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Brits on top in French beach race

Brits Todd Kellett and Nathan Watson ruled Sunday’s French beach race series. Yamaha man Kellett took the race win and moved up to second in the series. And Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Nathan Watson continues to lead the CFS: Championnat de France des Sables beach race series following a strong runner-up result at round five in Hossegor.

Round five of the CFS: Championnat de France des Sables saw competitors take to the Hossegor shoreline on the south east coast of France. A combination of unsettled weather and high tides ensured challenging conditions for all, with event organisers drastically modifying and shortening the original course layout to ensure racing could proceed.

Arriving at round five in confident spirits following victory at round four last weekend, championship leader Nathan Watson had his sights set on capturing his third consecutive win. Frustratingly, a crash in the first corner immediately put the KTM 450 SX-F mounted rider on the back foot.

Ending the opening lap of the two-hour race in 38th it was clear Nathan had a lot of work to do to keep his win streak alive. Rapidly cutting his way through the field, the Brit incredibly completed lap two inside the top 15. Visibly one of the fastest riders on a very busy track, he continued to work his way forward.

With the race leader pitting on lap nine, Nathan put his KTM out front as he looked to gain as much ground as possible. Colliding with a fallen rider shortly afterwards resulted in Watson’s bike becoming momentarily entangled with another machine. Regrouping, Nathan’s lead was lost and despite his best efforts in the closing stages he had to settle for a hard-fought runner-up result.

Nathan Watson:“In what was a difficult race I’ll take second place today and keep hold of my championship red plate. Coming into this race off the back of two wins I really wanted to keep that momentum going but unfortunately it didn’t happen. With the weather conditions, and organisers needing to change the track due to high tides, things were a lot more unpredictable today than they usually are. I got off to a good start, but when Camille crashed in the first corner I crashed into him and went down, too. With the tight track, coming from the back of the pack wasn’t ideal. I recovered well to briefly lead, but then hit a back marker and got my bike tangled with his and lost more time, so the chance of victory slipped away. But with the red plate still in my hands I’ll work on a few things during the Christmas break and look to get back on the top step of the podium next time out.”

The CFS: Championnat de France des Sables continues with round six at Grayan-et-L’Hopital on 11-12 January 2020.

Results – CFS: Championnat de France des Sables 2019/20 – Round 5: Hossegor

1. Todd Kellett (GBR), Yamaha, 24 laps, 2:03:06.030
2. Nathan Watson (GBR), KTM, 2:03:58.740 +52.710
3. Yentel Martens (BEL), Honda, 2:08:41.150 +5:35.120
4. Camille Chapeliere (FRA), KTM, 2:10:05.960 +6:59.930
5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL), Honda, 23 laps 2:03:38.070

Championship Standings – CFS: Championnat de France des Sables 2019/20 (Round 5)

1. Nathan Watson (GBR), KTM, 570pts
2. Todd Kellett (GBR), Yamaha, 510pts
3. Camille Chapeliere (FRA), KTM, 441pts
4. Jeremy Hauquier (FRA), KTM, 373pts
5. Stephane Watel (FRA), Honda, 365pts

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