Hitachi KTM fuelled by Milwaukee remained in the same location, Pietramurata, for the 17th round of the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship. The scenic Italian track acted as the penultimate stop on the calendar and provided another chance for Conrad Mewse, Bas Vaessen and Adam Sterry to make steps forward.
Mewse did just that with an impressive showing in moto one, as he started in 11th and moved to eighth in the laps that followed whilst setting some of the quickest times of the moto. A freak mechanical problem forced him to grind to a halt with just a couple of laps to go though, meaning that he scored no points. The second moto was made difficult by a poor start, but he put his head down and charged from the very back to tenth at the chequered flag. It was a strong ride that left him in 16th overall on the day. Mewse still runs eighth in the championship standings.
Vaessen had a day that resembled previous outings – he struggled with poor starts and mistakes that really meant that his results are not a true reflection of his potential. The first moto was particularly tough, as he could only manage a 16th after an early mistake. An 11th in the second moto was a brighter note to end on and helped him secure 13th in the overall classification. Vaessen gained a spot in the series standings at the Grand Prix of Pietramurata, despite the struggles, as he now runs 14th with just one round to go.
Sterry undoubtedly had the best showing of his short premier-class career. Aided by the power within the KTM 450 SX-F, he pulled a brilliant start in the first moto and ran as high as sixth early on. Sterry mixed with former world champions throughout the moto and eventually secured 11th at the end – the best result of his season by a significant margin. Another great start in moto two meant that he got to experience the pace inside of the top ten again. 13th was his result in that moto, which meant 11th overall was his final ranking.
Hitachi KTM fuelled by Milwaukee will now focus on ending the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship with a bang. The final round of the current term, the Grand Prix of Garda Trentino, will be run this weekend.
Conrad Mewse: “I am just struggling a bit on the starts, so we are working on things as a team. It was an okay day though. It was not my best, but it certainly was not my worst. I just need to find the flow that I have at the end of the race towards the start, but we are working on it. The speed is there though.”
Bas Vaessen: “It is the same old story for me. My speed is there and so is my fitness, but my starts are just shocking. Time practice was good this morning though – I was within a second of first. Today was nothing really to write home about, but it is what it is.”
Adam Sterry: “Finally a day that I am happy with. My back has been against the wall all year and today it felt like the work we have been putting in showed a bit. We changed some things on the bike again and it was a big improvement, so I got my best overall in the MXGP class. It is almost a shame we only have one race left, but I want to have another solid day and get a strong winter under my belt. That will be key.”