Briton Conrad Mewse took a fine fourth overall in the freezing Dutch GP, taking fifth then fourth place finishes in the deep sand of Valkenswaard. The KTM man, who didn’t finish the qualifying race yesterday so had a terrible gate pick, managed to pull off decent starts and was strong towards the end of the race in both motos. He beat many of the factory riders on his KTM UK machine and is now sixth in the world championship.
But he was no match for the KTM duo at the front, as world champ Pauls Jonass kept his 100% win record intact with a stunning double. But he was pushed all the way by his team-mate, young Spaniard Jorge Prado who had a pair of seconds after coming so close to winning the second moto.
Jonass, who took every holeshot and led every lap, said: “I’m feeling great! So nice to win the first four motos of the season, and nice for a KTM one-two.”
Prado said: “It’s a pity I couldn;t pass him but it’s my first podium of the season so I’m very happy.”
Third overall was Husky’s Thomas Kjer Olsen who had no answer for the leaders, but was a safe third and retained his second overall in the championship.
Olsen said: “I’ve been off the pace of the KTM guys all weekend. I didn’t feel at my best so to be on the podium is good. It was a good track and amazing considering the weather.”
Jonass was in dominant form in the opening moto, despite struggling with numb hands due to the cold. He holeshot then led his team mate Jorge Prado, Thomas Kjer Olsen, Davy Pootjes, Henri Jacobi and Conrad Mewse with Jago Geerts right behind and carving through hard. Kawasaki’s Darien Sanayei pitted for bike issues.
Geerts found his way past fast-fading Pootjes, but then Honda man Hunter Lawrence made a move on the Dutchman and crashed back to 14th. Mewse got through to fifth and was chasing fourth place Yamaha man Geerts until he slipped off. He remounted, still in fifth, and got close to catching back up to Geerts but couldn’t quite get there at the flag.
So Jonass took an easy win from Prado, tailed by Olsen, Geerts, Mewse and Lawrence, with Ben Watson tenth and Adam Sterry down in 16th after a crash.
Jonass once again took the holeshot in race two from Prado, Pootjes, Jacobi, Olsen and Mewse, with Watson 10th and Sterry 12th. Mewse then nipped past Olsen on the first lap, but Olsen wasted little time in getting back by as Lawrence and Thomas Covington then started to put pressure on the Brit. But Mewse managed to pull away from the chasing pack, targetting Olsen in front of him. Honda’s Calvin Vlaanderen was also on the move, battling with Covington and Lawrence for sixth.
Pootjes soon crashed out of third as Prado tried all he could to stay with the Latvian world champ Jonass at the front. Prado closed in and went for an overtaking move, but Jonass parried back by moving over on the finish line jump to keep the Spaniard at bay. Prado didn’t like it, waving in anger, and was obviously rattled and dropped a couple of second back. The Spaniard slowly reeled Jonass back in, aided by lots of backmarker traffic. Jonass managed to fend off Prado’s attacks but was getting more ragged and making mistakes.
It came down to a last lap charge to the line, with Jonass managing to hold off the Spaniard to keep his perfect record in tact. Jonass said: “Jorge was behind me all the time so it was difficult. A holeshot helped a lot. I didn’t ride my best race and it was so cold.”
Jacobi crashed out of third and remounted 19th then pulled out which put Olsen through to third and Mewse to fourth. Fellow Brits Watson inherited seventh with Sterry right behind him, where they stayed until the end.
Once again Mewse showed his strength at the end of the race and started to catch up to factory Husqvarna rider, his previous team-mate Olsen. But Olsen’s lead was too great, and Mewse took fourth for a fine fourth overall. Watson ended up eighth overall and Sterry 10th.
Watson dropped a place to fifth in the world championship with Mewse now one place behind him. Sterry is 16th.
Photos by Dick Law/ MotoHead