Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki were down to single rider representation at the sweltering Thailand Circuit for the second round of the 2015 FIM Motocross World Championship and Mel Pocock produced the goods to score sixth overall and equal his best Grand Prix finish.
Max Anstie needed to fly back to the UK to treat a sore right shoulder as a consequence of his hefty second moto crash in Losail, Qatar last Saturday. That left Pocock to run the KX250F around the flat, tight and jumpy layout in the Nakhonchaisri road racing facility. Temperatures reached almost forty degrees with suffocating humidity as the riders of the MX2 class needed to get to grips with inconsistent terrain and a new course after two editions of the Grand Prix at Si Racha. The weather took its toll on athletes like world champion Jordi Tixier and factory racers like Jeremy Seewer and Tim Gajser. The officials decided to cut the duration of the second motos by five minutes to twenty-five minutes and two laps duration in the interests of safety with heat exhaustion affecting some of the GP stars.
Pocock gelled with the Thailand Circuit quite quickly and showed prowess with his lap-times on Saturday by riding to ninth position and working his way past a slew of riders into the top ten during the Qualification Heat. On Sunday the former European Champion was reasonably proficient with his starts and this helped in terms of asserting an effective pace among the second group. Pocock was regular and solid with his pace and captured eighth and seventh positions.
“I literally took my own pace in that second race and it was good enough to sit where I wanted to sit,” he said. “I did not fade at all and I was pretty consistent. I guess the work I have been doing with my trainer is paying off.”
The team will head back to the UK and prepare immediately for the first round of eight in the Maxxis British Championship at Hilton Park in Wolverhampton this weekend. Anstie’s rate of recovery will be monitored and checked in the coming days with a view to participation and the 2014 Belgian GP winner – as well as Pocock – will have another week to ride, train and test before the Grand Prix of Argentina on March 29th.
Qualifying – 9th
MX2 Race 1 – 8th
MX2 Race 2 – 7th
MX2 Overall – 6th
Mel Pocock: “It’s hot! I was worried coming into the season because I’m pissed off with fading. I would not say we have nailed it on the head but I am a lot better. Another two good races today in possibly the hardest conditions you can give to a rider. The bike worked amazingly so thanks to the guys for that. I was the only guy out there for the team this weekend and a lot of ‘eyes’ turned my way. I’m pretty happy.”
Steve Dixon, Team Owner/Manager: “I’m really happy with the bike and Mel. I think his turnaround from last year in terms of dealing with the heat has been huge. Sixth overall is really good, especially when people expected to see Mel fade. He proved himself as a good, solid top ten rider now. Max is getting better, every day there is progress. He is working hard with the physio. I know he wants to win a British title so we’ll see for next weekend and he sure be back for sure by Argentina”