Just like last year it was another test in the heat for the riders in Ottobiano but fortunately it wasn’t quite as hot as the year before and no riders were left collapsing with heat exhaustion.
This biggest story of the day was Jorge Prado’s ability to deal with the heat. Just one year ago he got heat exhaustion at the end of moto one and couldn’t line up for moto two, this year he won moto two and the overall!
Prado’s reaction showed just how much the win meant to him, it wa s personal victory over the heat demons from a ear ago and shows yet again just how far Prado has come in 12 months. He even played it smart in race one, laying up in the last couple of laps and taking second place beheid Thomas Covington to conserve some energy before making the break in race two from the American who himself had to slow down a little with the heat at the end of the moto to finish fourth.
Prado has ticked all the boxed now he needed to fix from last year, the next test is has he got the nerve under pressure to win his first world title in the first season he is involved in the championship.
Another man who was very impressive in the heat was Ben Watson. The Brit, not acclimatised to such humid conditions, ran with Pauls Jonass for the entire first moto for four fourth and then came from 15th to 5th, almost catching Thomas Covington in the last couple of laps. Ben ended u fifth overall but it was one of the best performances of the season.
In EMX2 it was all about Jett Lawrence he 14 year old Aussie phenom looked great early but I’m not sure how many expected him to last the whole moto in the heat given his age and lack of experience, but he showed a lot of confidence and heart to take a simply superb win and announced himself to the world as one of the best young riders coming through the EMX system – even if he will be riding in the states from 2019!
Geico Honda have signed themselves a star of the future for sure and have to be licking their lips at the prospect of the Lawrence brothers potentially taking the states by storm over the next couple of years.
Special praise too for points leader Boisrame who himself had heat exhaustion last year but held strong in both motos this year despite hitting the deck after a run in with Mel Pocock, Boisrame now has a 19 point lead in the championship.
Tony Cairoli as usual did what he had to do and won both motos, even if a couple of crashes throughout the weekend meant not everything went to plan! The heat Cairoli had to deal with wasn’t due to the weather as the Italian is proven in the humid conditions but the pressure was getting himself into contention to win his tenth world title with Herlings out and he delivered. Cairoli is now ready to take the fight to Herlings for the rest of the season and it promises to be ferocious fight to the finish now!
Jason Thomas flew over from the states on FLY racing business and the Racer X contributer did such a superb job in the commentary booth alongside Paul Malin that YS should maybe get him accross for a few more events! It’s always good to get influential US pundits views on the world championship series.