Hard day for Hofer at French Grand Prix

Courtesy of KTM Racing

KTM Junior Team’s Rene Hofer finished 10th overall and picked up points in just one moto for the fifth round of eight in the 2018 EMX125 European Championship at Saint Jean D’Angely in France this weekend.
The series leader came to the hillside and hard-pack circuit having classified outside the top three just once in eight motos so far with the KTM 125 SX. The Austrian was also nursing the immediate after-effects of a virus that had halted his training preparation for the Grand Prix of France and what was another opportunity to shine in what has been an impressive second campaign in the European division.

Hofer rode well across the rutty and stony terrain on Saturday afternoon to pass seven riders and slot into second position by the end of the first EMX125 sprint. Torrential rain and thunderstorms meant that the St Jean soil was a different prospect Sunday morning. Slick and very muddy in places, Hofer was nevertheless finding his rhythm on the surface to again hound the podium-runners when a slip down the biggest descent left #11 struggling to restart his bike. The impact of the spill on the silencer cost the sixteen year old too much time to restart and eventually banished him far down the race order.
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Rene still obtained 22 points for his work on Saturday and holds a 30 point cushion at the top of the EMX125 table.

Hofer: “Two different races for me. I was stuck in the top ten in the first moto but was riding pretty good to come through to second. The track was very different Sunday morning, although these are conditions that all the riders have to deal with. I just made a small mistake and paid for it when the bike landed straight up into the mud. I’m disappointed and this is the bad side of the business but we’ll be ready to go for it again in Belgium.”

Didi Lacher, Team Manager: “Rene came here missing some physical condition but I think he was still good enough to ride and race to win. He did a decent job on Saturday but with the track being so ripped and with all the rain then it meant tough conditions on Sunday morning. A rider mistake led to the situation with the exhaust and unfortunately no points. This is one of the low moments that we have to accept and pick ourselves up from. Rene could do with a little break to get his fitness back but then we’ll look towards two races in the ADAC series, some more riding with the KTM 250 SX-F and also good sand work before we go to Lommel.”

EMX125 now breaks for almost two months. The competition will restart with the Grand Prix of Belgium in one of the hardest physical and technical tests of the season across the deep Lommel sand.

Results EMX125 Saint Jean D’Angely 2018

1. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA), Husqvarna (4-1)
2. Thibault Benistant (FRA), Yamaha (1-6)
3. Florian Miot (FRA), KTM (6-3)
4. James Scott (NZL), KTM (5-5)
5. Rick Elzinga (NED), Yamaha (3-15)
10. Rene Hofer (AUT), KTM (2-DNF)

Standings EMX125 2018 after 5 of 8 rounds

1. Hofer, 202 points
2. Benistant, 172
3. Emil Weckman, 136
4. Petr Polak, 128
5. Mattia Guadagnini, 104


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