After 4 years of absence on the MXGP calendar, Agueda made his return. The beautiful Portugese track has an unique surface and always gets good racing. Just as last week in Italy it was very warm in Portugal, but the conditions were more enjoyable then Ottobiano.
With once again a fastest time in qualifying practice, Benoit headed into the qualifying race with a good feeling. Despite a good start Benoit had some troubles in the opening laps dropping him to the back of the field. He had a huge crash in the second lap coming together with another rider and getting stuck under the bike. From last place he eventually came back to 23rd. Alvin had a good race and finished in 9th. Brent was riding just outside the top 10 when halfway through the race he had a crash and dropped to 16th.
For the first moto on Sunday Alvin was the best KEMEA rider out of the gate just outside the top 10. Benoit and Brent were further in 17th and 18th at the first timing point. As the track was very slippery in the early laps Alvin was a bit too cautious and dropped to 19th, but afterwards he regrouped and came back to finish 14th. Paturel and Vandoninck charged forward together passing a lot of riders. Brent finished the race in 9th while Paturel made a late race charge to finish 6th.
The second moto had no different scenario at the start. With all three KEMEA Yamaha riders just outside the top 10. Same mission as before for the riders and they started moving up the field. Benoit was once again pretty impressive riding fast lap times. He moved up to 4th and was only seconds away from 3rd place. He ended up 5th overall but moves up in the championship standings to 4th. Brent came back to 7th and got 7th overall too. He moves up 1 spot too in the championship standings and is now 9th. Alvin ended the race in 12th, got 12th overall and also moves up 1 spot in the championship standings to 13th heading into the summer break of 3 weeks.
Benoit Paturel: “ With the crash on Saturday in qualification I had a bad gate pick and couldn’t get good starts. I had to come back from the back of the pack twice and I was quiet pleased with the feeling and speed I had. To get on the box you need to get a good start, so let’s keep working hard in the break on that and continue the good feeling on the bike.”
Brent Vandoninck: “ Considering the circumstances I’m pleased with the result in Agueda. I know I can do better and so does the team, but all weekend long I struggled to get a good feeling on the track. My wrist is still not good yet and on this track it was very painful. I had to take care which lines I took to absorb as less bumps as possible. I’m happy we have the break now. I won’t ride in the first week to let it rest, and then work again to be back in Loket to show my full potential.”
Alvin Ostlund: “ This wasn’t the best weekend. I never found a good rhythm and feeling on the track. My starts were good on Sunday, but I was not aggressive enough in the first laps and lost a lot of places. In the end 12th overall wasn’t too bad either, but I’m not that happy.
This week I will stay in Belgium to train and afterwards I go back to Sweden to prepare myself as good as I can for Loket.”