EMX125 & EMX250: Who impressed in Lommel?
It was time for the toughest GP of the year at the rough, sandy terrain at Lommel. It was the penultimate round of the EMX125 and EMX250 championships, we take a look at the riders that impressed over the course of the weekend.
What a weekend it was for Jago Geerts in front of his home crowd in Belgium. He was able to take both the moto wins and in that second moto he was just incredible winning by twenty-four seconds. His best lap time was five seconds quicker than anyone else in that moto, he put on a fantastic show for his Belgian fans. He also clinched the championship this weekend, congratulations as its a title he really deserves. The 2017 season will bring new challenges as he moves up to the EMX250 class but I can’t wait to see what he can do on a 250, this kid has it all to make it to the top.
I was really impressed with Mikkel Haarup’s speed this weekend. After Geerts passed him in the first moto I was expecting him to pull away but Haarup stayed right there and never let it get more than two seconds. However, he then crashed, Haarup seems to crash a lot but he was riding on the limit and at such a tough track these things happy but hopefully he can start to minimise his mistakes. He was so far ahead of third place he was able to pick himself up and get second. In the second moto he was sitting in fourth and putting pressure on the battle for second but again a silly mistake cost him but he rode well to get back up to fourth again. Third overall for the Danish kid is a great result and thinking about the EMX125 championship in 2017 there is no doubt he will be a championship contender.
Starts really didn’t help Kim Savaste this weekend but he charged through the pack in both the moto’s. In the second moto he was at his best, he was around thirtieth on the first lap! He rode the wheels of his BUD Kawasaki and at the end of the moto passed lots of his main rivals to end up in a great second position. Fourth and second in the moto’s was good enough for second overall, a great weekend for the Finnish rider.
Just missing out on the podium this weekend was Dutch sensation, Raivo Dankers. It’s fair to say Raivo didn’t start the season all that well but it’s hardly surprising as he is still very small. However, the last month has been a step in the right direction for sure. Winning the Zwarte Cross last weekend would have given him some added confidence heading into Lommel. He ended up third and fifth in the moto’s which is very good, his best round so far in 2016, perhaps on another day it would have been good enough for a podium. Once Dankers grows and gets more strength he is going to be a top contender.
Just how good was Bas Vaessen this weekend? Everyone knows he loves sand but this weekend was by far his best round of the EMX250 championship to date. He dominated the first moto without any trouble. However, he made the second moto harder with a crash! He was still able to catch Olsen for the win and go 1-1 for the overall. Bas has really stepped it up this year and after Switzerland will race the Assen and US GP’s, it will be interesting to see how he performs at those GP’s. A top ten in Assen could be possible if he rides like he did at Lommel.
The EMX250 championship was decided this weekend. Congratulations to Thomas Kjer Olsen on bringing home the title at such a tough track. All he needed to do was beat Sanayei in the first moto to secure the title but it’s easier said than done, he was able to stay cool and clinch it. Instead of racing the EMX250 championship at Switzerland he will race his first MX2 GP of the year in order to get ready for 2017. With a hard working winter before the 2017 season he will be one to watch in the MX2 class next year.
DIGA Racing’s EMX250 rookie, Miro Sihvonen got to grips with the tough track this weekend and looked to be loving it this weekend. He went fourth and third in the moto’s to secure his first podium of the year! A step in the right direction for the Finnish rider in what is a learning year for him. Seventh in the championship as a rookie is solid but for sure he will be looking more in 2017, he will be hoping for plenty more podiums.
A shout out to Darian Sanayei, it’s not easy for Americans to come over and ride such a tricky track. Darian just got on with it and rode well for fourth overall, all things considered I am sure he will be delighted with that. He only practiced at Lommel twice before this weekend!
Article: Andy McKinstry
Pic: Nigel McKinstry