MX2, Valkenswaard, The Netherlands, 10 April 2012
Kawasaki teammates Joel Roelants and Tommy Searle both started the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship in style by taking two of the three podium placings at Valkenswaard in Holland.
The Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit riders knew that victory would be difficult against the local sand expert Jeffrey Herlings, but, with 14 rounds of the 16 race series due to take place on hard surfaces, they both concentrated on a solid start to the campaign and achieved their aim by taking second and third places in each of the two gruelling 40 minute races.
Searle quickly moved up the leaderboard to secure second place in the opening moto, while Roelants recovered brilliantly from a nervous start to follow his teammate home, 50 seconds clear of the next rider. It was Roelants’ turn to chase Herlings in race two and he matched the Dutch teenager for speed for several laps before eventually accepting a safe second with Searle third, the rest of the field well over a minute behind this time.
Tommy Searle: “I’m not a sand expert so I knew that I couldn’t race with Herlings here. In fact this result is like a win for me because I have done most of my training in California and England on the sort of tracks we will race in 14 of the 16 GPs this year so I am now confident for the season ahead; I can’t wait for the next race in Bulgaria.”
The Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki duo of Dylan Ferrandis and Valentin Teillet expected a difficult start to the championship as they recover from early season injuries but both French youngsters showed great character to secure top ten finishes in each moto.
Their female teammate Livia Lancelot was also racing in Holland as she made a guest appearance in the opening round of the FIM Women’s World Championship and, despite riding with a broken finger and occasional spells of dizziness, raced to an impressive second place.
Steffi Laier of the Dutch Rabbit Racing Team made it two Kawasakis on the podium in the ladies class too despite being sick all week.
Joel Roelants: “I was a little nervous in my first GP for the team and made a mess of the first start but we’ve got the bike working so well after the winter tests that I was able to come all the way through to third. I was so confident for race two that I was even able to follow Herlings for several laps, but he was just too fast and I focused on securing my second place.”
Dylan Ferrandis: “I was expecting a tough GP, and my goal was to do a top ten there as I am still not totally recovered from my injuries. But my Kawasaki gave me two great starts and then I rode smart; for sure the next tracks will be even better for me.”
Valentin Teillet: “This was the first time I have raced here, but I know the track’s reputation and rode a little tense in the first moto. I had a great start in the second race, but then I stalled the engine in the first corner and had a tough fight back through the field. My shoulder was still painful but I now have a free weekend before the next GP and I’m confident I can do even better there.”
Livia Lancelot: “I had a big crash during the practice session yesterday and it was not certain if I could race at first as I broke a finger and was a little dizzy so this was a great result for me, particularly as my main goal this year is the X-Games in California.”
Steffi Laier: “I won’t race the entire world championship this year, but I feel really good on my Kawasaki so I had expected more here. But I’ve been sick all week and didn’t want to risk too much today with the entire season still in front of us.”