Guillod rounds out 2015 and MX2 with sixth podium result


Yamaha have claimed three positions in the top ten of the 2015 FIM MX2 Motocross World Championship thanks to the Standing Construct Yamaha Yamalube and Kemea Yamaha Racing Yamalube teams as both squads attacked the Monster Energy MXGP of USA at Glen Helen today. Standing Construct's Valentin Guillod shone on the YZ250F by taking third place overall in the Californian heat for one of the most draining and toughest meetings of the eighteen that formulated the '15 Grand Prix calendar. 

Glen Helen returned to the international scene after a four year absence and benefitted from a larger attendance as more American and AMA competitors filled the Grand Prix entry list. The final motos of a season that began under the lights of Qatar and have involved trips to four continents were spun around a track that rewarded bravery and stamina in the climate as the long hills and vast jumps provided an authentic racing challenge.

Saturday was hard on Benoit Paturel and Julien Lieber as falls in the qualification moto meant lowly gate positions for the two thirty minute and two lap races through even higher temperatures on Sunday. In contrast Guillod rode well and took advantage of Tim Gajser's mistake to place second.

Come Sunday and the first outing saw the Swiss in an exciting tussle with Max Anstie for fourth position in the final three laps. The fight went to the final minutes and Anstie just pipped '92' by nine hundredths of a second. Lieber bore the pain of an injured right hip from his crash on Saturday. '33' elected to ride and score the points that would lift him to sixth in the world championship standings. He finished ninth in the race and then sat out the second moto and is a possible doubt for the Motocross of Nations next weekend. Lieber was originally scheduled for an operation on his left groin after the season curtain-closer in France but may have to withdraw from Team Belgium and have both problem areas fixed. Paturel was also in pain - from a sore right ankle - but soldiered through to thirteenth. Brent Van Doninck crashed on the first lap and then had to recover the best he could; the Belgian finally reaching fourteenth.

In the second moto Guillod was unable to do anything about escaping Americans Jessy Nelson and Shane McElrath but kept a consistent pace in third spot ahead of eventual World Champion Tim Gajser. Lieber was out of action and the Belgian was joined on the sidelines by countryman Van Doninck who suffered some mechanical gremlins. Benoit Paturel rode a better race to finish ninth and inside the top ten once more.

The 2015 campaign is now consigned to statistics. Guillod is Yamaha's 'winningest' rider with three victories but all four athletes walked the podium through the year with Lieber (sixth in the championship), Paturel (ninth) and Van Doninck (thirteenth) spraying champagne for the first time in their careers. This achievement represents a great spread of progress for Yamaha and the new generation of the YZ250F.

The Motocross of Nations will now see Guillod and Lieber in action for their countries at Ernee in France next weekend for the last major engagement for the teams in their 2015 diaries.