The hard-pack hillside of Orlyonok was the destination for Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MX2 this past weekend, as the track hosted the first event of the 2021 FIM Motocross World Championship. Jed Beaton and Kay de Wolf were eager to get the Grand Prix of Russia underway, following such a lengthy off-season.
Beaton fared the best of the two in timed qualifying on Sunday morning – he logged the third-quickest lap time and was just six tenths shy of pole position. That positive showing did not quite translate into a good start in the first moto, as he ended lap one on the cusp of the top ten. Not to be deterred, however, he set his sights on the top five and immediately started to pick off the guys ahead. Beaton was already in seventh after just three laps and managed to hold onto that position to the finish line for a solid haul of points.
The second moto started in a similar fashion, as he completed lap one in tenth again and then immediately got to work. Unfortunately, he was collected by a downed rider just a couple of laps into the race and faced a significant deficit once he climbed back onto his FC 250. A series of passes helped him climb all of the way to eleventh by the end to salvage ten crucial points and seventh in the overall classification. Beaton sits in that same position in the championship standings.
Kay de Wolf, racing in the MX2 class for the first time, had flashes of brilliance on the Orlyonok circuit. The first moto was particularly strong; he started in the lower half of the top fifteen and charged up to tenth at the end, passing some more experienced riders along the way. The second moto was even impressive – he went from eleventh to seventh early on before an untimely fall on one of the trickiest parts of the track. It was a tough blow, but he soldiered on with a beat-up bike to reach the chequered flag in twenty-first. That tenacity helped him achieved sixteenth overall on the day, but it was quite clear that he belongs in the top ten.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MX2 team will now return to base and turn attention to the second round of the 2021 FIM Motocross World Championship, the Grand Prix of Great Britain, in just two weeks. The event will be run at Matterley Basin in front of 4000 fans on June 27.
Rasmus Jorgensen (Team Manager): “Not the way we had hoped to start the season, but on a good note the speed is there and there is plenty of racing left to do. Some bad starts and bad luck today, but at the end of the day we need to be there at the start and that was not the case today. We will fight back in Matterley Basin in two weeks’ time.”