Guest Australian rider Dean Ferris Honda CRF450R - Photo by Ray Archer - Photo courtesy Honda Pro Racing
Race Report - MX1 World Championship, Round 14 Lierop, Netherlands
Tanel Leok top 6 overall at a tough GP of Benelux in Lierop
The LS Motors rider Tanel Leok posted a strong result at the Grand Prix of Benelux in Lierop, Netherlands going 4 - 7 to finish 6th overall at arguably the toughest race of the season.
Leok didn't start well in the opening moto - wary of the crash that bestowed him during the start of Saturday's Qualifying Race and that dropped him way down the field - but the Estonian soon pressed on to get on the back of the leading group. He began making in-roads to the top 5, pushing as high as 3rd. However, he could not repel the pressure from newly crowned champion, Cairoli, eventually succumbing on lap 10. 4th is where he would finish as Max Nagl took the spoils ahead of Cairoli. Leok's LS team mate Guarneri displayed consistent pace throughout the race to finish in a solid but somewhat lonely 9th.
Things did not go to plan for the Honda Racing MX Martin boys. Guest rider Dean Ferris - coming from a far outside gate position - crashed at turn one as he tried to make up for a disappointing Qualifying heat with sheer bravery. Unfortunately it did not pay off and the incident put an early end to any hopes of a points finish. Martin resident rider, Jimmy Albertson, also suffered cruel fate, tweaking a knee while navigating on of Lierop's nasty rutted bumps. The incident forced a retirement from the moto on lap 5 and also from the GP.
In Moto 2, LS man Leok once again got a steady start but soon began upping the pace. At the end of lap 5 he was up to 5th and on the back of first moto winner Maximilian Nagl. Within striking distance, Leok did not time his challenge well, suffering a nasty crash as he lined up for the move. That dropped him to a lonely 7th spot for the remainder of the moto, a position that would earn him 6th overall. Davide Guarneri once again put together a consistent race on a surface that does not come naturally to him to finish in 8th for an overall of the same position.
Sole remaining Martin Honda rider, Dean Ferris once again suffered a crash in the second moto. Just as the young Australian was starting to find his rhythm, a small off proved costly, another rider landing on his stricken bike and causing damage that forced his retirement.
The race was won by Antonio Cairoli who also took the overall.
Next week's Italian GP marks the season finale and all aboard the Honda CRF450R will certainly be looking to finish on a high.
Tanel Leok Honda CRF450R - Photo by Ray Archer -
Photo courtesy Honda Pro Racing
Davide Guarneri Honda CRF450R - Photo courtesy Honda Pro Racing
Tanel Leok, LS Motors Honda:
“I guess you could call it an okay day, still I felt it could have been a lot better. After a weak start in the second moto I was catching up on Ramon and Nagl who were third and fourth.
I knew that I would be on the podium when I could pass Ramon. That’s when I pushed too hard and crashed quite hard!
My handlebars were bent which made things even more complicated.
Again the start could have been better in the first moto, but my riding was good and fourth, only 18 seconds behind the winner, was not so bad either.”
LS Motors Honda:
"For a sand race today was a pretty good result with eighth and ninth place. Especially because I knew before Lierop was going to be one of the toughest races off the season.
The top five guys were not necessarily faster but they were certainly stronger! Anyway I kept on fighting in both motos and I didn’t lose time because of a big mistake so it was a positive weekend."
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Tom Hobbs in the Honda Motor Europe Press Office www.hondaproracing.com