Crashes dent high expectations
May 11, 2010
MX2, Agueda, Portugal, 10 May 2010
Crashes during qualification spoilt what should have been a great weekend for the Kawasaki Team CLS duo of Steven Frossard and Jeremy Van Horebeek.
Both riders battled throughout race day at Agueda in Portugal to restrict the damage; Frossard remains 4th in the FIM World MX2 Championship, whilst Van Horebeek has dropped just one place to 8th, so both riders have kept their title hopes intact.
Frossard had high hopes of his first victory of the season in Portugal but a freak accident during qualification when he broke the handlebars after slipping off whilst holding 4th position meant that he had to start both points-scoring races on Sunday from the outside of the gate, this handicap ensuring that he was unable to leave turn one amongst the leaders. A crash at the first turn in the opening race on Sunday meant he was only able to recover to 11th place, but he added a 5th later in the day after getting through the first turn unscathed although inevitably stuck initially in mid-pack.
Van Horebeek had been able to recover to 11th place in the qualification race after his crash, but another trip to earth at the start of the first race on Sunday left him with damage to the front brake and no chance to charge as hard as usual. The Belgian finally avoided a crash at the start of the second moto, and was able to charge from 10th place to an eventual 4th.
Both riders go to Spain next weekend optimistic that they can finally show winning form on a track where Van Horebeek stood at the top of the podium last year.
Steven Frossard: "I like this track and was expecting some great result, but I made a small mistake when I was holding 4th place in the qualification race on Saturday and that wrecked my weekend. I broke the handlebars so it was impossible to finish the race and that meant I had to start from the outside of the gate; it's impossible to get a good start from there here in Agueda, and it was even worse when I crashed at the first corner in the first race. I came back through the entire field to finish 11th even though I didn't take any risks; the track was so rough after the rain and I didn't want to crash again. I had a good jump out of the gate in the second race but everyone went wide at the first corner again of course and once more I had to battle through the pack to finish 5th. My lap times were similar to the leaders, so with better starts for sure I would have been battling for the podium result I had expected this weekend."
Jeremy Van Horebeek: "The starts just didn't work for me this weekend; I had three races and crashed twice in the first few corners. The first crash came already in qualification and that meant I only had 11th choice of gate. Then I had another crash at the start of the first moto; I damaged my front brake in the crash so I couldn't push hard and was only able to score a few points. The second start was much better; at least I didn't crash but I was still only tenth after one lap, and that is too far back if you aim to battle for a podium. I came back to fourth with Steven following me through; we both had good lap times during the race but we need to be in the top five at each start to race with the leaders. I hope we will have better luck in Spain; I won there last year so I have great memories from this track."