Assen MXGP: Five things
After a two week break the MXGP World Championship is back this weekend at the brilliant facility that is Assen. Last year was the first time for the Assen MXGP track to be built on the Assen TT Circuit, it made a good impression and is back on the calendar for the 2017 season.
Here are some things to look out for this weekend!
Can Gajser clinch the title? Tim Gajser currently has a ninety-nine points lead over eight times world champion, Antonio Cairoli. After Assen there are only two MXGP rounds left so if he can beat Toni this weekend and have more than a one hundred point’s gap at the end of the day in Assen he will be crowned champion. Last year Roman Febvre won the title in Assen as a rookie and Tim Gajser is about to follow in his footsteps. It is always special to win a championship but winning it in Europe would be a better way to do it with more of his fans being able to attend the race. Also, watch out for Gajser’s father take part in the VMX class this weekend, it would make it even better for Gajser to clinch the title on the day his dad is riding! It could turn out to be a pretty special day for the Gajser family.
The Bullet is back! Jeffrey Herlings will be welcomed back to the GP paddock this weekend after a shoulder injury has ruled him out of the last three GP’s. He still, quite remarkably has a forty-three point’s gap over Jeremy Seewer in the race for the championship. Herlings will make his Assen debut this weekend after injury forced him out for the 2015 event. The atmosphere will be electric under the grandstand with the Dutch fans supporting their home hero. One of the best things in motorsport is watching Jeffrey ride the sand and with his home support cheering him on it will be special weekend for him too.
Brutal track! Just like last year there will be plenty of action to watch this weekend. As well as the MXGP and MX2 World Championships the WMX, VMX and EMX150 championships will be taking place. The track was brutal by the end of the day last year so expect nothing different with plenty of racing the track will separate the men from the boys on Sunday evening.
A lot of the top GP riders decided not to race during the two week break but not Shaun Simpson of course! He just loves being at the races, he contested a Belgian Championship and a British Championship over the last two weeks. The races went well for him as he won them both. Perhaps the Belgian Championship victory was more impressive as he won all three moto’s, he beat top names in Strijbos and Febvre. He comes into Assen, full of confidence and having won Assen in 2015, can he do the same in 2016? With his confidence now on a high certainly don’t count him out.
Livia Lancelot has been a big name in woman’s motocross for a number of years now, it’s hard to believe that she has only has one World Championship title to her name as she won it back in 2008. At the start of this year another world title for Livia wasn’t looking very likely with Courtney Duncan strong before picking up an injury, it then looked like Nancy Van De Ven could clinch the title as she looked strong. However, Lancelot has been impressive and has a twenty-seven point’s gap heading into the last round at Assen. No doubting that Nancy will be strong in the sand but it will be a great chance for Livia to clinch her second World title this weekend, eight years after her first world title.
Article: Andy McKinstry
Pic: Nigel McKinstry