Tanel Leok Wins In The Sea Of Mud In Faenza (Italy) - Dirt Rider Magazine

The opening Grand Prix of the World Motocross Championship was a wet one at Faenza (Italy).Tanel Leok in MX1 class and Gautier Paulin MX2 won the event as the overall classification was based on the first moto results only - the second moto's were cancelled. Peter Iven took a clean sweep in the Veterans' class winning both heats.After a fantastic Saturday with the MX1 and MX2 qualifying races Champion, torrential rain on Saturday night and on Sunday caused several issues.The Youthstream team worked hard night and day to solve these issues and increase the drainage of the track.The work carried out by the many professionals and volunteers made the first heats possible (MX1 and MX2 Moto 1), afterwards several other attempts to maintain the racing conditions were done.Eventually the Event Management took the unanimous decision to cancel the second races of the MX1 and MX2 classes to preserve the riders' safety.MX1 (450 cc) ClassYamaha Red Bull De Carli's Tanel Leok rode to a surprising victory at his first Grand Prix onboard a Yamaha after four years with Kawasaki. Leok, who took his maiden win last year in Ireland, now leads the MX1 Championship.Teka Suzuki WMX1's Steve Ramon took a strong start and led the opening laps ahead of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Max Nagl. Marc De Reuver then took the lead but both Steve Ramon and the Martin Honda rider had to visit the pits due to the tough racing conditions and lost vital time.Leok found himself at the lead and brought the bike home in first ahead of other Teka Suzuki WMX1 rider Ken De Dycker. The latter secured the runner up spot by moving past LS Motors Honda's Desalle as the Belgian eventually took third on his maiden podium.TM Factory's Aigar Leok was fourth ahead of Antonio Cairoli. The Yamaha Red Bull De Carli star was riding in third when he went off the track due to a mistake.Defending MX1 World Champion David Philippaerts struggled with the race conditions and finished ninth. Sebastien Pourcel crashed at the start and finished in 24th.David Vuillemin had little fortune with clutch problems that ended him in 19th position taking two only points.Tanel Leok:
"Everything had gone well in pre-season leading up to this race but I came here not wanting to take any risks. For a couple of years I have been injured entering the first Grand Prix so this time I took it easy. In fact I had a bit of bad luck this week because I got sick and had tonsillitis but was OK by the time of practice. It feels great to be Italian Champion and also win the Italian Grand Prix, it is very positive for the team and all the sponsors. It was important not to stop out there. I had some luck because nobody crashed in front of me but my approach was to always keep the bike rolling."Ken De Dycker:
"I knew I would do OK here but I really don't like this place when it is a dry track. It is too fast and if you don't get good starts then it is really hard. Luckily the rain came and it changed everything. You had to look for the lines and that's what I think I am good at. It was only one moto but together with my trainer and people around me we agreed that I needed to be 100% ready for the first three weeks because it would be too easy to lose points in these races."Clement Desalle:
"This is my first podium but the conditions were really difficult. We have done some tests with the bike and we are now really happy with the Honda. My goal is to be near the top in MX1 and also to stay free from injury; this is important because I know the results will then get better."David Vuillemin:
"The beginning of the race was not so bad, I had a pretty good start but during the second lap I crashed on an uphill and lost time. I stopped in the pits to get new gloves, then came back in the race and saw riders everywhere, especially in two sections. You had to stop and study the lines at each lap; I didn't make any mistakes and came back to the top ten when my clutch failed. Of course in these conditions you use the clutch more. I changed the settings but that was not enough and finally I had only two points. It's frustrating as you spend a lot of energy for nothing; I was expecting better conditions for my first GP."MX 1 Moto 11. Leok, Tanel EST EMF Yamaha
2. De Dycker, Ken BEL FMB Suzuki
3. Desalle, Clement BEL FMB Honda
4. Leok, Aigar EST EMF TM
5. Cairoli, Antonio ITA FMI Yamaha
6. Coppins, Joshua NZL MNZ Yamaha
7. Nagl, Maximilian GER DMSB KTM
8. Church, Tom GBR ACU CCM
9. Philippaerts, David ITA FMI Yamaha
10. Barragan, Jonathan ESP RFME KTM
19. Vuillemin, David FRA FFM KawasakiRiders Standing
1. Leok, Tanel 25
2. De Dycker, Ken 22
3. Desalle, Clement 20
4. Leok, Aigar EST 18
5. Cairoli, Antonio 16
6. Coppins, Joshua 15
7. Nagl, Maximilian 14
8. Church, Tom GBR 13
9. Philippaerts, David 12
10. Barragan, Jonathan 11
19. Vuillemin, David 2

MX2 (250 cc) ClassThe MX2 class saw young Frenchman Gautier Paulin take his maiden victory after a strong race which made up for an unlucky qualifying on Saturday. Paulin made an unexpected move on previous leader Jeremy Van Horebeek of KTM Factory Junior MX2 and passed him with just two laps to go. Van Horebeek tried to fight back but settled for second.The podium was completed by Marvin Musquin of Team NGS and all three riders on Faenza's MX2 podium were first time top three finishers. Musquin worked his way through the field after a stop in the pit lane to change his gloves.Yamaha rider, American Zach Osborne was held back by the mud and finished in 25th place.Gautier Paulin:
"It's a great day for me. Already this morning I felt comfortable on the bike. They closed the six gates on the inside after the big crash in qualification, so my position was pretty far on the outside and my start was mid-pack. I came back from seventeenth and took the lead on the penultimate lap. I won the race but I know that it will be very difficult to keep the red plate in the following GPs. It's a great feeling for me as last year was frustrating, I got injured and didn't race so much; now I'm hungry! Yesterday I was so frustrated to be involved in the pile-up that I got the best lap nearly two seconds faster than my rivals; that proves the strength of my determination. Everyone in the team is more motivated than ever, but there are no secrets: we have to work hard daily, even after a GP win because all of our rivals just want to beat us! For sure it will be easier on Monday to go training, it will be probably easier for the mechanics to clean the bikes and I'm glad to see that our hard work during winter time is paying off now. But next Sunday in Sevlievo thirty nine riders will want to take the red plate, the season just starts now."Jeremy van Horebeek:
"For sure it was a very tough race today, I didn't have a very good start and came out of that at eleventh place. I slowly managed to close the gap until I was third, then suddenly I saw on the pit board that I was in front so I decided just to try to concentrate and stay on the bike."Zach Osborne:
"I have ridden a lot of mud because I am from the East Coast and we have our fair share of thunder storms but nothing like that, where I felt like an absolute beginner. Every lap you just think about getting up the first hill and then the second and if you make it then you are thinking of the first one again. It is unfortunate that I did badly but looking ahead I am only 25 points behind instead of 50 and today could have been a lot worse. You work the whole winter to make a point or a statement about what you have done and then to get a mud race like this is like playing Russian roulette; you can be a hero or a zero and today I was a zero."MX 2 Moto 11. Paulin, Gautier FRA MCM Kawasaki
2. van Horebeek, Jeremy BEL FMB KTM
3. Musquin, Marvin FRA FFM Honda
4. Guarneri, Davide ITA FMI Yamaha
5. Roelants, Joel BEL FMB KTM
6. Lupino, Alessandro ITA FMI Yamaha
7. Aubin, Nicolas FRA FFM Yamaha
8. Maddii, Marco ITA FMI Suzuki
9. Teillet, Valentin FRA FFM KTM
10. Nicholls, Jake GBR ACU KTM
25. Osborne, Zach PUR AMA YamahaRiders Standing1. Paulin, Gautier 25
2. van Horebeek, Jeremy 22
3. Musquin, Marvin 20
4. Guarneri, Davide 18
5. Roelants, Joel 16
6. Lupino, Alessandro 15
7. Aubin, Nicolas 14
8. Maddii, Marco 13
9. Teillet, Valentin 12
10. Nicholls, Jake 11