Ottobiano really didn’t go well for young Spanish sensation, Jorge Prado last year as the heat got the better of him. However, fast forward a year and Jorge Prado is a new rider, he really is the full package now. The thing that’s really impressive with Prado and perhaps his team manager, Claudio de Carli deserves credit for it too but he can spot his weaknesses which he then improves.
The one thing that let the factory KTM rider down last year was the hot conditions but he’s clearly worked hard physically to be better prepared and it’s worked wonders. In the first moto, Prado had the early lead but ended up second – he beat his championship rival which was the most important thing. The second moto was a different story as Prado had the lead but with ten minutes to go he pulled the pin and made a gap at the front, just to show how strong he is. The championship chase is now down to 9 points. Fasten your seat belts as it looks like this championship battle could go right to the very end.
Since announcing he’s going back to America next year again, Thomas Covington has really upped his game since the start of the season and we are seeing him ride like we know he can. The factory Rockstar Husqvarna rider was superb in the first moto as he made a move on Prado and broke away at the front to win by nearly six seconds.
The second moto didn’t go quite as well for Covington as he was holding second for just over half the moto but then quite surprisingly the heat looked to get to him – surprising considering he’s American but he hasn’t ridden conditions like that in quite some time. The American still ended up a solid fourth though to take the second step on the podium, a great GP and there’s not much he could have done about Prado in the second moto.
The goal for young Dutch talent, Davy Pootjes this season is just to stay fit and get stronger as the season progresses. The LRT KTM rider excels in the sandy conditions and perhaps that’s not to be surprising considering he’s Dutch! Pootjes was much closer to the front this weekend than usual which is good to see, sometimes it’s easy to forget just how talented he is but injuries have set him back with his career.
Pootjes had a strong seventh in the first moto and just behind the impressive Jago Geerts – we know the young Belgian loves the sand! Unfortunately, a disastrous start in moto two cost him another top ten finish but he came from outside the top twenty all the way back to eleventh to earn eighth overall. It was definitely a step in the right direction for Pootjes and he’ll want to run closer to the front than he has been during the last nine rounds of the series.
Since stepping in for Vsevolod Brylyakov at Kemea Yamaha, Anthony Rodriguez has been simply getting used to racing Motocross again because since Ottobiano last year he’s focused on racing Supercross. He could definitely have worse teams behind him though than the Kemea Yamaha team – he’s picked up a good ride.
The Venezuelan had his best ride to date but perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised as he rode the track last year and the hot conditions would have suited him. He went 12-9 to earn himself a ninth overall but he wants even more. “Overall, I’m quite happy with this result. Although, I want more. A lot more. I made a lot of sacrifices to be here. It’s a work in progress. I don’t want to sound cocky, but I want to fight for top 5.”
It might have been a tough GP but it’s one that Sahkar KTM rider, Hardi Roosiorg will remember for a long time. The Estonian has been battling for points during the GP’s he’s contested so far this year. In the first moto at Ottobiano he ended up nineteenth for more points which he’d have been happy with.
However, in the second moto he had the best race of his career so far crossing the line in thirteenth. It was a tough race with the heat and riders being drained but he showed he’s a fighter and not scared of the difficult conditions. Roosiorg has improved a lot so far this season and will be hoping to transform himself into a regular point scorer over the rest of the season.
Article: Andy McKinstry