Despite a month out of racing the American quickly settled down to qualify a superb fifth on Saturday and he again showed tremendous speed on race day. An unfortunate start, followed on lap five by a crash as he moved forward through the pack, forced him to withdraw from the opening moto, but a better getaway in race two saw him run top eight all race and finish seventh after advancing to sixth at one stage until the lack of recent bike time inevitably took its toll. Darian remains twelfth in the series standings.
He was joined in the DRT awning for the weekend at Loket by fellow American Marshal Weltin and the European Championship regular acquitted himself well on his GP debut. He advanced strongly from an initial fifteenth in race one to finish eleventh and followed this up with a similar ride in race two to again finish eleventh after starting fourteenth. That earned ninth overall, a highly creditable GP debut.
Morgan Lesiardo of the Monster Energy Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team was another to take advantage of a break in the EMX250 schedule to taste GP action and the Italian also broke into the points scorers in race two as he converted an initial seventeenth into fifteenth at the chequered flag. He had also moved forward from a twenty-first placed start in the muddy opening moto to hold eighteenth before being forced to take off his goggles and eventually retire. Starting seventeenth in race two, he had a solid ride to finish fifteenth.
Teammate Stephen Rubini had a frustrating weekend. The French teenager was forced to ride strongly from dead last to twenty-second in the first moto after another rider had pushed him off the track at turn one. He again rode strongly in race two to advance from nineteenth at the start to fifteenth place with a handful of laps remaining before blisters caused him to slacken his pace in the final two laps to finish nineteenth.
Darian Sanayei: “As I missed Portugal after my crash in Ottobiano, I had one month to recover and I didn’t ride so many times, just enough to feel good on the bike. Saturday was good; I was eighth and ninth in the practice sessions and qualified in fifth after fighting at the front of the pack which was good. We had some heavy rain before the first moto and I got a bad start, then crashed and finally retired. My start was much better in the second race; I was in the top ten and fought hard to finally finish seventh. I pushed really hard to try to catch Lieber, but I couldn’t keep pushing at that speed until the finish. But everything this weekend went well, except the first moto.”
Marshal Weltin: “For my first GP it was not so bad with a ninth overall which is pretty good. I was a little bit too aggressive on this track when I needed to be a little smoother but it was the first time I raced with the DRT Kawasaki which is a different bike to the one I race in the European series. I could take the third gate from the inside and was in the top fifteen at each start. For sure the level is higher in the MX2 than in the EMX250, but I’m delighted with this experience and hope to have another chance soon.”
Morgan Lesiardo: “On Saturday I struggled to find a good feeling on this slippery and hard track, and couldn’t qualify better than twenty second. Sunday was much better; I started twice in the top twenty but in the first moto I had to take off my goggles and then had to retire. The second race was much better; I had fun and improved my riding to finish fifteenth after some good fight with regular MX2 GP riders. Now we move to Belgium, for some hard training to prepare for Lommel.”
Stephen Rubini: “It was another tough weekend for me; on Saturday I struggled too much with the track and the grip and qualified only in twenty-ninth position. At the start of the first race another rider hit me and pushed me out of the track; I came back on the track last to finish twenty second. The second race was better. I was in the top twenty at the start and moved forward to fourteenth, but I had to slow down in the last few laps and lost several positions; I crashed hard last week in the Italian championship so I couldn’t train all week and had pain in this race with big blisters on both hands.”