REVO Husqvarna UK’s Mel Pocock saw his EMX250 championship challenge brought to a halt at round 10 of the series at Sevlievo in Bulgaria.
Heading into the weekend 18 points adrift of leader Mathys Boisrame, Mel still had an outside chance of regaining the title he won in 2012 but in soaring temperatures he struggled on the slick circuit.
After ending the timed practice session in 15th he was on the back foot from the get-go with an unfavourable gate pick. Despite this he was pushing towards the top 10 on his FC 250 before a technical issue dropped him out of the running just after half-distance.
With Boisrame taking second the pressure was on Mel in race two.
Holding an initial fifth following the opening lap while Boisrame led, Mel needed to maintain position to take the championship to the final round in Assen in three weeks time. Unfortunately, in the closing stages he was pushed back to sixth which puts the title out of reach.
Bulgaria also ended in disappointment for Mel’s team-mate Martin Barr.
Back in 18th in timed practice, Martin didn’t get to grips with the track in the opening moto and after circulating just outside the top 10 in the early stages he slipped back to 14th at the flag.
Starting near the front in race two, a big crash on the opening lap left him dead last as he struggled to restart on a steep, slippery hill.
Following a race-long charge he finally crossed the line just out of the points in 21st with the result dropping him to fourth in the championship.
Mark Yates (Team Principal)
“I’m very disappointed with the performance at the weekend. For some reason we’ve lost our way the last couple of weeks – we’re capable of better things.
“We were definitely way off the pace but fair play to Mathys Boisrame for winning the title – he rode well. We need to park it, move on and keep building for next season.
“Despite this it’s still been an incredibly exciting and positive campaign and I’m very proud of the way the riders and team personnel have conducted themselves.”
Mel Pocock – 14th (25-6)
“The European title has slipped between our fingers but I’m proud of what we’ve done and achieved as a team. I’m 37 points clear of third and we’ve worked hard chasing the championship.
“Unfortunately, the DNF brought us to a halt in Bulgaria but these things happen in motocross and all we can do is go to Assen with our heads held high and aim for the top spot.”
Martin Barr – 19th (14-21)
“It’s very frustrating at the minute but I’m trying to put everything behind me and get on with things. I struggled all day on Saturday to find a rhythm on the track and my qualifying result was poor and in the first race I think I got away 11th but unfortunately dropped to 14th at the flag which was very disappointing. I’m not that type of rider to be finishing down there.
“I was up for it on Sunday and probably got the best start I’ve had for a good couple of months but they’d watered the landing from the uphill triple and both wheels washed out and I went down. It was very hard to restart because the slope was so steep and slippery and it took me too long to get going.”