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EMX Red Sands 2018

 

ANDO MISSES THE PODIUM BY ONE POINT

 

This weekend the team made the long journey down to Red Sands Motorpark in Spain, for the 2nd round of the EMX championship.  It was Brad Anderson's 2nd Race of the season in the EMX300 where he currently entered the weekend sitting in joint 2nd place with Mike Kras. Todd Kellett joined the team for his first race of the season. This EMX250 round would be his first race back since his injury before Christmas.

 

It was a lot warmer than it had been in Valkensward the previous week and a lot warmer than back home in England.

 

QUALIFICATION:

The track was soft dry sand which firmed up in places to create a solid sub-base mixed with deep rough rutted lines. The sun hung low for the EMX qualifications on the Saturday morning, making vision difficult for both classes.

 

EMX300:

Brad was out for his timed practice early on the Saturday morning. It had rained heavily on the Friday night but the wind was up and it soon blew any standing water away leaving a pretty hard fast track. Brad got a good fast 3rd lap which gave him the 2nd fastest time, which nobody challenged, so Brad had 2nd gate pick for the day.

 

EMX250:

This was not only the first round of the EMX250 class but it was the first race back for Todd Kellett since his nasty accident just before Christmas.  There were 96 riders entered into this class so it was split into 2 Groups, each having to qualify for the main Race which would host just 40 riders. Todd was put into Group 2 which contained a tough bunch of mainly European quick lads, so Todd knew it was going to be tough.

 

He was keen, fast but tense.  Todd put in a quick first lap which put him 9th fastest in his class.  But his group was full of riders of a similar pace.  2nd to 33rd were all within 2 seconds of each other and he soon slipped back to 18th. Arm pumped kicked in and his lack of bike time over winter started to show.  Todd ended the timed qualification in 27th place meaning that he would have to race in the LCQ to gain a place in the main event.

 

LCQ

EMX250:

37 riders, 9 of which were Brits. Still a very tough group.  Only 4 would go through.  Todd didn't get the best of starts and came round the first bend in 15th but still in with a chance.  Then a mistake cost him big and put him back down to 28th place.  Todd fought hard and picked the riders off one by one. The track was getting rougher and Todd was getting smoother and faster and he was starting to move the through the pack with ease.  But a 20 min + 2 lap race doesn't give much time and it was too tall a shout to get back up to 4th.  So Todd finished 15th place in the LCQ, his first race back this year.  He rode well and overcame his first hurdle. He now knows what to expect in Round 2 when he will have a lot more bike fitness behind him.

 

RACE 1

EMX300:

Brad's first race was mid-afternoon on the Saturday. The wind had picked up, the track was now bone dry and the sand was starting to blow.  Brad got a pretty good start and took the first main jump in 2nd place. He soon took the lead with Kras chasing hard behind.  Brad led for a good few laps until Kras hit his back wheel knocking Brad off.  It appeared that Kras had tried to edge through on a corner, through a gap that wasn't quite there! Although Brad didn't hesitate to get back up and chase Smets, who had now move ahead of Brad into 5th, the back markers made it quite difficult.  He was on Smets's tail the rest of the race but couldn't get a clear route to pass.  So Brad finished Moto 1 in 6th place with 15 points.

 

RACE 2

EMX300:

Brad didn't get the best of starts in Race 2 and only rounded the first bend in around 8th place.  Within a few laps Brad was into 4th but Kras had pulled a good lead out front already. Brad made a costly mistake, slid off and had to do the hard work all over again.  With only 2 laps to go, Brad pulled through to 3rd and chased hard being Smets but couldn't find a way past in time. So Brad finished 3rd in Moto 2 and set the fastest lap time for the race.

 

OVERALL:

 

EMX250:

Overall today was a good experience for Todd.  Good bike time, a race under his belt and knowledge of his competition.  We never expected results today and he rode well and showed speed and determination in the latter half of the LCQ. With the first round of the British Championship next weekend he will feel more confident on the bike now, even if results didn't flow today.

 

EMX300:

A 6-3 giving Brad a 6th overall for the day and just 1 point off the podium.  The results left an impact on Brad's championship position, pushing him down to 3rd place, now 11 points behind Smets and 15 points behind Kras. With another race added to the Championship there is now 5 rounds to go.  It will be tough to regain the lost points but Brad always faces a challenge head on so will not be fazed by today's results.  With over 5 weeks before the next 2-stroke series in Russia, Brad will jump on to his 450 SX-F and race in British Championship to keep him fresh.

 

QUOTE FROM BRAD ANDERSON:

Not the best of weekends.  Was leading the first race until I got knocked off and then i got arm pump so finished 6h.  Race 2 I didn't get the best of starts but came through quick and was catching the leader and had the quickest lap time in the race. Made a mistake, came off and then got back to 3rd. Shows my speed is there.  Can't wait for the next round.

 

QUOTE FROM TODD KELLETT:

I did what I could but it wasn't quite enough this weekend after a crash in LCQ.  But lots of positives to take away and still early days for me being back on the bike.  We will remain focused on recovering fully and getting back to where we want to be.

 

QUOTE FROM TEAM MANAGER, ADRIAN KIRK:

Not the best results this weekend but Todd rode well once he relaxed and has now got a race under his belt since his big off before Christmas, so he has achieved what we set out to do today.  Brad showed plenty of speed but had an unlucky crash in the first race which has cost him plenty of points and his first 'non-podium' on his KTM SX. But with an additional round in Bulgaria having been added to the calendar it will hopefully give him enough to time to pull back plenty of points.

 

26 March 2018