British enduro expert Nathan Watson romped to a stunning second place behind triple world MX2 champ Jeffrey Herlings in the Red Bull Knock Out beach race at Scheveningen in Holland at the weekend.
KTM rider Watson tailed Herlings – the world’s best sand rider – by 2.29.889 minute margin with KTM’s Glenn Coldenhoff third in the 20-lap race in front of 70,000 fans
Watson said: “I love the beach races. I did this one last year and I was second. I just missed out on the win so I really wanted to come here again and do well. Then I heard Jeffrey and Glenn were riding and I know it would be pretty difficult. The race went very well I was fighting with Glenn and ended up second so I’m very happy and I enjoyed the race. It’s just such a challenge. So much goes into it. All the tactics, how many times you have to take the pits, all the other riders. It’s a challenge not to crash. You really have to be smart and use your head.”
Winner Herlings said: “I’m super pleased with the race. We all came here with a big question mark because we don’t have much experience bike-wise and as riders with beach races, and we did very well. I won the heat by two minutes and the final by two minutes plus. We did a great job and I’m very happy for the team. We put it all together and we dominated. This kind of race is nothing like motocross. It’s something different and I’m very happy how it all worked out.”
Coldenhoff said he knew it was going to be tough because he had taken three weeks off after the Motocross of Nations and only had two weeks back on the bike to prepare. “I noticed it in the final part when I was battling with Watson and I came up short a bit. Also the sun was going down quickly and we had the sun in our face in the long straight, so it was a bit dangerous. But I saw on the pit board that I was safe in third. The goal was to come here, to stay healthy and finish on the box and that’s what I did. Watson took a bit more risk with one pit stop and I took two. We just played it safe. We had a lot of meetings with the team to discuss tactics and it was a fun race.”