Feeling confident following its strong showing at Matterley Basin last weekend, REVO Husqvarna UK headed to Valkenswaard for the MXGP of the Netherlands, round three of the FIM Motocross World Championship.
Dylan Walsh was looking forward to racing in the deep sand and aiming to build on his career-best eighth overall last time out and he got a great start in the qualifying race but crashed on the opening lap and was struck by another rider.
Despite feeling extremely second-hand he went out for Sunday morning’s warm-up but it was clear he was struggling and the team made the tough call to withdraw him from the event.
After qualifying in 13th, Dylan’s team-mate Alvin Ostlund had high hopes of scoring solid points but a bad start in the opening moto put him outside the top 20 at the end of the first lap.
The Swede favours sand circuits and he looked comfortable and confident as he pulled through to 13th – his best finish of the season so far – despite a small crash.
He got a better start in race two but crashed on the first lap. Restarting at the back of the field in 37th position, he dug deep and following a typically gritty performance was rewarded with a hard-earned point for 20th.
With the team’s next event the MXGP of Trentino at Pietramurata in Italy this coming weekend, Alvin sits 15th in the championship standings, one place ahead of Dylan.
Team principal Mark Yates: “Dylan had a great start yesterday in the qualifying race but he went down hard and then got run over. He had to have a couple of stitches in his elbow and on Sunday morning he had stiffened up badly. He struggled in the warm-up so we made a decision not to let him ride – it would have been too dangerous for him.
“We went with high expectations of doing well in the sand but it just wasn’t to be. I feel for Dylan but as Team Manager I have a responsibility towards my riders and we all agreed that it was the right thing to do.
“Alvin’s struggling with his starts at the moment but he has good speed and doesn’t give up. After crashing in the second moto, once he got going again his lap times would have put him in the top 10. He’s disappointed with himself and knows he needs to work on his starts and create more space around him with his elbows when he comes out of the gate.
“So it’s not been the best of weekends and we’ve not had the results we were looking for but I’m pleased with the way we work as a team.”
Alvin Ostlund: “It was a tough track but I had a really good feeling on it. I was really excited to race there – maybe a little bit too much.
“Unfortunately, in the first race I had a very bad start and also had a small crash but I managed to work my way up to 13th which I was a little disappointed with.
“In the second race I had a better start but then I collided with someone and crashed and was dead last but came back to 20th. I had to pass many guys to get there.”
Dylan Walsh: “I’m very sore. I was passing for fourth and tucked the front over a ski-jump and was laying in the middle of the track and whoever was in fifth or sixth landed on me. I got some stitches in my elbow and there’s a lot of bruising so I’m feeling battered but I’ll be back next weekend.”