Micha-Boy De Waal followed through on his strong performance at the Dutch Masters of Motocross in Mill. De Waal finished 14th overall, his best GP result of the season in Kegums. Team mate Marshal Weltin showed good pace as well but was unlucky on Sunday.

For the Latvian Grand Prix, round seven of the FIM MX2 world championship, riders tackled the well-known “Zelta Zirgs” track, about an hour south-east of Riga, in a different iteration. Riding the course in the opposite direction might have kept things fresh, but the gnarly, technical sandy track still threw plenty of challenges at the world’s fastest motocross riders.De Waal, who was seventh in free practice, felt at ease straightaway. Unfortunately he was relegated to 30th gate pick after a technical mishap in the qualifying race on Saturday. Team mate Marshal Weltin rode a solid 19th place, his best qualifying result of the season.

Getting to grips with the treacherous track wasn’t the only obstacle riders had to face on race day, temperatures of up to 30° C made the going tough physically too. Disadvantaged by two weak starts Micha came through the pack convincinly on both occasions. The spectacular Dutchman placed 13th in the opening moto. However he really stood out in the final race of the day. After another bad getaway he climbed up to 12th, to circulate in 9th for most of the second half of the 30 minutes plus 2 laps sprint. In spite of a late crash “MBDW” still crossed the line 11th eventually.

Weltin, who grew up on hard-pack terrain, has gradually improved his riding skills on sandy terrain over the last few months.The young American made his point twice, fighting for a top-15 spot until technical gremlins threw a spanner in the works. A very unusal electronic glitch ruined his chances in the opening moto while a damaged exhaust pipe forced Marshal to pull out in the second moto. Although the #56 Jumbo No Fear Vamo Honda rider underlined his potential he had to leave Latvia empty-handed. Micha-Boy De Waal is currently 24th in the championship, Marshal Weltin is 35th.

The Jumbo No Fear Vamo Honda will travel to Teutschenthal, Germany this weekend for round eight of the series.

Micha-Boy De Waal: “I’m super stoked! Finally I’ve been able to show what I’m capable of. The good feeling I had, was reflected in the results. Even after the first moto I was pretty pumped, because it was my best result of the year so far. Things went even better for the second race. Unfortunately I suffered quite a big get-off in the setup on the penultimate lap. Luckily I still came home eleventh.”

Marshal Weltin: “I felt pretty fast with the bike this weekend but unfortunately I wasn’t able to show it with the results. I enjoyed the riding and it seemed I found a pretty good flow with the bumps. The more I ride my understanding of the sand improves. My feeling with the bike was good, we just suffered some crazy things that were out of our control. As a rider I’m bummed because you put in all this hard work and you’re not rewarded. Anyway I’m healthy and feeling good, we keep on grinding and I’m looking forward to Germany next weekend.”

Words: Tom Jacobs

Pic: shotbyBavo

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