Hitachi Construction Husqvarna’s Ben Watson is already showing progress in his second season of Grand Prix racing and equalled his personal best moto finish at Valkenswaard in Holland.
The teenager had to source his own bikes to make the trips to Qatar and Thailand but was operating out of the British team’s framework over Easter weekend and rode to a decent eighth place in the first race before crashing from another potential top 10 early in the second.
Watson’s charge at the first time of asking at the Grand Prix of Europe meant #919 had positive feelings from the opening European fixture on the calendar. “It was a pretty good feeling to come away knowing I’m up to 12th in the championship and had been the best Brit and top Husqvarna,” he says. “I made some silly mistakes and I need to get better at finding quick lap-times at the start of the weekend but my speed is good and at the moment that is all I am bothered about.”
Great Britain may have Max Anstie pushing for glory in MX2, although the third-placed finisher in the 2015 championship has yet to show his speed on the works Husky, but the country can look to the likes of Watson and the soon-to-be returning Adam Sterry for a bright future in the category with the progress of Conrad Mewse in EMX250 adding another name to the group.
With Jeffrey Herlings likely to move out of the class in 2017 and Anstie and Alex Tonkov having to depart due to reaching the 23 age limit (and the likes of Petar Petrov, Dylan Ferrandis, Julien Lieber, Benoit Paturel and Jeremy Seewer all facing their final year in ’17) Watson is superbly placed to be in the frame for a factory-supported ride in the coming two seasons.