Heading into round seven of the EMX250 championship, Mel Pocock was still in strong championship position, holding second place in the points. But mid-pack starts resulted in another tough weekend for the REVO Husqvarna rider in Northern Italy.
With Mel setting the fastest lap right at the end of race one, he clearly showed he has the speed on the FC 250 to run at the front, but poor gate picks following average times in qualification put him on the back foot in both motos and with the start vital on a track where passing was difficult Mel made life tough for himself.
Mel’s 9-5 scorecard earned him ninth overall at the MXGP of Lombardia.
With the next round at Lommel in Belgium on August 5, Mel still holds second but is now 19 points off the series lead with team-mate Martin Barr third a further 13 points behind.
“The last couple of rounds we’ve struggled in qualifying and Mel and Martin really need to focus on this,” said Team Principal, Mark Yates. “They don’t need me to tell them how important it is because qualifying position determines gate pick which can have a massive impact on where they are exiting the first turn and at the moment it’s their starts that are letting them down.
“I’m confident that they’ve got the speed – Mel set the fastest lap by almost a second in the first moto at Ottobiano on his final lap when the track was at its roughest – but if they can’t gate in the top handful of riders it is always going to be an uphill battle for them.
“The next couple of weeks we’re going to focus on starts and also putting in fast laps.
“We’ve got to try to not let the championship slip any more,” said Pocock. “I’m 19 points down now which is obviously not ideal but there are still four rounds left.
“There are positives – I know that my speed is not a problem – but I need to work on my starts and qualifying times but it’s difficult when the track is so flat at the start of the day and there are so many youngsters willing to put everything on the line.”
Speaking to Dirt Bike Rider for our exclusive Brit Report in Ottobiano, Pocock revealed: “There’s not many calculated passes, it’s just war.
“Lommel’s next and it’s never flat there so I’m looking forward to clawing back some points.”
Dylan Woodcock was also in action in Lombardia but after making the cut at the last two rounds he went out in the LCQ.
Dylan Woodcock: “I didn’t put in a great time in qualifying and in the LCQ I didn’t go forward which wasn’t good enough. It’s the Maxxis at Desertmartin this weekend and I’m aiming for a good result. I’m just going to keep on racing and keep on trying to improve every weekend.”