Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle finished 6th overall across the difficult sandy track of Lommel in Belgium and under rainy skies for round 15 of 18 in the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship on Sunday. Tony Cairoli was 5th in MXGP.
The third and final MXGP race event at Lommel in seven days took place in dark and rainy conditions. The closed-doors ‘Grand Prix of Lommel’ saw the famous sandy layout changed in several spots to provide a different racing test compared to the Flanders and Limburg rounds earlier in the week. The wintery climate meant an even bumpier and slower terrain.
Tony Cairoli – Cairoli set the 8th fastest lap in Timed Practice and when the Lommel sand was at its wettest. He blasted to a top three start in the first moto and then maintained the ranking in a lonely ride to the flag. In the second race he suffered a crash on the approach to a jump on the first lap. Cairoli, who fell again, had to work his way from outside the top twenty and reached 10th position. His 3-10 effort gave him 5th for the day. Cairoli remains 2nd in the MXGP championship standings and is 74 points behind Tim Gajser with 150 left to win in the 2020 campaign. Jorge Prado was unable to compete after testing positive for COVID-19 and was in self-isolation. The rest of his Red Bull KTM team had returned negative test results.
Tony Cairoli: “A bad day today and the two crashes in the second moto didn’t help. We didn’t have the speed to go with the guys in front in the first moto. So, not such a satisfying week in Lommel. We need to re-group and go to Italy with the least amount of pressure, enjoy the riding and finish this season on the best way. I hope Jorge gets well soon.”
Tom Vialle – Vialle gunned his KTM 250 SX-F to a seventeenth holeshot of 2020 in the first moto and proceeded to lead 10 of the 16 laps as title-rival Jago Geerts crashed. Ben Watson took control and Vialle minimized risks to take a solid 3rd place. In the second race Vialle again kept safe and bounced around the top five until resting in 6th for the same position in the GP standings. It is only the third time Vialle has missed the podium this season. Thanks to a 13-point gain over Geerts, his lead with the red plate is now at 74; almost three motos with just six left to go in 2020.
Tom Vialle: “It was a difficult day. I was feeling good with the track in the morning but in the first moto I was struggling with it at one point, especially in the waves section. I was losing time there. The second moto was the same. I couldn’t find any flow today but for the championship it was pretty good. There are only three races to go now and I like Arco. I don’t know what conditions we’ll find there but it’s hard-pack and a surface that I enjoy it a lot.” MXGP rushes to a conclusion with the last triple header of 2020 next week. The Grands Prix of Trentino, Pietramurata and Garda Trentino will take place at the Pietramurata circuit in Arco di Trento in northern Italy on November 1st, 4th and 8th.
Results MXGP Grand Prix of Lommel 2020
1. Tim Gajser (SLO) Honda (1-1)
2. Romain Febvre (FRA) Kawasaki (2-2)
3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI) Yamaha (4-3)
4. Gautier Paulin (FRA) Yamaha (5-4)
5. Tony Cairoli (ITA) Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (3-10)
Standings MXGP 2020 after round 15
1. Tim Gajser 583
2. Tony Cairoli 509
3. Jeremy Seewer 499
4. Jorge Prado 476
5. Romain Febvre 465