Le Touquet is of course the main beach race in France and, together with the Knock Out in the Netherlands and Weston in the UK, it is one of the biggest off-road events in the world, catering for nearly 2000 riders in various classes of this prestigious race with its long and rich history. For several years now more beach races have been organised in northern and south-west France and together they form the official six round national series. Hossegor last weekend was the fourth round of the season after Berck, Loon Plage and St Leger de Balson, and there’s now a three-week break before the penultimate round.
Many manufacturers are officially involved in this series, the French arm of Kawasaki Motors Europe lining up two riders to compete on the KX450F under the guidance of former world champion Livia Lancelot. It’s the first time that Kawasaki has had an official sand racing team, and after four rounds team leader Axel Van de Sande is leading the series. Second in the opening round in Berck, fourth in Loon and eighth in St Léger, Axel was back on the podium in Hossegor and thanks to his third position he’s now leading the series by nearly forty points before the final two rounds who will also take place on some of the finest beaches in France. Back from injury one week ago, teammate Tim Florin scored his first top ten result of the season with a seventh position at the end of the two and a half hour race.
As Team Monster Energy Bud Kawasaki is based in Hossegor, it was pretty logical to see Brian Moreau making his first appearance in a beach race; the young 125 European motocross champion dominated the Junior race on his KX250F, leading for most of the 90-minute race to end his season on a high note.
Livia Lancelot: “We’re of course very happy to see both of our riders in the top ten, and to again have the red plate on Axel’s bike for the next race. Axel crashed early in the race and damaged the bike so we had to repair it during the pit stops but he showed in the last part of the race how strong and fast he is when the track is becoming rutted and bumpy. We can see that our bikes are performing very well, the team is more experienced with the pit stops at each race and we’re now awaiting the next round in St Leger with confidence to prepare the grand finale in Le Touquet.”
Brian Moreau: “When I got back on the bike this week I didn’t really know what to expect, but the feeling and the speed were OK straight away. I know this beach well as I run there during the summer, but I didn’t know how the racing would be against the experienced beach race riders; but in the end it was a good race for me, even if I crashed three times and felt tired when the race was finished. It’s very nice to win here as many friends and partners were present; it’s nice also for the team and for sure it will be easier to go back training after a win!”