WMXBelgiumAugust 1, 2010
2010 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship
Round 11 Lommel – Belgium

Leok makes Limburg top five

LS Motors Honda’s Tanel Leok was once again the top CRF450R runner in the FIM Motocross World Championship as the Estonian finished fifth overall through the punishing sand of Lommel for the Grand Prix of Limburg in Belgium. The eleventh round of fifteen in the premier MX1 class was dominated by world champion Antonio Cairoli but Leok was the first of three Hondas in the top eleven.

Tanel Leok Gareth Swanepoel

Tanel Leok

Gareth Swanepoel

Cloudy but bright and humid conditions drew a 23,500 crowd to central Belgium and the deep terrain provided the riders with the first hard-core sand race of the season, with all the technical and strength-sapping bumps and ruts the surface entails.

Leok rode to thirteenth and second positions and was unlucky to miss sixth place in the first moto after he spluttered to a halt on the last lap through a lack of fuel. Determined and competent in the second he ended as runner-up to Cairoli in the second 35 minute and 2 lap sprint.

In tenth overall was CAS Honda’s Gareth Swanepoel. The South African is another rider well-versed with the idiosyncrasies of the sand and was a fixture inside the top ten in both motos, even pushing himself to physical extremes in the first, trying and failing to capture seventh from Ken De Dycker. ‘Swanie’ went through the pain barrier to take tenth later in the afternoon.

Eleventh in the final standings belonged to team-mate Evgeny Bobryshev, who led the Qualification Heat on Saturday but ultimately could not set a high rhythm through the ripples. Several crashes led to a painful back on Sunday but his charge to twelfth from a first moto first lap fall was impressive. He was ninth at the second time of asking. LS Motors Honda’s Davide Guarneri was thirteenth overall and Martin Honda’s Jimmy Albertson did not compete after a heavy fall early in the first practice session on Saturday has led to suspected cracked ribs.

Japanese Championship campaigner Yu Hirata travelled to Europe to make his Grand Prix debut on the Martin Honda CRF450R. The 25 year old suffered several crashes throughout the day and was unable to penetrate the top twenty at arguably the hardest venue to make a world championship baptism.

In the MX2 class Alessandro Battig returned to action for the first time in three rounds after recovering from his knee injury. With nineteenth place in the first moto on the CRF250R the teenage rookie marked his best result of the season so far and collected two points.

Honda riders currently pack the lower top ten of the MX1 standings. Leok is eighth and five points ahead of Bobryshev in ninth. Guarneri is thirty-one adrift in tenth. Swanepoel is twelfth and needs nine points for further promotion.

Round twelve will take place next weekend (August 7th/8th) at Loket for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic.

Evgeny Bobryshev Davide Guarneri

Evgeny Bobryshev

Davide Guarneri

Tanel Leok, LS Motors Honda:
“It is not normal how much bad luck you can have! The first heat was going quite well until the bike stopped because the fuel level was so low. I crashed also and should have finished top five but the last lap was really unfortunate. The second moto was good. The track was hard but I felt good in the middle of the race and started pushing harder with the rhythm I had; now I realise that I should have gone for it earlier. Overall I was happy with the riding, fitness and speed.”

Gareth Swanepoel, CAS Honda:
“I was riding really well yesterday but threw it away and had to start from the thirtieth gate. I have been working a lot in the sand with Joel Smets but my physique let me down a bit. I pushed hard in the first race to try and catch Ken and ended up throwing up all over the place at the end. I couldn’t eat between the races because my stomach wasn’t holding anything in, so the second moto was always going to be hard. I held a good pace at the beginning and when the clock said ‘18’ minutes to go I dropped the hammer and passed guys like Barragan, De Dycker and Strijbos in two-three laps. I closed in on Philippaerts but with five minutes to go I hit the bottom. The speed is there and I was happy to overtake those guys and close in on the top five.”

Evgeny Bobryshev, CAS Honda:
“I did not feel good on this track. I had a lot of crashes and mistakes and it cost me a lot of power to fight back. In the first race I went down at the start; I touched Tanel because he was on the brakes so quickly and I couldn’t stop. I was far behind and came back well but lost two positions at the end when I stalled the bike. In the second moto I did well at the start and pushed to try and go with the guys at the front but towards the end I was finished. The guys in the pit were telling me to ‘push’ but it was not possible!”

Davide Guarneri, LS Motors Honda:
“The result is not good but for the last two weeks I have been feeling tired and I knew this track would be hard for me. It was so deep out there and the bumps were big and strange. I am not really a sand rider but I can be fast in this stuff and my lap-times are proof of that. I just struggle to keep a rhythm going all the way through the race and when I lose it then I also lose a lot of time. I tried to push a bit in the first race and finished eleventh when Tanel had his bad luck and then in the second I tried to take things easy but lost my way about halfway through. It was not a great GP but I was lucky that the riders around me in the championship standings did not have the best time either.”

Yu Hirata, Martin Honda:
“Wow, a hard day. Many crashes and very hard work out there. The speed of the world championship was surprise for me, even though I knew these guys would be fast. I liked the challenge of the GPs and hope for more next year. I’d like to thank Martin Honda and Roger-san.”

Jimmy Albertson, Martin Honda:
“I managed a lap of Lommel before I had a big crash that squashed my chest and I think I might have cracked a few ribs. Looking at the track now there was no way I could have ridden without being in decent shape. Another set-back, but I’ll get checked out this week and see what we can do for Czech Republic.”

Roger Harvey, Honda Motor Europe Off-road Racing Manager:
“Hard conditions for the guys out there this weekend and Lommel is always a track that sets the men from the boys. Tanel did very well and even though he had the biggest tank possible for the CRF450R was desperately unlucky not to have enough fuel to make the flag. He rode well in the second moto and it was a shame he couldn’t have given the LS Motors team a home podium. Evgeny had one too many crashes and perhaps was trying too hard. He is in a bit of pain with his back now and will take it easy this week.”

2010 FIM MX1 / MX2 World Motocross Championship
Round 11 Belgium

MX1 - Race 1 Result
1 Cairoli, Antonio / ITA / KTM
2 Nagl, Maximilian / GER / KTM
3 Desalle, Clement / BEL / Suzuki
4 Philippaerts, David / ITA / Yamaha
5 Ramon, Steve / BEL / Suzuki
6 Goncalves, Rui / POR / KTM
7 de Dycker, Ken / BEL / Yamaha
8 Swanepoel, Gareth / RSA / Honda
9 Coppins, Joshua / NZL / Aprilia
10 Strijbos, Kevin / BEL / Suzuki
11 Guarneri, Davide / ITA / Honda
12 Bobryshev, Evgeny / RUS / Honda
13 Leok, Tanel / EST / Honda
14 Barragan, Jonathan / ESP / Kawasaki
15 Priem, Manuel / BEL / Aprilia
16 de Reuver, Marc / NED / Suzuki
MX1 - Race 2 Result
1 Cairoli, Antonio / ITA / KTM
2 Leok, Tanel / EST / Honda
3 Nagl, Maximilian / GER / KTM
4 Desalle, Clement / BEL / Suzuki
5 de Dycker, Ken / BEL / Yamaha
6 Philippaerts, David / ITA / Yamaha
7 Goncalves, Rui / POR / KTM
8 Coppins, Joshua / NZL / Aprilia
9 Bobryshev, Evgeny / RUS / Honda
10 Swanepoel, Gareth / RSA / Honda
11 Ramon, Steve / BEL / Suzuki
12 Strijbos, Kevin / BEL / Suzuki
13 Barragan, Jonathan / ESP / Kawasaki
14 Guarneri, Davide / ITA / Honda
15 Martens, Yentel / BEL / KTM
Tanel Leok

Tanel Leok
MX2 - Race 1 Result
1 Roczen, Ken / GER / Suzuki
2 Musquin, Marvin / FRA / KTM
3 Herlings, Jeffrey / NED / KTM
4 Roelants, Joel / BEL / KTM
5 Simpson, Shaun / GBR / KTM
6 Kullas, Harri / FIN / Yamaha
7 Paulin, Gautier / FRA / Yamaha
8 Tonus, Arnaud / SUI / Suzuki
9 van Horebeek, Jeremy / BEL / Kawasaki
10 Frossard, Steven / FRA / Kawasaki
11 Klein Kromhof, Ceriel / NED / Yamaha
12 Karro, Matiss / LAT / Suzuki
13 Verbruggen, Dennis / BEL / KTM
14 Larsen, Nikolaj / DEN / Honda
15 Coldenhoff, Glenn / NED / Yamaha
MX2 - Race 2 Result
1 Herlings, Jeffrey / NED / KTM
2 Roczen, Ken / GER / Suzuki
3 Musquin, Marvin / FRA / KTM
4 Paulin, Gautier / FRA / Yamaha
5 Roelants, Joel / BEL / KTM
6 Kullas, Harri / FIN / Yamaha
7 Simpson, Shaun / GBR / KTM
8 Frossard, Steven / FRA / Kawasaki
9 van Horebeek, Jeremy / BEL / Kawasaki
10 Osborne, Zach / USA / Yamaha
11 Tonus, Arnaud / SUI / Suzuki
12 Nicholls, Jake / GBR / KTM
13 Charlier, Christophe / FRA / Yamaha
14 Klein Kromhof, Ceriel / NED / Yamaha
15 Triest, Nick / BEL / KTM

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