Valkenswaard - 31st March

The third round of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship saw the series move across the English Channel, from Matterly Basin in the UK to the legendary Valkenswaard track in Holland. This meant home rounds for both riders of the Hitachi KTM Fuelled by Milwaukee MX2 team in the course of a week, with it being Bas Vaessen’s turn to impress in front of home fans. Although world champion and hugely popular Dutchman Jeffrey Herlings remains injured, a healthy crowd turned up to watch the action in the infamous dark sand.
 
After experiencing the highs and lows of his home round, Conrad Mewse started intent on righting the wrongs from the British GP. His pace on the KTM SX-F 250 was evident early on Saturday. In free practice Mewse comfortably sat in third spot, slipping a little to fifth in timed practice. The impressive times were harder to find come the qualifying race, meaning that his Sunday would be a busy one if he was to push to where his early pace promised. Meanwhile, Bas Vaessen’s Saturday proved to be more consistent, with the Dutchman hovering around the top ten throughout the day and happy with his performance.
 
Mewse had a Sunday to forget, with an early crash putting pay to positions gained in the opening laps of race one. Unable to avoid a downed rider, Mewse was caught up in the incident and picked up an injury that would dog the rest of his day. The story of the second race was that of a poor start and a struggle to make up any positions due to the injury sustained earlier.
 
Race one for Bas Vaessen was a catalogue of early mistakes that he could only attain for towards the end of the race. A 15th place finish was all he could salvage, but there were positives to take into the second race. With an improved start, better rhythm and quicker laps times, race two provided the team’s best result of the weekend, with Vaessen finishing a strong eighth after a good start, unsettling middle but professional finish. All told a frustrating weekend for the team, but not one without positives.
 
Conrad Mewse
“The weekend started so well, I was 3rd fastest in free practice and 5th in timed practice. It was a solid start and my speed was promising. In race one I had a good start placing 10th out of the gate, I made progress up to 8th after lap one. Then at the start of lap 2, I couldn’t avoid a rider who crashed in front of me. This resulted in causing injury to myself and too much damage to my bike to continue. I had a disappointing start in race two, which resulted in me riding round out of the points and struggling to make any progress due the crash in race one.”
 
Bas Vaessen
“The Valkenswaard GP was positive for me, I had a good Saturday and felt really good on my KTM. I made some mistakes in the start of the first moto but pulled it together afterwards to salvage as many places as possible. Second moto, I had a good start and first few laps, halfway through I started to push a bit too much and lost my rhythm but still finished well. Overall, it was a good weekend and the team did a fantastic job.” 
 
Roger Magee, Team Manager
"We came to Valkenswaard this weekend with high expectations following the show of speed by both Conrad and Bas at Matterley Basin. Both riders showed their true potential in the Free and Timed sessions on Saturday with top 10 positions. Moto one saw Conrad make a good start in the top 10 and passed several riders on the opening lap only to be involved in a crash caused by Sandner and suffered a DNF as he was unable to continue. Bas, meanwhile, had a poor start and worked his way up to p19 but crashed relegating himself to p27. He fought valiantly through the field to p15 at the flag. Moto 2 saw Bas make a really good start and he passed a number of riders during the intense racing to finish p8. Conrad suffered from the effects of the crash in Moto 1 and retired on lap 4."
 
The Team now travels to the next MXGP at Trentino, Italy next weekend.
 
MX2 Race 1 
1. Jorge Prado (ESP), KTM, 17 Laps 
2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN), HQV, +7.459
3. Henry Jacobi (GER), KAW, +16.197
15. Bas Vaessen (NED), KTM +1:39.462
DNF. Conrad Mewse (GBR), KTM
 
MX2 Race 2 
1. Jorge Prado (ESP), KTM, 17 Laps 
2. Jago Geerts (BEL), YAM, +5.031
3. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN), HQV, +5.188
8. Bas Vaessen (NED), KTM +48.631 
DNF. Conrad Mewse (GBR), KTM
 
MX2 Overall 
1. Jorge Prado (ESP) KTM, 50 pts 
2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN), HQV, 42 pts
3. Jago Geerts (BEL), YAM 36 pts 
11. Bas Vaessen (NED), KTM 19 pts 
35. Conrad Mewse (GBR), KTM 0 pts 
 
MX2 World Championship 
1. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN), HQV, 136 pts 
2. Henry Jacobi (GER), KAW, 113 pts 
3. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED) HON, 107pts 
12. Bas Vaessen (NED), KTM 51 pts
14. Conrad Mewse (GBR), KTM 36 pts