The rocky hard-pack track in Orlyonok, Russia provided a real test for both man and machine but Steven Clarke, Michele Cervellin, Calvin Vlaanderen, and Alberto Forato were all able to put in season-best finishes, with Clarke the pick of the bunch as he was able to take the win in the second EMX250 moto.
Tim Gajser also continued his solid run of results with a fifth overall after some hard-fought battles for his five-four results. On a track that was difficult to pass on, Team HRC’s Gajser made some good moves early on in race one to get up to fifth, while an unfortunate mistake at the end of the second moto dropped him down to fourth after he spent most of the race in third. Assomotor Honda’s Arminas Jasikonis overcame his last gate-pick handicap to get another top 10 overall on board his Honda CRF450R, while his teammate Petar Petrov was one of many victims of the rocky conditions as a stone destroyed his chain wheel in the second moto.
In the MX2 class, an ecstatic Michele Cervellin put in the best ride of his career to finish third in the second race. After his CRF250R helped him get a great start, the Martin Racing rider kept a strong pace throughout the moto and held off any challenges as he recorded his first ever top three finish. Combined with his seventh in race one, this gave the Italian rider fourth overall, just one point off what would have been a fully deserved podium spot. Just behind him in the points was Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen, scoring one fewer than his fellow Honda rider after his six-four results.
It was also a very successful day for Honda Motor Europe in the European 250 class where a victory for Carglass Honda’s Steven Clarke in the second race meant that the English rider finished second overall. After a 10th in race one, Clarke got off to a great start in the second race on his CRF250R, stalking the leader until he found a gap for the pass, which he did midway through the race. From then on, he pulled away and cruised to his first race victory of the season, which moved him up to seventh in the championship. Behind him Team Redmoto Assomotor ride Alberto Forato also had a season-best finish, going seven-five for fourth overall, just missing out on a podium spot. Team mate Mathys Boisrame also got himself a top 10 overall, which maintained his fifth place in the title-race, 13 points off the lead. Freek van der Vlist had his best moto result of the season in race one, finishing in 14th place.
All the riders now have a weekend off before their respective championships resume at the MXGP of Latvia, where the Kegums sand track hosts the seventh round of the series on May 12th and 13th.