2014 FIM MXGP / MX2 World Motocross Championship
High temperatures and generous sunshine was perhaps not the best climate for the intense demands of the energy-sapping sand of Lommel for the Grand Prix of Belgium. Honda World Motocross’s Max Nagl was twelfth overall on his works CRF450RW and could only finish one of the two motos after struggling with stamina and strength.
The fifteenth round of seventeen in the FIM Motocross World Championship was played out over possibly the most difficult and technical terrain of the season and it was Antonio Cairoli (KTM) who managed to triumph in front of twenty-one thousand spectators. An unpredictable race with Gautier Paulin (Kawasaki), Ken De Dycker (KTM) and Shaun Simpson (KTM) also going for podium places saw De Dycker and Simpson eventually take the rostrum of the premier MXGP class respectively in what is the last Grand Prix fixture on European shores this term.
Lommel is well known among the motocross and Grand Prix fraternity. Located in the Limburg region the winding, sandy course is a popular practice and training haunt and last entered the international spotlight by hosting the 2012 Motocross of Nations.
Nagl qualified in eighth position on Saturday after ruing a mediocre start in the Qualification Heat. Under blue skies on Sunday the German made a better job in the opening sprint of thirty minutes and two laps distance and slotted into third place through the first laps. As the leaders sorted out their race pace Nagl faced threats from Jeremy Van Horebeek (Yamaha), Paulin and Simpson. ‘12’ ran lap-times in the low 1min 50s and then mid ‘50s for a pretty consistent speed. He just lost out in a battle with Kevin Strijbos (Suzuki) and De Dycker and crossed the line in sixth place.
For the second moto Nagl was struggling from the outset. The twenty-six year old (twenty-seven this week) was running on empty and after several near misses with crashes pulled out of the race after seven laps.
Nagl missed some valuable championship points and sits seventh in the MXGP table, forty-nine behind Steven Frossard (Kawasaki) and thirty-two points in front of Gautier Paulin.
In the MX2 category Gariboldi Honda’s Tim Gajser was fifth overall on the CRF250RW. The Slovenian had recovered slightly from the blow to the left knee he sustained during the second moto in the Czech Republic the previous weekend. A technical DNF on Saturday – caused by his unwitting part in a multi rider crash - meant he was almost last to the start line. Tim fought his way from fourteenth place to eighth despite the handicap due to his gate position. The seventeen year old triumphed in an entertaining scrap with Alex Tonkov (Husqvarna) in the second moto to finish sixth and was ultimately content with his top five classification through the Lommel lumps.
After his exertions through the sand Gajser is still fifth in the MX2 championship standings.
The overall Grand Prix win in MX2 went to Britain’s Max Anstie (Yamaha) with Jordi Tixier (KTM) in second spot and Dylan Ferrandis (Kawasaki) rounding out the podium.
Lommel was also the scene of the closing chapter in the second ever Honda 150 European Championship and the UK’s Albie Wilkie was crowned champion after securing four victories from a total of ten motos. The youngster will now have a supported saddle through the J-Tech Honda squad for a European EMX250 campaign in 2015.
The FIM Motocross World Championship now enters an extended summer break after the Grand Prix of Ukraine – originally planned for mid-August – was cancelled several months previously. The penultimate round of the 2014 series will take place at Trindade in Brazil for the State of Goias Grand Prix on September 7th.
|4||de Dycker, Ken(KTM)|
|10||de Reuver, Marc(Honda)|
|2||de Dycker, Ken(KTM)|
|5||de Reuver, Marc(Honda)|
|18||van Berkel, Lars(Honda)|
|16||van Berkel, Lars(Honda)|