A frustrating day for Gebben Van Venrooy Racing at Mantova 2
With three GP’s taking place in a space of a week at Mantova it was time for the second Grand Prix at the sandy circuit in Italy.
Unfortunately, after Alessandro Lupino picked up ligament damage at the previous round it was decided at the last minute that he wouldn’t be able to participate so the team were down to two riders.
The day got off to a good start for Vlaanderen as he put in the seventh quickest qualifying time just 1.6 seconds off pole at an already rough track that was left from the European and WMX action the previous day. His team-mate, Thomas Covington put in the twenty-third qualifying time which wasn’t an ideal gate pick.
Despite a good gate pick, Vlaanderen didn’t get the best of starts in race one on his Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha as he was just about inside the top twenty. It was a good opening lap though as he was aggressive and made some moves. By the end of the opening moto he had worked his way into a solid twelfth to show he has good speed. Also, with the track being one-lined and difficult to pass on it was a good recovery ride. It was a difficult race for Thomas Covington who hasn’t been able to gel with the track and he came home in twenty-fourth position.
In the second race, Vlaanderen took a much better start which is key at the Mantova circuit and he was riding in a solid ninth looking comfortable. Unfortunately, on the eighth lap, Vlaanderen took a crash and hurt his hip. It meant he couldn’t finish the race, but the good news is that nothing is broken and he’ll line up on Sunday. Another bad start for Covington made things difficult as it’s hard to move through the pack at this track and he ended up coming home in twenty-fifth – he’ll be eager to improve on Sunday.
"It was looking like being another great day. I had a good time in timed practice, the goal was to be P7 and I got that by putting in the seventh quickest time. The first race, I got an average start just inside the top twenty, but I worked my way up to twelfth, the riding wasn’t great and I didn’t feel very free on the track with the bike. I locked up and had some arm pump as well. In the second moto I had a better start inside the top ten and feeling very comfortable, the riding was a lot better. Unfortunately, I went down and hit my face quite badly and hurt my hip. Thankfully there’s nothing broken, and I just need to take some rest now before Sunday. I am looking forward to Sunday, it should be a good day."
"It was a terrible day of racing for me but that’s just the way it goes sometimes. On to the next one on Sunday."