The 250 European Championship was not at the program of the French Grand Prix, so team Bud Racing Kawasaki offered to Quentin Prugnières a wild card entry for his first ever MX2 Grand Prix.
The European Championship is a step leading young riders to the World championship, and history has often shown us that a rider racing the top ten in Europe can perform in his GP debut. At Villars sous Ecot, the track was very tricky on Saturday due to extensive and fresh work and wet ground; Quentin struggled to find his marks and got a twenty-third place behind the grid. Seventeenth in the qualifying heat, he discover a different track on Sunday, as the club did a tremendous job of track preparation overnight.
On Sunday his first race was pretty short due to a technical problem, but he bounced back with a vengeance in the second moto. A twelfth-placed start gave the French youngster confidence and he pushed forward into the top-ten before half-distance, even holding down ninth for a time to claim an impressive tenth place at the chequered flag on his GP debut.
Quentin Marc Prugnières: “It was my first GP and I rode too tense all weekend until the second moto. I had to retire in the first race, but in the second one I got decent start in twelfth position and could keep the pace during the entire moto. We go back home with a positive feeling and we’ll continue to work to prepare for the next rounds of the European championship.”
Quentin Prugnières scores this weekend a top five result during the fourth round of the 250 European Championship, just five weeks’ after he broke a collarbone. Young Australian Liam Owens scores his first points, for his second race in Europe.
Forced to retire early on Saturday during the first moto, Quentin Prugnières needed several laps of race two on Sunday to discover the lines around the track and, after a superb start which saw him third on the opening lap, an off-track excursion on lap three saw him pushed back temporarily to seventh. As he became more acquainted with the track he settled into a succession of solid lap-times which carried him back to fifth at the finish. Despite his first moto zero he will head to the next round of the championship in Latvia eighth in the series standings with seven rounds remaining, but before he will enter the MX2 French Grand Prix at Villars sous Ecot on May 20-21.
Australian teenager Liam Owens opened his points account in the first moto with a solid ride to sixteenth. The fifteen-year-old had already impressed earlier in the day with eleventh-fastest time in practice, just one week after arriving in Europe. Liam went to the gate optimistic for the second race on Sunday morning but he got caught up in an incident halfway round the opening lap of race two on the heavily-watered sticky track. Undeterred he persevered to the finish to push from last to twenty-second, two positions short of the points, at the finish.
Quentin Marc Prugnières: “Yesterday I had to retire early in the race, but my start was better today and already in the first few corners I gained several positions. The first part of the race was not so good; I rode too tense on the muddy track and it took me time to find the best lines. I was happy with the second part of my race; I could improve my lap times and physically I felt much better than last week in Portugal. During the last few laps I was able to keep the championship leaders behind me and they were pushing really hard! I can’t say that I’m happy with a fifth but the way I achieved it gives me confidence for the GP of France in two weeks as I will race the MX2 GP class there.”
Liam Owens: “I’m very happy with my progress this weekend and I’ve learnt a lot. Timed practice went well; I had good speed, up there with the top guys. There are still some things I need to work on like my race-craft and starts but there were also a lot of positives. Yesterday the track was more like home; we don’t get much of the conditions like it was this morning but it’s good to learn. We fly back to Australia tomorrow, but I hope I can come back sooner than later. I love racing here in Europe; it’s awesome.”
Hossegor, May 8th 2023
Quentin Prugnières claimed fifth overall in the third round of the FIM European EMX250 Championship, at Agueda in Portugal.
Just four weeks after breaking a collarbone, Quentin charged hard in both motos to move up the leaderboard each time missing the overall podium by just three points. After advancing from tenth to fourth in the first moto on Saturday he moved quickly to fifth already on the opening lap of race two with a series of exhilarating passes but then found himself in the role of lonely chaser for the remainder of the race. After losing ground at the last round as a result of a collarbone injury he is now back to seventh in the series points standings and is poised to make further gains next weekend in Spain.
Liam Owens, a fifteen-year-old from Australia, joined the team for the Iberian rounds of the series as the bike of injured Benjamin Garib was available. Liam was making his debut for the us this weekend, showed great spirit against older more-experienced opposition to narrowly miss the points, finishing twenty-third in each moto.
Quentin Marc Prugnières: “It was a tough weekend; I couldn’t ride as I want but it’s like that. Four weeks ago I broke my collarbone and now I’m missing time on the bike as I could only train two times since Arco, so to get two top-five results is not that bad. I did my best in both motos and we’ll continue to train hard to reach our goals. Today was physically demanding as it was really hot; I stayed on two wheels this weekend but that’s not enough for me.”
Liam Owens: “I’m very grateful to Kawasaki Bud Racing for giving me this opportunity; it’s a great experience. I only flew into Europe this week so I’ve not had much time to practice but I’m learning more-and-more every time I go out onto the track. I’m happy with my progress and we can work more on set-up before heading to Spain; I’m aiming to score points next weekend.”
Hossegor, May 1st
Injured two weeks ago during the last round of the French Championship, Quentin Prugnières bravely attempt to salvage points at the second round of the European Championship in Italy this weekend.
Team Bud Racing Kawasaki and Quentin Prugnières took together the decision to travel in Italy, less than two weeks after surgery to his broken collarbone. Testing his KX 250 on Tuesday in Southern France Quentin had no pain, so the team travelled to Arco di Trento with the aim to defend his second place in the series standings and score as many points as possible.
Unfortunately a fall in traffic at turn two of the opening moto on Saturday left him with a mountain to climb but he gritted his teeth to scythe through the pack to nineteenth by the end of the half-hour race. His second race on Sunday was pretty similar, spoilt by a first-lap incident which left the French youngster at the end of the field after a mid-pack start. Posting solid lap-times despite the physical discomfort he salvaged three points for eighteenth at the finish to retain a top-ten series ranking, just twenty-one points shy of third in the points chase with nine rounds remaining. Quentin will skip the next round of the French Championship this weekend at Vesoul, to recover and prepare the Portuguese round of the European series.
Quentin Marc Prugnières: “I did what I could but it was not easy after crashes with other riders soon after the start in each moto. It’s a shame as my rhythm and my physical condition were good; I didn’t have too much pain to my collarbone and I know that the next round will be better so I stay motivated.”
After a successful year in supercross in 2022, the Bud Racing Kawasaki Team is back for another year in the WSX World Supercross Championship, which begins July 1st in Birmingham.
With two Frenchmen, an American and an Australian, the team finished third in the 250cc championship and scored top five finishes in the 450cc class, so you can imagine that the team is determined to do at least as well in 2023. The championship will feature no less than 6 events around the world (Birmingham UK, Lyon FR, Asia, Dusseldorf DE, Vancouver CA, Melbourne AU).
For this the Bud Racing Kawasaki team announced a few weeks ago the renewal of the contract of the six-time French supercross champion, Cedric Soubeyras. Runner-up to Marvin Musquin at the 2021 Paris Supercross, Cedric is eager to compete again with the rest of the world’s riders and show what he can do.
His team-mate in the 450cc class will be the American Justin Hill, former 250 AMA supercross champion. He’s eager to get back on the Kawasaki that had previously worked so well for him, as he won 8 AMA Supercross races on this bike and was the last Kawasaki rider to win an AMA 250 Supercross championship. This will be a first one for the American in the WSX World Championship who is currently in the top 10 of the premier class in the American championship and who continues to improve with each race (7th in Detroit).
Stay tuned for the names of the riders who will represent us in 250, they should be revealed very soon.
Hossegor, April 6th 2023