Assen MXGP: Preview
The sixteenth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship will take place for the first time ever at the world-renowned TT circuit of Assen, The Netherlands. While the Van Drenthe circuit is already recognized worldwide as the longest standing venue on the MotoGP calendar, this weekend it will make its mark on the motocross world with the unveiling of a super trick man-made sand track. 25,000 cubic meters of white sand has been imported from a nearby army training facility to make the track, which is still under construction as we speak. The circuit will be built in less than a week, which means it will be brand spanking new and a level playing field for everyone. What is also exciting about the new and exciting track is that it can be enjoyed from the same permanent facilities used for MotoGP. The grandstands will be put to use with enough space to seat 25,000 raging MXGP fans. This means that come rain or shine, the racing can be enjoyed in the dry thanks to the sheltered spectating zone. Everyone involved or onsite to witness the epicness the MXGP of The Netherlands will bring will be spoiled with access to all of the immense permanent facilities such as a world-class media center, lavish VIP areas, flushing toilets, clean showers, the list goes on. In addition to the luxuries of permanent facilities and the coolness of an all new never before seen track, theFIM Motocross World Championship will also be joined by the final rounds of the European Championships EMX250, 125 and 150 as well as the one and only round of the Veteran World Cup, VMX. In the European Championship EMX250, Dutchman riding for J-Tech Honda, Nick Kouwenberg has a 34 point lead and should wrap the title up in front of his home crown this weekend while in the EMX125 the title will go down to the wire with only 1 point separating KTM Factory Junior’s young Spaniard Jorge Pradoand his Kiwi teammate Josiah Natzke. MXGP This weekend all eyes will be on the rookie Yamaha Factory Racing Yamalube’s Romain Febvre as he could be crowned world champion on Sunday. After his uber impressive double victory last weekend in Mantova, MXGP of Lombardia, Febvre will line up in Assen with a 101-point advantage over fellow Frenchman Gautier Paulin. Speaking of Paulin, the Team HRC rider is the only guy who can keep the title chase alive this weekend, but in order to do so he must finish with at least 2 points more than Febvre. While the atmosphere is already chirpy inside the Yamaha camp, Jeremy Van Horebeek will want to contribute to those smiles by wrapping up his shaky season with some podium finishes. Meanwhile Team HRC’s Evgeny Bobryshev has got to be looking for a top step performance. The Russian has, up to now, achieved his goal of being consistent which as a result has him in third place in the championship standings. With sand going into the Dutch TT circuit by the truck load, one rider who will be thinking “yes, that’s right, just keep that sand flowing” is Hitachi Construction Machinery Revo KTM’s Shaun Simpson who has made quite a name for himself on the soft surfaces. Flying the flag for the Dutch this weekend is Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe’s Glenn Coldenhoff who has proved he can run the pace and he can win. The Dutchman wowed everyone in the sand of Latvia when he took his first ever MXGP race and round win and we can only imagine that he will be wanting to do it again on home soil this weekend. MXGP Championship Top Ten: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 597 points; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 496 p.; 3. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 463 p.; 4. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 416 p.; 5. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 392 p.; 6. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 384 p.; 7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 366 p.; 8. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 331 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 321 p.; 10. Todd Waters (AUS, HUS), 300 p. MX2 The MX2 world championship is shaping up to be the perfect storm. There are a handful of guys still in it to win it, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass leads Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser by four whileMonster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Max Anstie still sits a fair way back in third, but is the likely candidate to win most of the races from here on out. Starting with Pauls Jonass. The young Latvian leads the way and may wrap up the title having not won a single race or round. Meanwhile, Anstie has been the most dominant out of the trio in terms of laps led and race wins. Anstie has won 8 races this year and has led 132 laps while Gajser has only won 3 races and has only led 61 laps. Nevertheless, Gajser is second in the championship having been more consistent than Anstie over the season. The Slovenian trails Jonass by 4 points and leads Anstie by 34. Standing Construct Yamaha Yamalube’s Valentin Guillod is also still in the running as he trails Anstie by 4 points. The ‘92’ is so awesome to watch but hasn’t had the best luck over the most recent rounds after getting wiped out from behind on the start in Mantova and landing on Brent Van Doninck in Lommel who was crashed on the blindside of a jump. Home soil was good to HSF Logistics Motorsport Team’s Brian Bogers earlier this year when he finished fourth in Valkenswaard at the MXGP of Europe. This weekend he will have the chance to shine for his fans again. MX2 Championship Top Ten: 1. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 475 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 471 p.; 3. Max Anstie (GBR, KAW), 437 p.; 4. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 433 p.; 5. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 423 p.; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 409 p.; 7. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 393 p.; 8. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 356 p.; 9. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 292 p.; 10. Petar Petrov (BUL, KAW), 285 p.