Tonus debuts 2018 YZ450F at Loket Created: 2018-01-16

The Grand Prix of the Czech Republic was a memorable affair for the Wilvo Yamaha MXGP outfit. Following successful tests, Arnaud Tonus entered the thirteenth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship armed with the 2018 YZ450F that had not previously been raced at an international level.

Although this was his debut aboard the machine, Tonus immediately showed what it is capable of by posting the second-fastest time in the final practice session on Saturday. A poor start threatened to restrict him in the qualifying heat that was run that afternoon, as he completed the opening lap in fourteenth. Great progress was made across the fourteen-lap race though and he eventually secured the ninth pick of the gate for the main motos.

Tonus benefitted from a stronger start in the first MXGP encounter. Utilising all of the power that is packed into the 2018 YZ450F, he rocketed out of the gate and emerged from the first turn inside of the top five. Tonus immediately pushed a former champion for fourth and desperately tried to close in on the top three. It was not to be, however, and a tussle towards the end of the race cost him fifth, but he still secured sixth.

The second and final MXGP moto was a challenging affair. Tonus competed in some gripping duels, which kept his legion of fans on their feet, and ran as high as eighth at one point, but eventually acquired tenth position. That left him eighth overall on the day and also helped him gain ground on those ahead of him in the championship standings. ‘4’ still occupies tenth heading into round fourteen of nineteen.

The Wilvo Yamaha MXGP team will now turn their attention to the Grand Prix of Belgium, an event that will be run closer to home, which will take place on August 6th.

Arnaud Tonus: It was a positive weekend. We came here with a completely new bike, so we came here expecting to develop it and improve every session. That is exactly what we did. When it’s a new bike you need to be ready to adapt and make changes. I feel like it was a really good weekend, we learned a lot and I am feeling extremely positive for the future with the 2018 YZ450F.

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