PR- Mel Pocock raced to a dramatic overall win at round eight of the EMX250 championship at the MXGP of Belgium at Lommel over the weekend.
In sweltering conditions the REVO Husqvarna UK rider raced to third in the opening moto on Saturday evening. In race two on Sunday morning he grabbed the holeshot, settled into second and after applying race-long pressure was in an ideal position to take the win when the leader crashed out with two laps to go.
The result put him on the top step of the podium and means he’s slashed the gap to the series lead from 19 points to just two with three rounds to go.
Martin Barr, racing the team’s second FC 250, had a much tougher weekend in the brutal Belgian sand but typically refused to give in.
After running 12-6 for sixth overall, the Irishman kept hold of his third place in the title fight but is now 36 points off the lead.
Mark Yates (Team Principal)
“Mel was on it all weekend and everything went right. He was in a different class.
“It was carnage out there in both races but he rode fast and he rode smart and managed to stay upright in very tough conditions with the deep sand and intense heat. Our first race was at 6.45pm on Saturday and it was still something like 30 degrees.
“We were testing out some new stuff for next year. The bike is just so different but all the signs are very positive. Mel’s now only two points off the championship lead and in a strong position.
“I’m really pleased for the whole team – it was a solid effort from everyone so it was great that we won the team trophy too. I couldn’t be any prouder of the whole crew. That’s three top steps of the podium in a row for Mel so it’s safe to say that he’s on a roll at the moment.
“Martin had some bad luck but he never gave up and battled through to the end of both races. I know he’s disappointed with his results but he’s still a safe third in the championship.”
Mel Pocock – 1st (3-1)
“What a mint weekend! I haven’t won a European round since 2012 so to get the overall is a massive thing for me personally and something I’m proud of. It’s not something that’s come out of the blue though – I’ve been working hard and doing a lot of training and we’ve been developing the bike.
“A number of things all clicked this weekend and I got two good starts and a holeshot as well. I had a bit of Lady Luck on my side in the last race when Kevin Horgmo went down but it was a tough moto and I kept my head – it literally came down to whoever could stay upright to the finish was going to win the race.
“It was mentally and physically tough but the championship is now down to two points and the title is within reach.”
Martin Barr – 6th (12-6)
“I was seventh in my qualifying group on Saturday morning which wasn’t so bad, I just struggled to get a clean lap in. Being out first thing in the morning on Saturday and then with our first race the last in the evening it meant the track had changed a lot but I was up for the challenge.
“Unfortunately, I just didn’t get a very good start – I wheelied off the grid and had to back it off. I gave myself a lot of work to do and didn’t find a good flow at all. With the track being so rough there were only one or two main lines so trying to pass was tough and I only got back to 12th which was frustrating.
“In race two I was looking forward to putting things right. I had a good start but about 10 feet out of the gate I locked bars with another rider and nearly went down so it was another uphill battle. I kept fighting the whole race and got up to sixth but it was a very disappointing weekend and I was expecting a lot more.
“Positives are that my bike was working fantastic so thanks to my mechanic Dan and everyone around me and Mel getting the overall was great for the team.”
Words: Sean Lawless