ANDO SECURES 2ND OVERALL IN VALKENSWARD
This weekend saw the first round of the EMX300 and EMX125 Series, in Valkensward, Holland.
The team travelled down together in the freezing weather which didn’t improve by the time the weekend arrived. As Brad went out for his Timed Practice the ground was covered in Snow, it was -2° and extremely windy. The track was very wet which created deep ruts and tough riding conditions.
TIMED PRACTICE / QUALIFICATION:
There were 2 out of Verde’s 3 riders representing the team this weekend. Brad Anderson defending his reigning title in the EMX300, riding with the No.1 Red Plate and Dominic Lancett riding for his first time in the EMX125 class on number 961. After it snowing and sleeting all night, the conditions weren’t ideal for any rider, never mind an induction to the EMX series.
Brad was first out on this cold morning with his timed practice being at 9.00am. Within the first few minutes Brad had a big crash and tweaked his shoulder and broke the peak to his helmet making visibility pretty difficult. Things didn’t continue to go his way. Only a few laps in he had mechanical issues and had to pull in to the pits and chance his machine. Although things were looking good, the British Bull Dog Brad soldiered on and managed to put a quick time in on his last lap putting him into 2nd Place behind Kras.
There were 92 riders in the EMX125 class so it was split into 2 groups who had to go out and qualify for the main race. Dominic was in the first Group and went out straight after the EMX300’s. The track was still very wet but it was now starting to get rough too and deep lines had emerged. Not great conditions for the 125 bikes and a new comer to the Championship. However, Dominic gave it a good shot and managed to get 29th in his group, which meant he didn’t automatically qualify but would have to go out in A Last Chance Race in order to qualify.
So the top 4 only would go through from this LCQ race. Dominic got a bad start but was determined to get into the main race. He picked the riders off bit by bit and managed to pull through to 3rd. Tough doing in these awful conditions but he did it and made it through to the main event.
Both the lads first races were held on the Saturday in freezing cold, windy, snowy and icy conditions.
It was still bitterly cold when Brad went out in Race 1 in the late afternoon. He got a pretty good start and came round the first bend in 4th position behind his fellow Brit, Dunn who was in 3rd. Smets and Kras started to pull away out front whilst Brad battled for a couple of laps to get past Dunn for 3rd. The leaders had pushed hard in the first few laps and even though Brad now had a clear track ahead of him he couldn’t close enough to catch the pair. So with tough track conditions and the bad weather, Brad decided to settle for 3rd in Moto 1.
With a 39th gate position Dominic had to settle with being out to the far right of the start gate, making it even tougher to get to the first bend. He got squashed out on the start so it was an uphill struggle from the back of the pack. But despite the terrible conditions and crashing a few times, he managed to put his head down and put through to finish 32nd in his first ever EMX125 race.
Day two took a turn for the better, weather wise. The sun came out, the snow stopped but it was still bitterly cold. The soft sand had frozen to leave a hard base to race on and the sun was hanging low like it does in the middle of winter.
Brads race was first out again at 9.45am. His start was similar to race 1 and he pulled round the first bend in to 5th place. He was soon into 4th and it didn’t take him as long this time to pass Dunn who was sat in 3rd. It was a little harder to catch up to Smets and Kras but the Bull Dog was back and he fought hard to reign them in. Back markers were getting in the way for all three of them but it was Kras that made a mistake and crashed on the penultimate lap and allowed Brads relentlessness to pay off as he rode passed into 2nd place. So Moto 2, 2nd position.
Dominic was finding it tough. Race 2 was just as hard and he was having problems. He officially finished 38th but unfortunately didn’t manage to score any points. The weekend had been an experience and a learning curve to take to Italy in Round 2.
Overall it had been a trying weekend for the team but the results were worth it in the end.
Brad Anderson #1, got a 3-2 to finish 2nd overall in Round 1 and he made the podium. Dominic showed he had speed and determination by pulling from 20th through to 3rd in the LCQ and got a 32-38 for first round final score.
QUOTE FROM BRAD ANDERSON:
Good start to the EMX300 championship. 2nd overall. It’s been very cold here and the conditions where different on each day. I felt stronger on day two. I just need better starts now. Roll on next weekend in Spain. Thanks to the team and sponsors and everybody who supports me on the way.
QUOTE FROM DOMINIC LANCETT:
I think that the weekend went well. I came into it not knowing what to expect and I have learnt a lot. I qualified in such an exceptional group. It was an amazing experience and both races were a massive learning curve and have given me something to build upon going into Italy.
QUOTE FROM TEAM MANAGER, ADRIAN KIRK:
This weekend was a solid start to the season. 42 points going into Round 2 next week is a good position for Ando to be in. It has been a big learning curve for Dominic but he persevered in extremely tough riding conditions and kept his head up despite his overall results. This weekend was a test for his character and his fitness as well as his riding skills. All in all, I am glad the first round is over and let’s hope that we get a bit of sunshine next week in Spain.
19 March 2018