After completing the marathon 25 hour journey to get to Guadalajara, Mexico, for the fourth round of the FIM World Motocross Championship, Matiss Karro and Nathan ‘Nez’ Parker were faced with some of the hardest conditions they are ever likely to experience.
After a protest from the riders against the track conditions resulted in their non-participation in the qualifying race, their race day gate pick was taken from their timed practice session. This meant that Karro started in 14th with Parker slightly further back in 18th.
Neither Karro nor Parker started the race well but both managed to pass a lot of riders around the first few corners. Unfortunately, as they entered the wave section side by side Parker lost the front end which saw him being catapulted over the bars. The stricken youngster was clearly injured and was immediately taken to hospital for X-rays on his foot.
Karro made impressive progress early on but a crash cost him valuable seconds and he lost the tow on the leading group. He was able to keep it together for the rest of the race to finish in a very respectable 11th place, albeit with smoke bellowing out of his bike’s engine.
In the second race, Karro made an excellent start and was up in 6th place as he entered the rollers but he went off the side of the track on a jump and found himself back in 15th. Despite a valiant attempt, in the soaring heat, he struggled to make his way back up the grid and had to settle for 13th at the flag for 12th overall, a finish which saw him move up to 14th in the Championship.
Later, Parker returned from hospital with the news that his foot wasn’t broken, although unfortunately it looks like he has torn his ankle ligaments.
Matiss Karro said: “I didn’t like the track today as it was so gnarly and the weather didn’t help. It was the hardest conditions I’ve ever raced in but I got two good results and took 12th overall again which I am happy with and I’m really looking forward to Brazil next weekend.”
Nathan Parker said: “I’m absolutely gutted. I really wanted to do well here but the track was unbelievably hard and caught so many riders out, me included. My injury doesn’t look as bad as first feared but I really don’t know how long my foot is going to take to heal.”
Team manager, Steve Turner added “I feel so bad for Nez and his mechanic Toby. It’s a long way to come to get injured but at least he experienced riding in these conditions which is all part of the learning process for him. Matiss coped well all weekend and picked up another 18 points to add to his tally and is now in 14th in the Championship.”
“I thought we might be on for something special from him in the second race as he started so well and made his way up to 6th but it wasn’t to be. When he dropped down the pack, after jumping off the side of the track, it was more a case of salvaging as many points as possible. The conditions here are the hardest most of the teams have ever experienced with temperatures reaching 101 degrees. When you add that to the altitude, the bikes and the riders all suffered from the heat and from not being able to get enough air. We will now fly to Brazil for part two of our South American trip.”