Start crash cost Frossard victory

May 17, 2010

MX2, Bellpuig, Catalunya, 17 May 2010
Steven Frossard missed a golden opportunity to score his first GP victory for Kawasaki Team CLS in Bellpuig when he crashed at the over-watered first corner of the second moto.

The Frenchman had already shown his liking for the Bellpuig track as he scored a decisive win in Saturday's qualifying race, making full use of first choice of gate on Sunday to emerge from the first corner in race one in second place. He held that position comfortably for 15 minutes in a high-speed chase with Herlings and Roczen before a lapped rider got in his way, allowing the German to slip past into second place. Quickly reasserting himself in second place as they both pushed Herlings down to third, Steven, who had already set the fastest lap of the race, edged relentlessly closer to Roczen and was ready for a last minute charge for victory until another errant lapper got in his way.

Undismayed by his narrow defeat Steven was determined to reverse the positions in race two, but fell victim to an over-watered first turn and had to spend the entire race playing catch up, charging from last to 11th.

Teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek had won the GP at Bellpuig last year and again showed good speed, but a crash on the fourth lap of race one after he had quickly advanced from 10th to sixth cost him all hopes of a podium finish. Remounting 13th he had advanced to 8th by the chequered flag.

Down on the ground along with teammate Frossard at the first corner of race two Jeremy mounted a superb recovery to snatch seventh place a few laps from the end.

Kawasaki Bud Racing gave a first GP opportunity to 18 year old American Michael Leib. The Californian teenager had broken a bone in his hand less than two weeks ago and was not yet able to withstand the rigours of two full GP motos; he was forced to withdraw after a few laps of each race because of pain from the hand but has shown a good turn of speed and both rider and team are optimistic that he will be able to start to show his true potential in the US GP at Glen Helen, just a short distance from his home town of Temecula, in two weeks time.

Steven Frossard: "I really had a good chance to win my first GP this weekend, but it was not to be After winning the qualification race yesterday I was able to take a good start in the first race and held second place behind Herlings for the first few laps. We were setting a really fast pace together with Roczen in third place and we soon started to lap the slower riders. One of them did not move away from the fastest line in a corner, I had to run wide to miss him and Roczen was able to slip past us on the inside, but I could run the same pace and soon we were running 1-2. I was actually closing him down again until I had another incident with a lapped rider which cost me enough time to cost me a shot at the win. I had set the fastest lap of the race and found a good rhythm, so I was confident for race two, but they had put a lot of water down at the first corner, my front wheel slipped on a particularly slippery patch and I went down after taking the start. Several other riders crashed too and my Kawasaki was underneath three other bikes. I was in last position when I was finally able to rejoin the race; I again set good lap times but it was difficult to pass other riders quickly and I was only able to get to 11th position before the finish. I am a little frustrated that I missed a great opportunity today, but I was pleased with my rhythm and I'm sure that with a good start I can battle with Musquin, Roczen and Herlings every week."

Jeremy Van Horebeek "I am so frustrated with my results today. I won the GP here last year, I am riding well, the speed is there, but I just don't have any luck at the moment. I know I have the potential to be on the podium and with my speed in the second moto I know I can fight for the win, but I need to put it all together and stay out of trouble. I'm looking forward to racing in the USA in two weeks and if there is one place I would like to be on the podium it is there, so I'll be working extra hard up to that race."