David Herbreteau recorded his first-ever top ten finish for the F&H Racing Team Kawasaki in the Russian round of the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship at Orlyonok on the banks of the Black Sea.
The French teenager, racing this year for the efficient team backed by the Dutch Kawasaki importer, has been steadily gaining momentum since joining the world series and their progress was apparent already in qualification as he ran top ten throughout to earn eighth choice of gate for race day. Overnight rain and a torrential downpour during the opening moto made conditions very demanding but David persevered after early difficulties to advance from fourteenth place to record the first top ten finish of his young GP career. He raced top five throughout the first five laps of the second moto as a drying sun made conditions ever heavier, but several stops for new gloves and goggles cost him several places before he finally finished fifteenth to secure thirteenth place in the GP.
Darian Sanayei of Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki looks impressive in practice but a poor start in qualification left the American to charge hard to advance from nineteenth to eventually finish twelfth. Racing was always going to be difficult after overnight rain and the deluge which hit the track during race one hindered his efforts yet further as he was forced to stop several times for fresh gloves and goggles on his way to eighteenth place. An early crash in race two left Darian eighteenth on the opening lap but he persevered through the difficult conditions to eventually finish thirteenth. He is now eleventh in the championship standings.
Petar Petrov of the Monster Energy Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team had qualified tenth on Saturday as he recovers from his recent bout of physical lethargy, and was advancing strongly from an initial fifteenth place to hold eighth place in the opening GP moto when he crashed off the side of the track and fell several metres, dislocating a shoulder.
DRT’s Seva Brylyakov sadly had to miss his home GP after intensive treatment with a nerve specialist in Moscow did not bring sufficient improvement to the trapped nerve in his shoulder which is preventing him from performing to his proven abilities.
Stephen Rubini, who continued his recent fine form for the Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team last week with second place in the Italian championship race at Ottobiano, the track which will host the Italian GP in two weeks’ time, did not travel to Russia because of visa difficulties.
David Herbreteau: “It was a nice weekend. When I came here I immediately liked the track and on Saturday I posted good results in both practice sessions. In the qualifying moto I had a good start and managed to finish eighth, which was good. I had a great feeling with the bike and the track, but today was different after so much rain in the night. In the first moto I had a very bad start and came back to tenth so I was happy with that first top ten result of my career. My second start was much better; I was third and then fifth but crashed in front of the pit lane. After it was messy; I had to change my gloves three times and twice my goggles twice so I only finished fifteenth for thirteenth overall. But still it’s my best-ever GP, even if the second moto was a kind of lottery with the mud. This GP was a special one for me, as I had a very great relationship with Steven Lenoir who passed away last week; I had a lot of thoughts for him during the weekend, and tried to ride smart as I didn’t want to crash. I feel really bad, and I feel that the other riders were affected by this drama as they were more patient this weekend.”
Darian Sanayei: “Saturday was pretty good. The weather and everything was really nice here in Russia but in the qualifying race I made a really bad start before coming back to twelfth with a pretty good feeling on the bike. There was so much rain in the night and the track was already really muddy for the warm-up, and then a big storm came again and it was raining so much during the first race. I crashed right at the beginning of the race; the track was not so bad but the ruts were full of water; I stopped too many times in the pits to change goggles or gloves, and finished only eighteenth. For the second race the rain stopped but the track was heavy mud and I crashed when landing from a jump. The bike was stuck for maybe five or six minutes; in the end I had no energy to take it out of the mud. Finally I managed it; I just continue to ride and as so many guys crashed I finished thirteenth. It was a bad weekend, but at least I took some points and now after this difficult weekend I’m looking forward to the next GP.”