Sand: a symbol of fun, holidays and summer for many but for motocross athletes the loose stuff can mean a trip into racing hell as the bumps, lumps and churned terrain punishes the body, bike and soul.
Grand Prix trotted back into Finland for the first time since 2000 as round 12 of the FIM Motocross World Championship ended its northeast trek across Europe in the rippled powder of Hyvinkaa. 23,000 fans long-starved of the world’s fastest found space on the banking and saw Monster Energy Yamaha’s Dean Ferris walk the box for the third time this season on the factory YZ250F in MX2. CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit’s Tommy Searle took part in one of the hardest dust-ups the MX1 class has seen in several years.
Hyvinkaa was the scratcher’s version of a Dutch sand track: short, brutal, hard-packed in places. It was also acutely technical and allowed the clever and the brave to recover time and ground. Under welcome sunshine it was Australian Ferris who reveled in a set of fresh suspension settings and two mega starts to capture two third positions and celebrate runner-up status for the third time this season. “I feel good. It has been a few tough races recently and I think it was the track that helped me out today,” he offered-up. “My bike was fast all weekend; I was able to put it on the podium again so it’s all-good.”
Over in MX1 and Gautier Paulin had a conservative day with sixth overall on the factory Kawasaki but it was the bar-bending fireworks between Searle and Clement Desalle that captured the attention in the second moto. Searle was burning off the frustration of being taken out on the second corner of the first race and having to fight back to a top 12th place by surging through to challenge the leaders in the second moto. The British rookie’s pace was electric and he soon found himself in a dispute with Desalle for third spot. Several heavy exchanges between the pair and two harsh moves by the Belgian resulted in #100 on the floor with a bitter taste of injustice to mix with the Finnish sand. Check out the link below for the punchy dice.
“The backmarkers held me up which is the only reason he was able to catch me again,” Searle explains. “He passed me once – dirty – and then I got him back so-cleanly at the top of the hill; I had way-more of an opportunity to hit him or put him off the track but I did it cleanly. We came down to the double and he pushed me wide and off course. I got back in front and then he cleaned me out. I don’t know why because you cannot pass in that corner. He came away second and I leave with eleventh, so it worked out for him but it was a bit silly. Obviously it is disappointing when you ride well and stuff happens like that. It was a bit out of line what Desalle did, but it happened and we’ll move on to the next GP.”
With Grand Prix accelerating into the final phases of the calendar the teams and stars get a free weekend after three races on the bounce. The FIM series next lines up at the Lausitzring motorsport complex on July 28.