Frustrating Fourth For Paturel in the Czech Republic
Overnight rain and morning showers made for a wet and incredibly slick thirteenth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship which took place today on the hard and hilly track of Loket in the Czech Republic. Kemea Yamaha Official MX2's Benoit Paturel was blistering fast all weekend, but a stroke of bad-luck with another rider falling in front of him meant he finished 1-point shy of the podium in fourth.
A top-five start is as good as a holeshot for Benoit Paturel who is used to battling from outside of the top ten. The super-talented Frenchman railed around the outside of turn one in the first race to cross the finish line in fifth on the opening lap. After the early morning rain, the track was extremely wet which meant vision was an issue and line choice was limited. Paturel tried to stay out of the line of roost as he waited for the track to dry-up and more lines to form. With 10 minutes to go, he started to mount an attack on Brian Bogers for fourth before stalling the bike and dropping back seventh. For the final 8 minutes, Paturel started to knuckle down and managed to set his fastest lap of the race on the final lap, but his result was hampered by his mid-race error and he was forced to settle for sixth.
Starts were vital at this venue and Brent Van doninck had his work cut out for him after a chaotic start to the race. The Belgian was forced to get creative with the hilly and narrow clay track of Loket, and due to the huge amount of water and puddles on the track surface, it made his task of moving to the front incredibly challenging. In effort to find new lines, the Belgian fell and dropped outside of the top-thirty before pulling into pit-lane for a fresh set of goggles. He came home in thirty-fifth.
A mediocre start in the final race of the day had Paturel fired up as he barged his way from outside of the top-ten to challenge the current vice-world champion Jeremy Seewer and the young Spaniard Jorge Prado for second. It was a thrilling battle and it raged on for a number of laps before Seewer clipped Prado and crashed leaving Paturel with nowhere to go except right into the fallen rider.
After going over the 'bars through no fault of his own, Paturel put in some blistering fast laps fueled by frustration and caught Seewer and Prado to resume their battle for second. There was a slight bout of déjà vu as the trio went wheel-to-wheel and bar-to-bar into the closing stages of the race. Eventually both Seewer and Paturel managed to crack Prado's rhythm, and it was in the nick of time as the checkered flag was waved two laps later with the championship leader Pauls Jonass claiming the win followed by Seewer with Paturel rounding out the top three.
Van doninck managed to regroup after colliding with another rider on lap-1 and despite having a niggling pain in his wrist, he managed to battle back to sixteenth place which put him in nineteenth overall for the Grand Prix.
The next round of the FIM MX2 World Championship will take place in the bottomless sand of Lommel, Belgium on the weekend of August 6th.
4th GP Overall, 4th MX2 Championship Standings
"It was a bad weekend for me. I had good speed but I didn't get the result I wanted in the end. Every time I am not on the podium, I am not happy. Today I just need to accept that this is the result, and I need to go home and continue training in a good way for the rest of the season."
Brent Van doninck
19th GP Overall, 9th MX2 Championship Standings
"I didn't feel good on this track. It was really wet in the first race and I got water under my tear-off's so I had to stop to change my goggles and gloves and then I was too far back. In the second race I crashed with another rider and was way behind. I got back to sixteenth but I didn't feel good on the track today and my wrist was really sore. I rode too stiff. I can't wait to get back in the sand in Lommel at the next GP."