Podiums for Lorenzo Locurcio in Italy

Lorenzo Locurcio claimed several race podiums at Mantova, and enjoyed his first podium celebration last Tuesday when he finishes third overall during the sixth round of the EMX250 Championship.

Three rounds of the EMX250 were at the program within one week in Mantova, and Lorenzo shows again tremendous tenacity in all races to score his best season results on the brand new 2021 Kawasaki KX 250. Seventh at Mantova 1, he did his best performance at Mantova 2; third in his timed practice group, he had his best gate pick since arriving in Europe and put in two scintillating rides through the pack after he was hampered at the first turn each time by other riders falling in his path. In both races he was one of the fastest rider on track, and came back fifth and third to secure that position in the overall classification. The third and last round was not as good but once more Lorenzo never give up to score another race podium and to advance in seventh in the series despite missing the first round in the Netherlands.

Team mate Pierre Goupillon was not as successful as he was involved in several crashes and could only finish two races in the top six position at Mantova 2 and 3. Pierre struggles with some race incident and crashes, suffers from an old meniscus injury and finally moves back home with a painful shoulder, however he will be ready to fight at Spanish MXGP next week-end.

In the Women World Championship Amandine Verstappen missed the first GP as she was at the opening round of the French championship; just two days after winning this race she claimed a seventh position at Mantova with a fifth and a ninth in the motos. She’s also leading the French women series.

EMX125 was also at the program last Sunday, and Quentin Prugnières at 15 years old scores top ten results with a ninth and a tenth to advance tenth in the standings. Poor starts reduces hois chances to fight for the podium but the speed and fighting spirit is here and he will go for more during the next races.

Lorenzo Locurcio: “I felt great on Tuesday with my best qualifying and two strong motos. Both races I had people crashing in front of me on the start and me hitting them so I had to come a long way through the pack. The track was good; it was really rough with lots of square edges so I could play a lot of the techniques I’ve been practising and it paid off. I never gave up and was racing all the way to the chequered flag each moto to make those late passes which gave me this first podium; it really gave me the chills seeing my Venezuelan flag up there! My thanks to BUD Racing and Kawasaki for giving me the opportunity to race the series.

Pierre Goupillon: “At Mantova 2 I struggled with a damaged meniscus; it’s not a fresh injury, but a piece of bone moved and even if it was very painful I found a good rhythm all race long to finish sixth despite the pain with the knee. Then at Mantova 3 I had a good speed to come back sixth in the first moto, but the second heat was not that good; I was involved in a big pile up in the second corner and crash. I came back to seventeenth but in the waves section I hit a neutral and had a big crash; nothing is broken but my shoulder was so painful that I had to retire.

Amandine Verstappen: “I raced and won a French championship round in Fublaines on Sunday and we came straight from there to Mantova for this race so there was not so much time to rest; I was pretty tired as Fublaines was a muddy race but I was happy to be back at the GPs! My first race was good with a fifth, but my second start was bad; I was outside the top twenty and it’s very difficult to pass here. I spent most of the race fighting with Papenmeier; I posted good lap times but I need to work on my starts as there’s still one round remaining in both the French and the world championships.

Lorenzo Locurcio at Mantova: 9/5/5/3/14/3
Pierre Goupillon at Mantova: 19/13/16/6/6/DNF
Quentin Prugnières at Mantova: 8/9
Amandine Verstappen at Mantova: 5/9

Quentin Prugnières close to the podium in Europe

The 125 European Championship was back to action last weekend in Italy, with three rounds organised during one week. Quentin Prugnières showed good speed, and ends his week in Faenza with a fourth position, less than two seconds from the podium!

Non qualified for the opening round of the series in Great Britain, Quentin Prugnières was much more competitive in Italy as he scores points in all the six races of the week. This week started with a great result as he was the fastest rider in the timed practice session, posting his first pole position in EMX125 and scoring an 11th and a 5th position in the races. On Wednesday for the second round he wasn’t able to improve his results, with a poor start in race one as he had to come back from 33rd to 18th, and later score a 7th in race two. Last Saturday was his best day, with a fourth position behind the gate, and a 9th and a 4th in the races; this last race was exciting as he came back from 19th to 4th and finish so close to the first three riders that he misses the podium for less than two seconds! He is now eleventh of the series, with five more rounds to go.

The team and his 250 riders were also at the Kenny Festival in Reygades (France) an important mass event for the riders, the fans, our partners and customers. Both Pierre Goupillon, back racing after his injury in Latvia and Lorenzo Locurcio were involved in the Pro class mixing 250 and 450; Pierre scores a 4th overall and Lorenzo a 7th finishing 1st & 2nd in the 250 class, two good results before the final round of the French series this weekend in Rauville la Place (north west of France).

Quentin: “I knew what to expect in the European 125, as I was following Brian (Moreau) in the past and also some other Frenchies, I knew that EMX125 championship was a challenging class for my first year in this class . Coming to Faenza I had some apprehension as I didn’t qualify in UK, and finally I was the fastest on the track so I was more confident for the races. The track was different each day, but it was top and I’m happy to end this week in Italy with a good result, just missing the podium for a few seconds. In this race it was important to race aggressively during the first laps to make passes, and I could do it. It was my best day so far in the series, we worked hard with the Team’s coach Thierry (Van den Bosch) after the lockdown to get these results.

Good European debut for Lorenzo Locurcio

Lorenzo Locurcio, BUD Racing Kawasaki’s new signing from Venezuela, made an impressive European debut with two fighting rides to take eighth overall in Latvia, while Pierre Goupillon was unfortunate.

The Venezuelan, who arrived in Europe less than two weeks ago, proved just how quickly he has adapted to the strange environment as he stormed through the pack in both motos after starting outside the top thirty each time. Not acquainted with the European flying-lap qualification system the newcomer only earnt thirtieth gate-pick, a severe handicap at the sandy Kegums track with its sharp 180 degree opening turn. Thirty-third on the opening lap of race one he advanced no less than twenty-one places during the following thirty minutes to take the chequered flag in twelfth position, less than two seconds from tenth, after posting leaderboard lap times throughout the moto even though he was continually eating roost in traffic. A repeat show in the second moto saw Lorenzo charge from thirty-first to eleventh and deservedly earn eighth overall on the day.

Lorenzo Locurcio: “It was tough. The track was very slippery so that took me a while to get used to; qualifying was difficult so I had an outside gate which meant I got bad starts and was coming from outside the top thirty to finish twelfth in the first moto and eleventh in the second for eighth overall. I can’t complain but I know I’ve got more and I’m ready to improve on my speed. It will be perfect if they don’t change the track too much for Tuesday; I’m looking forward to it.”

Teammate Pierre Goupillon, sixth in his qualification group, found himself tailing the pack by half a minute after being knocked off by another rider a few corners after the start of race one. The Frenchman turned leaderboard lap times for a couple of laps before another rider hit his front wheel and damaged the front disc brake. A top ten start in race two promised a successful race but he was again hit by a rival on lap three to drop out of the top twenty; he had already recovered to fourteenth with eight minutes still to race before another incident forced his retirement.

Pierre Goupillon: “In the first moto another rider cut across my line on the first lap and I crashed. I was coming back when another rider hit my front wheel; I had no more front brake and was forced to retire. My second start was good, but again someone hit me during the race and once more I had to regain positions until another incident forced my retirement. It was a frustrating weekend, but we’ll regroup for the next race on Tuesday.

The next round of the series will take place at the same venue with a revised track layout on Tuesday.

Mitchell Harrison and Team Bud Racing have to part ways

Following the restrictions to travel between Europe and USA, Team BUD Racing Kawasaki and Mitchell Harrison will not be able to continue the end of the MX2 GP season together.
Mitchell who lives in California can’t come back in Europe due to Covid19 and regulations between Europe and USA.
Both parties agreed to parts ways, so everybody can try to find solution to finish the season in best condition.
BUD Racing Kawasaki will announce soon a replacement rider to finish the season in Europe together with Pierre Goupillon & Quentin Prugnieres.
We wish Mitchell the best to find a ride in USA to finish the season also.

Mitchell Harrison 12 (3)