Encouraging speed for the Gebben Van Venrooy riders at Matterley Basin!
The second round of the MXGP World Championship took place at picturesque and prime track of Matterley Basin located in Winchester..
TAfter a solid start to the season in Russia, the Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha team were looking to have an even better weekend in the UK.
The day got off to a good start as all three riders looked comfortable with the fast and flowing track during qualifying with all three riders in the top twelve. Calvin Vlaanderen went ninth quickest with Brent Van Doninck eleventh and Kevin Strijbos clocking the twelfth quickest lap.
When the gate dropped for the first moto of the day, Van Doninck got a good start but the same can't be said for his team mates. Vlaanderen collided with another rider and went down on the first corner with Strijbos buried outside the top fifteen.
Unfortunately, it went wrong for Van Doninck as while he was looking comfortable in the top ten and attacking the riders in front of him he had a crash on the opening lap which demoted him down to thirty-second. The Belgian battled hard to come through the field into twenty-fourth at a track that was difficult to overtake on.
After being dead last, Vlaanderen worked his way through the pack to eventually get up into seventeenth, he was faster than the riders in front of him but didn't have enough time to make any more passes.
From being outside the top fifteen, Strijbos rode hard and looked comfortable as he attacked the track. The experienced Belgian passed Bogers to get himself into twelfth which was a good ride under the circumstances.
In the second moto, Van Doninck took another good start and was looking strong in seventh and following the riders in front. Unfortunately, a goggle issue meant he had vision problems and had no other option than to come into pit lane for new goggles. In the end he charged his way back to eighteenth but there's no question he had top ten pace all weekend.
For Vlaanderen things were looking better as he kept it on two wheels during the start and was in fifteenth at the end of the opening lap. After making some nice passes he ended up eleventh and had a few riders just ahead of him but he just couldn’t make the pass but eleventh was a solid moto.
Yet again it was a bad start for Strijbos – this time he was outside the top twenty after the first lap so he left himself with a lot of work to do. He managed to come back to sixteenth, it's not the kind of result he wants but the speed is certainly encouraging.
The team will now dust themselves off and get ready for round three of the series taking place at Maggiora this coming weekend.
"It was a solid weekend for me. The results don’t really show how I was feeling out there but I’m feeling confident going forward. I had a good time practice having ninth gate pick for the races. In the first race I collided with Gajser off the start and then went down in the first corner, I fought the whole race to end up seventeenth. In the second moto, I had a bad start but managed to stay on two wheels this time. I was just inside the top twenty and charged my way up to eleventh when I ran out of tear offs so was tough to pass after that. I thought the track was very easy and everyone doing the same thing which makes it difficult to pass. Anyway, another thirteenth overall is not exactly what we want but we keep learning and getting better."
"The races went quite okay for me at Matterley Basin but the starts I messed up every time. This is the point to work on for me, I have to try and sort it out. The first moto I had a bad start but the speed was good and I came back to twelfth, I pushed a lot at the beginning and then settled down a little bit but then I fell into the rhythm of the guys in front of me and I couldn't make too many passes. I got Bogers and tried to get Watson on the last lap but it didn't work. The second moto was similar, I got a bad start and with the rain I had goggle issues, I tried to save them and it cost me. I was riding tight the first 15-20 minutes but then when it dried out I pulled some tear offs and the water was away. I rode better then and sixteenth was the best I could do, it's not the result I wanted but let's go to Italy now."
"I am pretty pissed about the weekend. In the first moto I had a decent start inside the top ten and after around two laps when I was in eighth or ninth I had a pretty big crash but I didn't hurt myself. I had to wait because everyone was coming full gas so I had to wait until I could pick up my bike but I came from thirty-second to twenty-fourth so it wasn't that great, it was hard to make passes in moto one. In the second moto I had another good start and I made some quick passes in the first two laps. After fifteen minutes I was battling in the top seven but then I had some big issues with my goggles and couldn't see properly. The only option was to pull in the pit lane to get new goggles and then after ten minutes I had the same issue so that's something that can't happen in the future. Overall, I think my speed is really good and I think I'm a top guy. I just need to get it together and have two solid moto's. I am looking forward to Maggiora, I really like the track so I can't wait."
Photocredits - Eric Laurijssen