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Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Yentel Martens was the rider to beat at the opening round of the 2018/19 French Beach Race Series, held in Berck-Sur-Mer in the north of France.

Winning both his heat races before going on to claim victory in Sunday’s main event, Martens leaves round one as the early championship leader.

600 competitors competed in Berck-Sur-Mer, marking the start of the 2018/19 Championnat de France des Sables. Eager to get his championship campaign off to a strong start, Martens was quick to show his speed in the deep, sandy terrain.

Winning both of his Group B heat races, the Belgian qualified second fastest for Sunday’s 25-minute plus one lap final. Ending the opening lap in fifth, Martens wasted little time in working his way towards the front of the field.

Sitting second on lap two, the Husqvarna rider took control of the race lead on lap three and was never headed. Extending his advantage throughout, Martens pulled clear of the chasing pack to claim a commanding 14-second margin of victory.

The Championnat de France des Sables continues with round two in Loon-Plage on October 27/28.

Yentel Martens: “It was a really good weekend and a strong start to the championship. I’m more than happy to come away from round one with victory. All weekend I felt happy with my riding and my bike. I think that showed out on track. My speed was there from Saturday’s training and I was able to push hard from the very first lap. In Sunday’s main event I didn’t get the best of starts and spent the opening lap finding lines to pass the other riders. Once I got into the lead on lap three I kept pushing and was able to take the win. Like I said, it’s been a great start to the championship and this win is good motivation for round two next weekend.”

Results Round 1 – French Beach Race Series

Beach Cross Berck Final

1. Yentel Martens (Husqvarna) 11 laps, 29:48.880;
2. Nathan Watson (KTM) 30:03.570;
3. Milko Potisek (Yamaha) 30:07.190;
4. Jeffrey Dewulf (KTM) 30:19.170;
5. Steve Ramon (Yamaha) 30:40.480…

Championship Standings (After Round 1)

1. Yentel Martens (Husqvarna) 150pts;
2. Nathan Watson (KTM) 135pts;
3. Milko Potisek (Yamaha) 125pts;
4. Jeffrey Dewulf (KTM) 115pts;
5. Steve Ramon (Yamaha) 110pts…