The first round of the 2013 Honda 150 European Championship took place in intense temperatures today at the Lausitzring, Germany round of the FIM Motocross World Championship.
Denmark’s Michael Joergensen took the holeshot, but it was yesterday’s pole-man Mitchell Lewis from Great Britain who claimed the lead halfway into the first lap around the sandy Lausitz circuit.
Joergensen was passed by Italian Filippo Grigoletto soon after, who then looked to be closing on Lewis after setting the fastest lap of the race. However, a mistake leading into the wave section slowed him and allowed fellow countryman Alberto Forato to take second position on the track.
Forato pushed hard to catch Lewis, but the British youngster responded and controlled the race from the front by maintaining a comfortable gap to the Italian, while taking the first ever Honda 150 European Championship race win by 11 seconds.
Forato took second position, while Grigoletto held off a late charge from Joergensen, who had found a good rhythm around the Grand Prix circuit, to claim the final podium position. Ethan Winchester took fourth place after a tough battle with Sweden’s Erik Englund and Winchester’s performance was impressive, considering the British youngster was carrying an injury from training.
Luca Pepe Meger from Germany improved on his qualifying result with seventh place ahead of Denmark’s Lucas Ankjaer and female rider Shana Van Der List from The Netherlands. Bennet Schaefer from Germany completed the top 10 in front of the home Grand Prix fans.
The championship, which offers the youngsters the opportunity to race on supplied CRF150R machinery at Grand Prix events, now heads to Bastogne in Belgium in two weeks’ time before the season finale at Matterley Basin in Great Britain the following weekend.
“I think the championship is really good; everything has been so organised and relaxed. We took the bikes out earlier in the week, which allowed for some suspension set-up, and I have to say I’m quite surprised just how good these bikes are out of the crate, as I haven’t ridden a CRF150R in a while,” said Lewis.
“I’d like to thank all of my sponsors, as it’s so good to win here. It’s unreal to race at a Grand Prix track, and to be doing jumps while seeing the crowd is amazing. Yesterday I didn’t get a good start, but I sat behind the leading guys and with 10 minutes to go I made the pass and pushed towards the end, as they began to get tired. Today’s race was awesome. I got a good start, which made it easier with no roost and stuff, but it all went well and it was great to be on the podium,” concluded the youngster.