Battling Brit Brad Anderson raged to second overall with a second place finish in today’s second moto of the EMX300 two-stroke championship opening round at Valkenswaard in Holland. It was Greg Smets, son of five-times world champ Joel, who won both motos to take the lead in the series. For Smets, they were his first ever European championship wins.
Sunday’s second moto saw former champ Mike Kras lead from Smets and Brit James Dunn with Ando in fifth. Smets and Kras battled hard for the lead, giving the crowd a thrill in the chilly conditions as Dunn tailed them with Anderson in his wake. Ando used his typical aggressive style to muscle his way past Dunn, then set his sights on the leading duo.
Smets and Kras set an incredible pace and it looked like Smets had it all his under control, until on the penultimate lap he got caught up with backmarkers which allowed Kras to reel him in. Kras was waiting for the end of the moto to make a move. But he lost the front in a corner and slipped off, remounting third.
Ando was caught up with backmarkers and could make no impression on the leader Smets as the Belgian took a fine double win from Ando and Kras. Dunn took a strong fourth place in the moto, for fourth overall.Rob Holyoake was 14th and Phil Mercer 29th.
Smets said: “I had to push hard but I had a perfect weekend. I really had to work for it as Kras rode well.”
Ando said: “I didn’t make the best of starts. I got past done and Smets had got away a bit. I put some fast laps in. I’m glad to come away with second and looking to the next round at RedSands.
Kras said: “I was riding good and feeling good. I was waiting for the last two laps to make my move. But the roost is frozen and feels like stones hitting you. I got hit by a stone on my belly and couldn’t focus, and I crashed. I threw it away. I knew a victory was possible.”
In the second EMX125 race, Rene Hofer won from Filip Olsson and Petr Polak with local hero Raivo Dankers fourth. Sam Nunn was 25th and Dominic Lansett officially 38th, four laps down after having problems.
Hofer took the overall with a double win. “Last year I had problems with the starts – always dead last. Today it worked out,. I had two holeshots and I’m very happy!
Olsson took second overall with fourth and second. “It was tough but I ended up second I’m so happy!” he said.
Spaniard Mario Lucas Sanz, riding in his first ever European round, was sixth but took third overall and said:”In Spain we only have hard pack, not sand. So I’m very happy to do so well!”
Photos by Dick Law/ MotoHead