Tanel Leok Honda CRF450R- Photo by Ray Archer -
Photo courtesy Honda Pro Racing
Race Report - MX1 World Championship, Round 11 Lommel Belgium
Tanel Leok makes it 2nd In Moto 2 at Lommel
But Leok's ‘flat Out’ style counts against him in the overall classification
LS Motors Honda rider Tanel Leok put in a hard fought performance to take 2nd position in the second moto of the Grand Prix of Limburg in Lommel, Belgium.
However, his ‘flat out’ style cost him in the overall classification as the full throttle approach of the Estonian Express caused the bike to run out of fuel on the last lap of the first moto, despite using the largest fuel tank available.
Leok had gotten away well in moto 1, running in the top six behind PAR Honda’s Brad Anderson. As the race developed he pushed past the PAR man and began to close in on Ramon and Philippaerts. On lap 13 he made the pass on both in short succession, moving into 3rd and began to create a gap, before a small mistake dropped him back to 6th. On the very last lap, his luck ran out as the tank ran dry and he slipped down the order to 13th.
Elsewhere, CAS Monster Honda rider Gareth Swanepoel put in a much improved performance, with a solid 8th place finish. His team mate Evgeny Bobryshev, struggled after a poor start to finish 12th.
LS Motors Man Davide Guarneri finished 11th, while Japanese guest rider Yu Hirata (Martin Honda) was forced to retire on lap 5. His team mate Jimmy Albertson did not race due to an injury sustained in practice.
In the second moto, Leok was determined to make amends and set out of the gate in strong fashion, within the top 10. As the laps counted down he set about picking of those in front with metronomic style.
The race moved into the later stages and he was beginning to challenge for a top 3 position, pushing Suzuki's Steve Ramon and KTM's Max Nagl into costly mistakes. Leok capitalised and moved in to 2nd, a position he held as the chequered flag came out, one lap earlier than in the first moto.
CAS Monster Honda rider, Evgeny Bobryshev had a more successful outing, finishing in 9th position just ahead of his team mate Gareth Swanepoel in 10th. Out of sorts Davide Guarneri finished in 14th, while Hirata was once again forced to retire, this time on lap 13, a victim of the maximum difficulty level of the Lommel track.
An overall classification of 5th for Tanel Leok can only be a little disappointing given that the pace was there for an overall podium, but the punishing sand of Lomel saps energy from both rider and bike far more than any other round in the World Championship calendar.
Next stop is Loket in the Czech Republic and this should provide a different test for all those aboard Honda but equally interesting.
Tanel Leok, LS Motors Honda:
“I ran out of fuel! I can’t say too much else about it and it cost me on my overall position. My riding style is of course part of the reason but also the track needs to be ridden hard and I think everyone has similar problem. The second moto ran one lap less and this made the difference. I did make a short pit stop but there was no need to and we did not need to refuel. Fortunately it didn’t cost me a position in the end.”
CAS Monster Honda:
"In the first moto I rode my own pace all race and that brought its reward. I didn’t get tired and felt OK when I finished the race, but as I took my helmet off back at the team truck I was violently sick and during the interval I had problems with my intestines. In the second moto I got a good start again and kept a good pace going for as long as I could. I tried to push it a little more after 15 minutes and paid the penalty; the last five minutes I was dead, but I got two good scores in difficult circumstances today and am now looking forward to the remaining races."
CAS Monster Honda:
"I ran into the back of Tanel Leok at turn two in the first race, and then, just after I had fought back into the top ten I stalled the engine and lost three places again. I stalled the engine again just after the tabletop near the pitlane. I went better in the second moto but it was a frustrating weekend in all."
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