After the hilly, hard pack conditions of the Czech Republic, Team HRC riders Tim Gajser, Brian Bogers and Calvin Vlaanderen all packed up and headed a few hundred kilometres west to Belgium in order to prepare for the deep sand conditions of Lommel, which hosts the 14th round of the 2019 world motocross championship.
With a week of testing under his belt, and coming off the back of his eighth podium in a row, Gajser will be looking to extend that run when the gate drops on Sunday in what could be momentous day for the Slovenian rider. Currently with a 177 point lead over his nearest rival and with just 250 points remaining, he has an outside chance of wrapping up his third championship after the chequered flag of the second moto. However, his focus right now is riding to the best of his ability and continuing a run of form that has seen him pick up 381 out of the last 400 possible points.
Fellow Honda CRF450RW rider Bogers is hoping that a return to a track that he has grown up riding, will give him a chance to put in the two top 10 results that he has tried so hard to achieve this year. Living just 30 minutes from Lommel, across the border in the Netherlands, Bogers has ridden this track ever since he was a kid and while the layout continually changes, he knows he still has the knowledge and ability to ride the toughest track on the MXGP calendar.
For Vlaanderen, he’ll be hoping to get back to the podium like he achieved in Semarang, after missing out at the Czech GP last weekend. Despite showing top three speed over the whole weekend, the CRF250RW rider was unable to get the results he deserved and was instead left to rue a missed opportunity. Thankfully with such a quick turnaround, he has chance to right that wrong and show once again that he is one of the best riders in the MX2 class.
This weekend the MXGP and MX2 riders are joined by the EMX250 and EMX125 classes which means they’ll be a lot of bikes on this treacherous Lommel circuit. Action for the Team HRC trio gets underway at 12:30 (GMT+1) on Saturday 3rd August with the MX2 25 minute free practice, closely followed by the MXGP riders. They then have a timed practice session before qualifying races that begin at 16:55 (MX2) and 17:40 (MXGP). Gate drops for the points scoring races are then on Sunday at 13:15 and 16:10 (MX2) and 14:15 and 17:10 (MXGP).
Tim Gajser 243
I drove straight from Loket to Belgium with the rest of the team so I could do some sand testing in preparation for this weekend. It has been a fun couple of days just getting everything ready because we know it will be a lot different than Loket. Normally I’ve been riding a lot in sand tracks in Croatia this year because I knew that I needed to improve this aspect of my riding. I am trying not to think too much about the championship and just to focus on each race as it happens and that is what I will do this weekend. It will be two difficult races and I know I will need to be at 100% to perform well.
Brian Bogers 189
We had a couple of days of testing this week, with the main focus of course being to have a good setup for this weekend. This was also good training as it was on sand tracks so hopefully I am now well prepared for the race. Lommel is a track that I grew up riding, from 65cc I have been riding there so I like riding there and I like riding in the sand and I really want to have two good races there.
Calvin Vlaanderen 10
Obviously I’m looking forward to this weekend because it is a deep sand track and I’m a good sand rider and I’m confident going into it. Unfortunately Loket didn’t turn out to be a great weekend for me, even though my speed and my fitness were good, I just struggled with some bad luck. I’ve put that behind me though and now I’m focused on this weekend. I need to make sure that we get the bike setup well on Saturday and then we can go out and put in two strong results in the motos.
Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager – MXGP
It has certainly been a busy week, coming from Loket and getting ready for Lommel. Two completely different tracks but we have to be prepared for everything when doing the MXGPs. The Czech Republic was such a crazy weekend, with a lot of Tim’s fans making the trip to watch him and celebrate with him afterwards. It was really cool to see that and be part of it. Now it’s back to testing and making sure he is focused on another podium performance that could allow him to potentially clinch the championship.
It was great to see Brian riding up front in Loket the first moto and we hope that he can use that confidence and take it to Lommel because he is a good sand rider and is very familiar with the track. If he can get good starts we think he can put in two top 10 rides. We are also confident that Calvin can bounce back and get really good results too. He was really unfortunate with his results because the speed was definitely there and that was really good to see.
Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 Gajser Tim 243 SLO 582 Team HRC – MXGP
2 Seewer Jeremy 91 SWI 405 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
3 Paulin Gautier 21 FRA 379 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
4 Tonus Arnaud 4 SWI 373 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
5 Cairoli Antonio 222 ITA 358 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
6 Jasikonis Arminas 27 LTU 327 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
7 Coldenhoff Glenn 259 NDL 309 Standing Construct KTM
8 Van Horebeek Jeremy 89 BEL 300 Honda SR Motoblouz
9 Jonass Pauls 41 LAT 297 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
10 Febvre Romain 461 FRA 293 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
11 Anstie Max 99 GBR 237 Standing Construct KTM
12 Desalle Clement 25 BEL 208 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
13 Monticelli Ivo 128 ITA 189 iFly JK Racing
14 Lieber Julien 33 BEL 184 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
15 Bogers Brian 189 NDL 165 Team HRC – MXGP
16 Simpson Shaun 24 GBR 146 RFX KTM Racing
17 Leok Tanel 7 EST 142 A1M Husqvarna
18 Searle Tommy 100 GBR 112 Bike It DRT Kawasaki
19 Lupino Alessandro 77 ITA 107 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
20 Tixier Jordi 911 FRA 86 Team VHR KTM Racing
21 Paturel Benoit 6 FRA 65 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
22 Strijbos Kevin 22 BEL 60 JWR Yamaha Racing
23 Brylyakov Vsevolod 18 RUS 58 JWR Yamaha Racing
24 Herlings Jeffrey 84 NDL 57 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
25 Gole Anton 297 SWE 30 iFly JK Racing
26 Lusbo Andero 621 EST 29 Wildcard Rider
27 Stewart Lewis 336 AUS 29 Wildcard Rider
28 Petrov Petar 152 BUL 24 Team Honda Red Moto
29 Coles Adam 227 AUS 22 Wildcard Rider
30 Butron Jose 17 SPA 18 JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team