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Moto riders brace for hot start in Valderrama leg

- Abac Cordero () - April 25, 2010 - 12:00am

VALDERRAMA, Antique, Philippines – Kenneth San Andres, the country’s top rider, likes his chances while Khaliunbold Erdinbileg, the top gun from Mongolia, tried to downplay his.

“I like it here. I like the track and I like the crowd,” said the 20-year-old San Andres, the national champion over the last few years, as he took a breather from yesterday’s practice round at the newly constructed motocross track here.

A huge military tent shielded San Andres and most of the participants from the scorching sun, and just a few meters away, the top rider from Mongolia sat, having his hurting left knee massaged and later on bandaged.

“It still hurts with each jump,” said Erdinbileg, who travelled 10 hours by land from Mongolia to Thailand before taking a four-hour plane ride to Manila last Wednesday, and hopping another plane to Iloilo en route to this scenic town.

He said he hurt his knee during a bad fall in practice in Thailand two weeks ago.

“It’s cold in Mongolia right now, and here it’s very hot. But I like the track, too,” added Erdinbileg, 21, the 2008 Asian champion, of his chances in the first Gov. Evelio Javier International Motocross Championship that fires off today.

The race, put up by Valderrama Mayor Joyce Roquero and sponsored by the PCSO, serves as the third leg of the FIM Asian Motocross Series. A huge crowd is expected to brave the summer heat and witness the action today.

Erdinbileg, who now works as a traffic policeman in Mongolia, will try to make sure no one passes him as he seeks a second win in the series after topping the initial leg in Puerto Princesa, Palawan last February.

Takeshi Tabuchi of Japan ruled the second leg held at the SM Bicutan racetrack last month. He did not make it here, and in his place is another top rider from Japan, factory rider Tomoya Suzuki.

Aside from San Andres, the local riders will pin their hopes on the multi-titled Jolet Jao and Cebu’s Jonjon Adlawan as well as Migi and Miki Tolentino, Veli Gin Ramon and John Paul Roquero, the mayor’s son.

Nueva Ecija’s Jean Erick Mitra, winner of the Junior 85cc division in Puerto Princesa, will try to keep it going in the race reserved for riders aged 12 to 15.

Also expected to make some heads turn are Omar Anan, Chadwick Garcia, Mark Gonzales, Moymoy Flores, Gabriel Macaso, Jetrick Marquez, Zyden Buse and Vincent Jimenez in the junior 65cc and 50cc.

ASIAN MOTOCROSS SERIES BUT I CHADWICK GARCIA ERDINBILEG EVELIO JAVIER INTERNATIONAL MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP GABRIEL MACASO JEAN ERICK MITRA JETRICK MARQUEZ JOLET JAO AND CEBU PUERTO PRINCESA SAN ANDRES
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