Two Top Tens for Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 in Latvia
The seventh round of the FIM Motocross World Championship, that took place on the rough and choppy sand circuit of Kegums, Latvia, proved to be another challenge for the Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 trio of Benoit Paturel, Brent Van doninck and Alvin Östlund. The season-long battle against the start gate saw a frustrated Paturel hustle his YZ250F through the field for a hard fought eighth overall, while the day was slightly more positive for Östlund who took home his second top ten finish of the season - tenth. Van doninck battled through the pain barrier for twentieth.
Brent Van doninck had a rough start to the day. In warm-up, the young Belgian launched out of a corner faster than expected which caused a 'snap-back' like movement that pulled his torso in a strange way. He didn't crash, but was in a severe amount of pain. After spending the morning with the Physiotherapist, and questioning whether he would be fit enough to race, he gritted his teeth and lined up.
When the gates fell for Race 1, all three Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 riders didn't get off to the greatest of starts. Paturel was twelfth around turn one, Östlund was fourteenth and Van doninck was sixteenth. Before the end of lap two, Van doninck was digging deep and had passed a bunch of riders, including his teammates, to slot nicely into ninth place. His speed was impressive for the first four laps until he launched a ski jump and landed in a soft spot on the track. Because of the pain he was experiencing in his ribs he didn't have the energy to correct the error and was high-sided off of the bike. After catching his breath, he pulled out of the race. Meanwhile, Paturel struggled to find his rhythm and only managed to finish eleventh. Östlund, on the other hand, kept his teammate honest for the majority of the race and finished in thirteenth.
In Race 2, Östlund put the power of his YZ250F to good use for a top ten start. The Swede put in some solid laps and showed his speed and spirit for his second top ten finish of the season, tenth. Paturel's arch nemesis - the start - was detrimental to his result once again. The Frenchman started well outside of the top fifteen but put on an incredible display of heart and determination as he sprinted forward. As the track deteriorated and caught many riders out, Paturel fine-tuned his line choice and managed to gracefully maneuver his YZ250F around the brutally rough Kegums track for a hard-earned sixth place, while Östlund held his own and came home in tenth.
After slamming the ground in Race 1 and adding insult to injury, Van doninck put in a gritty ride for an honorable fourteenth.
Strength and growth comes from effort and struggle, the team now looks forward to the eighth round of the FIM MX2 World Championship which will take place on May 20th and 21st at the world renowned old-school circuit of Teutschenthal, Germany.
8th GP Overall, 5th MX2 Championship Standings
"Difficult weekend for me, I hope that it's the last bad weekend for me now. I need to work on myself and find a way to be better. In the first race this weekend I rode really bad. In the second race it was a little bit better but not how I want, but I will keep pushing and keep working. I am now focused on Teutschenthal."
Brent Van doninck
20th GP Overall, 6th MX2 Championship Standings
"This morning I came out of a corner when I was making a fast lap and the bike pulled on my arms a little bit and something, a muscle or something, got stuck in my rib. Maybe the muscle was torn, and it was so painful. I thought I couldn't ride because I couldn't breathe, or move. I tried to ride anyway, and in the first race it was going pretty good but I had no strength because of the pain in my ribs so when I landed in a soft spot I almost went over the 'bars, which is how I crashed and couldn't finish. I went out again in the second race but didn't feel so good, especially at the beginning. I tried my best, and it was good that I got some points and I didn't lose a position in the championship. I am going to get it checked when I get home and take some rest to get ready for the next one in Germany."