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Lieber shows promise at British MX2 GP

Team Suzuki Press Office – August 19.

The British Grand Prix at Matterley Basin was a busy event for Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe as the team fielded four riders in four different categories. 13th round of the FIM Motocross World Championship was also the fixture for the MXGP Festival that saw 10 classes and over 300 riders in action over four days. From this melting pot of racing and talent Julien Lieber made an encouraging start on the factory RM-Z250 in the fiercely-competitive MX2 class and raced to a best moto finish of 11th.

Matterley Basin was fast, tricky, rutted and an excellent surface for racing with plenty of effective overtaking choice and different lines as 35,000 spectators enjoyed stuffy but bright conditions and were part of a historic meeting as part of the inaugural MXGP Festival.

Lieber was drafted into the team for the British Grand Prix and will remain on the RM-Z250 for the remaining rounds in Holland, Italy and Germany with Petar Petrov and Harri Kullas both on the injury list. The Belgian made an excellent start in the first moto and was running in the top five, finally passing the chequered flag in 11th. A crash while in second place on the first lap of the second moto limited his possibilities and he came home in 16th for 12th overall.

Also gunning a RM-Z250 was Jeremy Seewer. The Swiss was negotiating the fifth round of seven in the European MX2 series and after a satisfactory fifth position in the first moto on Friday afternoon was luckless on Sunday. Seewer collided with another rider and was robbed of his front brake. He had to charge back from the rear of the pack and his efforts were rewarded with one point for 20th position. Seewer keeps fifth place in the standings and is just 13 points from the top three.

Jorge Zaragoza was contesting his first Grand Prix and European 125cc two-stroke meeting on the RM125 since breaking his arm in France in May. The talented Spaniard was struggling a little for peak race speed and fitness and experienced a second moto mistake that proved costly. The sixteen year old was 13th overall and nevertheless gained valuable race mileage in preparation for his world championship attempt next week.

Brian Hsu captured a decent third position in his first moto on the RM85 for the European 85cc Championship but any designs on a final podium slot slipped away in the second race on Sunday when a crash on the first lap left him at the rear of the field. The teenager pushed up to 19th to salvage two points.

The FIM Junior World Championship at Sevlievo in Bulgaria is the next major appointment for the team this coming weekend and will see Hsu and Zaragoza both pushing for major honours. Seewer will be racing his RM-Z250 alongside Lieber at Lierop (Holland) for the Grand Prix of Benelux in two weeks time. Round 14 of the FIM World Championship will also entertain the penultimate outing for the European MX2 collective.

Julien Lieber:

“I am very happy because the bike is very, very good. I made three good starts through the weekend. I was fifth for more than half of the first moto but got a little bit tired at the end. My start was even better in the second race but I crashed out of second in the waves section. I fought back but made another mistake and just saw the race out from there. The Suzuki is really strong and very light and it feels easy to throw it into the corners and over the jumps.”

Brian Hsu:

“I was pleased after the first race. I felt good on a tough track but it was really special to be here with all the GP guys. My gate pick was not the best and I needed better from the qualification. The second moto was just bad luck. I lost the front wheel and I hope Jorge [Prado] is OK as he was following me and got caught up with the bike.”

Jorge Zaragoza:

“Honestly I think the meeting went quite well but obviously I am still not 100% strong. I rode quite fast and set good lap-times but I need to get sharper. I really like Sevlievo in Bulgaria and I’m really motivated to go there. I think a top-five finish would be very good considering my shape at the moment.”

MX2 Moto1: 1. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 40:01.109; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:19.662; 3. Zachary Osborne (USA, Yamaha), +0:58.635; 4. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +1:03.394; 5. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +1:04.164; 6. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +1:12.725; 7. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:13.663; 8. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:21.581; 9. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +1:23.778; 10. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), +1:30.775;11. Julien Lieber (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), +1:32.111.

MX2 Moto2: 1. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 40:56.885; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:18.401; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +0:32.793; 4. Zachary Osborne (USA, Yamaha), +0:41.410; 5. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:45.486; 6. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:47.190; 7. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:15.940; 8. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:26.441; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:40.749; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +1:48.081. 16. Julien Lieber (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), -1 lap(s).

MX2 Overall result: 1. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 50 points; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 44 p.; 3. Zachary Osborne (USA, Yamaha), 38 p.; 4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 36 p.; 5. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 34 p.; 6. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), 30 p.; 7. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 28 p.; 8. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), 26 p.; 9. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 21 p.; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 18 p. 12. Julien Lieber (BEL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 15 p.

EMX2 Overall result: 1. Maxime Desprey (FRA, Kawasaki), 50 points; 2. Damon Graulus (BEL, Suzuki), 38 p.; 3. Stefan Kjer Olsen (DEN, Yamaha), 38 p.; 4. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), 33 p.; 5. Alessandro Battig (ITA, Yamaha), 32 p.; 6. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Kawasaki), 24 p.; 7. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Yamaha), 23 p.; 8. Adrien Escoffier (FRA, Kawasaki), 21 p.; 9. Mike Kras (NED, Suzuki), 20 p.; 10. Donny Bastemeijer (NED, Honda), 19 p.; 11. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 17 p.

EMX2 Championship Standings (after 5 of 7 rounds): 1. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), 230 points; 2. Stefan Kjer Olsen (DEN, Yamaha), 196 p.; 3. Maxime Desprey (FRA, Kawasaki), 155 p.; 4. Mike Kras (NED, Suzuki), 146 p.; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 142 p.

125cc result: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, KTM), 47 points; 2. Magne Klingsheim (NOR, KTM), 42 p.; 3. James Dunn (GBR, KTM), 38 p.; 4. Simone Furlotti (ITA, Suzuki), 36 p.; 5. Nicolas Dercourt (FRA, Yamaha), 35 p.; 6. Vaclav Kovar (CZE, KTM), 25 p.; 7. Henry Jacobi (GER, KTM), 24 p.; 8. Nicholas Adams (RSA, KTM), 20 p.; 9. Riccardo Righi (ITA, KTM), 20 p.; 10. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 18 p. 13. Jorge Zaragoza Beltran (ESP, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 15 p.

85cc result: 1. Davy Pootjes (NED, KTM), 47 points; 2. David Herbreteau (FRA, Kawasaki), 42 p.; 3. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), 33 p.; 4. Lorenzo Camporese (ITA, KTM), 30 p.; 5. Ivan Petrov (BUL, KTM), 28 p.; 6. Tomas Ragadini (ITA, KTM), 25 p.; 7. Bas Vaessen (NED, KTM), 24 p.; 8. Kristers Drevinskis (LAT, Suzuki), 23 p.; 9. Tilo Wittlerbäumer (GER, KTM), 22 p.; 10. Brian Hsu (GER, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 22 p.

MX Vice Editor || 25

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