Marcel Stauffer and Rene Hofer posted positive top ten finishes in the fine soil of Kegums and at the Grand Prix of Latvia for the second round of eight in the fiercely competitive EMX125 European Championship.
The KINI KTM Junior Racing Team travelled east and to the Grand Prix staple venue of Kegums, a short distance from the capital city of Riga for the second appointment on the EMX125 schedule. Fielding the KTM 125 SX machines and again operating as a duo with the injury to Mike Gwerder keeping the fourteen year old out until round three at the end of May, Austrian youngster Stauffer recovered from a second race tumble to capture sixth overall. Rene Hofer was competing with a sore right hand; the result of a medical procedure to remove a pin in his ring finger earlier this week and managed to place ninth in the classification to repeat his slot from the season-opening fixture two weeks ago in Holland.
The EMX125 races took place on Saturday and Sunday morning and in pleasant conditions as the series graced the support card of the seventh appointment for MXGP. Team Manager Didi Lacher watched his recruits struggle slightly with their starts and knows there is much more room for potential.
Lacher: “The speed and the physical condition of the guys is so good and we are happy this weekend…but things could have been so much better! We know they have the possibility to run top five and even for the podium but they never had the starts and this is something we need to work on before France. Marcel put the disappointment of not qualifying in Holland behind him and showed good mental strength and Rene rode both motos in a lot of pain. The pin in his finger had moved and he needed to have it taken out on Tuesday; he’ll have a couple of weeks rest to fully recover but already has some decent points on the board. The guys are young and they are learning every time they start a race. They are having a lot of fun and the class is action-packed from the first minute to the last. It is so nice to see how fast they are and we know they are in a development process. About Mike: he has been riding but still doesn’t have enough strength and movement and he is still growing. It would have been too risky to compete here but we are hopeful for round three.”
EMX125 will join the MXGP paddock once more at the end of the month when Grand Prix arrives to the hillside hard-pack of Ernee for the French stop on the calendar.
Results EMX125 Kegums 2017
1. Brian Strubhart Moreau (FRA), Kawasaki (1-1)
2. Kevin Horgmo (NOR), KTM (2-4)
3. Sergio Notario (SPA), KTM (10-2)
4. Thibault Benistant (FRA), YAM (5-5)
5. Isak Gifting (SWE), KTM (6-6)
6. Marcel Stauffer (AUT), KTM (7-8)
9. Rene Hofer (AUT), KTM (11-10)
Standings EMX125 2017 after 2 of 8 rounds
1. Strubhart Moreau 92 points
2. Haarup 74
3. Horgmo 71
4. Notario 69
5. Facchetti 55
7. Hofer 44
14. Stauffer 25