Bike it Cosworth Wild Wolf Yamaha’s Arnaud Tonus was able to take his potent YZ250F to fifth overall at a busy Talkessel circuit in Teutschenthal for the Grand Prix of Germany and the ninth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship. Just behind in sixth was Zach Osborne although the current British Champion is now fighting a fitness battle after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus last Thursday.
Sunny and hot weather conditions greeted 40,000 spectators for the busiest and most boisterous atmosphere of the season so far. The undulating and flowing hard-pack course was heavily rutted in many corners and on numerous take-offs. The layout was tricky for passing and again placed emphasis on the launch from the gate.
Tonus made two decent starts and was unlucky not to be able to catch Osborne as the team-mate finished fifth and sixth in the first moto. The Swiss had a problem with his hand-guard that impeded the clutch lever from fully extending, and affected the engine performance at the end of the 35 minutes and 2 laps. In the second race Arnaud slotted into second place in the opening exchanges but lost control of the Yamaha dropping through a small downhill and had to remount. On this occasion his stylish pace drew him up to and past the American as the pair reversed positions but again placed fifth and sixth.
For Osborne the Grand Prix was a test of attrition and a glimpse into his capabilities while struggling with illness. ‘338’ was able to start with the leaders and ran alone for long stretches of the motos but the exertions in the warm weather took their toll as the Virginian promptly vomited all over his bike upon reaching the finish line of the second race. The strategy now for Osborne is to carefully oversee his fitness and health on a day-by-day basis and judge his participation in the upcoming events with a view towards a better condition for the British Grand Prix in mid-August.
In the MX2 Championship standings Osborne and Tonus are fifth and sixth respectively and separated by nine points. MX1 rider Jason Dougan has undergone surgery on his injured wrist and is expected to be out for six weeks.
Bike it Cosworth Wild Wolf Yamaha now continue with their hectic race schedule and move east to Kegums, an hour outside of Riga, for the Grand Prix of Latvia next week.
“It has been a good weekend overall. I had a good race on Saturday. The first moto saw a decent start and nice race rhythm but then we had a small problem with the bike when the hand-guard came up and was stopping the clutch lever from going out fully. I did what I could from that point. I was up in second at the beginning of the second moto, which was amazing, but I made a small mistake. I was a bit disappointed and found it hard to get back in the race. After twenty-five minutes it was much better and I could catch Zach and pass him but it was a tough one. I’ve been consistent for the championship but this was a missed chance. It was great to see so many people here and a noisy crowd like that.”
“My plan this morning was just to go out in the first moto and give all I could for as long as I could. I was fine with ten minutes to go and then I tired a little bit. In the second race I was riding OK but didn’t have that extra speed. I made it to fifteen minutes and thought ‘OK, let’s see how much more I can go’, it got to ten minutes from the end and I just carried on. I was like Forrest Gump; ‘I’ve reached the State line, so now I’ll just run across the country’. I ended up being sick all over the bike. We will take it day-by-day now and see how I feel. Today I was able to ride at a pace for the top five but to be honest the track was not super-physically demanding; on a rougher surface we will have to see. It is a tough thing to do deal with and this hasn’t been the healthiest season of my life but we are still getting good results. We will carry on from here and I want to thank Steve and everyone for helping and supporting me.”
Steve Dixon, Team Manager:
“Both riders scored good points. Arnaud had a bit of bad luck in the first one and Zach is obviously struggling right now even though he made a great effort today. We are the best of the second bunch at the moment; Zach cannot hold his pace all race and Arnaud is making a couple of little mistakes that is keeping him away from the podium. It is a shame we are not getting on the rostrum but we have to get through this period.”