Wilvo Yamaha MXGP overcome poor luck
Just one week on from a podium finish at the hard-pack venue of Pietramurata, the Wilvo Yamaha MXGP squad jumped into the sandy terrain of Valkenswaard for round six of the FIM Motocross World Championship. The race has been kind to both riders in the past, so hopes were high entering the event that is close to home for the team
Arnaud Tonus got off to a superb start in practice on Saturday, as he logged the fastest time in the pre-qualifying session. That left him on pole position in the qualifying race that took place later that day. ‘4’ put that gate pick to good use in the heat, as he rounded turn one inside of the top five, but a crash on lap one left him in a precarious position. Although he faced a substantial deficit, he was not to be deterred and charged forward to sixteenth at the chequered flag. Shaun Simpson was a little further up the order; he advanced from eleventh on lap one to seventh at the chequered flag.
The first of two MXGP motos took place in warmer conditions, much to the delight of the many fans in attendance. Mediocre starts hindered the Wilvo Yamaha MXGP duo, but Arnaud Tonus was dealt the worst hand. A crash at the start of lap two forced him to restart in dead last and, for the second time in two days, he had to push through the field to salvage a respectable result. The Swiss pilot was eventually classified in fourteenth.
Shaun Simpson was in a poor position also, but had less work to do. The Scotsman rounded the first lap in twentieth and then moved all the way up to twelfth in the thirty-minute moto, despite a small crash. The finish set him up well to achieve a strong overall result. Simpson actually ran lap times that were competitive with those in the top eight, despite the fact that he was pushing forward from the back, as did Tonus.
The start of the second MXGP moto was much more positive, as both riders escaped the first couple of laps unscathed and on the cusp of the top ten. Arnaud Tonus moved forward immediately to take ninth, which was where he finished, and twelfth overall on the day. Shaun Simpson lost some ground after stalling his machine on lap three, but clawed his way up to thirteenth at the finish. Simpson was fourteenth overall on the day.
Arnaud Tonus now sits ninth in the series standings, just two positions ahead of Shaun Simpson. The next round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place at the sandy circuit of Kegums in two weeks.
Arnaud Tonus and Shaun Simpson, of Wilvo Yamaha MXGP, descended on the scenic venue of Pietramurata this past weekend, as the Italian circuit played host to the fifth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship. Tonus, a race winner in his homeland seven days prior, arrived at the hillside with some momentum in his corner.
The Swiss pilot put that to good use in the two practice sessions on Saturday morning, as he recorded lap times that put him inside of the top three each time. That, unfortunately, did not quite translate to a great start in the qualifying heat, as he rounded lap one on the cusp of the top fifteen and with a considerable amount of work to do.
Recording lap times that were competitive with the leaders, Tonus carved through the field with some elegant riding and secured the ninth pick of the gate for the following day. Shaun Simpson, on the other hand, was not so fortunate. Although he started outside of the top ten, he made some quick moves to advance to ninth almost immediately. ‘24’ was competitive in that position until a small crash curtailed his efforts and left him in eighteenth at the chequered flag.
A brilliant start in the first MXGP moto left Arnaud Tonus inside of the top three at the end of lap one and right with a pair of former champions. Tonus shadowed his competitors in a calculated manner through the first half of the race, then pounced on the rider in the runner-up position on lap twelve of nineteen. Tonus then started to erase the deficit between himself and the race leader, but ran out of time. Just two seconds separated him from the eventual winner at the end of the thirty-minute moto!
Tonus was restricted by a mediocre start in the second outing, but again showed good pace whilst edging closer to the top five. After spending a majority of the encounter in sixth, he eventually crossed the line in seventh and secured third overall on the weekend. The thirty-six points that he achieved also saw him jump to eighth in the series standings.