Six years after he clinched the EMX250 championship then had his GP career cut short with a horrific hand injury, Briton Mel Pocock took his first major international win in the EMX250 series opener at RedSand in Spain. Fighting back the tears after crossing the line, he said: “It’s indescribable! My injury from almost losing my hand, all the work we’ve done, and I’m so thankful to everyone behind me. I’m speechless!”
After he avoided two high-speed crashes in the first two straights that wiped out lots of riders including Honda’s Josiah Natzke and James Dunn, Pocock gated fourth place on his Revo Husqvarna with LCQ winner Josh Spinks seventh, former Junior world champ Steven Clarke soon ninth and fastest qualifier Martin Barr 22nd after being caught in the melee.
Pocock worked his way to third after five minutes, as Kiwi Dylan Walsh led from Frenchman Anthony Bourdon and Tom Vialle. But Pocock was the fastest on the track, looking comfortable as he targetted the leaders. First he picked off Bourdon then Vialle and took the lead from Walsh with eight minutes to go. Walsh went off track, allowing Vialle to follow Pocock.
The British ace maintained his cool under pressure to take the win, his biggest victory for six years. Clarke came through the top ten in fine style, taking a great fourth place just six seconds behind winner Pocock. Martin Barr fought through to 10th place with Spinks one spot behind him.