Positive Performances From Watson & Rodriguez at Bulgarian Grand Prix
Kemea Yamaha Official MX2's duo of Ben Watson and Anthony Rodriguez are able to take plenty of positives away from the seventeenth round of the FIM MX2 World Championship in Sevlievo, Bulgaria, following their encouraging performances in the final race of the day where they both finished inside the top-six. Watson rounded out the top-five in the Grand Prix Classification, while Rodriguez clawed back eighth-place.
The long up-and-downhill climbs and descents that make up the circuit of Sevlievo, Bulgaria, put Kemea Yamaha Official MX2's pair, Watson and Rodriguez, to the test where both riders had to recover from crashes in the opening race of the weekend.
In Race 1, Watson got off to an incredible start on the all-new 2019 YZ250F but dropped back to seventh while trying to avoid the chaos that generally occurs in the opening laps of the MX2 race. After five solid laps, the Briton started to settle in seventh-place before a slight error saw him lose the front in a right-hand corner. He only lost two-positions in the slip-up, and eventually recovered for sixth.
Rodriguez had to start from last after another rider jumped across his line on an uphill chicane. The Venezuelan felt second-hand after being slammed to the ground, but managed to push through the pain-barrier for a praise-worthy fourteenth-place finish.
Race two had Watson in a good position to challenge for the top-three following another outstanding top-five start. As the rock-hard, slick and edgy hills of Selievo got the better of some of the quickest riders in the MX2 class, Watson remained smooth and calculated in third-place before losing one position to the defending World Champion Pauls Jonass, with 2-Laps to go.
Rodriguez proved he is one of the most determined riders in the class after his powerful performance for sixth-place after getting caught in carnage at turn-one. The twenty-three year-old has made an incredible improvement since his MX2 Grand Prix debut back at the eighth round of the twenty round series, where he went sixteenth and thirteenth for fourteenth overall. Following his top-five finish last weekend at the Swiss Grand Prix, and after showing great speed today, he is proving to be a top-five contender.
With both riders previewing their true speed and capabilities in the final race of the weekend, the Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 team look forward to the next Grand Prix, which will take place in five days time, on the weekend of September 2nd at an all-new track and location, in Afyon, Turkey.
5th MX2 Grand Prix Overall, 4th MX2 Championship Standings
"I felt a little bit better today than I have in previous weeks. I have been struggling over the last few races, we are coming to the end of the season and it has just been getting tough, not only for me but for everybody. I have also started riding the new bike, which means I have needed to adapt and get used to it. I am happy that I was able to show a little bit of speed this weekend, as I have been off the pace recently. It was nice to feel a little bit more like myself out there today, and to make some improvements."
8th MX2 Grand Prix Overall, 17th MX2 Championship Standings
"The weekend started good, I was finally able to put in a good lap in Timed Practice, which was a first for me because doing one hot lap is not my forte. It was unfortunate for me to have another rider do something silly like jump across the track. I went down and I was pretty banged up, but I managed to put my head down and do what I could despite the pain that I was in, and I came back to fourteenth. In the second moto, I got involved in the first turn-crash, so again I just put my head down and charged hard and made a lot of good passes, which is really good on a track that is not so easy to pass on. Overall, I am happy with the way I rode, my speed was good, only my results don't show it."