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Things to look for in Valkenwaard!

Things to look for in Valkenwaard!
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Can Gajser podium in sand? MX2 World Champion, Tim Gajser has been fantastic in the MXGP class and has showed speed isn’t a problem. He won the first GP in Qatar and followed that up with a second overall in Thailand.  Valkenswaard is a new challenge for Gajser, he is definitely stronger in hard pack. However, I believe his sand riding is better than what some people might think. Is it out of the question he can podium this weekend? Guys like Simpson, Strijbos, Bobryshev, Coldenhoff and Van Horebeek should be strong and challenging for the podium at Valkenswaard. Can Gajser cause a bit of an upset and get an overall podium? One thing for sure if he does ends up on the podium he is a serious contender for the title in his rookie year.

Can Herlings make it 50? At just 21 years old, Jeffrey Herlings already has an amazing 49 GP wins to his name and to think he has had a few terrible years with injuries! It’s remarkable he has so many GP wins already at just the age of 21 – so many kids dream of that and it’s pretty normal for Herlings who is lucky to blessed with an enormous talent.

With Valkenswaard fast approaching you would have to be crazy to bet against Herlings to win his 50th overall GP win. Jeffrey has won at Valkenswaard since 2010 so he is going for his seventh straight GP overall win there! I am lucky enough to have been there to witness them all except his first victory in 2010. It really is fantastic watching him around the sandy circuit, it is something special. Even in 2013 he had the 40th gate pick but he came through a deep field and went 1-1. Unless something disastrous happens he will win his 50th overall GP on Easter Monday and no better way to do it – at his home GP in front of his home fans!

Jeffrey will go equal with Joel Robert with 50 GP wins!

Overall GP wins:

Stefan Everts 101
Antonio Cairoli 72
Joel Smets 57
Joel Robert 50
Jeffrey Herlings 49
Eric Geboers 39
Mickael Pichon 38
Torsten Hallman 37
Roger De Coster 36
Heikki Mikkola 32
Gaston Rahier 30
Georges Jobe 28
Andre Malherbe 28
Paul Friedrichs 28
Dave Strijbos 27
Alessio Chiodi 26
Jeff Smith 25
Harry Everts 23
Dave Thorpe 22
Alex Puzar 22

The EMX250 championship kicks off in Valkenswaard with a massive entry! 118 riders have entered to take part at Valkenswaard, it will be super stacked and I can’t wait to see who will surprise and emerge in the class during the 2016 season. A few future world champions are in the class for sure and it’s going to be great watching the young gun’s progress into GP riders in the future years. An emx250 preview is coming later in the week so keep a look out for that!

Can Tony Cairoli win? Tony Cairoli didn’t come into the season 100% fit as he was nursing an injury. However, he did well during the first two GP’s. Tony sits fifth in the MXGP World Championship standings, he is 28 points down on Febvre who has the red plate for Valkenswaard.  TC needs to start winning and gaining ground on Febvre – he can’t afford to let Gajser and Febvre gain points/confidence on him in the sand. Tony has to go all out for the win, it could be an intriguing battle in the MXGP class.

Full gates – A lot of negativity surrounded the first two fly away GP’s due to lower numbers in those GP’s than the Euro GP’s. Well, this weekend both the MX2 and MXGP classes have a great entry. It will be nice to see depth down to 40th place and hopefully all the European GP’s will have forty riders on the line.

Article: Andy McKinstry

Pic: MXGP

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