Big Van World MTX Kawasaki’s Mikkel Haarup missed a clear run through the first few turns in race one to complete the opening lap thirteenth but an incident with another rider on lap two pushed him down to nineteenth. After twenty minutes he had moved forward into the top-ten but he ran off the track when eighth on the final lap to eventually finish tenth. The Dane quickly moved forward from a ninth-placed start to sixth by the end of the first lap in race two and advanced to fifth with a forceful pass on the following lap; he had third place in his sights but further passes proved difficult for all of the riders in a high-speed leaderboard train and he remained frustratingly fifth to the chequered flag. Eighth overall on the day he is firmly established in fourth place in the world standings at the halfway stage of the series.
Mikkel Haarup: “It was a really tough day. I felt my pace was good but I just couldn’t get off the gate and had to come from the back both motos. With better starts we’ll be back on the podium but when you don’t get a start there is such a big chance of getting hooked up with other riders; on the second lap of the first race I hit a guy who had crashed and got stuck in his rear wheel. Top-five in the second moto was OK but I have more in me with better starts. “
F&H Kawasaki Racing Team’s Kevin Horgmo had never previously raced at the Intu Xanadu facility on the outskirts of Madrid but quickly showed his liking for the heavily-rutted track. Already extremely impressive during Qualifying as he earns fourth choice of start-gate the Norwegian muscled his way quickly from a fifth-placed start to move third on the second lap of the first GP moto and made a further dramatic pass one lap later for second. He soon moved clear of all chasers and appeared secure in that position but a momentary loss of concentration on lap eight of eighteen saw him slide out in a turn, the twelve-second delay dropping him momentarily to fifth; he quickly surged back to fourth but was not quite able to regain his top-three ranking at the finish. A GP podium looked possible after another top-six start in race two but a collision on the opening lap left him last and two falls after he was on the verge of breaking back into the top-ten restricted him to thirteenth at the finish. Ninth overall on the day, he has retained his fifth-placed world ranking and has extended his advantage over the chasers.
Kevin Horgmo: “I had a good start in the first race and was riding in second for a long time; it cost me a couple of places when I lost the front end but I was riding well so I was happy was that and felt good going into moto two. I was keen to move quickly from sixth but I collided with another rider near the end of the first lap and had to restart at the back. I crashed twice more; I didn’t have the flow after that and just tried to collect as many points as possible. I’m looking forward to Ernée next weekend. I have good memories as I won the 125 class last time I raced there in 2017. “
Jed Beaton, F&H’s rider in the MXGP class, showed good speed on his return to racing after an injury lay-off but was unfortunate in both moto. The Australian finished fourteenth in the first moto after a first-lap mid-pack collision had caused him to ride through the pack; in race two he held a strong fourteenth position until an incident mid-race cost him three positions.