KEMEA Yamaha Official MX team: GP12 Mantova, Italy
Last weekend the MX track in Lommel transformed into a large beach. Some good weather (apart from one heavy shower) combined with the deep and loose sand brought up some holiday vibes. But not for the riders, as for them this race was one of the toughest they will face this year.
Lommel is the home race for the team and a perfect opportunity to invite friends, family and sponsors over the weekend. Under the tent things were pretty busy as all riders in the team had a race this weekend.
For Brent Vandoninck and Maxime Renaux this was a comeback race after their injuries. Maxime started riding three weeks ago while Brent only got 3 times on the bike prior to the GP. Karlis Sabulis, who replaced Brent in the past GP’s started in the EMX2 race in the KEMEA colors.
It was Karlis who surprised everybody in the first EMX2 moto with a blitz start. He took the lead in lap 2 and rode really fas. Unfortunately he couldn’t hold on to this position and dropped back to 7th place, right behind Maxime. Renaux started outside the top 10 but came back strong to 6th. In the last lap both riders unfortunately crashed and lost some positions. Maxime finished 9th and Karlis 16th. In the second moto Karlis was riding 9th when he crashed hard. He got hit by the bike and had to go to hospital for a check-up. Luckily he was released soon with only a concussion.
The reigning 125cc world champion Renaux had another bad start. He came back to 8th but crashed again in the closing stages to finish 15th. He got 10th overall in the Belgian GP.
"Lommel is not the best place to make your comeback after an injury… The track was really rough and after a bad time in qualifying it was hard to make a good start. Despite bad starts I managed to come back within the top 10 in both moto’s. In the first moto I was passed pretty aggressive in the last lap and crashed. Second race I crashed again in the last part of the race. In the end I have a good feeling about this weekend. Speed and fitness were good, but that didn’t show in the results. I wouldn’t call it bad luck, but luck certainly wasn’t at my side either."
"I don’t feel too good right now. I’m pretty beat up and I’ve got pain everywhere. The doc advised me to sleep a lot with the concussion. The weekend started pretty good, but as I’m not too experienced in the deep sand I made a lot of mistakes. In the second moto the bike stopped right before a double and I crashed hard. Too bad but I want to thank everybody for their great support!"
In MX2 Brent and Benoit both showed good form finishing 4th and 8th in the qualification. At the start of the first moto on Sunday both KEMEA Yamaha’s were good in the front of the pack. Riding in 4th and 5th both kept up pretty good with the leaders and started a closing attack at the end of the race. They moved up a place but in the second to last lap Brent crashed. He couldn’t get the bike fired up again and had to leave the race as Benoit had a great 3rd place finish.
In the second moto Brent had another good start. Halfway through the race he was in 5th when he crashed again. He lost too much time to rejoin the race and left disappointed. Benoit crossed the line in 14th after lap 1 an moved up to 7th. He got 5th overall and remains 4th in the championship.
"I’m satisfied on my results this weekend. For the first time I managed to finish in the top three in a heavy sand race, which is really good. This proves the hard work pays off. We worked hard on physical condition and the bike settings this year, and we see the results. This was the heaviest race of the year and I would like to thank my trainer Jacky and the mechanics for their hard work and support!"
"Lommel is the toughest track out there and I’m only back on the bike since last week, but I really wanted to ride my home GP. This is alway something special and I didn’t want to miss that. Speed was good but physically I was at my limit. Unfortunately those crashes ruined any chance s of a good result. Waking up tomorrow will be pretty painful and I know I will need a couple of days to recover from this one. But I’m happy to be back and ready to work hard. Next week I will be stronger already so I’m looking forward."