Petrov earns career first MX2 podium in Lommel sand
here the GP in Lommel should have been a highlight of the season for the KEMEA Yamaha Yamalube team, last weekend turned out completely the opposite for the riders. The bad news already started earlier this week when Maxime Renaux crashed on training and fractured his collarbone. The leader in the EMX125 championship tried to ride on Saturday morning, but soon it was clear this wouldn’t be possible. After the weekend, Renaux is now 26 points behind the leader and theoretically still has a chance to win the title. Until then the question will be how well the injury heals and if it would be possible for Maxime to try in Assen.
In the EMX2 class too, things didn’t go as planned for Damon Graulus. Damon was confident going into the races after he rode the fastest qualifying time on Saturday. In the races Damon crashed hard in both moto’s and finished 18th and 23rd. He was 23rd overall and is now third in the championship, 41 points behind the leader.
Brent Vandoninck too had high expectations coming into this weekend. On saturday he justified these by finishing fourth in the qualification race. A crash in the first moto dropped him outside the top ten but in the end he battled himself back to ninth. In the second moto Brent was battling for 7th when he crashed hard in the second lap. He was in a lot of pain and the bike was damaged so he retired from the race. Brent still finished 14th overall and is now in 15th in the championship standings.
Until this year Benoit Paturel had almost no experience on sand tracks like Lommel. He realized up front this would be a though one but stayed calm. With a 16th start gate pick he was soon riding 10th in the first moto. He battled for this position all race long and managed to secure it in the end. In the second moto, the French rider was a little further back in the start but quickly moved up to ninth. He maintained his pace and crossed the line in 9th position. Finishing 8th overall in Lommel, Benoit is now 10th in the championship standings.
"There is not much to say about this weekend… I came here to take points in the championship but leave with hardly any… In the first race I was riding tight under the pressure. I crashed hard and lost a lot of time. In the second one I was riding a lot better. I messed up my start but was riding pretty good until I crashed hard again… It’s a hard confrontation with the reality now. Before I still believed in my chances but now it seems like things are over. It has been a strange season, and it has for sure not brought what I wanted. I expected to win this championship but made too many errors. All I can do now is put everything on Assen and try to win the race there."
"I’m quiet satisfied with the weekend. This was by far the gnarliest track I’ve ever ridden. If they would have told me I would finish 8th overall in Lommel, I would have signed immediately. I feel I learned a lot in the sand. This was the aim for me for this year, and the plan is to step up towards next year."
"I’m so disappointed… I expected a lot from this weekend and it turned out completely the other way. Saturday was good… I had a good feeling, was riding smooth and was confident for Sunday. The first moto was going pretty good. I was saving some energy at first and right when I started pushing, I crashed. It took me a while to get back in the rhythm and finished 9th in the end. Second moto my start was average and I pushed straight away. In the second lap the sand soaked up my bike after a big jump and I went over the bars… I had some troubles breathing and was in pain, so that was the end of a day to forget…"