Evotech Stevens KTM made the long trip down to the historic Villars-sous-Écot track in Eastern France for the second round of the French Elite Championship. The newly-designed track had seen heavy rain in the week leading up to the race, but Sunday morning was met with dry skies.
Team rider Steven Lenoir took to the rutted hillside track very well, posting the third fastest lap time of the forty-strong field of riders.
The first MX2 race of the day got under way on a rapidly drying circuit. Lenoir made a great start in second place, just behind Bud Kawasaki star Dylan Ferrandis. A small mistake cost Lenoir a place as he battled in third position for much of the race. His perseverance paid off and he was able to make a pass late in the race, crossing the finish line in second place.
The second race saw a different format to the first, a mixed MX2 and MX1 super-final, in which a good start against the 450 machines would be crucial on the steep hills. As the gate dropped, Lenoir reacted quickly and launched the EvoTech-prepared KTM 250SX-F down the start straight and out of sight of the spectators. Incredibly as the riders re-appeared on the first up-hill section, he was in second position in the race and the leading MX2 machine.
Lenoir had a great battle with first race winner Ferrandis until the fellow French rider made a pass stick in the fourth lap. Then another high-speed battle resumed in the MX2 category, this time between Lenoir and factory Husqvarna rider Benoit Paturel, this time with Lenoir losing out and finishing the race in a strong third place. The two-three score card gave Lenoir a well-deserved podium with third overall.
“It’s been a great day for me. Two 35-minute motos on a difficult, rutted track is just what I needed in preparation for the next round of the British Championship at Milton Park. I’ve been working hard on improving my starts and it paid off today, I nearly holeshotted the super-final against the 450’s! A big thanks to my team, they’ve been working really hard to produce me a fantastic bike.”
Matt Hutchins, Team manager:
“We are really pleased with Steven’s results today. His hard work is starting to pay off now and his speed is improving every week. I would also like to thank Shaun Sisterson and KTM UK for the support they have given the team this year, and all our sponsors who continue to support our efforts.”