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EMX, MXGP OF SPAIN - intu Xanadú - Arroyomolinos, SPAIN, 24 März 2024

Podium and moto win for Mathis Valin on EMX250 debut

Bud Racing Kawasaki's Mathis Valin sensationally raced to a moto victory and second overall on his debut in the FIM European EMX250 Championship at the intu Xanadú facility in the Arroyomolinos suburb of Madrid.

The French teenager had already shown his potential in the first moto on Saturday afternoon as he charged from sixth on the opening lap to finish third, less than four seconds behind the winner and he was truly in his element in race two on Sunday morning. Gating second he moved confidently into the lead already on the opening lap and controlled the race to the finish in heavy track conditions with deep sticky ruts after extensive overnight track-watering. Quickly breaking away from the chasing pack he showed great maturity to extend his lead to seven seconds by half-distance, coolly maintaining his advantage to the chequered flag. The moto win appeared to the key to overall victory too as he entered the final lap but there was heartbreak as his rival for the top step of the weekend podium was gifted a position three corners from the finish to reverse the overall standings. But, with second overall and a moto win Kawasaki's class newcomer can look forward with confidence to the next round of the series in Italy on April 13/14.   
Mathis Valin: “Incredible! Already yesterday I had a good feeling; the track changed a lot throughout the day but that was not a problem as I feel very comfortable on the bike. Then today I had another good start; I took the lead when van Erp crashed and I could made a gap to control the race. I have always enjoyed racing in muddy conditions but to win a moto in my second race on the 250 is incredible!  I stayed calm until the chequered flag; I just lost the red plate as Lata gained one position on the last lap but anyway it’s great to be on the podium. We had a good winter with the team and the hard work is paying off, it’s great to offer them this podium and I’m proud of this first moto win."
Benjamin Garib on the second Bud Racing Kawasaki had to dig deep from midfield starts in both motos from the middle of the gate after a disappointing Timed Practice had left him with sixteenth pick. The Chilean's frustration was intensified in the first moto as he was dragged down in a multiple-rider pile-up on the opening lap and narrowly missed the points in twenty-second after a tough recovery from the back of the forty-rider pack. Sixteenth in the early stages of race two he advanced to fourteenth by mid-moto and, maintaining his lap times to the finish, grabbed two places on the final lap to finish twelfth.
Benjamin Garib: "I didn't get the results I wanted this weekend but I will learn from my mistakes; I don't feel so comfortable in muddy conditions but at least I stayed on two wheels today. My thanks to the team and my mechanics; we will keep pushing and training and look for a return to best form in the French championship race next weekend."
Bike It Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team teenage rookie Billy Askew pushed his way forward from outside the top-twenty to finish nineteenth in moto one but truly made his presence felt on Sunday morning as he held third place for three laps and was still a secure fourth for three further laps before losing drive coming out of a turn in one of the ever-deepening sticky ruts. The incident cost the youngster four positions but he was still looking at a top-ten finish. Having never previously raced a moto at this level in such energy-sapping conditions a single error cost him five positions on the penultimate lap but he brought it home fifteenth and the experience of racing at the sharp end of the pack for the first time in fierce international competition will stand him in good stead for the remainder of the series.
Billy Askew: "Yesterday was my first experience racing outside the UK but I got that ticked off the list and had a much better feeling today. The track was rutty and wet today - much more like conditions back home - and I could run with the top boys for ten minutes. The clutch lever must have taken a knock when I crashed but I managed the best I could and am looking forward to the rest of the series."
It was a tough day at the office in the FIM World MX2 Motocross Championship races for Bike It Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team's Jack Chambers as he had to push hard after early incidents left him buried in the pack. The American, who proved his fitness by maintaining his lap times for the entire distance in both motos, showed his resilience to make the final two moves of his first race charge from twenty-fifth to thirteenth on the very last lap, and followed up with two more passes in the final laps of race two to finish eleventh for thirteenth overall. He is now fourteenth in the world championship standings. Teammate Bobby Bruce had to withdraw from both motos.
Jack Chambers: "We made some changes in set-up since last week and are getting where we need to be, but I had to come through the pack both times. The first moto was tough to come back to thirteenth after two falls but the second moto I was battling the entire moto to just miss the top ten. I just need a few more races like today, but with better starts, then we can be up there in the mix."