Antonio Cairoli dominated both heats in the Limburg GP in Belgium on Sunday, obtaining his fifth overall victory of the season and also being the fastest on yesterday’s qualifying race. In MX2 it was Ken Roczen who went out victorious and it has been his so expected first grand prix win of the season.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MX1’s Cairoli was back at the top of the podium and proved that Lommel is like his second home GP. The Italian dominated both heats from beginning to end choosing the best lines of a track which is known as one the roughest of the championship.
Cairoli has now increased the advantage in the championship with second classified Desalle being now 79 points behind the leader.
The second step of the podium was for his Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MX1 teammate Max Nagl, who recovered his confidence after a long time absence from the podium due to his collarbone injury from the French GP.
The German took both holeshots of today’s races and although he managed to follow Cairoli’s lines and kept himself steady at the top, he admitted that he was riding on the edge.
For third placed Rockstar Teka Suzuki World MX1’s Clement Desalle it was not the weekend he had expected, as he wanted to show his Belgian fans why he is second in the standings of the championship.
Once again the Belgian starred in a tight battle with David Philippaerts both in heat one and two, with Desalle passing the Italian in both occasions to finish third and fourth.
Yamaha Monster Energy Motocross’ Philippaerts could not keep the rhythm of his rivals and after starting third in both heats he could only finish fourth and fifth. However, he could have had the possibility of being on the podium if he had not crashed during the second race, but he had to settle down for a fourth position overall.
Fifth classified was LS Motors Honda’s Tanel Leok who missed the podium due to his numerous mistakes in race one, where he could only be 13. During the second moto he moved up from ninth to second showing everybody his speed and potential on the sand.
Belgian Ken De Dycker was just sixth overall in his home GP, where last year succeeded in winning the race, and his compatriot Steve Ramon finished eighth in a race where he experienced many ups and downs.
Ramon was fighting for the top three in both races but Lommel’s ruts made him crash twice losing all his chances for being on his home GP podium.
Rui Gonçalves had to work really hard to finish seventh. The Portuguese did not have really good starts but recovered in both heats to take sixth and seventh.
Eugene Bobryshev was not lucky in Belgium this weekend and finished eleventh overall. The Russian was involved in a tumble in the start of the first race but pushed really hard to reach the tenth position. However, he made a mistake and dropped back to an eventual 12th. On the second moto he did not have a good start either and could only finish ninth.
Kawasaki Racing was unlucky this weekend not having Xavier Boog on today’s races due to his left leg injury during yesterday’s qualifying race, Sebastien Pourcel could finish neither of the heats and Jonathan Barragan was 14th on his first race after his long absence.
Teka Suzuki Europe World MX2’s Ken Roczen succeeded in winning his first GP of the season and in showing his skills on the sand of Lommel. He overtook five riders in the first race to take the lead and open a consistent gap from his pursuers.
After the day’s first win, Roczen settled for second in the final heat. The German rider could not hide his happiness after winning the GP as he has been very close to the victory many times but misfortune has always been his biggest rival. At the moment he is still second in the championship but he is 78 points behind red plate holder Marvin Musquin and 23 points ahead of third classified Steven Frossard.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MX2’s Jeffrey Herlings had a bittersweet ending with the second position obtained in one of his favourite sandy tracks. The Dutch led the first race for a couple of laps but a mistake in one of the deep ruts in the Lommel track made him lose the lead and could only finish third.
However, the second race was dominated by the sand specialist, riding safely up to the checked flag and being able to clinch the second step of the podium.
The rostrum was completed by Red Bull KTM Factory Racing MX2’s Musquin who struggled more than what he expected, and despite his usual outstanding starts on his KTM machine, he could not keep the rhythm of the frontrunners.
Musquin is still on the top of the MX2 standings but he will have to focus on next weekend’s race in Loket, a track which has never brought him good results if he wants to reinforce his leadership.
Nestaan JM Racing KTM’s Joel Roelants finished fourth in his home Grand Prix with a fourth and fifth position in the races, which he got after two solid recoveries.
Yamaha Monster Energy Motocross’ Gautier Paulin completed the top five with a seventh and a fourth place and moved up two positions in the standings of the championship. The French will now arrive eleventh at the next Grand Prix.
Harri Kullas finished right after Paulin and was tied in points with seventh placed Shaun Simpson.
Frossard finished eighth after winning his maiden GP in Sweden. The French rider knew that it would not be an easy weekend for him as he could not score any points in last year’s GP. On the other hand, his teammate Jeremy Van Horebeek finished ninth overall.