Bel-Ray Weekend Racing Review - August 20, 2012
AMA National Motocross
The 2012 National Motocross Series continued this weekend at one of the most recognizable tracks on the circuit. Situated in upstate New York, Unadilla has been hosting national motocross events for more than 40 years. The track received a great deal of rain on Friday before the event, leading to one of the toughest and most demanding tracks the racers have faced all year.
Bel-Ray backed Team Chaparral racer Andrew Short scored two excellent finishes in front of the large Northeast crowd. After a 4thplace finish in the first moto, Short got off to an early lead in moto two, eventually holding on to finish third. His third place overall finish also moved him into third place in the final championship series standing with only two rounds remaining. Other Bel-Ray racers competing in the 450 class included Derek Anderson (22-17) for 19th overall, Dakota Kessler (23-22) for 25th overall, and Ronnie Stewart (24-23) for 26th overall.
Team Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki racers experienced mixed results in Unadilla with each racer scoring one top 10 moto finish. Jason Anderson led the team with 8th overall (5-12), followed by Martin Davalos in 9th (13-7) and Blake Wharton in 11th (4-33). Wharton crashed just past the half way point of the second moto and was too shaken up to continue. He is expected to back in action when the series resumes in two weeks. Other Bel-Ray racers in the 250 class included AJ Catanzaro in 32nd overall (36-24) and Steve Roman in 33rd overall (32-28).
The series will take a one week break before resuming in Delmont, Pennsylvania on Labor Day weekend.
A second overall finish in Liginieres, Switzerland keeps Factory TM Bel-Ray supported Thomas Chareyre at the top of the Supermoto World Championship chase. His consistent 2-2-3 motos allowed him to retain a twenty point lead with only one event remaining. Chareyre was the World Champion in 2010 and hopes to repeat that feat when the series concludes in France on September 23rd.
In front of a partisan home country crowd, Bel-Ray backed Tommy Searle put his Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit Kawasaki at the front of both motos to score a convincing overall victory at Matterly Basis. Still second in the points standings, Searle closed the gap slightly on the series leader, but with only three rounds remaining, his task to win the World Championship is a difficult one. He spoke about the race following the final checkered flag. “The pressure to win always makes it tough to do it at home, but I didn’t want to let anyone down. Jeffrey closed up in both motos, but I knew I couldn’t lose it for the fans! It’s a long shot for the title, but a win like today is a big consolation. I could hear his engine at times, and the fans told me that he was close, but I just rode my own race. I didn’t know until halfway round the last lap of race two that he had fallen, but then the party could begin!"
Despite Searle's victory, the team experienced mixed emotions. Teammate Joel Roelants was injured when another racer landed on him and he suffered a dislocated hip. He will miss the remainder of the season.
Bel-Ray's entry in the MX1 class also experienced some difficult times in England. Christophe Pourcel injured his neck and shoulder in the morning practice session forcing him to race in a conservative mode to salvage championship points. He remains third place in the series with only three rounds remaining. He spoke about this difficulty following the race. "On Saturday, the track was slippery on some places and I crashed twice; my neck was painful, but also a muscle under the shoulder blade and today I had even more pain. I was completely at the outside on the gate and it was impossible to get a good start, but in the first heat, I made some good passes to finish ninth. The second start was worse, the pain was stronger and the goal was just to finish the race and score some points for the series."
Teammate Sebastein Pourcel damaged his bike in a first moto crash causing him to finish 24th place. In the second moto, he was inside the top 10 mid race eventually finishing 14th. His combined scored awarded him 17th overall for the event.
Coming into the Indianapolis MotoGP event this weekend both Bel-Ray backed Power Electronics racers Aleix Espargaro and Randy DePuniet were tied in points for the top CRT racer in the series. Espargaro emerged from Indianapolis with the lead following an excellent 10th place finish. Despite shifting issues that caused him to find false neutrals in the gear box, Espargaro soldiers on for a fine result. He spoke following about the afternoon following the checkered flag. “I was very focused on having a good race, because I had a lot of fun riding this weekend. I got a good start and was feeling comfortable, but at the midway point of the race, I realized that the gearbox was starting to fail. Suddenly, the bike went into a false neutral. I was still able to catch Valentino and tried to follow him on every corner, but when I hit the false neutral again, I ran wide. I had to make up the time again every time. I stick with Hernandez after that, but it was hard to get past him with this issue. Despite everything, I was able to place tenth and got six points for my tally, so we have to be satisfied and look forward to next weekend.”
An unfortunate mechanical issue forced teammate Randy DePuniet out of the race with a DNF. He was disappointed when he spoke after the event. “I started strong, but Aleix (Espargaro) and Yonny (Hernandez) soon got past me. I then stuck behind them to study their riding. The race started to heat up, but I didn’t want to take any risks. Two laps before the clutch broke, I felt something strange; in the first corner I found it impossible to change gear and lost nearly a second there. On the same lap, on the chicane before the straight, I could tell that something had stopped working correctly and again lost two seconds. The next lap went ok, but after that the clutch gave up on me. I am disappointed, because once again we have lost a lot of points, but now we have to look at the positives and continue to work hard ahead of Brno to recover those points.”
Indianapolis marked the first race for Jordi Torres as part of the Bel-Ray sponsored Mapfre Aspar team. He rewarded the team for their confidence and placed a strong 19th place in this highly competitive class. Nico Terol continued his move toward the top of the Moto2 class with a positive 13th place finish, matching his season's best result.
Terol spoke positively about the event. “I am very happy with the big step forward that we have taken this weekend. We were inside the top ten in every session and the pace was formidable. I can take plenty of positives from the weekend. In the race, I was fighting hard on the opening laps as part of an aggressive group, but I still felt comfortable. From lap ten onwards, I saw that the tires had taken a big dip in performance and that it was going to be hard to keep up the pace. It was tough for me, because I could see how my pace dropped off and couldn’t do anything about it. I am still satisfied with myself in any case, because I could take some points away from here. The team did a great job and it is thanks to them that we are progressing and getting more solid in this class. I hope that we continue like this at Brno. We know that we can be up at the front -we just need to finish that way.”
Torres was also positive with his results at Indianapolis. “At the start, I treated the race like just another practice session. It was an opportunity for me to continue to learn and adapt. I wanted to see how I could adapt to the tire wear and to a 26-lap battle. I got a pretty good start, but when I changed from first to second gear, I hit a false neutral and lost a lot of positions. I had to make another comeback, but I was riding alone and had to focus on replicating my practice pace. The slow comeback was positive and the important thing is that I have regained a feel for GP riding upon my return. I leave Indianapolis satisfied with our work and now I have a clearer idea about things. I hope that we continue to improve at Brno.
The newest member of the Mapfre Aspar team, Jonas Folger rewarded his new team with a fantastic third place finish in his first event. From a fifteenth place starting position, Folger charged through the field into ninth in the space of a single lap. Keeping sight of the leaders, Folger was able to take advantage when a competitor crashed on the final lap giving him the final step on the podium. He spoke about the great opportunity that he has been given by the team for the remainder of the series. “I feel very happy about this podium. The season had been difficult up to now and I have got a good result finally after joining a great team. I love being able to show that I can be competitive with a good bike and a good team. I want to thank them for this magnificent opportunity.”
Teammate Hector Faubel suffered a crash in qualifying practice and spent the night in the hospital at Indianapolis for observation. Despite pain in his abdomen, lumbar and left elbow, the Spaniard will attempt to recover in time for the next GP.
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