The 2014 World Motocross Championship Series continued this weekend at the picturesque Crossdrome “Ciclamino” circuit in Italy for the Arco di Trento. Situated in northern Italy, the track offers excellent opportunities for top-level racing.The Bel-Ray-powered teams had mixed results in Italy. Team CLS Kawasaki racer Arnaud Tonus came to the event with the red plate as the series points leaders in the MX2 division, and as a result of his 2nd place overall finish, he retains the lead heading into the next round of the series.
The Swiss rider looked confident all weekend and backed up these feelings with a strong ride in the first moto, moving from dead last to 2nd place. He followed up with a 3rd place in the second moto for 2nd place overall. Other Bel-Ray racers inside the overall top 10 included Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna riders Romain Febvre (7-5) in 5th overall and Aleksandr Tonkov (14-8) in 10th overall. Tonus’s teammates didn’t fare as well in Italy. Dylan Ferrandis’s 10th place finish in the first moto was hampered by a DNF in moto two when a collision with another rider damaged his bike too much to allow him to continue. In his first ride for the team in 2014, Thomas Covington couldn’t come to grips with the track and only managed 23rd overall.
Arnaud Tonus 2nd overall: “The first race was incredible. I had a problem at the first corner as the bike stopped; maybe it was a stone in the rear wheel, but I don’t know for sure. I was last, but I passed many riders during the first lap and I had a good rhythm, so I was able to come back to 2nd. I felt physically OK for the second race, but I made some small mistakes; I got another GP podium and keep the red plate, so it was a good weekend for me.”
In the MXGP category, Todd Waters scored the best results for Bel-Ray-supported riders. His 14th place in the first moto was bettered in the second moto with a solid 7th place finish and 10th overall. His Ice One Racing teammate Tyla Rattray made a return to racing following an early season injury. His speed found him inside the top 10 in the first moto until a crash hampered his charge. An eventual 16th place in the first moto was backed up with a 21st in the second moto and 22nd overall.
Making his MXGP class debut was Team CLS Kawasaki racer Alessandro Lupino. He started the weekend well when he had the fourth fastest time in the opening practice session. After qualifying 16th, he had a tough ride to 17th in the first GP moto, but he showed a dramatic improvement in race two, as he became more acclimatized to the rigors and demands of the 450cc class and moved forward strongly from an initial 19th place to finish a strong 8th.
Todd Waters 10th overall: “That was one of the toughest tracks I’ve ridden in a very long time. It took a while to feel comfortable on it. Race one didn’t go great. I fell off on the first lap and then had a bit of work to do to finish 14th. I was more determined for race two and just got on with the conditions. That made the difference – I rode a lot better and I almost finished 6th.”
Tyla Rattray 22nd overall: “I only rode my bike three times before this race, so I didn’t know where I’d fit in. I was lacking bike time and my right hand quickly blistered up. It was hard to hold on, but I dug deep to get my two finishes. My speed isn’t where I know it should be yet, but that will come with time – it was just nice to be behind a starting gate again. With this race now behind me, I’ve got something to build on for next weekend in Bulgaria.”
Alessandro Lupino 12th overall: “I only got Tommy’s bike just before this GP, and I didn’t know what to expect in the MXGP class. In the first moto I had some arm pump, but that’s normal as the 450 is very different to the 250, and I rode with Tommy’s settings. In the second moto, I hit the gate and was last at the first corner, but I had good speed and was happy with my riding. I felt more comfortable, I was changing gear at the right moment, and for sure with some more training and tests I will be more confident for the remaining races.”
The FIM Motocross World Championship continues with round five in Sevlievo, Bulgaria, on April 20.