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A second for mud-master Mathis Valin

Mathis Valin showed his mud-racing ability as he skilfully piloted his Bud Racing Kawasaki onto the moto podium in the FIM European EMX250 Championship at a very wet Agueda in Portugal.

The French teenager was initially outside the top-ten after being edged out at the saturated first turn as heavy rain swept inland from the Atlantic but he was soon displaying grit and determination to push forward to fourth by lap two. With the ruts getting deeper by the lap and backmarkers a potential additional hazard as they slithered all over the track in search of grip the youngster finally broke down the defences of the series points-leader three laps later before immediately moving clear to chase down the rider ahead of him, claiming his eventual second place with three laps remaining.
Mathis Valin: “ I’m not a fussy guy; nothing can bother me and I like mud, hardpack and sand so I had fun today on the track. This morning when I woke up I thought that they had made a mistake with the weather forecast as the track was dry for the first practice session. But already for the Timed Practice session it was really muddy and it got even worse for the Qualifying race. I had a good jump out of the gate but there was a soft patch on my line and that cost me positions so I was only tenth through the first few corners; that was not the best start in these conditions but I came back to second which is a good result. I made a conscious effort to save my goggles all the way to the finish. I gained a few points to Lata; if I can do this again tomorrow that will be great, though of course my goal is to win here."
Bud teammate Benjamin Garib had been impressive in Qualifying Practice to post seventh-fastest time but the Chilean was soon involved in collisions with other riders which cost him so much time that, rider and bike covered in greasy mud, he had to be content with thirty-first at the finish.
Bike It Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team's Billy Askew moved forward from an eighteenth-placed start to twelfth within four laps before he slipped off, losing six positions in the process. His gloves covered in mud the English teenager persevered for sixteenth.