ROCZEN HOPING FOR A TURN OF FORTUNE IN FRANCE2010-06-02 07:35
Hard upon the first flyaway event of the season, Teka Suzuki Europe World MX2's Ken Roczen will discover the St Jean D'Angely circuit for the Grand Prix of France this weekend and will be hoping for a reversal of the luck that has plagued him in the last three motos.
The sixteen year old finished fourth at Glen Helen for the USGP last weekend and will now enter the seventh round of 15 in the FIM MX2 Motocross World Championship knowing he must try and reduce the advantage held by World Champion and title rival Marvin Musquin in the Standings.
Roczen was charging towards his first Grand Prix victory of 2010 in Spain three weeks ago until some cruel luck with a mechanical problem halted his plight. In California last Sunday, problems with other riders in the starts of both motos meant that he was struggling to offer Musquin any challenge for the overall triumph.
Now 40 points adrift, the German will have to call on all of his determination and phenomenal ability to reign-in and defeat the Champion on home turf this coming Sunday. Team-mate on the fuel injected RM-Z250, Arnaud Tonus (eighth in the championship), travels to St Jean aiming to get back in the proximity of the top five after some of his own misfortune has led to 14th and eighth positions in the last two events after his bright sixth place in Portugal.
Tonus will at least be able to carry some local knowledge into the French GP thanks to hours spent training on the St Jean hard-pack. The well-established circuit, supported by an enthusiastic and hard-working club, has shared entertaining duties of the World Championship with Ernee (near Le Mans) since the start of the century. The natural valley setting has undergone a facelift with advice from former Suzuki World Champion Mickael Pichon but should still involve the same slippery and stony dirt and numerous climbs up the hillside with the amphitheatre setting providing excellent views to the fans on the opposite side of the gully.
"I like St Jean because it normally has this hard-pack type of dirt, which is my thing," said the Swiss Tonus, whose family have a holiday home relatively nearby in the city of Bordeaux. "The track might have changed a bit but the dirt will be the same. I know St Jean and I think this place will be good for me." In contrast, Roczen is a newcomer: "I have never been there but I think it will be something I will get on with. My luck has to change!"
The weather forecast for the weekend predicts cloudy conditions for Saturday with brighter and sunnier skies for Sunday. At 15-16 degrees, the average temperatures should be half that of the USGP last weekend.
MX2 World Championship standings (after 6 of 15 rounds): 1. Marvin Musquin (FRA, KTM), 268 points; 2. Ken Roczen (GER, Teka Suzuki Europe World MX2), 228 p.; 3. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), 205 p.; 4. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 197 p.; 5. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 170 p.; 6. Zach Osborne (USA, Yamaha), 163 p.; 7. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, Kawasaki), 157 p.; 8. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Teka Suzuki Europe World MX2), 154 p.; 9. Joel Roelants (BEL, KTM), 134 p.; 10. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 129 p.
Source: Team Suzuki Press Office
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