Damp and difficult conditions for Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe in Sweden

Damp and difficult conditions again lay in store for Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe on FIM Motocross World Championship duty as the Grand Prix of Sweden at Uddevalla kicked off the second half of the international racing campaign for the German crew.

Armed with their factory-backed RM-Z250s Petar Petrov walked away from the ninth round of 16 in the series with 16th place overall.

An audience of 22,000 braved the rolling clouds and showers and scaled the slippery rocky hill next to the relentless layout north of Gothenburg to check out the best the MX1 and MX2 classes had to offer. The track held up reasonably well through the heavy rain of the weekend but the soft and shallow dirt tended to form a single dry line that made overtaking a risky task. The ground ranged from rough and bumpy to greasy and deceptive in the various looping sections of the course.

Petrov showed good speed during Saturday and real promise to trouble the upper echelons of the MX2 leaderboard. The Bulgarian battled through the watery mud to secure 11th place in spite of a crash that saw him slither back into the reaches of the top 20. The youngster could not do any better in the second race after a fall with other riders at the start and then a frustrating collision with a backmarker in the wake of working his way to 15th. He passed the flag with 18th spot.

Harri Kullas suffered some bad luck on Saturday after catching green fencing in his rear wheel during the qualification heat that caused him to retire and contemplate a lowly gate position for Sunday. The Fin's fortunes did not improve during the first moto where he caught and twisted his left knee. He painfully retired and will now undergo a scan at the Ortema medical facility tomorrow to determine the extent of the damage and the required course of action.

With half of the calendar now consigned to the statistics sheet both Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe riders are staring at 11th (Kullas) and 12th (Petrov) positions in the MX2 standings. Kullas is 31 points from moving up to 10th (25 count for a moto victory) and Petrov needs one point to rise above his team-mate.

Trips to Kegums (Latvia) and Semigorje (Russia) constitute the team's Grand Prix commitments for July with the back-to-back events kicking off on July 15th.

Petar Petrov:

"I feel horrible about today. The weekend was going so well until the races! In the first moto I got a bad start and then I came up to 10th or 11th and tried to pass Tixier but then I crashed. I came back from 18th to 11th and my riding was good. I went down at the start of the second moto but came back strongly until I ran into a lapper. It seems I am missing good luck these days and I am 'down' right now. Today could easily have been two top-10 results because I had the speed to do it. A shame."

Harri Kullas:

"I just twisted my knee in that first moto because the track was slippy and it was difficult to see. I had a lot of pain right away and I really don't know what I have done. We will have more information tomorrow."

MX2 Moto1: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39:51.669; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:03.017; 3. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:53.378; 4. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:05.289; 5. Zachary Osborne (USA, Yamaha), +1:17.557; 6. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +1:22.205; 7. Alexander Tonkov (RUS, Honda), +1:40.416; 8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +1:41.138; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), -1 lap(s); 10. Benoit Paturel (FRA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s); 11. Petar Petrov (BUL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), -1 lap(s).

MX2 Moto2: 1. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 40:12.526; 2. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +0:18.574; 3. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:27.266; 4. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +0:29.925; 5. Zachary Osborne (USA, Yamaha), +0:51.319; 6. Christophe Charlier (FRA, Yamaha), +1:05.434; 7. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +1:19.931; 8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +1:23.237; 9. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +1:24.264; 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), +1:34.735; 18. Petar Petrov (BUL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), -1 lap(s).

MX2 Overall result: 1. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 47 points; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39 p.; 3. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 38 p.; 4. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 33 p.; 5. Zachary Osborne (USA, Yamaha), 32 p.; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 26 p.; 7. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 25 p.; 8. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 22 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 21 p.; 10. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 18 p.; 16. Petar Petrov (BUL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 13 p.

MX2 World Championship Standings (after 9 of 16 rounds): 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 403 points; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 387 p.; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 330 p.; 4. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 263 p.; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 243 p.; 6. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 237 p.; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 199 p.; 8. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 177 p.; 9. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 168 p.; 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Husqvarna), 163 p.; 11. Harri Kullas (FIN, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 132 p. 12. Petar Petrov (BUL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 131 p.

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