Jordi Tixier raced to second place in the fifth round of the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship for the Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team in the GP of Europe at Valkenswaard in the Netherlands.
It was the second consecutive podium finish for the reigning world champion as he shrugs off an unfortunate start to the campaign in the early rounds of the series.
Jordi earnt a good choice of start gate with a strong ride to third place in the Qualifying race and used this to good effect as he quickly took over second place in race one, retaining that position until he was passed by fellow Kawasaki rider Max Anstie on the 11th of 17 laps.
Initially seventh in race two Jordi moved forward relentlessly to again be classified third, his consistency earning him second overall on the day and lifting the Frenchman to ninth in the series standings.
“It’s great to have a second podium in a row after Italy last weekend,” Jordi Tixier. “I’m back and happy to be there of course after a tough first part of season.
“My starts were both pretty good this weekend, and I was able to race for the podium in both races. In the second moto I lost some engine power during the last 10 minutes so I had no chance to fight with Tonkov for the second position, but my confidence is back and a big thanks to the work of the team; I’m very pleased with our set-up so I hope these two podiums are just the beginning of a long series.”
Team-mate Dylan Ferrandis battled hard against adversity to retain second place in the series standings. The French youngster recovered strongly to finish fourth in the Qualifying race despite a few “moments” on the rugged track and his first race effort as he charged from an initial eighth place to cross the finish line in fourth position was a credit to his determination.
After another forceful ride from 11th place on lap one to third place at the chequered flag did not bring the expected rewards as officialdom was unhappy with a race incident and demoted Dylan 10 places to 13th in the official classification.
Dylan Ferrandis offered his thoughts on the weekend’s events: “This weekend we struggled with the suspension settings, and I never felt comfortable on this track. I nearly crashed hard on Saturday during the qualifying race, and today I didn’t push as hard as I could because of this.
“In the second race I found a strong rhythm in the last 15 minutes, and took fourth place when I passed Jonass; I was faster than him but he tried to push me, so I put my leg between us to prevent any contact. I finished the race in third place but the officials gave me a penalty of 10 places, so I lost points and a podium result. In my opinion the attitude of Jonass was dangerous as we were full speed, and I find it difficult to understand this penalty.”
Max Anstie had a superb ride to pass Tixier for second place late in the first moto as he confirmed his speed in sand on the Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki, and the 22-year-old Englishman advanced quickly into the top 10 from an initial 12th in race two before issues caused his retirement from the race.
“All weekend we’ve been solid, a little bit better than last week in Italy to be honest,” Max Anstie said. “I did solid ride, solid laps and the first race was really good even if I never felt I was pushing hard so the feeling was nice!
“Unfortunately we had some troubles with the bike in the second moto and I had to retire, but I know that everyone in the team is working hard; it’s the way it is and next week we’ll race the British championship to prepare for the Spanish GP.”
The recent prolonged spell of dry weather in the Netherlands created an unusual track surface and presented US teenager Thomas Covington with yet another new challenge as he endeavours to come to terms with the unusual racing conditions sometimes encountered in Europe.
After a difficult Qualification he responded positively on race day and raced to solid 14th and 12th placings to retain his top 10 series ranking. Thomas Covington commented: “The track wasn’t really sand, but very rough with big ruts before some of the jumps; it was a lot more difficult than last year.
“To be honest I was a little scared on the track on Saturday, but today I rebounded a little and scored a 14th and a 13th position. It’s not too great but also not too bad for me in the sand, and I’m now looking ahead to be back on hardpack in Spain.”