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.”
Nancy van der Ven of the No Fear Energy Yamaha team claimed a podium spot at the third round of the Women’s Motocross World Championship series at Ernee in France. In the first heat, Van de Ven held the lead until the closing stages of the race, but had to surrender it at the end to finish second. In the second race she finished fourth after battling to find her rhythm.
The track at Ernee is a technical challenge with many elevation changes and off-camber corners. The rutty track was particularly challenging, but Nancy rode a composed session to qualify third.
After a good start in the first race, Nancy soon shot into the lead. Courtney Duncan challenged her, and a fierce battle erupted. The pressure counted on Duncan, who crashed, and Nancy could build up a small lead. A mistake from her allowed Kiara Fontanesi and Livia Lancelot to close the gap. Nancy had to yield the lead and finished second.
Another great start launched Nancy into the lead again in race two. Lancelot and Duncan again started nipping at her heels, with Fontanesi also joining the fray. Nancy lost her rhythm somewhat, and dropped to fourth. Even though she would have preferred higher placing, she did take home a bagful of points, and her efforts for the day were enough for second overall.
“After the disappointment of my disqualification in Indonesia and my crash at Trentino, I am happy to be on the podium,” she said. “I battled with my rhythm in the second race, but it was a good points haul and I look forward to the next race at Loket. I scored my first GP victory there and I love the track. The leading four riders are within 12 points of each other, and anything can still happen in the championship.”
Van der Ven is currently fourth in the championship with a deficit of only 12 points to championship leader Kiara Fontanesi. The next round of the series is on 23 – 24 July at Loket, Czech Republic.
Overall Grand Prix of France:
1 Livia Lancelot 47 Pnt
2 Nancy van de Ven 40 Pnt
3 Kiara Fontanesi 38 Pnt
4 Larissa Papenmeijer 36 Pnt
5 Sara Andersen 28 Pnt
World Championship standings:
1 Kiara Fontanesi 115 Pnt
2 Livia Lancelot 114 Pnt
3 Courtney Duncan 108 Pnt
4 Nancy van de Ven 103 Pnt
5 Larissa Papenmeijer 99 Pnt
French teenager Stephen Rubini raced to his first top ten GP finish for the Monster Energy Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team in his home round of the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship at Ernée.
The youngster had already impressed during qualification as he charged from twenty-fifth on lap one to finish twelfth and he continued the strong pace which he has developed during his rookie season in the first GP moto as he moved forward from an initial sixteenth to hold a secure ninth place throughout the second half of the thirty-five-minute race. Gating well in race two he held eighth place for the first three laps before running into the hay bales at the bottom of a long descent, an incident which cost him a dozen places; at the finish he had battled his way back to fourteenth to secure tenth place overall in the GP.
Darian Sanayei of Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki started the weekend well with a strong charge to eighth in the qualifying race, but his ride in the first GP moto did not reflect his abilities and he eventually had to settle for a fourteenth placed finish. Regrouping for race two the American was making rapid advances to twelfth place and had high expectations of advancing yet further but a crash left him stuck under his own bike and, remounting twenty-sixth, he again charged hard to finish thirteenth for twelfth overall. He is now tenth in the series standings.
Kawasaki MX2 GP regulars Seva Brylyakov and Petar Petrov were both absent; the Russian decided after last week’s German GP to pull forward his visit to a nerve specialist in Moscow to hasten the recovery of his shoulder injury before his home GP in two weeks’ time, while the Bulgarian accepted medical advice to sit out the French GP to correct an iron deficiency; he too expects to return in Russia.
Stephen Rubini: “I’m so happy to get my first ever top ten result, it was a very good weekend for me! I had a good feeling with the track, I like when you have bumps and ruts and I posted top twenty results in the practice sessions. I hit the gate at the start of the qualifying race but came back fourteenth, which was a good gate pick for the races. But my first start was not so great, around 25th or 26th and again I came back ninth, spending some energy to get this result. My second start was much better, but my race wasn’t as good as the first one; I lost control of my bike in the downhill and went in the hay bales, losing twelve positions. I came back fourteenth, but I felt tired after giving so much energy in the first race. It was a positive weekend, I enjoyed riding my bike and reach my first goal this season with a top ten, now we’ll continue to work hard to get some other top results.”
Darian Sanayei: “This weekend was tough. I got eighth position in the qualifying race on Saturday, which was actually a pretty good result for the way I felt. The warm-up today was good with seventh best time, but in the first race I struggled a lot; I didn’t have a good start and only finished fourteenth. In the second moto my start was not very good but I was moving up through the pack pretty quickly and got to twelfth until I crashed. I was stuck under the bike for a while; it sucks because I think I could have got a pretty good result. When I got back in the race I was twenty-sixth and made my way to thirteenth to salvage some important points. The track was really stiff, everybody was struggling, but it’s the world championship and we must have different tracks each weekend; it was still cool with the French atmosphere and everything.”