Roelants improving after Thai MXGP
A steaming Grand Prix of Thailand saw Monster Energy Yamaha’s Joel Roelants continue to improve and adapt to the nuances of the premier MX1 class of the FIM Motocross World Champion and also get back up to the top level. The former MX2-GP winner grasped 10th and 7th positions for 7th overall at Si Racha to better his 13th from the previous week in Qatar.
Another flowing course housed some big jumps and wide sections that made life tricky for the MX2 elite against the 450s of MX1 in the second attempt at the experimental Superfinal format. The ground was a mix between hard-pack and churned bumps and ruts in the corners. Riders commented of varying grip on the new terrain but the dirt provided some interesting line choices by the second half of the closing race. Temperatures in excess of thirty degrees meant an energy-sapping weekend and Roelants showed his positive trajectory of progress in difficult conditions.
The Belgian was diligent with his lap-times and application in the two races and a slightly better start in the Superfinal led to his best ranking so far on the YZ450FM. The Thai heat was a restrictive factor for Steven Frossard who had not recovered sufficiently from illness to make an impact on the leading group. The fast Frenchman was 8th overall, just behind his team-mate, with a scorecard of two 9th positions.
The Grand Prix of the Netherlands will form the third stop on the FIM Motocross World Championship calendar and will take place through the shallow sand of Valkenswaard near Eindhoven on Easter Monday.
“The plan to was to get every point that I could in the first two GPs and in Qatar I finished 15th and 12th and here was 10th and 7th so I think things are going upwards and I’m happy about that. I know I have to give myself a bit more time. We have three weeks before Valkenswaard and I will make some good progress physically. I think I’m around 75% now, so to take seventh place is OK. If I’m fitter, then I know I can do better.”