BUD Racing Kawasaki’s Mitchell Harrison overcame adversity to put in two gritty points-scoring rides in the Dutch round of the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship at Valkenswaard.
Never in the past this track has been so rough and demanding, as heavy rain ruined the Dutch sandy layout during the week. Our American used his tenth-placed gate pick from Qualification to secure his best start of the season so far, advancing methodically from a first lap thirteenth to eleventh mid-moto before a slip in the heavy going cost him two places but the set-back could not dampen his enthusiasm and a tremendous surge through the final five laps secured a deserved tenth at the chequered flag. The innocent victim of a collision involving a number of riders at the start of race two which cost him more than a minute he showed great spirit to maintain his lap times throughout the thirty-five-minute race to add a further four points to his championship score, missing the top ten overall by just a single point.
The weekend was not that good for Amandine Verstappen in the WMX and Pierre Goupillon in the EMX250. Amandine was sixth of the first race before she staled the engine in the penultimate lap, and crashed during the opening lap of the second heat. Crashes also ruined the weekend of Pierre Goupillon, who collided in the air with another rider who changed his line during the second moto and cut his noose in a spectacular crash. Pierre was unlucky in the first race as he crashed while he was in third position; he couldn’t take his bike immediately due to the traffic, restart thirtieth and came back twentieth.
Mitchell Harrison: “This weekend was another step in the right direction. The track was actually a lot of fun; it was deep but I enjoyed it. You know, these first two races were hard, but we’re in Europe and that’s normal. I had a good ride in the first race for tenth, but the second moto was hard work; I crashed in the start and again later in the race. Each weekend is getting better and better; I’m out there trying to have fun and we’ll see where it takes us. “
Belgian Amandine Verstappen was the best BUD Racing Kawasaki rider in Great Britain, where the Motocross World Championships kick off. It was a hectic weekend, as the weather was typical British with rain, wind, snow and hail on Saturday.
In all classes the riders just had one session instead of two, and on a slippery track Amandine got the seventh gate pick. The Belgian rider started well in the first moto to hold down a strong third position in the early stages until she fell victim to the conditions. The track was in better conditions on Sunday for the second race and Amandine raced to a solid fourth place; fifth at the start she executed a hard but fair pass at half-distance to narrowly miss the moto podium. US champion Jordan Jarvis, a BUD Kawasaki guest starter for the weekend, found herself nearly last of the forty starters after an early incident in the tricky conditions. Setting leaderboard lap times in traffic the American advanced consequently to earn a deserved seventh place at the chequered flag. On Sunday she moved quickly from tenth to dispute sixth with an ex-champion until an error on the final lap pushed her back to thirteenth.
In the other classes it was a day of fluctuating fortunes for the BUD Racing Kawasaki riders.
Mitchell Harrison faced a long chase in the opening moto after an early fall but eventually advanced twelve places for a twenty-fifth-placed finish. Avoiding problems during the hectic early laps of race two he converted an initial twentieth into fourteenth at the finish. Last but not least, Quentin Prugnières failed to qualify for the opening round of the European 125 championship.
Amandine, Mitchell and Pierre Goupillon are training this week on sandy tracks in Northern France, in order to prepare the MXGP of the Netherlands with three classes – WMX, MX2 and EMX250 – at the program.
Get inside the 2020 Photo shooting of Team Bud Racing 2020 performed a few weeks ago on the famous GP Track of St Jean d’Angely. Our rider Mitchell Harrison, Pierre Goupillon, QuentinPrugnières and Amandine Verstappen had fun under coach Thierry Van Den Bosch advices !
The 2020 Motocross season is coming soon MXGP, European Championship, French Elite, we are all set !!
Video: Julien Chat Adrenafilm
Photos: Vincent Tomasetig
Drone: Doll$ Whip Motion
Thanks again to Moto Club of St Jean d’Angely for welcome and organization.
Team BUD Racing Kawasaki will again be behind the World Championship starting gate this season … with four riders in four different classes, continuing their traditional blend of experience and youth.
After a successful return to MX2 GP last year the team has renewed its confidence in Mitchell Harrison as the youthful American starts his second season in Europe. Last year he had to learn both new tracks and European motocross in general after his previous career in the USA and he will line up at Matterley Basin – first of the 20 GPs on March 1st – with more experience. At selected GPs he will be joined by Pierre Goupillon, back with the team after a first collaboration in 2018; the main goal of the young French rider will be the European EMX250 Championship. Both will of course contest the French Elite series and will be in Castelnau de Levis mid-March for the opening round.
Belgian Amandine Verstappen, the reigning French women’s champion. Is a newcomer to the team. Amandine will race her KX250 Kawasaki for the first time in Great Britain at the opening round of the WMX world series. Having recorded her maiden GP victory last year she will also defend the French Championship.
In the long tradition of Marvin Musquin, Dylan Ferrandis and Brian Moreau, who each started their careers with BUD, it’s now Quentin Prugnières that the team has signed on a long-term deal. The French Hopefuls champion last year, the youngster from the island of la Reunion will contest the French Junior and European 125 championships.
All this investment would not be possible without the team’s loyal partners, especially Kawasaki who has backed the team since 2007! Alongside their long-term sponsors BUD is proud to welcome new partners Champion lubricants, PROX and Boomerang.
2020 also saw the return of Thierry Van Den Bosch as trainer of all the riders; the multiple Supermoto world champion is back in motocross after a successful experience in road racing. “I’ve been working with Pierre Goupillon since November and everything is going well; we knew each other already as I had worked with him previously in the French national team and we have been working together intensely for two weeks each month. Mitchell arrived in Europe two weeks ago; he had to rest before coming back to Europe due to a minor injury but now we start our racing programme this weekend as he and Pierre will race at Ottobiano in Italy. We’ll stay in Italy to race Mantova one week later and Quentin will join us there too. Then we’ll have three more weeks to prepare for the first GP in Matterley Basin where our four musketeers will all be on track as the MX2, EMX125 and WMX championships each kick off there.”