Team 9MM Energy Drink BUD Racing Kawasaki was on different tracks this weekend, with the third round of the French Elite at Castelnau de Levis and the first round of the Women World Championship in Czech Republic. Once again our colours shine on a podium with Lucas and Sacha Coenen.
Women first, with Amandine Verstappen who already won all the rounds of the French championship this year – in fact she never lost a moto in France since 2019 – before traveling with her father to Loket. Back on this typical track she posted good laps in qualifying and improved her results in the races with a fourth and a sixth; fifth overall, only three points from the podium, she will race her home GP next week at Lommel.
At Castelnau de Levis Lucas and Sacha Coenen had good timed practice periods, with a pole for Sacha in group A and a second position for Lucas in group B. Lucas grabbed the holeshot and lead the first moto until a lapper crash in front of him! Nowhere to go, and Sacha was the new leader while his brother recovers in third position on the finish line; after the race the first three riders got penalised, and lost five positions. That didn’t affect too much our riders, who dominate the second moto; Lucas won the race seven seconds ahead of his brother, and twenty-five ahead the third rider of this moto. Classified second (Lucas) and third (Sacha) overall, they are leading the series with just one point between Sacha (he keeps the red plate) and Lucas before the next round this weekend at Romagne.
In the MX2 class it was a ‘discovery day’ for Hakon Fredriksen, who race for the first time on the hard pack of Castelnau de Levis. Eighth in his qualifying group our Norwegian had a strong opening moto as he came back from tenth to fifth, just losing a few positions during the last laps to cross the finish line in eighth. His second race will be stronger, coming back from seventeenth to sixth for sixth overall. It was a tougher day for Quentin Prugnières who hit his knee in a practice crash, in both races he was able to find his way for a top ten after the start, but after one lap he was dead last in the first race as he stalled his engine in a corner; back in thirteenth place, he retires early in race two due to technical problem.
Next weekend our 125 riders will be at Romagne for the fourth round of the French Junior, while Amandine and our 250 riders will be at the Belgium MXGP at Lommel.
Amandine Verstappen: “I couldn’t find a clear lap during Qualifying so I was only eighth behind the gate but I’m always better in a race than in a timed practice session. My first start was good and I was fighting for the third position for most of the race, but the track had changed since the practice session and at one point my feeling with the suspensions wasn’t so good. We worked on the settings for the second race but my start was not as good as the first one and for two or three laps I wasn’t riding as I usually can but I finished sixth for fifth overall. The positions are tight in the standings, and I feel that we are now six to eight girls who are capable of scoring podium results. This week I’ll go riding with the team on sandy tracks; I know Lommel and I’m confident for this round. »
Sacha Coenen: “The free practice wasn’t so good, but I did a good lap in the timed practice session. I was second at the start of the first race, but I did a few mistakes and was third after the opening lap; then I came back second, and when my brother crash I got the lead and won the race. The track was better for me in race two; I was 5th or 6th in the first corner, and came second during the first lap; I couldn’t close the gap with Lucas, but got another podium result.”
Lucas Coenen: “Practice sessions were not so good for me, but I manage to finish second in the timed practice session. I got the holeshot in the first race and was leading the moto until a lapper crashed in front of me, I crash also and finish the race third. I got another good start in the second race, was second in the first corner and came first after a few seconds; it was a good race, I didn’t do any mistake and it was good to win this race, a good weekend for me.”