The Hitachi KTM Fuelled By Milwaukee team kicked off their 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship campaign at the stunning Patagonia-Argentina circuit in South America on Sunday.
Campaigning against the best riders in the world, the MX2 pairing of Conrad Mewse and Bas Vaessen rode solidly to easily score points in the top 15, with Mewse taking a top 10 finish in race one.
The encouraging results from the Hawkstone International meeting clearly buoyed the pair, who overcame mediocre starts to put in strong rides in both races in front of an excitable 35,000 crowd.
The starts meant that Mewse couldn’t replicate his sixth place best finish from Argentina last round, but the results are a steady base upon which the team will build ahead of the British round to be held at Matterly Basin on March 24.
Mewse qualified in ninth and eventually finished race one in ninth, though the story of his race wasn’t as clear-cut as merely keeping his ground as he dropped to 13th by the end of the first lap, fighting hard to recover lost ground.
Conrad Mewse: “It was nice to get the season started this weekend with the first round of the MXGP, it was a very tough weekend for me and one that I didn’t have planned out! We have made a lot of improvements from last year on weaknesses but now there is just a few more things which I need to put together to be able to race at the sharp end. All the hard work is done and this will be an easy fix so I’m looking forward to continuing the season and improving each weekend.”
Vaessen’s improvement from qualifying was clear, with the Dutchman finishing in 14th. Race two had the pair again initially losing ground before overhauling those lost positions to finish 12th and 13th, although five seconds separated Mewse from Vaessen at the chequered flag. Meanwhile world champion Jorge Prado continued where he left off on his KTM SX-F 250, taking a pair of wins for the factory team.
Bas Vaessen: “In the end I think I can look back with some positive points speed wise in the motos. I think Saturday I have quite some points to improve and we will go work on it the next weeks until the next GP in England. Overall, I’m happy with my new Hitachi KTM Powered By Milwaukee team and the dedication the staff has.”
The Hitachi KTM Fuelled by Milwaukee team will test their mettle in the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship at FatCat on March 10.