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Luke Norris – OctX MNE Kawasaki – Race Report – EMX 250 – Round 1

The first round of the European championships was held in Agueda, Portugal. Mum & Dad drove the
van down with the bikes on a 1400 mile trip each way whilst Yas & I flew there but drove back in the
van.
The track looked prime when we arrived and I was ready to get out there. 72 riders turned up so I
knew I had to ride my best to make it inside the top 40 and qualify for the main race on Sunday.
Practice and Qualifying didn’t start off very well, after lap 1 the split pin on the footpeg sheared off
and I lost about 3 laps in the pit box trying to get it sorted. I ended up qualifying 28th, not where I
wanted to be but I knew I had the speed and I set my focus towards the qualifying race.
With a poor gate pick from my qualifying position I knew I had to rocket out the start to get inside
the top 10 around the first corner. I got a great jump out of the gate and went into the first corner in
about 10th, but being on the outside I got pushed into the banners and ended up outside the top 20.
With 20 minutes + 2 laps I knew I didn’t have much time to pull my way through and get inside the
top 18 which was a qualifying position. As the laps clicked away I managed to get past a few riders
and get into 19th. With 2 laps to go 18th place was quite a way in front but I kept my head down and
pushed right to the end. I caught right up to the rider in front but unfortunately ran out of laps and
ended up finishing in 19th. Very frustrating as I was only 1 place away from qualifying.
Going into the last chance qualifier I had a better gate pick and knew I had a good chance of getting
through. The gate flinched just before it dropped and completely messed up my focus. I still
managed to get a reasonable start but I needed to be in the top 4 riders to get through to the main
race. With the race only being 15 minutes long I really didn’t have much time at all to pull through
the pack. I ended up finishing 10th and didn’t qualify for the main race.
It was extremely frustrating but I have learnt a lot from my mistakes and can go onto the next round
knowing what needs to be done. My speed and fitness were right there, I just needed a little bit of
luck . I’ll continue to work hard and I know what else to work on before the next round. A big thanks
to everyone for continuing to support me even when it gets a little tough, but I’ll get there!!
Luke Norris #173 (for the Europeans!)

MX Vice Editor || 25

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