LOMMEL (Belgium), 03 August 2014 – Just when you thought the championship couldn’t get any crazier. It did. Rubber stamping the fact that in motocross anything can happen, MXGP of Belgium, round fifteen of the FIM Motocross World Championship in the fathomless sand of Lommel resulted in the perfect storm for BikeIT Yamaha Cosworth’s MX2 star Max Anstie as he claimed his first ever MX2 race and Grand Prix victory, and an actual storm for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli as he pressed on, despite the ominous dark clouds morphing into a full blown thunderstorm which drenched the circuit half way through the final race of the day, for his ninth round victory of the year.
Recognized for his unique technique and mastered sandcraft, all bets were on Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli today, which turned out to be as safe as expected. Although the Italian said the track was a lot choppier and less rollier than normal, it didn’t slow him down any as he eased his way to his sixth double victory of the season. TC222 said in the press conference, “I want to say it’s nice to win my 72nd Grand Prix in the land of the best rider, number 72 Stefan Everts”
While a lot of random stuff was happening today, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker’s 4 – 2 result for second overall takes the cake as the most random. It’s no secret the big Belgian has been struggling all season long with an injury that hasn’t healed well, he has made the decision to sit out the last two rounds of the championship. With today’s round of racing being his final round of the FIM Motocross World Championship this year, the KTM rider couldn’t ask for a better way to end what has been a season to forget. “I didn’t expect this, I expected maybe a top five or like six or something so this is amazing. I have had a problem with my wrist the whole year but I kept fighting and kept training and it finally paid off,” De Dycker said.
Meanwhile it was expected to see Hitachi Construction Machinery UK KTM’s Shaun Simpson on the box as he’s proven to be quite the sand specialist over the years. Today Simpson threw together a 3 – 3 result for third overall but also made himself one of the most talked about as he was one of only a few riders to consistently jump the quad into the rhythm section. “It was nice to show today that Lierop last year wasn’t a fluke and I can ride the sand well, and it was nice in the second race to follow Tony for a few laps because he is riding great in the sand every time.”
The first rider to impressively bust out the quad card during the race was Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin. No one would have guessed the extremely fluid and flamboyant Frenchman has missed seven of the last nine rounds of the MXGP championship as he chased down and caught the seven-time world champion in race one relatively easily, given his circumstances. While time ran out for Paulin to make a move on Cairoli for the lead, he managed to take second in race one which he backed up with a fourth in race two leaving himself, Simpson and De Dycker all tied on forty points. Due to the overall result being decided based on the best finish in the final race, Paulin was forced to settle for fourth.
Rounding out the top five, Rockstar Energy Suzuki World’s Kevin Strijbos couldn’t find his flow today. While he tried to push the issue and charge forward, things weren’t working out for the Belgian which saw him back off and take home some solid championship points.
MXGP Race 1 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 34:22.254; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:03.902; 3. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:04.930; 4. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:16.506; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:21.324; 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Honda), +0:26.489; 7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:45.874; 8. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Husqvarna), +0:47.105; 9. Dean Ferris (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:48.268; 10. Marc de Reuver (NED, Honda), +1:06.632.
MXGP Race 2 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 34:46.942; 2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), +0:08.481; 3. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), +0:19.123; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:25.772; 5. Marc de Reuver (NED, Honda), +0:32.921; 6. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:35.867; 7. Dean Ferris (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:40.127; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki), +0:46.294; 9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +1:01.185; 10. Tyla Rattray (RSA, Husqvarna), +1:08.384.
MXGP Overall top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Ken de Dycker (BEL, KTM), 40 p.; 3. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 40 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, KAW), 40 p.; 5. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 29 p.; 6. Marc de Reuver (NED, HON), 27 p.; 7. Dean Ferris (AUS, HUS), 26 p.; 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 26 p.; 9. Tyla Rattray (RSA, HUS), 24 p.; 10. Steven Frossard (FRA, KAW), 23 p.
MXGP World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 669 points; 2. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 588 p.; 3. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 498 p.; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 484 p.; 5. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 365 p.; 6. Steven Frossard (FRA, KAW), 356 p.; 7. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HON), 307 p.; 8. Gautier Paulin (FRA, KAW), 275 p.; 9. Davide Guarneri (ITA, TM), 245 p.; 10. David Philippaerts (ITA, YAM), 234 p.
MXGP Manufacturer: 1. KTM, 669 points; 2. Suzuki, 616 p.; 3. Yamaha, 592 p.; 4. Kawasaki, 550 p.; 5. Honda, 457 p.; 6. Husqvarna, 307 p.; 7. TM, 286 p.
Everything that could go wrong in one season has for BikeIT Yamaha Cosworth’s Max Anstie as he has been up against the eight ball all season long as his team continues to develop his bike. Heading into every race the question that surrounds Max is never over his ability, but rather his bike and will it last entire duration of a race. While it was a little touch’n’go in both moto’s with the Brit not going out for either sighting laps due to problems with the bike, it miraculously fired up at the last minute on both occasions and withstood the demands of what is known as the toughest track in the world, rewarding him with his first ever MX2 race and Grand Prix win. The charismatic young Brit went on to say, “Before the second race I was thinking this is what I live for right here, I was nervous but we got it done. It was a very difficult race; this track is obviously the most difficult, for the bike and physically. But we did it and I am over the moon!”
Again plaudits to Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jordi Tixier who once again stepped up to the plate. Despite not being one of the favorites to win in the sand, Tixier silenced his critics for the second Grand Prix in a row with a convincing victory in race two which he added to his third from race one for second overall. “This Grand Prix was really good for me, already yesterday I had a really good feeling on the track so it was good for me.”
CLS Kawasaki Monster Energy’s Dylan Ferrandis raised the second French flag on the podium with his second place in race one and third in race two for third overall. While the Frenchman admitted he had considered not racing today because he woke up with a lot of shoulder pain after crashing hard on the second turn in the qualifying heat yesterday, the youngster gritted his teeth and got on with the job at hand to land his third podium finish of the season.
Three out of four is not bad for the French with Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre being the third Frenchman to finish inside the top four. Despite chucking in a couple of hard charges in both moto’s, Febvre didn’t have any answers for the top three today meaning he would have to leave Lommel today content with fourth.
It’s one for the ‘experience bank’ for Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser as he put in a pretty respectable ride given he’s a rookie and gnarlieness Lommel takes motocross racing to the extreme, the youngster did a pretty good job logging his fifth top five finish of the season.
As for Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Glenn Coldenhoff, the Dutchman admitted he wasn’t quite ready to come back this weekend. Nevertheless he managed to come away with seventh overall.
MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Max Anstie (GBR, Yamaha), 34:00.529; 2. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:16.077; 3. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), +0:17.169; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:31.690; 5. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), +0:54.482; 6. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Suzuki), +0:56.421; 7. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +1:01.447; 8. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +1:06.292; 9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), +1:15.713; 10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Suzuki), +1:20.785.
MX2 Race 2 top ten: 1. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 35:28.225; 2. Max Anstie (GBR, Yamaha), +0:12.447; 3. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:20.711; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:28.187; 5. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), +0:40.276; 6. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:47.124; 7. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, Husqvarna), +0:50.563; 8. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), +1:12.744; 9. Petar Petrov (BUL, Yamaha), +1:20.275; 10. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Suzuki), +1:22.513.
MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Max Anstie (GBR, YAM), 47 points; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 45 p.; 3. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 42 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 36 p.; 5. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 28 p.; 6. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 28 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 26 p.; 8. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), 25 p.; 9. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 25 p.; 10. Petar Petrov (BUL, YAM), 22 p.
MX2 World Championship Classification Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 594 points; 2. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KTM), 537 p.; 3. Romain Febvre (FRA, HUS), 489 p.; 4. Dylan Ferrandis (FRA, KAW), 467 p.; 5. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 448 p.; 6. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, KAW), 389 p.; 7. Valentin Guillod (SUI, KTM), 379 p.; 8. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 363 p.; 9. Jose Butron (ESP, KTM), 337 p.; 10. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 301 p.
MX2 Manufacturer: 1. KTM, 714 points; 2. Kawasaki, 572 p.; 3. Husqvarna, 505 p.; 4. Honda, 458 p.; 5. Yamaha, 436 p.; 6. Suzuki, 433 p.; 7. TM, 6 p.
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MXGP BELGIUM – QUICK FACTS
Circuit length: 1675
Type of ground: sand
Weather conditions: sunny and stormy
Crowd attendance: 21000