Petar Petrov of the Monster Energy Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team finished eighth in the Grand Prix of Europe at Valkenswaard in The Netherlands, sixth round of the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship.
The Bulgarian, who had only returned to racing one week earlier in Italy, is inevitably still seeking his usual speed but, working closely with the team’s technical squad, quickly established preferred bike settings for race day which enabled him to advance from seventeenth to twelfth in the opening GP moto of the weekend. His confidence restored by the close liaison with the team, Petar snatched a sixth-placed start and advanced as high as fifth before a lack of recent racing activity pushed him back to eighth in both the moto and the overall GP result.
Seva Brylyakov of Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki continued his recent impressive form to qualify fourth after posting top six times in each of the training sessions but he suffered terribly bad luck in the opening GP moto as another rider crashed in his path to leave him in sixteenth position; the Russian eventually raced back to eighth and confidently expected a further good result in race two but a crash in which another rider jumped on his shoulder forced him to withdraw from racing already on the opening lap. Further medical examinations in the forthcoming days will reveal if Seva has suffered any serious physical injury. He retains eighth place in the series standings.
Teammate Darian Sanayei stormed through the pack to qualify sixteenth after a poor start, but his hopes of scoring well in the first moto were dashed when another rider hit his front wheel to leave him at the rear of the field. Regrouping well, Darian had advanced to fifteenth of the forty starters by the chequered flag. A superb start in race two saw Darian hold third place through the early laps before the after-effects of recent illness saw him relax his pace to cross the finishing line eleventh. Darian is now thirteenth in the championship standings.
Monster Energy Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team member Adam Sterry made a superb getaway at the start of the opening moto to hold down third place for several laps. After relinquishing a couple of places he was still fifth until he came into contact with a rival, but the incident saw him twist his knee. Rider and team made an immediate decision to withdraw from the remainder of the weekend’s racing to seek further medical advice. Adam remains sixteenth in the series standings.
“This GP was better than the last one,” said Petrov. “I don’t feel that I have the speed to race for a top three yet but I can feel the improvements and I think that it will be even better in Latvia in two weeks time. I didn’t race for several weeks, so I didn’t have the opportunity to dial in my bike like I would prefer on some places. But we saw from yesterday to today that the team did a good job and I was happy with my bike for the race. We’re going in the right direction and I must say that mentally I also feel better because today we were in the top ten with pretty good starts. It’s a good motivation to keep on working for the coming weekends, and now I can’t wait to race again and be battling in the top five.”
“I had a perfect qualifying day with first position in the free practice session, third in the timed practice and fourth in the qualifying race after a good start and a consistent race,” said Brylyakov. “Today started well with the third position in the warm up with easy riding, but my start was not too good in the first moto; a guy crashed in front of me and then I had to come back from sixteenth to eighth. In the second moto I was pushing through the pack on the first lap and had already passed into the top ten by the fifth corner; but then I made a mistake and another rider jumped on my shoulder. I couldn’t really move the fingers after the incident and it was scary; the first examinations don’t reveal any fracture or dislocation but I will have further consultations on Monday.
“This weekend was not so bad,” said Sanayei. “In the qualifying race I was really bad at the start but came back to sixteenth, so it was a pretty strong ride. Then today I had a slight fever from crashing yesterday morning. I had a pretty good start but in the third corner another rider took my front wheel and put me down. I was dead last, and just worked my way to fifteenth which was not a good result but a strong ride. I think I used too much energy because I was pretty tired for the second race; I got another good start in fifth, rode third for a couple of laps but then my body was a little bit too weak to keep this position.”
We made some good improvements during the week and being back in the sand I was confident for a good weekend,” said Sterry. “I showed this in moto one until I hit another rider while in fifth and twisted my knee. Hopefully nothing really serious but we will have it checked on Monday to make sure.”
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