Who impressed: MX2 British GP
Rene Hofer: What a debut in the Red Bull KTM team for the Austrian teenager! Hofer, in his first full year of MX2 racing, had shown good speed in a handful of MX2 races he did last year with top ten performances but now a fully fledged member of the series, Hofer rode outstanding in the opening round. A strong ride in the opening moto was slightly deflated by a late race crash but Hofer showed there he was ready to battle with the best and wasn’t going to give an inch. Race two was even better. The Austrian led for almost the entire race even with teammate Vialle breathing down his neck for most of it, only succumbing to his teammate with three laps to go, again showing great determination and mental strength. Hofer has been on the radar for a while as a potential future star and it looks like he is about to become that star pretty quickly!
“Just amazing,” commented the Austrian. “My goal was to take two good starts and to try and ride like I do in practice. In the first moto I was 5th at the start and made my way up to 3rd and had nearly half the race there but could not make the pass on [Mathys] Boisrame and dropped back with some arm-pump. I was 6th on the last lap – and was OK with that – but made a small mistake, tipped over and lost two positions. In the second race I made the holeshot and passed Jago on the second lap. I really enjoyed the track. It is one of my favourites of the year. I almost led until the end. Anyway, it is the first GP of the year it feels incredible. I’m really happy.”
Mikkel Haarup: Another teenager and another impressive performance! Haarup had a tough time staying healthy last year on the Rockstar Husqvarna but he looks a different rider in 2020. He has the raw speed but this time he looks controlled with a little bit in reserve and no longer on the edge. Haarup looks at home on the F&H Kawasaki and sounds like he isn’t surprised at his pace and results. He went quickest in timed qualifying on Saturday but was able to back that up with a podium on Sunday and rode really well in both motos, with speed and fitness on point. He also showed some good mental strength to be able to cope with going into the first race as the quickest guy, it immediately raising expectations but he delivered anyway. F&H Kawasaki have got something going on with their set-up, all their riders seem to be able to find their potential on that team and they deserve a pat on the back as well.
Conrad Mewse: The Brit missed most of the 2019 season with a bad wrist injury and was somewhat of a question mark coming into the 2020 world championship. Would he still have the raw speed and could he find consistency week-in, week-out? Well the first question was answered early as Mewse stormed out of the gate in race one and ran up front all moto to come home a brilliant fourth, especially when you consider how long it has been since he raced a GP moto – almost 12 months. The second moto saw Mewse spin off the gate and enter turn one almost dead last, never the best at coming through the GP field, Mewse rode well to get back to 17th in a deep field and take 10th overall, a satisfactory start to the season especially considering the bad start in race two. As long as he can get the starts Mewse looks like he will be a factor this year, the enigmatic Brit looks like he is ready and determined to fulfil his huge potential if round one was anything to go by.
Jed Beaton: It has been a very, very tough two years for Jed Beaton. Ever since he broke his leg in 2018, the Aussie hasn’t been able to stay fit enough for long enough to really get some consistent results together but his performance at Matterley Basin was more like what he is really capable of. Once again it shows the importance of preparation and being injury free. Beaton was fighting for the leading positions all day and only a crash in race two meant he couldn’t fight for what looked like a possible podium. With the Lawrence brothers coming in and then Mitch Evans, Beaton has been somewhat overshadowed by his countrymen in recent years but the talent doesn’t go away and Beaton looks like he is ready to show what he can do in MX2 in 2020.
Article: Jonathan McCready
Main Image: Ray Archer