Milko Potisek wins the Le Touquet Battle,
but Nathan Watson wins the War

Milko Potisek (Yamaha)
               Milko Potisek (Yamaha) kept the partisan French crowd happy last Sunday by winning his second Le Touquet beach race, the biggest beach race in the world. But our own defending champion Nathan Watson (KTM) handy caped himself at the very start of the race when he was deemed to have jumped the start. The organisers gave him a stop and go minute penalty, and despite the added time Watson finished the event in third place and retained his French sand race championship for the second year. Watson said about the penalty, “I saw another rider move and just went for it. They say that’s what you have to do or get buried in the pack. So, I saw the flinch, went perhaps a bit too quick with all the excitement and paid the price”.
             But it was a great day for the British riders as no fewer than six of our home-grown riders got into the top forty out of a start line of over 1,260 and in the event that use to be dominated by the French.

Nathan Watson (KTM)
            The forecast of gale-force winds and rain turned out to be just a gusty overcast, gloomy and dry day which didn’t stop the massive crowds of motorsport mad French people lining the course that stretched five miles down the giant beach for the three-hour event.
            Camille Chapeliere, Watson’s KTM team-mate, got the holeshot from Watson, Valentin Guillod (Honda), Matheo Moit (KTM), Axel Van De Sande (Yamaha), Jeremy Van Horebeek (Honda), and Greg Smets (KTM).
            But as they came around to complete the first of fifteen laps, Chapeliere was chassed over the finish line by Van Horebeek, Smets, Van De Sande, Jeffrey Dewulf (KTM), Kevin Fors (Husqvarna), Potisek and Todd Kellett (Yamaha) with Watson down in twelfth.

Jeffrey Dewulf (KTM)
            As the race reached the end of the first hour, Potisek was in the lead a sighing his way through the pack markers with apparent ease. Van Horebeek was keeping him honest and pushing him hard as the one-time leader Chapeliere slipped to third a victim of backmarkers.
            Watson was up to fourth and was pushing hard while Kellett dropped back to eleventh place after a massive crash.
            Jordon Divall (Honda) was next best Brit in sixteenth with first-timer Tom Neil (Husqvarna) in twenty-second and settling into the deep sand well.
            As the clock told the riders they had just an hour left in the race Potisek had broken away from Horebeek with Watson, despite his minute penalty, still in third but along way behind the leading pair and with all realistic chance of his second win gone.

Antoine Briatte (Yamaha)
            Chapeliere was fourth with the brave Kellett hanging in there in fifth. Divall was now in thirteenth place with Neal was down in thirty third after a fuel stop.
            As the race clock went to zero, the crowds flocked to the finish line area to see Potisek take his second win and in true showman style, he crossed the finish line, got his team to hold his bike while he stood on the seat to salute the cheering crowd.
            Horebeek was second, just over three and a half minutes behind the winner with Watson third, three minutes behind him.

Nathan Watson (KTM)
             “Track conditions were a lot different this year,” said sand race champion Watson, “The high tides meant the sand was hard in lots of places. This meant they didn’t build the jumps so high as I guess they didn’t was riders jumping into boggy bits. This made the track a lot faster, and I like it more technical with more courses. But no excuses I got beat fair and square, and I will have to learn from it and put it right for next year.”
               In the championship, Watson’s record speaks for itself. Out of the six rounds, he won three, come second in another two and was third in this event. Never off the podium.
              Kellett finished his day in fifth despite and hurting back and a fat lip that was the size of a golf ball. He said, “It was certainly a challenging day but through no fault of the team or me. I think it was a lack of experience in the event that I didn’t gage what was happening early on. I crashed out of the lead on lap two and struggled without a front brake and a wheel twisted in the forks for the first hour. I few more crashes but me back even further, but I managed to get back to fifth at the flag. I got the fastest lap of the race, so I know I had the pace and to finish second in the championship means I am going in the right direction. Just need a bit better luck. Couldn’t have done it without the French Dragon Tek Yamaha team, they have made me feel like family”.

Milko Potisek (Yamaha)
            Tom Neal did very well for his first ride of the event in twenty-eighth place, and he said, “I enjoyed the event so much I want to do the full series next year. I took it steady and was only riding 80%, and I think it showed as I only crashed twice in the full three hours. My goal was a top forty finish, so twenty-eighth is great, and I will be back for more.”
           Todd Kellett’s brother Tye finished thirty-eighth and said, “Le Touquet is amazing. The feeling of going down that long start straight was something else. To finish the event is even better, and I couldn’t believe how high I finished, and that made the effort worthwhile.”
            Brad Thornhill ran out of fuel he said, “I did a clean first lap but was running in the 400’s, but I just kept my head down and pushing on. After two pits stops, I was around sixtieth, but I made a silly mistake and tried to get an extra lap out of the fuel tank. I managed to push the bike back to the pits to fill it again, but I had lost quite a bit of time, so sixty-sixth is good as this is the first time, I have finished the race.”

             Marc De Vries (Yamaha) led the pack at the start of Saturdays two-hour quad race and was followed over the line at the end of the opening lap by Jeremie Warnia (Honda), Olivier Van Dendijk, Sheldon Seal (Yamaha) and Keveen Rochereau (KTM).
             De Vries’s lead only lasted two laps as an engine problem forced his back to the work area. Warnia took over the lead, but Randy Naveaux (Yamaha) was moving up through the pack and started to put presser on the leader, Warnia at the halfway stage.
             Naveaux managed to pass Warnia for the win with forty-five minutes to go. Warnia hung onto second with Romain Couprie (Yamaha) third. Last years runner up, out own Sheldon Seal (Yamaha) just missed out of the podium this year with the second UK rider Carl Bunce (Yamaha) twenty fourth.

Camille Chapeliere (KTM)
            “From the start of the race things just didn’t click,” said Seal, “I thought it was me, but I just couldn’t get going, and if I pushed, I crashed. I think it was the back shock has gone. I came into the work area, and the boys tried to sort it out, but the oil had gone. There was nothing I could do so I just went back out and did what I could. I had a good battle for a while with Romain (Couprie) which was fun, but in the end, I could do nothing with him. So, fourth is OK.”
             Rudy Vergriete (Honda) won the hour-long vintage race on Friday from Alexandre Morel (Honda) and Anthony Denys (Honda).
             Florian Miot (KTM) won the juniors from Simon Depoers (Yamaha) and Vincent Marty (Yamaha) while Marc Antoine Rossi (KTM) on the Espoirs from Adrien Pettit (Yamaha) and Kylian Prevost (KTM).

Results

Solos, top forty:
1 Milko Potisek (Yamaha) 15 laps
2 Jeremy Van Horebeek (Honda)
3 Nathan Watson (KTM)
4 Camille Chapeliere (KTM)
5 Todd Kellett (Yamaha)
6 Lars Van Berkel (Husqvarna)
7 Richard Fura (Yamaha) 14 laps
8 Axel Van de Sande (Yamaha)
9 Valentine Guillod (Honda)
10 Steve Ramon (Yamaha)
11 Timothee Florin (Kawasaki)
12 Yentel Martens (Husqvarna)
13 Victor Brossier (Yamaha)
14 Jordan Divall (Honda)
15 Damien Prevot (Kawasaki)
16 Matheo Miot (KTM)
17 Andy Bethys (Honda)
18 Kevin Fors (Husqvarna) 13 laps
19 Florent Becker (Husqvarna)
20 Marchall Meplon (Yamaha)
21 Benjamin Cazaunau (Honda)
22 Pierre Morel (Yamaha)
23 Toni Mulec (Husqvarna)
24 Vincent Thiollier (Yamaha)
25 Matteo Puffet (KTM)
26 Julien Jagu (Honda)
27 David Abgrall (Beta)
28 Tom Neal (Husqvarna)
29 Maxime Jeanne (Morex)
30 Nicolas Cailly (Husqvarna)
31 Eddy Mollon (Husqvarna)
32 Rob Holyoake (Yamaha)
33 Maurizio Micheluz (Husqvarna)
34 Sebastien Dulot (KTM)
35 Adrian Lamour (Yamaha)
36 Adrian Jorry (Kawasaki)
37 David Gibot (Honda)
38 Tye Kellett (Husqvarna) 12 laps
39 Antoine Briatte (Yamaha)
40 Cedric Tosatto (KTM)

Other UK finishers:
66 Brad Thornhill (KTM), 12 laps
216 James Holt (KTM) 10 laps
256 Charlie Sutton (KTM) 10 laps
345 Jamie Knight (KTM) 9 laps
484 Ashley Dyte (KTM) 8 laps
742 Justin Coombes (Husqvarna) 7 laps

Quads top forty:
1 Randy Naveaux (Yamaha) 10 laps
2 Jeremie Warnia (Honda)
3 Romain Couprie (Yamaha)
4 Sheldon Seal (Yamaha)
5 Florian Mangeot (KTM)
6 Jean Marie Barnede (Yamaha)
7 Keveen Rochereau KTM)
8 Davino Bruneel (Yamaha)
9 Frederic Lefebvre (Yamaha)
10 Louis Pinchon (Yamaha)
11 Charly Rochereau (Yamaha)
12 Roman Gwiazda (Yamaha)
13 Tuur Van Hoof (Husqvarna)
14 Pierre Adrien Collot (Yamaha)
15 Adrian Mazzoleni (Yamaha)
16 Axel Mainini (Yamaha)
17 William Jouy (Yamaha) 9 laps
18 Arnaud Bordes (Yamaha)
19 Pabio Violet (Yamaha)
20 Romain Ponthieu (Yamaha)
21 Vincent Liefooghe (Yamaha)
22 Kylian Delbourg (Husqvarna)
23 Antoine Latarget (Yamaha)
24 Carl Bunce (Yamaha)
25 Mathieu Morin (Suzuki)
26 Bestien Bourgeois (Yamaha)
27 Thomas Maillotte (Yamaha)
28 Etinne Sannier (Suzuki)
29 Vincent Pinchon (Yamaha)
30 Florian Lamaire (Yamaha)
31 Paolo Galizzi (Yamaha)
32 Joris Kersten (Yamaha)
33 Florian Pitre (Yamaha)
34 Birger Vanpoucke (Yamaha)
35 Twan Van Der Jagt (Yamaha)
36 Quentin Ricard (Yamaha)
37 Baptiste Bruni (Yamaha)
38 Cement Bruni (Yamaha)
39 Bart Stennbergen (Yamaha)
40 Antony Baillaerguet (Yamaha)

Other UK finishers:
78 Laurence Stopps (Yamaha) 8 laps
107 Graham Guy (Can-Am) 8 laps
121 Stuart Marley (Can-Am) 8 laps
122 Sean Goss (Yamaha) 8 laps
156 Ben Russell (Yamaha) 8 laps
164 Jonny Kelly (KTM) 8 laps
181 Richard McGonigal (Suzuki) 7 laps
228 Alfie Walker (Yamaha) 7 laps

Vintage top twenty:
1 Ruby Vergriete (Honda) 9 laps
2 Alexandre Morel (Honda)
3 Anthony Denys (Honda)
4 Pierre Demilly (Honda)
5 Remy Annelot (Honda)
6 Romain Dumontier (Honda)
7 Sebastien Guillaume (Honda) 5 laps
8 Alexis Blomme (Honda)
9 Kevin Hamard (Yamaha)
10 Philippe Mauhin (Honda)
11 Thomas Feutry (Kawasaki)
12 Benjamin Humez (Honda)
13 Denis Leroy (KTM)

14 Paul Kirby (Kawasaki)
15 Kevin Gauniaux (Honda)
16 Denis Binse (Honda)
17 Clement Dumez (Honda)
18 Damien Ceulemans (Honda)
19 Nicolas Horeaux (Kawasaki)
20 Jean-Marc Gaillard (Honda)

Todd Kellett (Yamaha)

Juniors, top twenty:
1 Florian Miot (KTM) 21 laps
2 Simon Depoers (Yamaha)
3 Vincent Marty (Yamaha)
4 Bogdan Krajewski (Yamaha)
5 Valentin Madoulaud (Yamaha) 20 laps
6 Axel Louis (Honda)
7 Alexandre Bours (KTM)
8 Jeremy Knuiman (KTM)
9 Junior Bal (Husqvarna)
10 Tanel Bajeux (Yamaha) 19 laps
11 Ryan De Beer (KTM)
12 Davey Nieuwenhuizen (KTM)
13 Cyril Labie (KTM)
14 Tejy Krismann (Yamaha)
15 Jules Langue (Yamaha)
16 Brend Bolckmans (KTM)
17 Quentin Monfourny (KTM)
18 Hugo Decroocq (Yamaha)
19 Thibaut Balestra (KTM) 18 laps
20 Joey Nuques (Yamaha).

Other UK finishers:
42 Sam Davies (KTM) 17 laps
56 Alfie Calvert (Husqvarna) 17 laps
140 Callum Radford (Kawasaki) 10 laps

Nathan Watson (KTM)

Espoirs, top twenty:
1 Marc Antoine Rossi (KTM) 14 laps
2 Adrian Petit (Yamaha)
3 Kylian (KTM)
4 Tias Callens (Husqvarna)
5 Joey Simonini (KTM)
6 Jules Delaporte (Husqvarna)
7 Kivers Lefebvre (Husqvarna) 13 laps
8 Tom Migault (Husqvarna)
9 Noa Hougue (Husqvarna)
10 Evan Demeester (Husqvarna)
11 Robin Dargenton (Husqvarna)
12 Paul Brunet (Husqvarna)
13 Stellan Delclaux (Husqvarna)
14 Douwe Van Mechgelen (Husqvarna)
15 Gauthier Bous (Husqvarna)
16 Tom Caneele (Husqvarna)
17 Aaron Dubrecq (KTM)
18 Enzo Lefebvre (Yamaha)
19 Laures Delamare (Husqvarna)
20 Tom Satabin (Husqvarna)