Valkenswaard’s Eurocircuit has staged the opener of the 2018 European Motocross Championship with the EMX125 and EMX300 2-stroke classes both Presented by FMF Racing.
FMF Racing, Flying Machine Factory, has supported the two often called “smoker” classes of the European motocross scene since 2011. Both categories are key stepping-stone divisions for young riders to graduate to the higher ranks of the World Motocross Championship. Particularly so the 125cc European Motocross series that perfectly bridges the crucial gap for youth riders between the 85cc 2-stroke machines and the more powerful 250cc four-stroke ones.
Youthstream, FMF Racing, and FIM Europe together strongly believe in the importance of two-stroke motocross motorcycles for a proper development of young prospect talents such that they can best be ready when approaching the bigger, more challenging, and significantly powerful four-stroke motocross bikes.
First to take on the track and claim wins this Sunday before the MXGP and MX2 stars where the FIM Europe racers of Greg Smets and KTM Junior Racing’s Rene Hofer.
All photos @Youthstream
Belgian Greg Smets (in photo2) proved he had put in the effort over the off season to improve his riding when he took the lead early in Saturday’s race one from 2017 title contender, GL12 Racing’s Mike Kras. Kras tried to regroup and take the spot back from Smets but in the end was gapped by over 17 seconds.
Last year’s Champion running the number 1 plate on the Verde Substance KTM, Brad Anderson, started race one at the front of the field and moved into third past fellow Brit, GL12 Racing’s James Dunn. Finishing in 5th was Mathias Plessers after battling with Tom Meijer.
Race 2 was the first race on the track on Sunday where we again saw Smets and Kras at the front of the action with Anderson and Dunn following while the #57 of Plessers crashed out of the second race during the first laps.
The real action was between the Belgian Smets and the Dutch rider Kras. A whole new day and different track conditions played into the favor of Kras as he was able to match the speed of Smets.
While Kras had the speed and battled with Smets lap after lap shifting positions back and forth the deciding factor would be a mistake by Kras as chased Smets. The mistake not only allowed Smets to secure his first ever overall win but also allowed Anderson into second overall.
Smets in the press conference: “I was actually hoping to at least finish one time on the podium this year, so I succeeded at that, but to start up with two race wins was beyond my imagination.”
At the start of the weekend the 125cc class had 80 riders competing but that number would be narrowed to 40 for the races and only one would win.
That lucky rider was KTM Junior Racing’s Rene Hofer as he became the first overall winner of the 2018 season and did so in complete control by winning both of the two races. Hofer not only won both races but held every lap in the process.
Hofer’s strongest competition came from KTM DIGA Junior Racing’s Emil Weckman in race 1 but the #11 of Hofer still won by over 8 seconds. Behind the front two was a close race for 3rd between F4E Racing KTM’s Mario Lucas Sanz and Filip Olsson.
Race two was another run away race for Hofer who topped Filip Olsson by nearly 30 seconds. Right behind Olsson at the finish of race 2 was JD 191 KTM Racing Team’s Petar Polak. Polak who failed to pass sound testing after race 1 finished the weekend in 6th overall.
Race 1 runner up, Emil Weckman, took 8th in race two for 4th overall behind Hofer, Olsen and Lucas Sanz.
Hofer in the press conference said: “It was a perfect weekend, I got the fastest time in qualifying and won both starts. I took both hole shots which was definitely key and rode my own race so I’m happy about it.”
Full results on FIM Europe website: http://www.fim-europe.eu/events/487