FIM Motocross World Championship


The Grand Prix of Portugal was a damp and testing seventh Grand Prix of 16 in the FIM Motocross World Championship for Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe, but through the mud and ruts of the Agueda dirt, Harri Kullas and Petar Petrov were able to take their factory-backed RM-Z250s to 11th and 12th positions overall in the MX2 class.

The team drove to Portugal through the week after round six in France and were happy to be joined by Kullas as the Fin had made enough of a recovery from his second-race crash at St Jean to be able to buckle-up the boots for Agueda. The short and snaking layout was not the easiest challenge for overtaking, or plotting a course through the pack if the crucial start from the gate was not the best. Rain and then sunshine marked both motos and altered the slippery track throughout the day.

Kullas struggled with arm-pump and a mediocre start in the first moto but defied a stiff neck to secure points with 15th spot. A better launch and 'looser' physical condition in the second race - the drier track also offering more line choice - permitted the 20 year old to enter the top 10 and take ninth.

Petrov was restricted by the need to throw away his goggles in the muddy first moto but chased Mel Pocock hard for 12th position. A brighter getaway and more-efficient speed in the second race dipped away after the Bulgarian waivered in his attempts to pass Romain Febvre and sadly a possible top-10 finish became another 12th place and at least keeps the youngster in a consistent path.

Another meeting of dedication and efficient points gain means that Kullas and Petrov consolidate positions on the edge of the top 10 in the FIM Motocross World Championship standings. The former holds 11th place with his team-mate in 12th.

Great news is in the Northwest European EMX85cc series as Brian Hsu grabbed second and first positions in the two motos at Bielstein in Germany today. The exciting youngster took his Suzuki to the top-step of the podium in the fourth round from five.

Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe will now motor back through the Iberian Peninsula and France to reach Bastogne and a new circuit for the Grand Prix of Belgium next week.

Harri Kullas:

"There are a few positives from this weekend: I was able to come here and ride and get some points, but really I like to come to a track and give 100% and that was difficult for me. I was a bit disappointed although my neck is still very stiff from last week. It affected my arms and I had a lot of arm-pump in the first moto. I felt a bit better in the second but I was tired and couldn't really get my corner speed like I wanted. I had a bad start in the first one and although I could recover a bit I was too slow. The second moto was better - the start also - and I just tried to keep the speed with the guys in front. In the end Tixier crashed again and I could move up. The team really supported me this weekend and I'm really happy about that. They didn't push me and the bike worked really good. We found a decent setting for the engine so that was another positive thing from today."

Petar Petrov:

"Overall it wasn't a bad weekend. I had a good start in the second race and things were going much better but trying to pass Febvre I got really tired and couldn't get around. I ended 12th; not bad but I think it could have been eighth if I had been able to overtake earlier. Both heats were difficult because with the rain the track had become very rutty and bumpy and I had to throw away my goggles in the first. I'm looking towards Belgium now and to do better there."

MX2 Moto1: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39:10.276; 2. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +0:24.395; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:34.653; 4. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:38.290; 5. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:44.211; 6. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:50.077; 7. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:58.699; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:02.894; 9. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), +1:07.030; 10. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +1:28.511; 12. Petar Petrov (BUL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), +1:49.786. 15. Harri Kullas (FIN, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), +1:54.058.

MX2 Moto2: 1. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 40:43.230; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:20.811; 3. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +1:14.010; 4. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:22.077; 5. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +1:24.427; 6. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +1:55.160; 7. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), -1 lap(s); 8. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), -1 lap(s); 9. Harri Kullas (FIN, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), -1 lap(s); 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), -1 lap(s); 12. Petar Petrov (BUL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), -1 lap(s).

MX2 Overall Result: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 47 points; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 45 p.; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 37 p.; 4. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 31 p.; 5. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 31 p.; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 28 p.; 7. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), 24 p.; 8. Romain Febvre (FRA, KTM), 20 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 19 p.; 10. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 18 p.; 11. Harri Kullas (FIN, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 18 p.; 12. Petar Petrov (BUL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 18 p.

MX2 World Championship Standings (after 7 of 16 rounds): 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 317 points; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 293 p.; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 268 p.; 4. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 204 p.; 5. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 191 p.; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 187 p.; 7. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 175 p.; 8. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), 129 p.; 9. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 126 p.; 10. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 125 p.; 11. Harri Kullas (FIN, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 123 p.; 12. Petar Petrov (BUL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 108 p.

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