Lommel Saturday round-up: Brits dominate while RV gives his take on Lommel!
The Brits stole the show at Lommel with Max Anstie and Shaun Simpson taking the race wins in mx2 and MXGP respectively.
Anstie gated superbly and was already leading down the start straight, from there he controlled the race despite some pressure from Jonas and subsequently an impressive Petar Petrov.
Anstie said: “It’s nice to be back on Lommel, I haven’t rode here since last year but to be honest it’s pretty much the same, once you know how to ride Lommel it kind of stays with you. The bumps are pretty small and after my crash I have only had half a day of riding. I felt like today was good but still searching for what I really want to feel out there. I will go back, make a few changes and go again.”
Shaun Simpson meanwhile rode a blinder in MXGP. After a poor start Simpson was outside the top ten on lap one, by lap two he was up to fifth, and he didn’t stop there! Simpson kept pushing and by the end of lap four he was in the lead and was the only rider jumping the big quad. Febvre then stepped it up and tried to put the pressure on Simpson but the Scot held on and took his first ever qualifying heat win.
Put simply this was a breathtaking performance by Simpson certainly one of best of his career. If he can continue this form tomorrow he will be hard to beat, but you can never count out that man Febvre!
Simpson said: “Another milestone by me today, I’ve been racing GPs for eleven years now and never had a heat race win. It’s nice get that Saturday win and that feel good factor for Sunday. I had a few good lines out there and a few bad line but that’s the beauty of the sand, you can really make up time here. The quad was quite a bit faster because you are landing where no-else is jumping and it’s smoother. My speed round the rest of the track was pretty good too. I’m looking forward to hopefully a couple of good starts tomorrow.”
Ryan Villopoto also gave his take on the sandy circuit: The track is going to be tough, consistency is going to be key out there. I got to ride here a little bit and it’s an interesting place, I never got to race here but consistency and no mistakes will win the race. I got to ride with Jeffrey here and it’s interesting, it’s something I have never rode on. It’s a unique place, I rode here and Honda Park but I struggled way more at Honda Park than I did here. For me I found it was a bit of bike set-up and learning how to ride the sand. It seems the harder you push the slower you go. You kind of have to ride around with no brakes! I’m looking forward to tomorrow there are a lot of classes out there and the track will be changing rapidly, it going to be a marathon and not a sprint.”
Youthstream also confirmed the return of the Swiss GP while Tim Gajser announced a five years extension with HRC Honda with Roger Harvey saying the contract was put together in just one month. Each year is open but Gajser will race mx2 next season even if he wins the world title. Then from there things will be decided from year by year whether to move to MXGP with Gajser admitting he really likes the 450 but would also like to try some supercross, which Honda will let him do.
However it seems the USA route is more Gajser’s choice than Honda boss Roger Harvey who would much rather him go straight to MXGP.
It was also confirmed that Jorge Zaragoza sill stay as Tim Gajser’s teammate for next season.
The track is already brutal with so many classes and tomorrow will be a battle of survival.
Article: Jonathan McCready