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Lommel MXGP: The Preview

Lommel MXGP: The Preview
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This time last week our TV presenter Lisa Leyland welcomed you to the MXGP of Czech Republic with the line “welcome to round thirteen, everything that could have happened… has”. And like her, that is what we thought too, at least before Qualifying on Saturday commenced and Jeffrey Herlings, one rider whose luck couldn’t get any worse, put an end to his season. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing squad has confirmed that Jeffrey Herlings will not be returning to the gate this year, which means the FIM Motocross MX2 World Championship title is ready for the taking, once again.

With that said, it’s time to place your bets on who you think the 2015 MX2 world champion will be, and don’t forget that the MXGP season is also not yet over. So here we are in the unforgiving sand of Lommel for the fourteenth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship.

If you haven’t heard of Lommel, you have been living under a rock, it is one of the most widely recognized tracks in the world known for its brutal test in physical, mental and technical strength and also for its rounds of the FIM Motocross of Nations, in 1981 when USA won for the first time ever, and in 2012, where victory was claimed by the Germans.

Lommel had its first round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in 1990, and has since hosted ten rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship. With both of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s champions out, Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings, the only rider to line up this weekend with a grand prix win in Lommel is Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Max Anstie who won MX2 last year.

All of the European Championship classes EMX250, 125, 300 and the Honda European Championship EMX150 will also be chucking on a set of scoop tires this weekend for yet another round of their championships.

MXGP

Yamaha Factory Racing Yamalube’s Romain Febvre. The name almost says it all. The rookie is leading the championship by a massive eighty-eight points over fellow Frenchman Gautier Paulin. He has led the most laps, won the most races and has taken the most grand prix overalls. Just when you thought the sand would be his undoing, he rolled out in Kegums at the MXGP of Latvia and set the fastest lap of the race while in traffic and then gave everyone a walloping in race two for the win.

Speaking of Gautier Paulin, the Team HRC rider was mediocre last weekend but after his domination in the sand of Valkenswaard earlier this year, it would seem Lommel is more up his alley and could be his chance to chip at Febvre’s points lead. Meanwhile his team mate Evgeny Bobryshev should be able to move into third this weekend with the absence of Tony Cairoli. Bobby is also not too shabby in the sand and could be an overall threat.

And then there are the locals. Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MXGP’s Clement Desalle and Kevin Strijbos. For Desalle, it won’t be an easy race given he has just had seven weeks off the bike due to his knee and shoulder injuries but the Belgian has said he is just going to do his best and have fun, while how Strijbos will perform is anybody’s guess, but it’s safe to say he has a shot at the podium.

As will our newly nicknamed ‘Jereman’, Yamaha Factory Racing Yamalube’s Jeremy Van Horebeek who is working hard to reclaim the spots on the podium he so frequently occupied last year.

Another rider to watch in the sand is Hitachi Construction Machinery Revo KTM’s Shaun Simpson. SS24 has proven on a number of occasions he is one of the main players in deep sand and is sure to come out swinging this weekend.

MXGP Championship Top Ten: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 507 points; 2. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HON), 419 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 416 p.; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 389 p.; 5. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 360 p.; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, SUZ), 331 p.; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 306 p.; 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 294 p.; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, SUZ), 266 p.; 10. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, SUZ), 257 p.

2014 MXGP of Belgium, Lommel, MXGP Top 3

1. Antonio Cairoli

2. Ken de Dycker

3. Shaun Simpson

MX2

This is where everything gets exciting. Standing Construct Yamaha Yamalube’s Valentin Guillod is tied withHonda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser for second in the MX2 Championship points chase. Both riders are only twenty-four points shy of Jeffrey Herlings which means that there is a good chance that one of them will come away with the red plate. Which of the two? It’s hard to say. Both have won three grand prix this year and neither have stood out in the sand, so it is definitely a hard one to call.

Meanwhile Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass is just ten points shy of Guillod and Gajser, which means he is also in with a shot at taking away the red plate. That is good news for Jonass who admittedly loves the sand and is usually strong in it, as we saw in Latvia when he went 2 – 2 for second overall. The young Latvian said in the press conference last weekend, “I’m not looking at the championship. KTM didn’t hire me to win the world championship, they hired me to ride and take experience, so for me it’s not important, I just want to ride as good as I can in every race”.

Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jordi Tixier is looking forward to the sand having won the final race at the MXGP of Belgium in Lommel last year, while no one is looking forward to it more than Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Max Anstie who waxed everyone in the sand of Kegums a few weekends ago and is the most recent MX2 grand prix of Belgium winner.

Standing Construct Yamaha Yamalube’s Julien Lieber is a known name in beach racing so we are confident he can put together some fast laps while fellow Belgian’s Kemea Yamaha Yamalube’s Brent Van Doninck and J-Tech Honda’s Jens Getteman could also throw a spanner in the works this weekend.

MX2 Championship Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 423 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 399 p.; 3. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 399 p.; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 389 p.; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 370 p.; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 369 p.; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, KAW), 337 p.; 8. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 305 p.; 9. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 256 p.; 10. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 236 p.

2014 MXGP of Belgium, Lommel, MX2 Top 3

1. Max Anstie

2. Jordi Tixier

3. Dylan Ferrandis

e everything gets exciting. Standing Construct Yamaha Yamalube’s Valentin Guillod is tied withHonda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser for second in the MX2 Championship points chase. Both riders are only twenty-four points shy of Jeffrey Herlings which means that there is a good chance that one of them will come away with the red plate. Which of the two? It’s hard to say. Both have won three grand prix this year and neither have stood out in the sand, so it is definitely a hard one to call.

Meanwhile Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass is just ten points shy of Guillod and Gajser, which means he is also in with a shot at taking away the red plate. That is good news for Jonass who admittedly loves the sand and is usually strong in it, as we saw in Latvia when he went 2 – 2 for second overall. The young Latvian said in the press conference last weekend, “I’m not looking at the championship. KTM didn’t hire me to win the world championship, they hired me to ride and take experience, so for me it’s not important, I just want to ride as good as I can in every race”.

Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jordi Tixier is looking forward to the sand having won the final race at the MXGP of Belgium in Lommel last year, while no one is looking forward to it more than Monster Energy DRT Kawasaki’s Max Anstie who waxed everyone in the sand of Kegums a few weekends ago and is the most recent MX2 grand prix of Belgium winner.

Standing Construct Yamaha Yamalube’s Julien Lieber is a known name in beach racing so we are confident he can put together some fast laps while fellow Belgian’s Kemea Yamaha Yamalube’s Brent Van Doninck and J-Tech Honda’s Jens Getteman could also throw a spanner in the works this weekend.

MX2 Championship Top Ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 423 points; 2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 399 p.; 3. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 399 p.; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, KTM), 389 p.; 5. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 370 p.; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, SUZ), 369 p.; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, KAW), 337 p.; 8. Julien Lieber (BEL, YAM), 305 p.; 9. Aleksandr Tonkov (RUS, HUS), 256 p.; 10. Benoit Paturel (FRA, YAM), 236 p.

2014 MXGP of Belgium, Lommel, MX2 Top 3

1. Max Anstie

2. Jordi Tixier

3. Dylan Ferrandis

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