Bike it Cosworth Wild Wolf Yamaha had a mixed weekend of fortune at the bumpy and demanding circuit of Kegums for the Grand Prix of Latvia and the tenth round of fifteen in the FIM Motocross World Championship. Zach Osborne was able to find the energy to ride to fifth position overall despite suffering with Epstein-Barr virus while Arnaud Tonus rued his poor luck with a broken rear wheel on what should have been his best attempt at a GP podium yet.
The Latvian hard-pack was a curious mix of unforgiving dents and holes but was loose and sandy in sections. The quick and short layout was physically tough as well as punishing on the set-up and performance of the bikes. This was seen instantly in the case of Tonus’ scorecard as the Swiss rode well in the first moto to take fourth position (in spite of edging near the green fence and catching a chunk of it around his swing arm that eroded the effectiveness of the rear brake) but lucked-out in the second moto. The current British Championship series leader pulled into the pits in the opening phases of the race run in sunny conditions and in front of 21,000 spectators with a shattered rear wheel. A swift change was still not enough to enable the twenty year old to be able to fight for points and he reluctantly withdrew from proceedings.
Osborne rested as much as possible after the race in Germany last week before travelling to Latvia and the down-time helped the American as he felt in better shape to tackle the weekend. On Saturday he was in good form and although the track was a heavier prospect on Sunday Osborne made the most of two decent starts to run to seventh and fifth positions. He was almost able to reach the back of Tommy Searle in the second outing and challenge for third but was a spent force in the closing laps.
Osborne and Tonus maintain their slots of fifth and sixth in the world championship standings and are divided by 21 points. The gap to the top four is 48.
After three weeks on the road visiting Sweden, Germany and now Latvia, Bike it Cosworth Wild Wolf Yamaha will trek back to the UK this week and pitch-up at Foxhill for round six of eight in the Maxxis British Championship. The team have been dominating the MX2 class on UK shores this year. After their domestic duty, Grand Prix events in Belgium (the sand of Lommel) and Czech Republic (slippery hard-pack of Loket) take place in a fortnight starting July 31st.
“It could have been better obviously but in the first race I didn’t have a lot to ‘go’ with. In the second I found a good rhythm. I rode with Max and we both caught up to Tommy but when we hit a couple of lappers I felt ‘done’. I didn’t have enough reserves to push up and try and pass those guys. I just settled on what I had. I think this is one of the better tracks of the year. It is gnarly and the way it is now, rough and square-edged, it is definitely world championship calibre. It is one of the only places we go to that has this surface that is both hard and kinda sandy. I am feeling better day by day and yesterday was the fittest I felt in a few weeks. I seem to take a few steps forward and then back, forward and then back. I’ll be fighting through the rest of the year. 7-5 is not bad today but I think I am capable of two top fives every weekend no matter how sick I am. The next GP is really challenging for me and I have a lot to prove there so I’ll be looking forward to it.”
“It’s pretty disappointing because I had a good chance of taking decent points here and the DNF is not good for the championship. I felt the wheel go and luckily was near the pit-lane but we were too far behind by the time I got out. We still have a busy few weeks now with the British championship and then onto Lommel and Czech Republic. So we will look for better there.”
“Today was a bit of a mixture. I wasn’t expecting much from Zach so to get fifth overall is a bonus. Arnaud is riding really well but luck is not on his side. Having said that he was fortunate to finish the first moto in fourth with the green fence in his rear wheel. The broken rear wheel was a freak thing and I think it must have been seven years since we last had one. Arnaud is knocking on the door of the podium and it will come together. I think he feels comfortable running in the top three and that bodes well for the races ahead. Having both Zach and Arnaud confirmed for 2012 means we have a really strong team for next season.”