German Max Nagl and battling Brit Elliott Banks-Browne were the big winners as the Red Bull Pro Nationals went international for the first time at Mill in Holland on August 11-12.
Not only was it the biggest, most professional show we’ve ever put on, it was a spectacle never seen before on the continent with Europe’s top youth riders rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s leading professionals in front of fans from Holland, Belgium and even further afield.
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“The event has been great ,” says factory Red Bull KTM rider Max Nagl who topped both of Sunday’s pro motos. “It looked great and was very well organised – I am impressed! Marc [de Reuver] was pushing quite good in the first heat and in the second heat I had Ramon behind me so I just tried to make good lap times every lap.
“It was good training and I’m really proud of myself and how I was riding today because for me it was just great – I like the way I was riding, it was perfect and better than the result itself. I was feeling really happy riding out there.”
Elliott, first MX2 rider home in both pro motos, looked totally at home in the deep Dutch sand.
“The track was really gnarly out there. In the first race I was going pretty good but crashed twice so I had to come through. In the second I had a really bad start and nearly hit the gate but managed to fight through a load of MX2 riders and got the win. The last few laps I got a really bad headache and I was struggling. I’m happy to have won the first one of these and it’s been awesome – hats off to everyone that’s been involved.”
The Red Bull Elite Youth Cup classes saw Ben Watson win the Rookies while Davy Pootjes dominated in his native sand in the BW85s. Victory in the SW85cc class went to Belgian Jago Geerts and Loeka Thonies was top in the 65s.
The two-stroke races were split into two classes – Open and 125cc –with four races over the weekend. With UK two-stroke hero Matt Moffat spamming himself during the week leading up to Mill it was pretty much a Brit-free affair in both classes with Wesley Pittens topping the Open class from Dylan Van Veghel and Davey Janssen while in the 125s the awesomely-named Freek Van De Vlist was the fastest two-stroke rider on the track.
Nagl’s team-mate Jeffrey Herlings, the current world MX2 championship leader, was a spectator both days and the Dutch teenager certainly liked what he saw.
“It looks really cool and it’s even cooler that Red Bull are part of it,” says Jeffrey. “I think it’s really good the way the youth classes race at the same event as the pros because there are a lot of spectators here to watch the pros and this means they will also watch the youths. And maybe there will be some sponsors here and maybe they will want to sponsor the young riders and get them to the top.
“Red Bull really want to support young riders and here they can show their talent and it’s good for young kids to show what they have.”