Following Monday’s high drama that saw series leader Mel Pocock (REVO Husqvarna UK) DQ’d after retaliating to strong-arm tactics from title rival Pierre Goupillon (Bud Racing Kawasaki), the third round of the EMX250 series at Orlyonok in Russia took another bizarre twist yesterday.
Starting the morning’s moto third in the championship standings 12 adrift of new leader Giuseppe Tropepe (Yamaha) from Italy and five behind team-mate Martin Barr, Pocock dislocated his knee just after half-distance while pushing for a pass for second on Dylan Walsh (Husqvarna).
Fortunately, it went straight back in again and after dropping three places he regrouped and held sixth to the flag. Tropepe had suffered an early crash and was out of the points so Pocock’s main rivals for the series lead were Walsh in second and Barr, who’d fallen while seventh and taken most of the race to get back from 10th to seventh.
At the front fellow Brit Steve Clarke (Carglass Honda), the champion in 2014, had swept into the lead and was in full control.
In the final two laps first Nicholas Lapucci (Yamaha) and then Maxime Renaux (Yamaha) passed a rapidly fading Walsh which meant the red plate was going no further than across the REVO Husqvarna UK awning to new leader Barr.
“I’ve got the red plate going into Latvia in two weeks’ time,” said Barr, “but there are still a lot of races left so I’ll be keeping my head down and working harder than ever now to try to keep hold of it.”
On the day it was Lapucci from Clarke from Walsh and in the championship Barr leads Walsh by three points with Pocock just another point off the pace in third.
In the EMX300 class defending champion Brad Anderson (Verde Substance KTM) came out meaning business and led every lap to win from series leader Mike Kras (GL12 Racing KTM) and Vaclav Kovar (Gas Gas) from the Czech Republic.
Combined with his third place yesterday the win earned the tough North Easterner the top step of the podium and means he now trails Kras by just eight points with four rounds remaining.