The 22 year old Frenchman was in devastating form around the Swedish switchback; the innocent victim of a hair-raising crash on Saturday, he rebounded to dominate the GP motos.
Only 14th to choose his start gate after being forced to charge back through the pack during the Saturday qualifying race, Steven quickly advanced from a fourth-placed start to lead by the ninth of 21 laps and resisted all efforts to dislodge him from first position. After Ken Roczen, his closest challenger, retired with mechanical problems, he won by 15 seconds. Inspired by his first race performance Steven scorched out of the gate in race two to lead on his KX250F from the word go and he quickly established a five second cushion over the chasing pack. Again Roczen was his only threat, and, when the German closed the gap, the Kawasaki Team CLS rider wisely let him pass, concentrating on securing the all-important overall GP victory without taking any unnecessary risks.
There had already been Kawasaki success on Saturday as teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek scored a sensational victory in the qualification race, just six days after visiting hospital with a compressed vertebrae in his neck. Unable to train all week and with less than 100% movement in his neck, the Belgian battled stubbornly through both GP motos, joining Frossard in the first three of the first 40 minute race and gritting his teeth in the second race to move forward two places to sixth in race two.
American Michael Leib made it three Kawasakis in the first nine aboard his Kawasaki Bud Racing
KX250F as he continues to feel more at home on the european tracks. He showed great conviction to advance from an initial 18th to finish 13th in the opening moto even though he had been forced to discard his goggles early in the race, and followed this up with the best race of his professional career to date as he stormed up the leaderboard from ninth to seventh in race two.
Steven Frossard: “I’ve been waiting for this first GP win for a long time, and finally it has arrived! I have been on the podium many times in the last two years, even won motos, but never on the highest step on the podium; it’s a great feeling! I expected it to be a tough GP after I crashed with Roczen at the start of the qualifying race yesterday, but I got two incredible starts from the fourteenth gate today! I wanted so much to win here, and I’m so happy for the team, my parents and all the people who have shown confidence and supported me. Even when Roczen got through to second place in the first race, I was confident that I would win as I was riding smoothly. He didn’t finish the race, so when he was pushing during the second moto I let him pass; I knew that a second position was enough to win the GP overall. I want to thanks my trainer Willy Linden; he told me earlier this season that we would see the results of his physical programme in July and that showed today; I feel in great shape.”
Jeremy Van Horebeek: ”I took the decision to come to Sweden on Thursday after I had visited my doctor and with my father. I couldn’t do any training during the week after my injuries last weekend in Latvia so I was delighted to win the qualifying race on Saturday; I had a good start and could then control the race to win a qualification heat for the first time. This morning I had pain in my back and my neck when I woke up, but I didn’t want to give up and did my best in both races. I had a good start in the first moto and kept a good rhythm for most of the race, but the last five minutes were difficult. In the second moto I was only able to keep my rhythm for ten minutes; after that it was difficult so I’m so happy to finish in fourth overall.
I’m seventh in the standings at the moment, but my goal is still top five and I know that I can do it with five more races to come.”
Michael Leib: “So far since I came to Europe I have scored points in every race that I finished so my goal here was to finish top ten in both races. I had to take off my goggles already on the second lap of the first moto, which made it hard work with all this mud flying but I still managed to move forward from 18th to 13th and that gave me confidence for the second race and I finally got a great start, the first one so far this season. I was riding really tight during the first few laps but finally got comfortable and I enjoyed that race a lot, making some great passes to finish the race 7th. It makes such a difference when you have a good start and with my first top ten results I feel more confident. I can’t wait for my next race at the French championship round. My mechanic Jeremy and the whole team are working so hard, and during the second race I could show how good our Rockstar Bud Racing Kawasaki is as I beat a several really fast riders such as Osborne, Roelants and Simpson.”