Utag Yamaha.com arrived at Lommel with both riders fit and ready for the twelfth round of fifteen in the FIM Motocross World Championship. Teenager Mel Pocock emerged from a wet Grand Prix of Belgium with a double-point scoring performance and was the highest placed British rider in the notoriously punishing sand at Lommel while Zach Osborne gained valuable race mileage in his comeback from a broken wrist.
The weekend started on the right foot for Pocock who was rewarded with 14th place on the gate of 40 riders after Saturday’s qualification Heat. Osborne struggled a little on the circuit that saw the American make his UTAG Yamaha debut last year.
A showery and chilly start to race day complicated matters, with the damp sand causing visibility problems and issues with grip. Pocock, who has only started to score his maiden points at the highest level in 2009 – his first full season as a GP rider – took his YZ250F to 17th in Moto 1 and could have been further up the order without the need to quickly pit to change goggles.
A consistent and confident run in the second moto yielded even better with 14th position.
Osborne was able to end the meeting with a determined run to 21st in the second moto after an earlier forgettable outing, and was able to look back on the weekend as more track-time gained. The Grand Prix of Turkey winner – still the only rider to give Yamaha success in the category this year – is 19th in the championship standings despite not posting any points for eight rounds. Pocock now moves up to 28th.
Utag Yamaha.com now remain on the road and will travel east to the scenic setting of Loket for the Grand Prix of Czech Republic next weekend.
Mel Pocock: “I am really happy, highest placed Brit again, what more could I have asked for? I rode the races like an enduro! I pushed when I could and then just hooked third or fourth gear and motored through the bumps. Points in both motos feels pretty awesome. I enjoyed the track because of the results; I think otherwise it would have been torture racing around there!”
Zach Osborne: “A very hard way to come back! I did OK during the warm-up and felt alright but went back to square one with a difficult first race. In the second moto I got a good start and kept going and going until I had a pretty big crash going into the bomb-hole and it took me ages to restart. I can only build on this result and go into the GP next weekend with a bit more confidence and see how it goes.”
Steve Dixon: “Mel rode strongly today and finished as top Brit with some solid results, even though he pulled in for a goggle change in the first moto which cost him about three places. We are really happy with his progress. Zach has not had much time on the bike and to come to a sandy track like this you need to be well prepared. He needs to get some more confidence and race speed and hopefully this will build up over the next few weeks.”