Demanding Day in Sweden for Kemea Yamaha Official MX2
It was a long and demanding day in the saddle for all three Kemea Yamaha Official MX riders Benoit Paturel, Brent Van doninck and Alvin Östlund who battled heavy rain and an extremely rough and technical circuit to wind up seventh, fourteenth and seventeenth, respectively, at the sixteenth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship, in Uddevalla, Sweden.
Uddevalla is a raw and relatively natural track that has been on the calendar for years. This weekend was the twenty-second time that this track has hosted a round of the FIM Motocross World Championship, yet there is barely any advantage for any rider who is familiar with the circuit as it remains unpredictable due to its deceitful gravel-like compound. The unsettling nature of the track made it difficult for Benoit Paturel to move forward after starting dead-last. It took some creativity and a few brave moves, but the French talent eventually manage to catch the top-ten heading into the second half of the race.
Alvin Östlund got off to a good start and put in an inspiring ride where he handled the pressure from his Scandinavian counter-part - and MX2 Grand Prix of Latvia winner - Thomas Kjer Olsen for the most part of Race 1. The home hero, Östlund, did his best to hold him composure as he led a freight-train of talented riders in a battle for ninth. With ten-minutes to go, Östlund's flow was disrupted as a couple of riders passed him, one of which was Paturel who pulled one of his patented 'flat-landers' when he launched a ski-jump for eleventh place. With two-laps to go, Paturel made a pass on a frazzled Julien Lieber for tenth as rain started to fall and cause visibility issues. While riders were picking off tear-offs, Paturel was picking off positions and managed to get up into seventh. Östlund dropped back to fourteenth, while Brent Van Doninck got off to a poor start and struggled to find the type of rhythm he needed to move forward. He got up into fifteenth but couldn't do much more and was forced to settle with that position.
The complex surface of Uddevalla proved difficult to read this weekend with sporadic showers making certain areas of the track rough and rutty, yet the base remained hard and slick. In Race 2, all three riders had a sluggish jump off the gate. Both Paturel & Van Doninck were outside of the top-twenty, while Ostlund - who usually gets good starts - was sixteenth place on lap-one. Because Paturel is notorious for bad starts, he has easily made the most passes this season and he added to those statistics in the second race as he carved through the pack. Van Doninck got stronger as the weekend progressed and like his teammate, Paturel, he made a series of good passes to move up into thirteenth.
Blueprinting the opening race, Paturel put in a hard charge from miles back to finish seventh place. After winning his maiden Grand Prix last weekend, he was disappointed to finish seventh overall while van Doninck finished in thirteenth in the final race for fourteenth overall. Östlund was incredibly disappointed with his performance in the second race where he finished nineteenth, for seventeenth overall.
The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship, round seventeen - of nineteen - will take place in Jacksonville, Florida, USA on the weekend of September 3rd.
7th GP Overall, 3rd MX2 Championship Standings
"Not such a good day for me. Again, I had really bad starts and had to come from so far back. I gave everything I had but this track was difficult to make up the difference on the other riders and make passes. I am disappointed with the result, but I will go back home and work hard to be better in the USA. I'm looking forward to the next round."
Brent Van doninck
14th GP Overall, 10th MX2 Championship Standings
"My starts let me down this weekend. You really need good starts in MX2 at the moment because when you start from behind it's hard to move forward. I felt good in the practice sessions but I struggled to make passes. The result is not what I want, I should be inside the top ten at least, but I am looking forward to going to the USA, it looks like a nice track and I look forward to riding there."