Tonkov Steady on Shifting León Track

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Wilvo Standing Construct Yamaha rider Aleksandr Tonkov rode to solid, steady results on Sunday at MXGP León, despite a poor starting gate and a constantly changing race course in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.

Tonkov finished 5-5 in the motos for 5th overall in front of 12,000 fans in León, but dropped one spot to 4th in the 2016 MX2 World Championship by a slim 3-point margin. The Russian rider’s weekend started on a sour note when a technical issue in Saturday’s qualifying race forced his withdrawal and an automatic last gate pick for Sunday’s main event.

León’s high-altitude and hot, sunny weather made the morning race on Sunday challenging, but mechanics corrected Saturday’s issues and tuned the YZ250F expertly to put Tonkov’s natural strength and speed to work, allowing him to chase from a reasonable start in 10th behind Samuele Bernardini of Italy and then go head-to-head with Pauls Jonass of Latvia over a course that went from hard and sticky to slick and cross-rutted in the space of one moto. Teammate Alvin Östlund continued his progress as the young Swedish champion held a steady start to finish 11th before the lunch break.

Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 rider Benoit Paturel started the morning race better than Tonkov, finding himself 8th and rising after lap one, but a mid-moto mishap sent his rear end loose as water on the track spread by organizers to churn the heavy clay put the French rider off his line in a turn. Paturel finished moto one 8th but unsatisfied.

In the afternoon race the track took on an entirely new character, which improved traction but made the deep ruts uncrossable and some jumps hard and slick. Tonkov again started strongly, chasing Switzerland’s Jeremy Seewer closely in 4th before tiring late and watching as Jonass passed to leave the Russian 5th overall and down one spot to 4th in the 2016 World Championship just 3 points. Östlund struggled but showed promise in the greasy corners of the watered track to finish 12th in moto two and 12th overall in León.

Paturel passed Bernardini in a tight race at the beginning of moto two, and then sat in for a long match against Russia’s Vsevolod Brylyakov to finish 6th after lunch and 7th overall. The French rider is now 6th overall in the World Championship.

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情報提供元 [ Yamaha Racing ]

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