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EMX, MONSTER ENERGYMXGP OF FRANCE, St Jean D'Angely, France, 18 Mayo 2024

Mathis Valin EMX championship leader

Bud Racing Kawasaki's Mathis Valin moved into the points lead in the FIM European EMX250 Championship after scoring his second moto victory of the campaign on home soil at St Jean d'Angely.

The French teenager had already established himself as favourite around the glorious hillside track by securing pole position in a dry Timed Practice and he was clearly not phased when track conditions changed dramatically as rain rolled in from the Atlantic for the first EMX250 moto of the weekend. Fourth through turn one he quickly slipped through to third within a couple of turns, moved second on lap two and took over the lead with an enthralling uphill pass on lap four. Quickly opening up a six second lead he maintained his composure in the slippery conditions to eventually take victory by ten seconds. The twenty-five point maximum points-tally also sees him take over the championship lead by seven points heading into tomorrow morning's second moto.
Mathis Valin: "It's an amazing feeling to achieve all this at home for the French fans. First in Timed Practice in the dry and now the race win and the championship lead in the rain. I know that in the mud you have to be careful so I took my time to take the lead; the two riders ahead of me at the start are not front-runners in the championship so I was confident that a win was possible. I was really focused on my race; I could hear the public cheering me in some sections and that was great to have this support. Today we had all conditions - muddy this morning for the free practice - dry for the timed practice and slippery for the race, but I kept calm and stayed on two wheels; now I look forward to tomorrow!"
Bud teammate Benjamin Garib made a superb start from fifteenth gate-pick to run seventh on the opening lap but a mistake on lap four in the slippery conditions pushed him down to thirteenth and, covered in greasy mud, the Chilean eventually finished eighteenth.
Bike It Kawasaki MX2 Racing Team's Billy Askew made a solid start after posting ninth-fastest time in practice and clever moves through the opening laps saw the English teenager advance to seventh by lap three before a small slip cost him two positions; but he was still able to equal his best result in his rookie season in the 250cc class with ninth.
Billy Askew: "I'm very happy. Timed practice was prime with ninth but then it hammered down before our race; it was very muddy and really slick but it was fun. It's tougher on the bigger bike in these conditions but I'm gaining experience all the time."