Yamahas Official MX2 Riders Brace the Weather in Valkenswaard
Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 rider Brent van Doninck finished 4th overall at the MXGP of Europe, Valkenswaard, today, leading a pack of Yamaha riders over a deep and wet track in the first 2016 championship race in Europe.
Van Doninck, Kemea teammate Benoit Paturel and Wilvo Standing Construct Yamaha riders Aleksandr Tonkov and Alvin Östlund all faced heavy rain and wind at the start of the first moto, with the Russian off the line fastest among the four.
Paturel then pushed into sixth overall for the entire moto before slipping one spot to finish seventh, with van Doninck charging late to come past in the final 10 minutes and take fifth in the morning race. Östlund raced a steady pace on the slippery and unpredictable track surface to finish ninth, while Tonkov recovered from a muddy crash into a shallow puddle on the first lap to cross the line 10th at the end of moto one.
In the afternoon race the sun appeared only minutes before the gate drop, but the wet track was deep and loamy. Tonkov again had the fastest start among Yamaha riders, and held off a full pack of challengers until the 15th lap when his chain sling dropped after a collision with a competitor and he was unable to finish for technical reasons.
Paturel and Östlund also started well, but the Swedish rider dropped several places in lap three and then chased until the end to grab a 10th place finish, while Paturel was caught with van Doninck and a handful of competitors behind Tonkov for most of the moto. Van Doninck in the end showed very good strength and finished fourth, while Paturel held a solid sixth under eventual sunny skies.
In WMX it was Dutch Yamaha rider Nancy van de Ven who won the Grand Prix with victory in the first moto and 3rd in the second race, while Altherm JCR Yamaha rider Courtney Duncan held on to the the leader's red plate with a fourth in moto one and a commanding victory in moto two.
MX2 will next race in two weeks in Argentina at the popular Bariloche circuit in the Patagonia region. WMX meets again in Germany at Teutenschal in six weeks.
Brent van Doninck
5th and 5th for 4th overall. Championship position: 5th
"My start was 35th in the second moto, and after the first lap I was up to 17th. Then we had a big battle with about 5 riders and I came behind Petrov when he crashed and lost about 20 seconds."
"Overall I had good speed and I felt fit, so in the end I went hard to finish good. I'm a little bit disappointed because I think with my fitness I could have gone higher, but the championship is long and there are many more races ahead."
10th and 11th for 9th overall. Championship position: 4th
"In the final lap of the second moto my chain fell off because in the middle of the race a rider crashed into me and there was damage to the guide. It's just bad luck, but all things considered I am not disappointed because I came in to Valkenswaard with a fever and poor health, and I had good starts both motos."
"The main thing now is to rest before Argentina and get fully healthy. We have two weeks and it's Spring and I'm excited about the rest of the season."