Tonkov sizzles in Thai heat to first Yamaha podium

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Aleksandr Tonkov overcame heat and humidity in Thailand on Sunday to finish on his first MX2 podium since joining Wilvo Standing Construct Yamaha over the winter.

In searing heat Tonkov started the early race in third and passed Kemea Yamaha’s Benoit Paturel after four laps to hold second place until the finish. Wilvo Standing Construct Yamaha mechanics adjusted the Russian’s YZ250F overnight to adapt to the slippery and rutted track.

Alvin Östlund pleased his entire Wilvo Standing Construct Yamaha family with a start in 10th and rose spot by spot to eighth, but lost control in a deeply rutted corner while passing a lapped rider with three laps to go. The Swedish teenager surrendered three spots in the standings to finish the first MX2 moto in 11th.

Kemea Yamaha’s Benoit Paturel started the early MX2 race second, and played a game of cat and mouse with Tonkov behind him until lap five. Paturel, last week’s eighth place finisher in Qatar, held on to fourth for the finish, flashing a smart combination of speed and control despite the overwhelming heat.

Kemea Yamaha rider Brent Van doninck crashed in the second corner of the flat and rutted track at Suphan Buri to leave the first moto early. The Belgian Top-5 finisher from Qatar also crashed in the same spot during Saturday’s qualifying race.

Van doninck started the second MX2 moto in Thailand from a wide gate pick, but showed great speed and nerve to climb steadily from 15th to eighth and save 13 points in the 2016 season classification to remain ninth overall.

Paturel’s second moto start in ninth was less aggressive than the morning race, but the young French MX2 rider picked his lines steadily to pass slower riders each lap and finish sixth in the late race and fourth overall in Thailand. He now sits seventh overall in the 2016 season classification.

Östlund held his position in moto two and continued to demonstrate excellent fitness and an ability to ride with the leaders, passing from a start in eighth to finish seventh for eighth overall in Thailand and a very impressive 11th overall in the 2016 season classification.

In the second MX2 race in Thailand, Aleksandr Tonkov recovered from the heat and humidity to start fourth and within four laps rise up to third, but failed to pass second place rider Pauls Jonass of Latvia and stalled his YZ205F long enough to lose six places almost immediately. In hot pursuit, the Russian wasted no time in recovering to finish an incredible third in the late race and third as well on the final podium. In the 2016 MX2 season championship Tonkov is now third overall.

After two consecutive weeks of racing and travel, MX2 now pauses until the end of March when competition will resume at Valkenswaard in the Netherlands.

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情報提供元 [ Yamaha Racing ]

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