PM: MXGP of Flanders-Belgium

Febvre and Geerts Master the Sand Pit of Lommel.

The sixth round of the 2021 FIM Motocross World Championship has concluded in Lommel, as Romain Febvre of Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team secured his first ever Grand Prix victory in Lommel, while Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jago Geerts redeemed himself with an overall win of the MXGP of Flanders-Belgium, after some unlucky races at his home track last season.

The conditions today tested even the best sand riders, with heavy rainfall during parts of the day which made the deep sand of Lommel even heavier and harder to manoeuvre around. Though this did not stop the MXGP and MX2 stars from treating the Belgian fans to some intense race action.

The first MXGP race saw Febvre secure the first Fox Holeshot as he led the race from early on. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jeremy Seewer followed in second, with Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings right there in third and fourth.

Seewer then dropped a couple of positions as Herlings took second from Jonass.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado got a good start in the race but then dropped down to 14th, as Team HRC’s Tim Gajser also struggled as he crashed out of fifth place.

Febvre then led Herlings by 3.045 seconds, as Gajser got himself back into the top 10 but was then passed by Prado as the pair continued to fight up the order.

After taking his time, Herlings then started to close in on Febvre for the win and it was game on. By lap 11 Herlings was the new race leader as Febvre was keen to fight back. Though the Kawasaki rider ended up making a costly mistake and crashing. He did however hold on to that second place because both him and Herlings were so far ahead of Jonass who continued to have a fantastic race in third.

With two laps to go, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli managed to get around Jonass for third as the Latvian dropped to fourth where he eventually finished the race.

Meanwhile, Herlings took a very impressive race win just a couple of weeks after breaking his shoulder blade while Febvre was second and Cairoli third. Championship leader, Gajser, finished the race seventh.

In race two it was another Kawasaki who took the Fox Holeshot, this time Ivo Monticelli was the rider who led very briefly before Febvre jumped into the lead. Monticelli crashed and looked hurt, while Jonass jumped into second with Prado just behind.

In the second lap of the race, Febvre crashed out which meant that Jonass was the new race leader with Gajser just 1.590 seconds behind as Febvre re-joined in fourth.

Gajser then crashed out of second, while Herlings was making his way back up the order after going down with Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff on the opening lap of the race.

Febvre then closed in on Prado who was ahead in second and by lap eight, the Kawasaki rider managed to find a way around the Spaniard. Jonass continued to lead by 4.319 at that point.

Herlings then went off track as he chased Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Arminas Jasikonis who was having a strong race in fifth place. By lap 9 Herlings was able to get around the Lithuanian to making an incredible come back from last to fifth where he finished the race.

Meanwhile at the front, Febvre brought the gap down to 1.532 seconds to Jonass who needed to be careful as it was obvious that Febvre only had one thing on his mind – the win.

The Frenchman caught onto the back wheel of the Latvian and by lap 11 was back in the lead. Gajser then put on a late charge of his own as he got around Prado for third and was the looking to get Jonass too but crashed once again. The Honda rider finished fourth.

Febvre was the race winner, with Jonass taking second and Prado crossing the line third. With a 2-1 result, Romain Febvre secured his first GP win in Lommel, while Jeffrey Herlings win and fifth in race two put him on the second step of the podium as Pauls Jonass enjoyed his first podium of 2021 with third overall.

Tim Gajser continues to lead the championship as Febvre moves into second place just five appoints adrift, while Cairoli drops to third.

Romain Febvre: “Good day, good start, I worked to improve the start this week, so that’s a good point. Both races I was leading. First race, I had a bad lap and Jeffrey caught me and passed me. I tried to stay focused and to analyse where he or I was a little faster. I did not let him go, but after two laps I tipped over and crashed. So yeah, I was a little bit alone in second place, so I settled for second. Second race I knew it could be my day. So again, I took a good start. I made a really fast lap at the beginning to be alone. It’s what I did but still made a few mistakes and crashed then I was about 4th or 5th. Took me some laps to regroup and then I passed the guys in front of me. To win here in Lommel means a lot to me. I feel clean and thanks a lot for my team”.

“I don’t think about the championship at the moment. It’s a long season. I mean it’s always good to be in that position for sure. It was a good day for us but yeah still many races to go. So let’s see the future”.

Jeffrey Herlings: Everything was going good so far. First race, I think I was third at the start and then moved into second. Romain was having a really good race and at one point I just decided to stay behind. Running at a good pace and on good lines. I wanted to save energy, and also for my shoulder. I broke my shoulder blade so it’s not really normal to ride a bike within 13-14 days after. I did not know if I was going to fade with my shoulder because the track was rough and demanding on your body, especially on your shoulders as well. At one point, I felt I could run at a faster pace and I managed to pass Romain and make a gap. Obviously, Romain went down and then it was just a walking part from there. Second race turned out good. At the start I was around 4th or 5th I believe and then me and Glenn came together, he took my rear wheel and we both went down. We were both last, so it was a shame. Then I fought my way back to 5th place within 15 minutes I think but then I just faded. I did not want to make a big error and go down. I think it’s been a good day to go 1-5 because 1 week ago I thought the championship was game over. Now, obviously, I know I need to hunt the boys down but 42 points is not too bad. There is still a lot of races to go, so there’s a lot of options”.

“I think I lost a championship 5 or 6 times due to injuries. It’s pretty frustrating at times, but I think right now I am still in a good place. I don’t want to give up the championship so quick, so I think we’re still in a good place once again. We just have to keep fighting”.

Pauls Jonass: “I am super happy. It’s nice to do it at let’s say Belgium is my second home GP, a home GP for my team… This week, we worked quite a lot for the start. I think we saw at the first GP that the speed was there. Everything was there. I just needed the start because the class is so tough. If you don’t get a good start, it’s really difficult to move forward and to get a podium. I’ve been slowly building, just getting consistent results. Unfortunately, we had some DNFs this season, but so far, I am happy. I think it’s almost been 2 years since my last podium because I missed all of last year due to injury. So, it is nice to be back at the podium and it is especially nice to do it for the whole Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing Team because they’ve believed in me and gave me the opportunity to be back at the top level; everyone is working so hard in the team, that I just give that podium to them”

“It’s a nice confidence boost going to the home GP (Latvia). I think all of the guys here know that home GP is always tougher than the other GPs, but I am really looking forward to that. I’ve never won there, even in 250’s. I’ve been a few times in the podium there so I hope there will be many fans this year and that I can be at the box next weekend.

Tim Gajser: Yeah, obviously too many mistakes today. I was feeling good in the morning. Also speed in the race was okay. First race I had an early crash, so I was kind of struggling, finishing 7th or something like that. Second race I felt better, also I was behind Pauls, second in the beginning of the race. Then, I made a crash, so I lost places and went back to fourth and again came really close to the guys, had another crash then came again really close, I was third then I crashed again. So too many mistakes, definitely we have to work on it. I need to reset myself and go to Kegums next week.

MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:37.691; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:28.149; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:36.418; 4. Pauls Jonass (LAT, GASGAS), +0:41.724; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:49.914; 6. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:56.529; 7. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:57.895; 8. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +1:00.916; 9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +1:10.924; 10. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +1:19.128;

MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), 35:47.024; 2. Pauls Jonass (LAT, GASGAS), +0:04.339; 3. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:09.748; 4. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:11.213; 5. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:31.247; 6. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:34.905; 7. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:37.604; 8. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:39.296; 9. Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:47.333; 10. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:49.616;

MXGP – GP Top 10 Classification: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 47 points; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 41 p.; 3. Pauls Jonass (LAT, GAS), 40 p.; 4. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 35 p.; 5. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 34 p.; 6. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 32 p.; 7. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 29 p.; 8. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 22 p.; 9. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 21 p.; 10. Brian Bogers (NED, GAS), 20 p.;

MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 226 points; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 221 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 217 p.; 4. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 212 p.; 5. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 184 p.; 6. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 180 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 160 p.; 8. Pauls Jonass (LAT, GAS), 159 p.; 9. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 111 p.; 10. Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KTM), 109 p.;

MXGP – Manufacturers Classification: 1. KTM, 279 points; 2. Honda, 227 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 226 p.; 4. Yamaha, 209 p.; 5. GASGAS, 170 p.; 6. Husqvarna, 115 p.;

In the first MX2 race, it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle who grabbed the first Fox Holeshot of the day, though it was Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Maxime Renaux who led the way.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Mattia Guadagnini had an unlucky start to the race as he crashed in the first corner and had to re-join the races way behind the rest of the pack. Eventually the Italian was able to fight back to 14th place.

Hitachi KTM Fuelled by Milwaukee rider Conrad Mewse got off to a great start in the race as he was running behind Renaux, Vialle and Geerts, though by the second lap he crashed and was unable to carry on due to a bike issue.

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kay De Wolf started the race down in around 10th place, while his teammate Jed Beaton was fighting sixth place. By the following lap Beaton dropped to 12th, while De Wolf was able to make a couple of nice passes to get into eighth.

Vialle also crashed in the beginning stages of the race as Renaux continued to lead Geerts who was keeping close.

De Wolf then continued his charge up the field after making passes on F&H Kawasaki Racing’s Mikkel Haarup and Mathys Boisrame, while Vialle took third from Honda 114 Motorsports rider Ruben Fernandez.

At one point, De Wolf and Vialle were the two fastest riders on the track, setting very similar lap times. By lap seven De Wolf caught onto Fernandez to take fourth and then just under three laps later he was also ahead of Vialle as he got himself into third position.  

Renaux continued to lead the race keeping Geerts at bay until lap 10. The Frenchman crashed which allowed Geerts through. Luckily, the pair was so far ahead that Renaux was still able to finish the race second, as Geerts took the win and De Wolf finished third.

In race two, it was De Wolf who was flying into the first corner and took the second Fox Holeshot of the races. He led the race immediately with Geerts and Thibault Benistant of Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing, Renaux and Mewse just behind.

Geerts then got Benistant for second as Renaux struggled for a few laps to do the same. Meanwhile, Vialle started the race in sixth place though crashed lap two and dropped down to 10th.

After making several attempts, Renaux was finally able to get Benistant for third at lap five, by which point De Wolf and Geerts were already quite far ahead as the two leaders kept a steady gap, setting very similar lap times.

At one point, Mewse started to close in on Renaux and Benistant as it looked like the Brit was going to push for higher positions, though started to fade a little towards the end of the race to eventually finish in sixth position. Beaton was one of the riders who passed Mewse in the closing stages, as the Aussie made his way from eighth to fifth in the race.

De Wolf’s gap to Geerts remained at around three seconds for most of the race, though with two laps to go Geerts put on a late charge to get onto the back of the Husqvarna rider. The battle for the win was close and continued right until the chequered flag, but it was De Wolf who came out on top to win his first ever MX2 race, while Geerts finished second and Renaux in a distant third.

With a win and a second, Jago Geerts was the overall winner at his home track, while Kay De Wolf stood on the second step of the podium after some very strong races and Maxime Renaux joined the pair, to stand on the third step of the podium and extend his championship lead to 26 points over Mattia Guadagnini who only managed 12th overall today. Fernandez remains third in the standings, while Geerts is fourth just two points from second.

Jago Geerts: “I’m really happy to win here in Lommel. Last year I think everyone expected that I would win at least one of the three GP’s but it didn’t happen. In the second race Kay was riding really good and at the end I tried to go for the pass, but I couldn’t make it happen.”

“It’s nice to head in the right direction but the season is still long and I’m not really thinking about the championship that much, I just want to go out every weekend, do my best and collect as many points as possible”.

Kay De Wolf: “The fight in race two already started with two laps to go. I enjoyed racing. It’s an amazing feeling to win a race”.

“It’s going really well this season so far, so we’ll keep on fighting and keep up with the hard work”.

Maxime Renaux: “The first race, I took a good start, well actually the start was better in race two but I went wide in the first corner because Kay was really close, so I went wide. The first race I made a good start and was feeling great on the track and took a little gap to Jago. I was just feeling really good and made a silly mistake passing a lapped rider, I got cross rutted and went down. That was a shame but finishing second was really good for the points for the championship. The second race I had a good start, I didn’t push too hard as the guys were pretty quick and were so far in front that it was almost impossible to get them, so I finished the race third. Third overall is good, good for the championship so I’m happy”.

“I’ve only won one race since the beginning of the year and I’m not happy with that, I want to win more races. When you win races and put 25 points you can get a bigger gap to your opponent, so yeah, I try to be as consistent as I can and will try to win races, take good starts, which I think is very important this year and hopefully it will pay off”.

MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 36:38.821; 2. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:10.529; 3. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:20.279; 4. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:32.334; 5. Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:32.414; 6. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:38.826; 7. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:54.685; 8. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:54.987; 9. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Kawasaki), +0:59.295; 10. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +1:02.374;

MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 –  Top 10 Classification: 1. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), 34:43.435; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:02.744; 3. Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:59.764; 4. Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +1:19.564; 5. Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:24.645; 6. Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +1:25.926; 7. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +1:29.338; 8. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:38.812; 9. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +1:42.989; 10. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, KTM), +1:45.176;

MX2 – GP Top 10 Classification: 1. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 47 points; 2. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 45 p.; 3. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 42 p.; 4. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 34 p.; 5. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 29 p.; 6. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 29 p.; 7. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 28 p.; 8. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 27 p.; 9. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 23 p.; 10. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 19 p.;

MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 221 points; 2. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, KTM), 195 p.; 3. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 194 p.; 4. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 193 p.; 5. Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 176 p.; 6. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 174 p.; 7. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 171 p.; 8. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 159 p.; 9. Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 156 p.; 10. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 132 p.;

MX2 – Manufacturers Classification: 1. Yamaha, 262 points; 2. KTM, 250 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 201 p.; 4. Husqvarna, 195 p.; 5. Honda, 194 p.; 6. GASGAS, 141 p.;

Text/Bild: Infront Moto Racing