The starts and a clean run through the first three turns proved vital after intermittent rain showers made the surface of the iconic hard-pack raceway in the shadow of the Alps even more unpredictable than usual. The Dane was able to avoid the tumult at turn three in race one to run an early eighth but fell victim to the heavy track conditions two turns later to be temporarily pushed down to twelfth. Quickly moving back up the leaderboard he had his sights on top-six with two laps remaining but significantly lost drive exiting a sticky turn before a steep climb and had to be satisfied with seventh at the finish. Caught up badly in traffic entering the first corner in race two he rode a tremendous next few corners to advance from last to tenth; it proved difficult to advance on a drying track in a rapid train until fitness played a role and with four laps remaining he was up to his eventual fifth, a moto result which secured sixth on the day and maintained fifth in the series points standings.
Mikkel Haarup: “I have mixed feelings with the day but I’m happy with my efforts and to come away with two decent motos and sixth overall. I knew this morning it would be a tricky day for me on this track. I didn’t have fantastic starts so I had to work my way up the field both motos; I felt I would have a better rhythm in the second moto but I spent a lot of energy in the first race, making a lot of mistakes and trying too much. “
F&H Kawasaki Racing Team Kevin Horgmo was unable to repeat the excellent start which had taken him to third in Qualifying the previous day and was unfortunate to be caught in the wrong place at the wrong time on the opening lap of race one. The Norwegian was on the edge of the top ten leaving turn one but then came misfortune at the tight turn three when the leader fell, pulling down more riders with him and the Kawasaki rider was left with nowhere to go as the line to which he was committed was blocked. By the end of the lap he had recovered to nineteenth and he maintained progress until he was twelfth after twenty minutes. With four laps to go, within seconds of making a further move into eleventh, he tipped over in a heavily-rutted turn to surrender the position again and eventually came home twelfth. Closed down entering the first turn in race two he was through to twelfth by the end of the first lap, broke into the top-ten after ten minutes and continued to push forward up the leaderboard. An awkward moment when he showed terrific reactions to miss a fallen rider as he closed down the top six cost several seconds but he regrouped strongly to take seventh at the chequered flag to defend sixth in the series points standings.
Kevin Horgmo: “I was stuck in the third corner after a mid-pack start in the first moto when they crashed in front of me and I had nowhere to go. It wasn’t easy to pass and I crashed two times to finish twelfth. The second moto I made a mid-pack start and we were almost riding a train with no-one able to pass. I almost crashed a couple of times but everybody else was on the edge too; a couple of the guys in front of me did crash and I ended up seventh. The starts were so important here. I don’t know why they didn’t work here today but I’m not worried; I had perfect starts in Latvia and I’m confident we can bring the starts back at Riola Sardo next weekend. I have raced the Italian championship there and we were there for pre-season training so I know the track well and it’s a good one for me. “
9MM Energy Drink BUD Racing Kawasaki’s Eddie Wade made good use of his second choice of start-gate from the Saturday Qualifying practice to leave turn one third in the second moto of the FIM European EMX250 Championship round; battling bravely in the extremely sticky conditions after heavy overnight rain the English youngster eventually finished sixth despite having to discard his goggles mid-moto. Teammate Quentin Marc Prugnières was once again unfortunate to once more be dragged to the ground halfway down the ninety-five metre sprint to the first turn, but the French teenager had already recovered to twenty-first on the opening lap and continued to push impressively through the pack to tenth before an error on the treacherous surface on the penultimate lap saw him pushed back to seventeenth at the finish.