MX1 - Greg is the best!
It’s not always easy to hold the pressure when you are the man to beat, but Gregory Aranda was perfect during the opening round of the French Elite series in Sommières, his home track. Sommières is the track where Gregory spent hours since he’s a kid, and everyone was expecting a great performance even if some of the best MX1 GP riders were part of the game this weekend. Second in the timed practice period, Greg missed a good start in race one and was only eleventh after the opening lap; the grip was perfect on the track and Greg posted a series of fast laps to come back third behind Pourcel and Barragan at mid race. The three riders, all on a KX450F, offered a great show to the crowd during the last fifteen minutes, and finally Barragan won with Greg in second position with the fastest lap time.
His second start was better and Greg came second behind Pourcel who had a good rhythm until he crashed and offered the leadership to his rival. But nothing was easy and Greg had to control Barragan during the last laps, winning by less than two seconds the heat and the overall classification. For Dylan Ferrandis it was another story, and with the “Open class” format the 250 riders were not at their best on this track; Dylan had secured a top fifteen results in the first race until a small crash in the last laps ruined his race. Failing to restart promptly his bike he finished out of the points, and decided to take his other bike for the second race. He just did a couple of laps, due to some brakes troubles. Davide Guarneri didn’t raced this weekend, as the second round of the Italian series was postponed due to the snow in Faenza.
Gregory Aranda: “It was a good weekend, even if I rode stiff in the first race after my bad start. I was may be fifteen in the first corner and I pushed to come back in the top three; I finished second behind Barragan, happy with my riding. The second start was better, and I came second after four laps behind Pourcel who had a strong rhythm; he was faster on some parts of the track, I was faster on others and the gap didn’t change until he made a mistake. I got the lead but Jonathan was not far behind and put some pressure; I knew that I had a couple of broken spokes and the last laps were tough, but I never stopped pushing and it was great to win my home race."
Jonathan Barragan : “My qualifying session was not so good so I didn’t had the best choice for the start, but I came in the top ten at the first one. Then I found a couple of good lines on the track and was able to come back in third place behind Sébastien and Xavier, and Aranda was also there. We battled during several laps and I got the lead after twenty minutes, it was nice to win as the level of this series is high. In the second race I was not so focused on my riding in the first laps, my engine was noisy and it took me maybe fifteen minutes to forget this noise. Then I took a good rhythm and came back in second, I pushed hard in the last laps to join Aranda but he kept a small advantage. It was another good weekend after my win last week in the opening round of the Spanish Championship in Talavera, I feel strong and I’m happy with the bike.”
Sébastien Pourcel: “It would have been better to win at least one race, but I’m pretty happy with my rhythm. I crashed in the second race and that’s a pity as I was leading strongly, but I’m happy to be safe and able to finish the race on the podium. We still need to work on the settings of the bike, as I didn’t found yet what I want, and I also need to do more races to be ready for the opening GP. I’ve a couple of races in England with the opening round of the British series and then Hawkstone Park, it will be perfect to finalize our preparation.”
Xavier Boog: “The first heat was not so bad as I was able to finish close to the podium, but the second one was not so good. I couldn’t hold the rhythm of my rivals, and I made a couple of mistakes. For sure I didn’t ride the bike during one week after my crash in Valence, finally nothing was broken and after new exams I took of the plaster one week ago. I know what I have to do to be ready for the GP’s, and in two weeks time I will go to the second round of the series for revenge”
MX2 - Another strong win for Searle
Team CLS Monster Kawasaki Pro Circuit enjoyed another successful weekend in the French Elite series, as Tommy Searle dominates on his KX250F the MX2 class during the opening round of the championship. With the Open class format the 250 riders were again disadvantage at the start, but twice Tommy shows how powerful the Pro Circuit Kawasaki is and came in the top five at each start! Fast and strong in the first period of thirty minutes plus two laps, he lost time when he was unable to change gear as a stone came in his gearbox pedal. Forced to stop he took the seventh place far ahead the other MX2 riders, and did even better in the second heat with a fifth position among the fastest French MX1 riders. Sixth overall, he completed a great racing day for the team! Teammate Max Anstie was unlucky as he tangled at both starts with other riders and lost all his chances to come back from behind, even if he came back twice in the top twenty after some tough racing actions against some 450 riders. Both riders will make a break next weekend, and will be back for the International event of Hawkstone Park (England) on March 20th.
Tommy Searle: “The first moto I had a good start again, especially here on such a long start; I think we have one of the fastest 250, as I was in the top five in the first corner. Then I got a stone in the gear pedal and I couldn’t change gear during three laps, I had to stop but even after it was not right and I was able to change gear only on some spots. It was dangerous and I dropped back a long way from the leaders. I got another good start in the second race but the 450 were fastest, they had much more speed on the hills and then I got stuck behind some of them. But it was a good weekend for me, I was smooth and rode well; I had a lot of fun, especially in the second moto, the track was a little bit dangerous and you had to be careful. I’m happy with my speed, I was not gone crazy but my speed is good.”