News Report 17 June 2012

2012 GP of Belgium

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1650 m
att 18
06 / 17 / 2012
Time to be confirmed

Tonus getting back in the groove after Belgian MXGP


Monster Energy Yamaha’s Arnaud Tonus is getting nearer to the race pace that will allow the talented Swiss to soon make a play for podium positions in the 2012 FIM Motocross World Championship. In just his third appearance on the factory YZ250F this season the British Champion finished fourth in the second moto at a rough and rapid Bastogne circuit for the Grand Prix of Belgium and left the eighth round of sixteen in the series with fifth position overall.
It was a case of ‘rain and shine’ in southern Belgium as the Bastogne facility was washed out on Saturday but sunny skies helped dry the terrain on Sunday and created a decent racing surface with plenty of line choice and room for rider expression.

Tonus, twenty-one years old today, made a mediocre start in the first moto of 35 minutes and 2 laps but worked his way through the field thanks to an effective rhythm that he missed seven days previously in Portugal. Seventh place and fourteen points was decent reward for his efforts. An eager launch from the line later in the afternoon helped the Swiss glide into fourth position. He lost touch with the trio of Tommy Searle, Jeffrey Herlings and Jeremy Van Horebeek and completed a lonely race but was quick enough to place himself at the head of the second group and can now start to have designs on splitting the top three in the second half of the championship calendar.

Mel Pocock was again a fast presence in the MX2-GP pack and gave the team two finishers in the final top ten of the Grand Prix. The Briton – who will attempt to regain the red plate in the Maxxis British Championship next weekend in Northern Ireland and then will head to Latvia and Russia next month as European EMX2 series leader – raced to ninth and twelfth despite a crash in the second sprint.

Christophe Charlier attempted the first free practice session on Saturday but the right shoulder he dislocated in France two weeks ago was not strong enough to be able to handle the YZ250FM around the muddy terrain. The former European Champion is now hoping to be in better shape to enter the Grand Prix of Sweden in two weeks. Uddevalla, 80km north of Gothenburg, will host round nine on July 1st.

Arnaud Tonus:

“In the first one I had a bad, bad start. I didn’t jump out of the gate and then was blocked on the first corner. From that I took a bit of time to get my rhythm and from mid-race I was coming back pretty good. To reach seventh and find that speed after Portugal was really positive. In the second moto the start was OK, around tenth, and then I came up for fourth quite quickly. I rode my own race pretty much. I feel like I am improving after the long break I had. They did a great job with the track. Yesterday it was muddy and one-line and I didn’t expect it to be that good. There were a lot of lines and it was in a fine state for the races. I can’t say I thought about my birthday much! When you are ten or something you always want another year but I think when you hit the twenties you want the years back!”

Mel Pocock:

“I had a little bit of a get-off and caught a rut badly in the corner on the pitlane straight. It was a bit of a gnarly crash but that was the only low point of the day. I’m pumped to have tenth overall. Top ten speed in both motos and I’m really happy if I am close to establishing myself as a rider who can do that regularly. The schedule is pretty stacked now with Desertmartin – one of my favourite tracks – next week and then to Latvia and Russia for the next rounds of the European MX2.”