Van Doninck Blazes Desert Dirt in Qatari Season Opener

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Kemea Yamaha Official MX rider Brent Van Doninck opened his MX2 season in Qatar on Saturday with a Top-5 finish on the slippery dirt at Losail, still recovering from a pre-season thumb operation.

After an opening result in 8th to find a very fast 4th in the second race, Van doninck emerged from Qatar with the top result of all YZ250F riders under the lights.

Unusual in the 18 race MXGP series for being the only event contested at night, the Losail track poses an extra technical challenge each year for riders coming in from their off-season with its unpredictable and slippery surface.

Wilvo Standing Construct Yamaha’s Aleksandr Tonkov found himself stuck with a poor start in both motos and forced to chase inside a spray of sticky clay kicked up by the unpassable rider in front of him, but recovered from an early-season case of arm pump to finish 5th in the first moto and 7th in the late race for 7th overall in his Yamaha debut.

Benoit Paturel suffered a technical issue in his first moto and recorded a DNF despite an aggressive position inside a crowded Top-10 for the first 20 minutes of the 30 minute+2 lap race. The Kemea Yamaha Official MX rider recovered to fight for 8th in moto two, displaying flashes of the fire and aggression that put him atop the podium last week in France in his final pre-season competition.

Newcomer Alvin Östlund crashed in the opening lap of his first moto, but recovered calmly and rode steadily to finish 12th in the early race. The 18-year old Swede put his Wilvo Standing Construct Yamaha jersey on for moto two and progressed from the back of the pack throughout the race to finish his MX2 debut in 14th overall with a positive attitude ahead of next week’s event in Thailand.

With 31 points Van Doninck is now placed 5th overall in the 2016 MX2 overall classification, and Tonkov slots in at 7th with 30 points.

In the Women’s MXW race New Zealander Courtney Duncan on a Yamaha YZ250F won both motos by thick marginst o set herself up as the first Championship redplate leader of the 2016 season. Nancy Van De Ven of the Netherlands, also on a YZ250F, finished 4th in moto one and third in the late race to slot in 3rd overall with 38 points to Duncan’s perfect 50.

The MX2 Championship next moves to Thailand and a brand new course at Suphan Buri, 150km north of Bangkok. While the arid February weather in Qatar was comfortable under the lights of Losail, it will be the humidity and bright, burning sun of southeast Asia that poses a brand new challenge for the riders next week.

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情報提供元 [ Yamaha Racing ]

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