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Tough times at Lommel for Hitachi KTM

The Hitachi KTM fuelled by Milwaukee squad jumped into the bottomless sand of Lommel, Belgium, on Sunday, as the 13th round of the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship was held at arguably the toughest circuit in the world. Conrad Mewse, Bas Vaessen and Adam Sterry were joined by EMX125 rider Ethan Lane beneath the team tent.

Vaessen was the top finisher on the squad, as he ended 12th overall aboard his KTM 250 SX-F. That was not a true representation of how well he rode though. Multiple crashes hindered him in each moto, yet he still battled back to 11th and 14th each time. It was a strong effort and one that left him with his sights firmly set on the Grand Prix of Limburg on Wednesday at the same venue. The lap times that he was running would put him on the cusp of the top five, as long as he can stay out of trouble.

Mewse was already behind at the start of the Grand Prix, as he battled an untimely illness over the course of the day and salvaged as many points as physically possible. A 13th in the opening moto was a strong start to the event and then he looked even better in the second moto, as he ran ninth with just a couple of laps to go. A freak issue halted his charge though and left him in 16th overall. Mewse still sits in eighth in the championship standings.

Drama on the opening laps has restricted Adam Sterry at a lot of the events this season and, unfortunately, a first turn crash in the opening moto left him in need of stitches. Sterry returned for the second moto and bravely rode on, despite yet another crash in the first corner. Two valuable points were gained in that moto – he ended up 21st overall on the day. 27th is the position that he occupies in the premier-class standings.

Bas Vaessen: “Today was very good, I think. My riding was like how it was before my back injury. I felt very comfortable on the bike and had great speed, but just hit the deck a few too many times. That sucked. Overall though, I am really happy with how I was riding today. I am just looking forward to Wednesday!”

Conrad Mewse: “It was a tough day, that is for sure. I caught a sickness the day before and just felt rough today. It was just difficult. This is probably the most difficult race on the schedule, and that’s before being ill. I made the most of today though. I was 13th in moto one and ran ninth in moto two before having a small bike issue at the end. It was just a freak thing. We can say that on a bad day I am right around tenth place, which is good for me. Hopefully we can recover well for Wednesday.”

Adam Sterry: “I didn’t really string a good lap together in qualifying, but I felt good! I had two good starts, but with the way that the start was I was involved in a crash there both times. When I crashed in the first race a footpeg went through my knee brace and punctured a hole in my knee, which I had to get stitches for. I went down on the start again in the second race and came back to 19th, which was hard with my knee. Hopefully it will be better on Wednesday!”