The Honda 150 European Championship riders faced their toughest challenge yet in their first race at the Grand Prix of The Netherlands, which was run yesterday, as an unbelievable amount of rain
hit the man-made circuit. That insures that all of the CRF150R riders put the skills that they have acquired this season to the test.
Andrea Adamo romped to pole position for the fifth time this season, so managed to go undefeated in that particular category. It was Dave Kooiker, a wildcard from The Netherlands, who used the support from his friends and family to shoot into the early lead in the first race. The time that he spent at the head of the field was short-lived though, as Dylan Kroon pushed through and immediately started to make a statement. A series of small errors cost him dearly, however, as he started to drop down the order in the second half of the heat.
It was at that point that Andrea Adamo led the pack for the first time. Adamo, who started right on the cusp of the top five, took advantage of the mistakes that his competitors made and eventually found himself out front. The current series leader was not in a comfortable position though, as Kooiker and Luis Outeiro were nipping at his heels. Outeiro actually claimed the lead on the penultimate lap and looked set to take his first victory of the season, but the treacherous conditions caught him out and forced him to limp past the chequered flag in third.
Adamo completed a perfect day, when it was all said and done, as he claimed his seventh race victory of the season. That also helped him extend his lead in the championship to eleven points entering the final race, as Anton Nordstrom-Graaf struggled to master the unique circuit and could only manage a fourth.
Kooiker, who only qualified in seventh, gave the passionate fans in the grandstands a lot to cheer about, as he finished second and chased Adamo across the finish line. Lynn Valk, Kjeld Stuurman and Kroon also finished inside of the top ten in the first encounter at their home event.
The title fight will come to an end in the late morning, as the final race of the season will be held in the challenging conditions at 11:30am.
Andrea Adamo: “I did a good start and a good race. I had a good feeling with my bike and on this track, even though it was very difficult. Thanks to my friends, team, family and sponsors.”
Gordon Crockard, Honda Europe Off-Road Manager: “Great improvement from all concerned. The race conditions were very similar to Lommel, where we saw a lot of riders struggle to get around, but they all did a lot better this time and managed their bikes to get across the finish line. The race was very exciting, as the wildcards were up front and battling with the regulars. The intelligent ride that Andrea Adamo, who has the championship within his grasp, had was great. Luis Outeiro was excellent, in my opinion, as it was very positive to see him push so hard to win the race, but he had an incident where he touched a fallen bike and tipped over. He ended up third in the race, but I felt that he did excellent. There is another race tomorrow and Andrea will be riding very smart to get the title, I expect, so I look forward to that. Conditions tomorrow will hopefully be better too, so the riders will be able to get a bit more speed and enjoy it more. The final race of the year should be very exciting.