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KEMEA Yamaha Official MX team: GP17 Charlotte, USA

The impressive Charlotte motor speedway hosted the penultimate round of the 2016 MXGP season. In the shadows of the great Nascar track, a brand new GP track was built on the offroad arena. Hurricane Hermine spoiled the fun on Friday, forcing the organization to cancel qualification day after a lot of rain turning the track into a swamp. Overnight track crew did an amazing job to get the track in a prime condition for raceday.

The circuit was in great condition for the races on Saturday. The usual warm up was replaced with a free practice session and a time practice which would set the gate positions for the races.

In MX2 Benoit and Brent had 13th and 15th gate pick. Both KEMEA riders had a mediocre start in the first moto. On the fast track it was hard to make passes and they could’t move up like they wanted. In the end they crossed the finish line in 11th and 12th. In the final MX2 moto Benoit and Brent had a better jump out of the start gate, which had a steep drop-off for the occasion. Halfway through the opening lap Brent locked his frontwheel with the back wheel of another rider and went down. He rejoined the race in last position and came back to 17th place.
Benoit found himself in tenth position after the first lap and had a good pace going. He finished in 6th and got 9th overall. In the championship standings he stays in third place with one race left. Brent got 14th overall and is now 15th in the championship standings.

"The first moto didn’t go well but the second one was better. Speed wise I’m satisfied on the weekend and I gave everything I had. I have to work on the starts to get in touch immediately with the leaders. I’m looking forward to Glen Helen next week, we’ll see there what happens for the championship."

Benoit Paturel

"I struggled all day long on the track. Here you notice there’s a big difference in the way the Americans are riding the track. The speed is different and with the lights you need to adapt too. It’s only my second night race after Qatar and it’s strange to ride a track both in day and night time. In the second moto I had a good start but unfortunately I crashed. It’s up to me now to learn from this and to step it up."

Brent Vandoninck

Images @cdsimages & @shotbybavo

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