The 2016 season of the Honda 150 European Championship saw the title decided in the last race, where Emil Weckman became the first rider to win the European 150 title in consecutive years.
The talented Finn left himself with all the work to do on his #1 CRF150R in the final race after a DNF in Saturday’s race one, where his championship lead was cut from 32 points to 10. Norway’s Hakon Fredriksen, who held the red plate briefly at the start of the season, was looking strong but was unable to catch Weckman.
Fredriksen was also under pressure from yesterday’s moto winner Mack Bouwense, a wildcard rider for this round, and Leopold Ambjornson, who had moved into third place in the championship standings following the first race on the man-made sand track.
At the chequered flag Fredriksen took second ahead of Bouwense in third, while the top five was rounded out by Rasmus Moen and Ambjornson in fourth and fifth respectively. This meant that Fredriksen held onto second in the championship standings, while Ambjornson took third.
Weckman first distinguished himself in the 2015 pre-season training camp in Albaida, Spain where his confident style and big jumps were soon noticed. This season Emil has won eight motos and, before this round in Assen, had been on the podium at every event.
As his championship prize Emil Weckman will join the European 250 Championship next year aboard a CRF250R with the support of Honda as part of one of their EMX250 teams.
The Honda 150 European Championship aims to nurture youth talent and help them to progress up the motocross ladder. Open to 11-14 year olds the championship features as one of the support races to the World Motocross Championship and visits a variety of Grand Prix tracks. As part of the Honda Racing Family the young riders also benefit from tuition and guidance from other members of the Honda Racing Family, which this year has included Honda’s Gariboldi MXGP rider Tim Gajser (2015 MX2 champion) and Team HRC Sporting Manager Jean-Michel Bayle.
Emil Weckman 1
“The weekend was pretty difficult. Saturday I didn’t feel I could go as fast as I wanted to and we had a problem, didn’t finish the race. The second race was better with a good start and then I lead from the first lap to the last so was quite good. Of course it feels good to be champion, last year I was also the champion, but this time I will make the step up to EMX250 so it should be good.”
– Manninen Bros Honda
Honda Europe Off-Road Manager
“We finished this season with another exciting race in the soft sand of Assen. Emil has been very strong this year; he has proved again how strong he is mentally, how well he handles the pressure and although he took no points from the first race he was able to come back today and put in a mature performance that resulted in the moto win. I have also been impressed with our two riders that have come second and third. Hakon Fredriksen and Leopold Ambjornson have really shown that they are very good riders and have made big improvements throughout the season. I am now looking forward to having Emil in the European 250 championship next year.”