IN FAENZA MX1 BOG
Team Teka Suzuki's Ken De Dycker defied horrendous race conditions to finish second in the opening round of the World MX1 Championship in Faenza in Italy today.
The first Grand Prix of 15 in the 2009 FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship saw some extraordinary circumstances for the team: After a dry day of practice and qualification, the Monte Coralli circuit was hit by a 10-hour deluge of rain that transformed the short hard-pack layout into a boggy mess.
But De Dycker managed to conquer the near-impossible racing conditions by taking the fuel-injected RM-Z450 to second position on the podium.
So treacherous was the soaked, sticky and slippery terrain that the FIM cancelled the second motos of both the MX1 and MX2 classes as the riders were struggling to ascend the steep uphills and some were even becoming engorged in the ooze, unable to be freed.
Teka Suzuki team mate Steve Ramon gained a fantastic holeshot and led for the first two laps until a bent gear lever meant he struggled to shift and was soon a victim to the hills. De Dycker started back in the second half of the pack. He was one of many to pit for clean goggles and his careful persistence throughout the moto elevated him to the top three. He was able to relegate Clement Desalle on the final circulation to seal second place; equalling his result of 2008, obtained at the same venue just six months ago. Ramon would plug away to reach the finish line with nine points for 12th.
With their ranking in the final classification of the Italian Grand Prix, the Teka Suzuki duo holds the same places in the fledgling world championship standings.
The Grand Prix of Bulgaria at the Sevlievo circuit will be the second round of 15 next weekend and precedes a trip to Istanbul for the first world championship event in Turkey seven days later.
Ken De Dycker - 2nd:
"I knew I would do OK here but I really don't like this place when it is a dry track. It is too fast and if you don't get good starts then it is really hard. Luckily the rain came and it changed everything. You had to look for the lines and that's what I think I am good at. It was only one moto but together with my trainer and people around me we agreed that I needed to be 100% ready for the first three weeks because it would be too easy to lose points in these races."
Steve Ramon - 12th:
"My start was really good and I was happy to take the holeshot here because I knew it was really important. On the second lap I discovered that the gear lever was bent and couldn't shift anymore. From that moment it was really difficult to get up the hills and I had a crash a bit later on. It was hard to pick up the bike because the ground was so sticky and I lost a lot of time. After that I did my laps and finished where I could. It is a pity because I actually like to ride in these conditions; it could have been better for sure."
Sylvain Geboers - Team Principal:
"This year we started the world championship in the south of Europe in the search of good weather but it was not to be. Our riders, however, can ride very well in all kinds of conditions. Steve made a brilliant start but unfortunately bent his gear lever. He managed to keep in the lead riding with very low rpm but as soon as he hit traffic it was too difficult. Ken just kept going and did well in the circumstances. We showed that the bikes worked great - no problems at all - and now we are looking for better in Bulgaria."
Results: Grand Prix of Italy, Faenza (Round 1 of 15):
MX1 Moto 1: 1. Tanel Leok (EST, Yamaha); 2. Ken De Dycker (BEL, Team Teka Suzuki WMX1); 3. Clement Desalle (BEL, Honda); 4. Aigar Leok (EST, TM); 5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, Yamaha) 12. Steve Ramon (BEL, Team Teka Suzuki WMX1).
MX1 Overall Classification and World Championship standings (after 1 round): 1. Tanel Leok (25); 2. Ken De Dycker (22); 3. Clement Desalle (20); 4. Aigar Leok (18); 5. Antonio Cairoli (16); 12. Steve Ramon (9).