To the delight of a large group of fans who had travelled down from Denmark to cheer on their hero Mikkel quickly converted his initial seventh place into fifth with a stunning second-lap outside-pass on one of his immediate rivals in the series points-chase and four laps later he took over fourth with a decisive inside-move. With a clear track ahead of him he was immediately able to drop his lap-times yet further but the front-three had already made good their escape so he had to be satisfied with fourth at the finish. Again making decisive moves to take over fifth after just a few turns the Dane temporarily surrendered one position on the following lap as track development was significantly different to race one but within ten minutes he was making moves again, culminating his advance with a smart inside-pass for third before half-distance. Once more the leaders were out-of-sight but the Kawasaki rider never gave up, reducing the time-deficit lap-by-lap; his efforts came up less than five seconds short, but 4-3 motos were more than sufficient to claim third on the podium and, although still fifth in the standings, he has closed significantly the rider who is currently third on points.
Mikkel Haarup: “That was so good for my confidence to come back onto the podium. I didn’t actually realise until the last lap that I was up there but I felt good all weekend and the entire team worked well; a big shout-out for them. I love this track and I was having fun out there; it has high speed, a good flow and I could charge through the pack both motos. And there were so many Danish fans out there; they were the best, making so much noise. I could hear them every lap; they were just great support so it was a real bonus to be able to give them a podium. Now I’m ready for more in Indonesia.“
Pushed wide at turn one F&H Kawasaki Racing Team’s Kevin Horgmo held eighth place for more than half of the first moto in the wake of the leaderboard train which formed on the predominantly one-line track. As the track developed more lines became available and the Norwegian built two clever passes on consecutive laps to finish sixth. The riders off the inside gates again pushed him wide at turn one but within ten minutes he was moving forward from his initial seventh to secure fifth; a relentless chase after the rider directly ahead of him in the points chase came up just one second short, but fourth overall on the day has confirmed fourth in the championship standings and sees him close to within twenty-seven points of third in the series.
Kevin Horgmo: “Yesterday I made a silly mistake in Qualifying and hit the gate, but I felt good on the bike as I came from last to eighth and the set-up was good all weekend. I got pushed wide at turn one from that gate position today but I came from mid-pack both motos to sixth and fifth for fourth overall; I felt my riding was better than the result but that mistake at the gate yesterday cost me. Now to Indonesia; it will be a new experience for me and for sure it will be even hotter than here.“
Two incidents with other riders in the second moto cost Quentin Marc Prugnières his realistic shot at the podium for 9MM Energy Drink BUD Racing Kawasaki in the sixth round of the FIM European EMX250 Championship. After finishing fourth in the first race on Saturday afternoon the French teenager found himself way down in eighteenth place on the opening lap of Sunday morning’s second moto; battling throughout the twenty-five-minute-plus-two-lap race he had broken into the top-ten ten minutes from the end and kept charging to take the chequered flag eighth. This secured sixth place overall, narrowly missing the podium, and he is now eighth, just twenty-one points from third, in an even-tighter battle in the series standings.
Quentin Marc Prugnières: “The second race was more difficult as my start was not so good; I recovered some positions in the first corner but before the second turn another rider pushed me outside the track and I lost several positions! When I was coming back through the pack a rider crashed in front of me and I hit his bike; it was frustrating to again lose time. My speed was good but I can’t be happy with this race as everyone - me, the team, my family - expects more and I will now work in the sand to prepare for the next round at Lommel."
BUD teammate Eddie Jay Wade continued his learning curve in the EMX250 series. A top-ten start in race two was an excellent base to equal his best result of the season with sixth place at the finish, just seventeen seconds down on the winner. Ninth overall over the weekend the English youngster has leapt to fourteenth in the series points standings.
Eddie Jay Wade: “The times were really close in Qualifying so I was happy with eighth and I was very good off the start in race one but the rider in front of me went through a puddle so I had to throw off my goggles. In the second moto I worked my way from tenth to sixth; I got a bit tight towards the end but we’re learning all the time and we’ll keep working.“