VAN DONINCK CLINCHES FIRST MX2 PODIUM – GRAULUS WINS IN EMX2
For the last GP on European soil, the GP paddock landed in Assen on the famous Dutch racetrack, better known as the “cathedral of speed”. Since 1925, this venue hosted multiple car- and motorsports events, but this weekend there was the first ever MXGP. Tons of sand were added over the asphalt and turned the racetrack into a true beach race without a sea.
Damon wanted to finish his EMX season on a positive note and kept his word. In the first moto on Saturday evening the Belgian had a good start and quickly settled in third. He didn’t push too hard early in the race and waited patiently to take over the lead, get a little gap and win the moto.
In the second moto on Sunday Damon had another good start but dropped back to 11th in the opening lap. He needed some time to get it going but the more the race continued, the stronger Damon got. Only in the very last lap he passed Van der Vlist and won the final EMX2 race of 2015. Grabbing this double victory Damon finishes 2nd overall in the championship.
A deep sandtrack is also something Brent Vandoninck likes, and that he showed immediately on saturday by qualifying in fourth position. Benoit crossed the finish line in 12th.
In the first race on sunday Brent finished fourth after a great battle for third position with Lieber. Benoit had a bad start and came back strong from 15th to 7th.
In the final MX2 moto the KEMEA Yamaha Yamalube riders were riding in 5th and 7th after the first lap. Benoit soon got in the rear wheel of Brent and both joined the leading group battling for the second place. Brent tried to pass Seewer for third but had to be satisfied with fourth in the end. This was enough though to get his first ever podium in his rookie year. Benoit dropped to 7th after a small mistake and finished only inches away from sixth. He got 8th overall.
In the championship standings Benoit and Brent stay 9th and 13th.
"This is a dream coming reality! I started the season as an EMX rider and now I’m on the podium of a GP. On top of that it’s also the first podium for the team so this is one to celebrate together. Everyone works really hard and this is a nice reward. I learnt a lot from previous races. I knew a podium was possible in Lommel, but I guess I wasn’t ready mentally to pull it off. This weekend I approached different,I was more calm, and it paid off!"
"I’m really happy to finish the championship like this. I felt comfortable all weekend long and had a lot of fun on the track. I knew the Dutch riders would be fast at the beginning so I didn’t push from the start on. Second race it amazed me they faded so hard at the end of the race. I could go on until the end and that proves I’m in a good shape. It’s good to finish the year on a good note, it has been a strange year and I learned a lot. I really had fun again while riding, with the team and with everybody around me, so thanks for all the support from them!"
"I think, I can be happy with my performance this weekend. Another top 10 in a sand race is good. The first race I was struggling a little bit but after a better start, I felt more comfortable in the final moto. I had the right speed to follow the top 5 guys, but a little mistake made me loose the contact with them. I was able to battle until the last lap and was happy with the result. I’m happy for the team too with the podium places, and I hope to add another one before the end of the year!"
"A superb weekend for the team! There’s not much more to say. It feels good to see the results of the hard work in the last years. All three rode great. Benoit made a great progress this year in the sand and Brent rode two strong races. Damon too was impressive. After the first GP’s it was so hard for us to make the decision to put Damon in EMX and Brent to the GP’s. All of them are really talented, but seeing this I think we made the right decision. Damon proved he rebounded well and he’s on the right path now. Moments like this make you forget all the sacrifices made, and those moments are what it’s all about!"
Full results can be found here