Leok Up to Ninth in World Standings

27 APRIL 2008

What a difference a week and an extra few thousand kilometres can make. Barely a week ago, the motocross world championship elite were splashing their way through mud and slush that would not look out of place in an over-the-top disaster movie. Conditions were so atrocious that the second race of the MX1 GP in Spain was cancelled, an almost unheard of event in a sport known for its adherence to the tenet "the show must go on," come hell or, quite literally, high water.

Anyhow, time marched on, distance intersperced, and now the flags were waving in Agueda, Portugal, for round 3 of the world series. Having slowly, slowly shaken the still nagging pangs form his shoulder injury, tanel leok was in near top fighting form as he set out of practice on the track which, in stark contrast to the week before, was in beautiful condition and basked in blazing sunshine. As his return to full fitness gradually returned, so did is "Estonian Expressness," to coin a phrase, and in qualifying practice, he was clearly near to hitting his peak again, qualifying as he did in third position, less than a second shy of fellow Kawasaki rider Sebastian Pourcel on pole.

A fairly decent start launched the green clad and - mounted rider into the race just outside the top 10. WIthin a lap, Tanel was mixing it with the top 10 riders. Holding your own amongst the front runners in a motocross GP is no easy task, but the Estonian is never one to shy away from a battle, and following reigning world champion Steve Ramon, he edged ahead by two positions to claim the flag in 8th spot after a hard race.

THe second race was a run of the mill affair for the 22 year old. He started in ninth position, dropped down a few spots after a mistake, and then reclaimed his positions again to finish in 10th position. The two top 10 finishes were good enough to ensure Tanel of 9th overall for the day, and he has also improved his world championship standing by one position to move to ninth spot.

Tanel was pleased and disappointed in equal measure after the race. ON the one hand, consistency has returned to his racing with solid points scores in both races, but but on the other hand his ideal is to move further up the field, and challenge for podium finishes again, whilst that elusive first GP victory is still very much on the shopping list as well.