With over a month out of competitive racing since his crash in Ottobiano, all eyes were on making sure the young American's return to the track was fruitful. He soon settled into the "Loket" circuit, and finished with an impressive 5th position in the Qualifying race, setting him up for the weekend. It would seem Darian was unable to get away from bad luck as a fall in the 5th lap would see a damaged radiator, causing the Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki rider to retire from race one.
Things looked up for the second half of the day, as he was running top eight for a good portion of the race, even pushing into sixth. However with so long off the bikes and his rivals still fresh from the previous race, his lack of recent bike time took it's toll and Darian settled for 7th.
For the first time in a while, Darian was not alone under the DRT awning, with fellow countryman Marshal Wetlin, a BUD Kawasaki EMX rider who was able to make use of a free weekend and spare highly tuned Cosworth KX250f. He put it to good use, as in his debut GP he was able to confirm two solid 11th positions for an impressive 9th overall for his first set of GP races with the top guys.
A short break back at the workshop will allow the team to regroup before heading to the deep, daunting sands of Lommel.
Steve Dixon, Team Manager:
It was great to be back in the paddock after missing Portugal, I can't remember the last time we had no riders at a GP - it must be well over ten years. Darian rode well all weekend, and he definitely seemed fresher than previous meetings. It's clear to see he belongs in the top group of riders. It was unfortunate that the first moto he had a crash which damaged the radiator. This week we had a guest appearance from Marshal Wetlin, who normally rides EMX for BUD Kawasaki Racing. As this was a free weekend for them, the fit was perfect as he a Monster Energy Kawasaki Athlete. He did not waste his opportunity as he came home with a 9th, top Kawasaki rider for his debut GP. Tommy Searle is back on his back, riding gently and the plan is for him to be back at Switzerland. At this current moment, Seva is an unknown with no set period of recovery time."
“As I missed Portugal after my crash in Ottobiano, I had one month to recover and I didn’t ride so many times, just enough to feel good on the bike. Saturday was good; I was eighth and ninth in the practice sessions and qualified in fifth after fighting at the front of the pack which was good. We had some heavy rain before the first moto and I got a bad start, then crashed and finally retired. My start was much better in the second race; I was in the top ten and fought hard to finally finish seventh. I pushed really hard to try to catch Lieber, but I couldn’t keep pushing at that speed until the finish. But everything this weekend went well, except the first moto.”