Last weekend it was the contrast of riding styles between Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl and Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser that set the tone at the MXGP of Czech Republic, which took place at the heavily elevated, rocky, clay-based track of Loket. Staying in tune with the theme of contrast, this weekend the fourteenth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship, the Fiat Professional MXGP of Belgium will take place in Lommel, a facility that has no hills but is made out of bottomless sand.
Highlights from 2015
Ask anyone; ‘out of the eighteen tracks that make up the MXGP series, which one is the gnarliest?’ There is a 90 % chance that their response will be ‘Lommel’ and you’ll see why this weekend especially with the addition of the European Championship where titles can be won in the EMX250, EMX125 Presented by FMF Racing and the EMX300 Presented by FMF Racing. The Honda European 150 Championship will also line up for the third round of their series.
Last weekend Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Max Nagl ‘s performance was epic to see, especially with Tim Gajser being at the top of his game right now. The German, who was a member of Team Germany, the team that won the 2012 Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations that took place right here in the brutal pits of Lommel, will be a threat for the podium once again this weekend.
The super flamboyant cat we call ‘Tiga’, Honda Gariboldi’s Tim Gajser, is bound to be a hard beast to tame this weekend. Flashback to his epic performance in the sand of Valkenswaard, another famed sand track that is only 30km away from here, earlier this season where he won the opening race. Tim has been laying the smack down on everyone in MXGP over the last thirteen rounds. He’s yet to finish off the podium and currently leads the championship by 109 points over Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli.
In case you missed it Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli switched back to the KTM350SX-F last weekend in Loket and while he didn’t make quite the splash he was hoping for, there’s a good chance he is 100% sure he’s made the right choice for this weekend, even though it’s not his home grand prix, it’s the next closest thing for the Italian who resides in Lommel during the season.
It will be an actual home grand prix for three more podium threats, Team Suzuki World MXGP’s Kevin Strijbos, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek and Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle. All three riders don’t ride Lommel as often as you think, but it is a track that is hard to forget, so they’ll be quick.
Meanwhile another rider you will need to keep an eye on is Wilvo Virus Performance KTM’s Shaun Simpson, last years MXGP of Belgium winner. Simpson has been struggling with bike set-up and injuries this season, but will be feeling home this weekend since he lives only a few minutes up the road.
As for the defending champion Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Romain Febvre, he will be feeling a bit better this weekend with another week of training and testing under his belt.
2015 MXGP of Belgium, Lommel MXGP Top 3
MXGP Championship Top Ten: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 576 points; 2. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 467 p.; 3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, HUS), 451 p.; 4. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 448 p.; 5. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 419 p.; 6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 385 p.; 7. Valentin Guillod (SUI, YAM), 286 p.; 8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 248 p.; 9. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 244 p.; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, KTM), 225 p.
Words and Images by MXGP
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