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First Points for Rockstar Energy Suzuki

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 9. Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe started its FIM Motocross World MX2 Championship campaign with the latest versions of the formidable RM-Z250 machinery with Harri Kullas and Petar Petrov both attacking the tricky and rippled sand of the Valkenswaard circuit at Grand Prix of the Netherlands today.

The overall standings show the Finn and Bulgarian 13th and 19th in the MX2 category but the results hide stories of endeavour and courage. Despite an incredibly-impressive recent fitness test at the Ortema facility in Germany, Kullas discovered a mineral imbalance in his body last week that was causing fatigue. The youngster was able to take measures to correct the situation in the days leading up to Valkenswaard but he still had to face two cold, wet and lengthy races through the bumpy terrain. A poor start followed by an average one saw him battling to make ground through the pack and he posted finishes of 16th and 11th.

Petrov had picked up a sore left leg as a result of a practice accident during the week. Another fall in Sunday’s qualification heat hardly made race day any easier for the teenager. He gathered a hatful of positions thanks to an ambitious and gutsy trawl through the pack in the first moto to place 14th but was unable to improve later in the afternoon after catching green fencing in his back wheel and needing to enter the pit-lane for assistance in freeing-up the rear end of the Suzuki. He re-joined the fray but was forced out of action shortly after.

The young FIM Motocross World Championship points table hold Kullas and Petrov in the same positions as their Grand Prix ranking. In two weeks time round two of sixteen will take place at Sevlievo for Petrov’s home event and the Grand Prix of Bulgaria.

Harri Kullas:

“I’m not 100% fit at the moment but we have discovered why and it is a positive thing that we know I have been struggling with and we can put it right. I already felt better on Sunday compared to the weekend before. In the first race I had a terrible start and couldn’t push like I normally could. In the second I was a bit better out of the gate but became ‘parked’ in the second corner as all the riders bunched up. After that I was good in the beginning and made some passes but it wasn’t my normal level. Still I could take some points. I hope I can be in much better shape for Sevlievo.”

Petar Petrov:

“I’ve had a really unlucky week. On Tuesday I crashed when I couldn’t avoid the bike of a slower rider and I had a lot of pain in my leg. I had physio all week but still I came here feeling uncomfortable. Sunday was difficult even though I had the 11th best time in pre qualification. I crashed in the qualification heat and hurt the same leg again which meant I was last in the gate. I rode OK in the first moto and came back from 39th to 14th without any goggles. I was in the top 15 at the start of the second moto and just touched the fence and got it caught in my rear wheel. I didn’t have any brake and had to pit to get it sorted. It was a not a great day but I will be strong in Bulgaria.”

MX2 Moto1: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39:38.886; 2. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:54.797; 3. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:59.601; 4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +1:49.941; 5. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +1:55.350; 6. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +2:06.414; 7. Alexander Tonkov (RUS, Honda), -1 lap(s); 8. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), -1 lap(s); 9. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s); 10. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s). 14. Petar Petrov (BUL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), -1 lap(s). 16. Harri Kullas (FIN, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), -1 lap(s).

MX2 Moto2: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 39:23.774; 2. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:36.471; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:55.418; 4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +2:09.242; 5. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), +2:29.886; 6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), -1 lap(s); 7. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), -1 lap(s); 8. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s); 9. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), -1 lap(s); 10. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), -1 lap(s). 11. Harri Kullas (FIN, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), -1 lap(s). 36. Petar Petrov (BUL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), -18 lap(s).

MX2 Overall result: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 42 p.; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 42 p.; 4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 36 p.; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 29 p.; 6. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 28 p.; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 26 p.; 8. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 24 p.; 9. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), 23 p.; 10. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), 22 p. 13. Harri Kullas (FIN, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 15 p. 19. Petar Petrov (BUL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 7 p.

MX2 World Championship Standings: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Joel Roelants (BEL, Kawasaki), 42 p.; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 42 p.; 4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 36 p.; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 29 p.; 6. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 28 p.; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, Honda), 26 p.; 8. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), 24 p.; 9. Valentin Teillet (FRA, Kawasaki), 23 p.; 10. Mel Pocock (GBR, Yamaha), 22 p. 14. Harri Kullas (FIN, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 15 p. 17. Petar Petrov (BUL, Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe), 7 p.