Seva Brylyakov put misfortune behind him to storm to seventh place for Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki in the opening round of the FIM MX2 World Motocross Championship at Losail in Qatar.
The Russian had set a stunning pace in practice as he lapped nearly a second faster than the opposition, but his luck ran out in racing as he suffered bad starts in each moto, the handicap intensified by the no-blame incidents which can so easily occur when charging through the pack. In the first GP moto he was unable to avoid the stricken machine of a fallen rival and was only nineteenth on the opening lap before putting in a tremendous surge to ninth despite the handicap of a damaged radiator guard which was hampering his riding in left hand turns. Race two again saw him charge through the pack to ninth and he was seventh overall on the day.
DRT teammate Darian Sanayei was also forced to battle through the pack in each moto. A series of thrilling block passes enabled him to advance from sixteenth to tenth in race one, and race two was almost a repeat as he swept to twelfth, sufficient to secure ninth overall in the GP.
Adam Sterry of the Monster Energy Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team had looked exceptionally fast during practice, but an unfortunate collision with another rider during the qualification race left him with a nasty cut on his left shoulder when the rear sprocket of his opponent's bike ripped his skin. Shrugging off the incident Adam quickly advanced to eighth place in the first GP moto, but eventually dropped back to eleventh as he tightened up after losing his rhythm whilst stuck behind another rider. A further incident with a rival in race two left Adam to battle from an initial eighteenth to finish fourteenth for thirteenth on the day.
Rookie teammate Stephen Rubini faced a baptism of fire. The French teenager qualified well in sixteenth and used his good gate pick to hold thirteenth on lap one of the opening moto before the pressure mounted and he lost his rhythm to eventually finish just outside the points in twenty-second place. A rival jumped into his bike after he had started fourteenth in race two and Stephen was forced to retire as his bike was damaged in the incident.
Petar Petrov, third member of the team, had to withdraw from the GP as it became evident during practice that an ankle injury sustained two weeks in a warm-up race was too painful and will probably require surgery. The Bulgarian will return to racing when he is once again fully fit to challenge for the podiums his talent so richly deserves.
Vsevolod Brylyakov: “It was a very tough GP for me; I'm just happy to be safe with all the mistakes I made this weekend. I was very nervous after I put myself in a good condition with the first position in the timed practice period and during the warm-up, but in the races it was not the same story and I can say that the luck was not on my side this weekend. In the first moto a guy crashed in front of me and I hit his bike; the same had happened in the qualifying race and after that I rode pretty aggressive to make as many passes as I could but I ended up making many mistakes as the track was very sketchy. I should get a trophy this weekend for the most passes, I think in each race I passed around fifteen riders! I also had some crashes, but the goal was to be top seven and I’m seventh so I’ll take this weekend as a lesson. I’m fit enough to win, I’m fast enough to win, I think that everyone saw that this weekend and we’ll keep on working to achieve that.”
Darian Sanayei: “Overall it was not so bad; yesterday we had some ups and downs but I got an eighth in the qualifying race which was pretty good. Today I just didn’t feel so good; in the first race I did something wrong at the start and I had to come back from the back of the pack to tenth; I tried to ride smooth and not push too hard. In the second race I had a really good jump of the gate but I did something wrong again and hit a neutral, so my starts are something I’ve got to work on for next weekend. My speed was a little bit slower in the second race, but with a ninth overall that’s not so bad for a first GP as the season will be long.”
Adam Sterry: "The weekend didn't start too well in the qualification as I crashed with another rider and the rear sprocket on his machine cut open my left shoulder. I had a lot of pain, but I felt better today and was soon able to make some passes to hold eighth place, but then I got stuck behind Vaessen and tightened up. A whole group of others came up on us so I was under pressure for the rest of the race. "
Stephen Rubini: “It was a tough weekend for me, for sure I was expecting better for my first ever GP. My qualifying race was not so bad as I qualified in sixteenth position, and I was expecting some points in the races but I didn’t had a good feeling with the track today. In fact, I never felt comfortable here; in both races I was in the top fifteen during the first laps, but my rhythm was not good and I lost positions. In the second race I hit another rider and broke something on the bike, let’s hope that Indonesia will be better for me.
Petar Petrov: “Two weeks ago I injured my ankle at Lacapelle without even crashing; unfortunately, the ligaments were damaged and I had to rest for the last two weeks. I came here to try but I had a lot of pain and just couldn’t ride the way I want, and finally I crashed again. So we have decided to stop. I will fly back home to have more examinations and I will be back when I'm fit. I’m really sad but it is what it is; I want to stay positive even if it’s not easy.”