KEMEA Yamaha Yamalube Race Report: GP3 Argentina.
The third GP of the season, located in the marvellous province of Patagonia in Argentia, turned out to be a special GP. The long trip was worth the time if you saw the scenic nature combined with a great track and a massive turn-up from the Argentinian crowd.
On the fast and sandy track both Brent and Benoit had a good qualification race. Damon rode a solid race and finished 8th. Benoit had a good start but dropped to 11th which still gave him a good gate pick for the races.
Both KEMEA riders got their Yamaha YZ250F well out of the gate in the first moto. They managed to survive the chaotic first lap and could build up their race. Benoit rode in 6th for a couple of laps but had to let Covington and Guillod by to finish 8th. In his GP-debut, Brent Vandoninck came across the finish line in 12th after the first lap. He got into a good rhythm and steadily moved up to 9, which he held on until the finish. He even got close to Benoit and got his first top 10 finish in an MX2GP race.
In the second moto things went similar to the first one. Benoit got in 7th position early on but crashed hard on lap 3. He got back on track and came into the pits with a bent up bike. He dropped to 24th when he got back on track and came back to 18th to get 3 valuable points. Brent once again dived into the top 10 when on lap 7 his front wheel locked up. He went to the pit lane but the mechanics couldn’t solve the bent brake caliper anymore, so Vandoninck was forced out of the race.
Paturel finished 13th overall and is now in 16th position in the championship standings. Brent got 18th in his GP debut and is now 24th in the standings.
On the muddy track of Halle in the Netherlands, Damon Graulus raced the second round of the Open Dutch championship. Damon finished second in the first race behind Davy Pootjes. The second race got cancelled after some heavy rain showers, which made the conditions too dangerous to start.
"I’m really satisfied on the way both Benoit and Brent rode this weekend. The speed was there all weekend long. Starts were good and without the crash from Benoit and the brake problems for Brent, both would have finished well inside the top 10. Benoit maybe shouldn’t have come in the pit lane after his crash, because there’s nothing you can do if the handlebars are bent, but he went on and still fought for the points. The brake caliper issue we had with Brent is the same we had before and is something we need to figure out. Conclusion after the weekend is that everything is going in the right direction. We just need to eliminate those small things but I’m confident."
"Apart from my crash in the second race I’m satisfied on my weekend. As the track was sandy and that’s not what I like, I felt comfortable on the track. The first race I wasn’t happy I had to let go Guillod and Covington. 8th still wasn’t too bad but I was riding too tight. Second race I felt a lot better and more comfortable. I had the speed to follow the top 5 but then went over the bars. The bike was all bent up and in pit lane they couldn’t do anything. It’s a shame because otherwise I could have finished really good. My confidence is growing race by race and I think that’s what I need to get the speed to battle with the top 5.2
"I had so much fun this weekend ! The whole weekend has been great. I loved the track, the atmosphere etc. I felt comfortable all weekend long and was happy with my speed. I had hoped for a top ten and without the front brake problem it was possible, so I’m a bit disappointed on that. I learned a lot this weekend, got some confidence and will try to work hard now to improve for the next race."
"The conditions were really bad today in Halle. I was third out of the gate and got in the lead pretty early. When I got troubles with my goggles Pootjes could pass me and without goggles it was impossible to follow him. Speed was good though and it’s a shame the second moto got cancelled.2
Images: Bavo Swijgers