda continued its world championship campaign in hot and humid Thailand this past weekend. Just a few miles from the world famous holiday resort of Pattaya, the track of Si Racha proved to be quite the challenge with unpredictable weather on Saturday delaying the start of qualifying for several hours.
With torrential rains delaying qualifying practice, free and pre-qualification were combined. The qualifying race saw team rider Tanel Leok go to the line fourth, with Jason Dougan taking the twentieth place. Although Leok was not able to improve on his pre-qualifying position, ending the qualifying race in seventh, he was better off than Dougan, who, after a first-corner collision, had to grit his teeth throughout the race to return to nineteenth, before visiting a hospital for a shoulder x-ray.
Leok’s luck did not hold on Sunday afternoon either. A bad start in eighteenth meant an uphill struggle for the Estonian, but he soon found himself in thirteenth. With the two-lap board out, a crash amongst the leaders gifted Leok with another position for a twelfth place at the finish. In the Super Final race, Leok got off to a much better start. Eleventh in the first lap, he found himself wedged between rivals Strijbos and Simpson for the majority of the race. Breaking free, he made another attempt at a pass, moving back into twelfth with two laps to go. With the day over, Leok ended the round in twelfth overall.
Dougan’s weekend went from bad to worse. Although the x-rays obtained on Saturday night did not show any damage, his first race of the day proved to be difficult, to say the least. Through the start corner melée in fifteenth, he made early progress, but unfortunately, the damage was done. The continued jars and jolts left Dougan with the difficult decision to perform damage limitation and pull in.
Commented team principal Mark Chamberlain: “I have mixed feelings as its such a hard trip for a team like ours to do financially and that it was stressful at times, but I think overall we have to be happy with the points we came away with and that we had no major problems. Tanel’s speed is there, it’s just getting that bit of luck at the start to get a really good result. Jason was riding well on Saturday so it was a shame that he couldn’t race on Sunday and now we hope he can be fit for FatCat this weekend.”
Tanel Leok (#40): I was feeling good this weekend at the track and with the race so when I got a good start I was happy. Unfortunately it was short-lived when I hit De Dycker’s back wheel in the first corner and crashed. That put me in the back of the pack and it was difficult to fight to the front, but when I finished twelfth I was quite satisfied. The second start was not as good as the first and again I had to fight from to back to the front and I finished twelfth in MX1 again. It was a hot and demanding weekend for everyone and I know I could have finished better but overall I’m happy with the points I got from there.
Jason Dougan (#85): I felt good Saturday in practice. I went down hard in the first turn in the heat race and was hit by another rider, I carried on and got back to nineteenth. I feel like I rode fairly good but I knew something wasn’t right with my shoulder as I was in a fair bit of pain. I went to a hospital Saturday evening to have an x-ray and nothing appears to be broken. In the first race I had an OK start and was riding well, but the numerous hard landings led to more pain and started to get too much so I stopped the race and decided to call it a day. I’ll get further checks this week to see what the problem is and whether I’ll be good for Fat Cat next week. Just want to say a massive thanks to the whole team for an awesome trip and all their efforts through thick and thin.
The team is now returning to the United Kingdom for its first round of the Maxxis British Motocross Championship
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