The fourth round of the 2021 FIM Motocross World Championship was run at a new (to the calendar) track, Oss, this past weekend. The sandy venue hosted the Grand Prix of The Netherlands, the home race for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MX2 squad. The Dutch race also included the EMX guys; Maxime Grau joined Jed Beaton and Kay de Wolf beneath the awning.
Jed Beaton qualified in sixth in the timed session, but that did not quite translate to a good start in the first moto. Beaton started just outside of the top ten – his pace was far superior to the riders around him in the early stages though and he started picking them off as the laps wore on. Setting some of the quickest times of the race, he charged all the way into second by lap twelve. Beaton just ran out of time to catch the race leader – a lot of confidence and momentum was gained ahead of the second moto though.
Beaton had a much better start in the second moto, as he slotted in on the cusp of the top five and charged up to third almost immediately. That was the position that he occupied throughout the race – the 20 points that came with that put him in second overall too! That was his first podium of the series. Beaton now runs seventh in the championship standings, just 10 points down on the rider in fifth.
Kay de Wolf, racing in front of the Dutch fans as a Grand Prix star for the very first time, was very impressive from the moment that timed qualifying begun on Sunday morning. De Wolf set the fastest lap time to take the first pole position of his career in just his fourth MX2 event! That pace was clear for everyone to see in the first stint – he charged up to sixth after starting outside of the top ten. A crash on lap eight threatened to hurt his final ranking at that point, but he got up and charged back through the pack to secure fifth.
Urged on by the fact that he was clearly deserving of so much more, de Wolf put in quite the charge in the second moto and challenged for the race lead throughout. It was an unbelievable effort and one that united the passionate fans – an abundance of cheers chased him around the track. Second was his eventual finish, with just five measly seconds separating him from his maiden moto win. That was good enough for the first overall podium of his career, however, as he climbed onto the box in third overall. An incredible effort.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing MX2 will put this momentum to good use and start focusing on the next event, the Grand Prix of Czech Republic, this coming weekend.
Jed Beaton: “I am happy! The starts were not as good as they could have been. I think that held me back, especially in the first one. I could see that I was making a little bit of a charge once I got into second – it was too late though. I had a bit of a better start in the second one but got caught up a bit on the first lap and had to put in a charge to get to third. Jago [Geerts] and Kay had a pretty good pace by the time that I got there, and I had spent quite a bit of energy already. It was obviously a good step in the right direction for me. I am happy.”
Kay de Wolf: “I feel amazing. I had two solid motos. I did not have that good a start in the first moto, then I had a crash with Thibault [Benistant]. That put me back a little bit. I still managed to get to P5 – I was happy with my riding. I almost had the holeshot in the second moto. I followed Jago for the first half a lap before I made a pass on him, then I tucked the front. That was not how I planned it! I still managed to stay second. I almost passed for the lead on the last two laps, but I was done.”