The Losail circuit in Qatar was the scene of the first Grand Prix of eighteen in the 2013 FIM Motocross World Championship. It was also the first trip to the Middle East for the series and the first to be played out under a similar lighting system made famous by the adjacent MotoGP course.
HM Plant KTM UK fielded Elliott Banks-Browne for the second year in succession on the 250SX-F and gave a debut to promising youngster James Dunn in the MX2 category. Across a bumpy, technical but reasonably fast track – thanks to the layout – EBB was able to accumulate 17 championship points for 12th place overall and finishes of 12th and 13th (for the class) after the second moto ‘Superfinal’ that saw MX1 and MX2 machines mixed at the same time in the very first experiment of this type with the race programme.
Elliott was hindered by a poor start and also damaged eyewear in the first moto but was defending a satisfactory slot in the second outing when he experienced some discomfort with his hand and had to slow. Dunn used his Grand Prix baptism to pick up some useful pointers from the world’s best and on the cusp of moving to Thailand next week for round two.
Elliott Banks-Browne: “In the first race I didn’t get a good start and on the first lap I broke my goggles! From that moment I couldn’t see anything. Finally, I tried my best and finished twelfth. In the second race I got a pretty good start with the MX1 boys and I rode seventh during the whole race, but I had some problems with my hand and in the last laps I lost many places. This is only the start of the season and next week I hope to make a better result in Thailand.”
James Dunn: “This is my first race in the world Championship in the MX2 Class and that is a big experience for me. Having the opportunity to come here in Qatar for the first race of the Championship has been great. In the first moto I finished 26th, but this year I just need to finish races, get some points and have a consistent heats. I have learnt a lot from this weekend.”
Photo courtesy of Ray Archer
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39:51.449; 2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:31.544; 3. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +0:32.888; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), +0:44.961; 5. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), +0:59.726; 6. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +1:03.051; 7. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +1:11.094; 8. Julien Lieber (BEL, Suzuki), +1:12.485; 9. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), +1:17.280; 12. Elliott Banks-Browne (GBR, KTM), +1:34.501.
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 39:55.020; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:07.472; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:09.834; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:11.515; 5. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:11.809; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:16.592; 7. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:25.914; 8. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:39.408; 9. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +0:44.527; 30. Elliott Banks-Browne (GBR, KTM), -1 lap(s).
MX2 World Championship
1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Dean Ferris (AUS, Yamaha), 38 p.; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), 38 p.; 4. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 36 p.; 5. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), 33 p.; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 30 p.; 7. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 26 p.; 8. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), 25 p.; 9. Julien Lieber (BEL, Suzuki), 24 p.; 12. Elliott Banks-Browne (GBR, KTM), 17 p.