Team CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy's Dylan Ferrandis scored a career first GP moto victory at Losail/Qatar to finish second overall in the opening round of the FIM MX2 Motocross World Championship.
The French teenager, making his GP debut for the CLS team, moved forward from an initial third to take the lead four laps from the end of the opening moto and defy all attempts by the defending champion to pass for the maiden GP moto victory of his young career. After moving forward to third place midway through the second moto Dylan appeared to be on course for his first overall GP victory, but vision problems after taking mud on his goggles in the closing laps of the race cost the 19 year old three places and the overall victory. He eventually finished second on the day, but is only seven points from the championship leader.
Swiss teammate Arnaud Tonus had joined Ferrandis in the first three during qualification the previous day, but his anticipated challenge for the GP victory ended already soon after the second turn when he collided with another rider and completed the opening lap in 25th position. The 23 year old battled forward to take tenth place at the chequered flag, and eventually missed the overall podium by just one point after a stunning ride from thirteenth place on lap one to cross the line just over one second behind the winner.
Alessandro Lupino, the third rider of the CLS team in the MX2 world championship, had a difficult weekend to finish fourteenth overall. The Italian crossed the line in eleventh position in the first race after a first lap crash, and his second race was even more uncomfortable as he developed stomach pains after eating between the races and tne discomfort restricted him to sixteenth position at the finish.
Tommy Searle, the team's rider in MXGP competition, faced a difficult time during qualification as he never felt confident on the slippery track, but he found great speed on race day. Sadly his starts were not optimal in either race, but, showing good speed, he was one of the few riders to move forward during either race to eventually finish sixth overall from sixth and seventh placed motos.
Dylan Ferrandis: “I’m disappointed with my result in the second race; I was riding smoothly but got some mud on my goggles and I had vision troubles. I lost a few positions and that cost me the overall GP victory after I had won the first moto. The last few laps of the first race were intense as Jeffrey was just behind me; it was stressful but I beat him and I am now even more determined to do it more often.”
Arnaud Tonus: “Unfortunately I had a crash after the second corner in the first moto. I got into a slide, another rider hit my rear wheel and we both crashed. The track was slippery and there were not so many lines but I came back to tenth. I rode tight at the beginning of the second race as I didn’t want to make the same mistake again but after ten minutes I found a better rhythm and charged back to second. It’s great to see that I have the speed for podium results.”
Tommy Searle: “I struggled with the track yesterday and never felt confident, but today was much better and, even if I didn’t got good starts, I enjoyed riding there. I had a better feeling with the track and the bike today and, although the results are not fantastic with a sixth and a seventh position I know what I can expect in the next GPs.”
Alessandro Lupino: “It was not a great weekend for me; already during the practice sessions I was struggling with the track. Today I crashed in the first race with some other riders; it took time to recover and to finish eleventh. The second race was even worse as I got sick after a meal; I had cramps in my stomach and couldn’t ride as I usually do.”