FEBVRE AND GEERTS DOMPT THE TOUGH TRACK OF LOMMEL TO CONTINUE ON THEIR WINNING STREAK.
The thirteenth round of the 2023 FIM Motocross World Championship that took place in the mythical sands of Lommel held all its promises. The Monster Energy MXGP of Flanders witnessed incredible racings throughout the weekend and the new layout gave another huge challenge to the riders.
In MXGP it was Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre who kept his winning streak going, extending it to 4. It was again in front of MXGP Red Plate Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado who finished second overall with a race win while Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team’s Glenn Coldenhoff who got back on the podium and confirmed his recent form.
In MX2, it was once again Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team’s Jago Geerts who won a perfect Grand Prix with 60 points out of 60 in front of Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Lucas Coenen who is back on the podium after Sumbawa while Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Simon Laengenfelder continues to perform to very high standards.
The passionate Belgians fans showed up in large number during the weekend and showed amazing support to their heroes. The track of Lommel proved again that it is a special place for all motocross fans as the show delivered by the riders was simply incredible.
In Race 1, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team’s Jeremy Seewer took the FOX Holeshot but it was Glenn Coldenhoff who took the lead in front of Romain Febvre and Seewer. Coldenhoff was looking very good although Febvre started to close in on him. Maybe under pressure, Coldenhoff made a slight mistake on lap 4 of 16 and missed a rut on a turn leaving the door open for Febvre who took the inside and the lead with it. Febvre was the quickest on track and it showed as he pulled away quickly to lead the race until the checkered flag and win the race with a 15 seconds’ cushion.
Coldenhoff kept a really strong pace too as after getting passed by Febvre, he cruised in 2nd position until the end. However, the 3rd place was disputed throughout the race. Seewer was 3rd and looked very composed until he made a mistake and crashed on lap 6. Benefitting from this mishap was Calvin Vlaanderen and Jorge Prado. Prado got caught in the traffic at the start and found himself 6th on lap 1 but made his way back up quickly to 5th behind Vlaanderen on lap 2. Both riders kept following each other until an immense last lap by Prado made him overtake Vlaanderen to finish 3rd while the Dutch rider settled 4th. Seewer could only continue the race in 5th place and finished there in the end.
SM Action Racing Team Yuasa Battery MXGP’s Alberto Forato was one rider who managed to dompt the unpredictable sand of Lommel as he stayed consistent during the race to go from 9th to 6th in the end overtaking along the way Team HRC’s Rubén Fernández and home hero and great performer of the day Standing Construct Honda MXGP’s Jeremy Van Horebeek. Race 1 was not as smooth as hoped for Fernandez who made several mistakes to only be able to salvaged the 11th place. Van Horebeek on the other side showed that he was not competing at home for figuration but to make the most of it as the Belgian finished 7th.
Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP’s Mitch Evans was feeling good on the track as he gained many places throughout races going from 13th to 8th after a great battle with another rider who found his flow this weekend, MRT Racing Team Beta’s Ben Watson. Watson battled well and found himself 8th on lap 14 but Evans put pressure behind and make a successful move on lap 15 which left Watson in 9th which was a good performance for the British rider.
Standing Construct Honda MXGP’s Brian Bogers showed that he like this track and place as he managed a good 10th place. Team HRC’s Tim Gajser unfortunately fell in the first lap picking himself up in 26th but showed many positives as he climbed his way to 15th in the end.
In Race 2, Fernandez took the second FOX Holeshot and his first of the season but it was his countryman Prado who took the lead directly after that and rode superbly. Prado never put a foot wrong during the second race and won the race comfortably.
Getting a poor start Febvre had a mountain to climb when he found himself around the 20th place after few corners. However, the determination of the Frenchman to win was incredible to witness. On a tough track where it is difficult to overtake, Febvre simply showed all his skills and talent to move up to 4th on lap 7 of 16. Febvre was behind Seewer and Coldenhoff and needed to pass to climb on the top step of the podium, and this is exactly what he did. He first picked up Coldenhoff on lap 10 to go 3rd and quickly put pressure on Seewer. Febvre kept charging and powered through Seewer a lap later to go 2nd and finish in that place. With a 1-2 and a heroic run during race 2, Febvre superbly won his 4th GP in a row.
Seewer could not contain his teammate’s speed and Coldenhoff got a better drive on a straight to pass Seewer and finish 3rd to go 2-3 and get the 3rd overall. Seewer had to settle for 4th and 4th overall.
Behind them Vlaanderen solidly rode in 5th. Except for one lap when Fernandez managed to pass Vlaanderen but the race winner of Loket answered quickly to take the 6th place back and finish 6th in the end while Fernandez, who crashed earlier on lap 7 while he was 3rd, had to settle for 6th.
Forato confirmed his form in race 1 with another good display that saw him climbing up the ranks to finish 7th and an encouraging 6th overall. What a race it was for Harri Kullas who had a great start and rode the whole race within the top 10. Kullas in the end got his season’s best finish in 8th. Similarly to race 1, Van Horebeek and Bogers stayed consistent to finish 9th and 10th respectively. Van Horebeek got a really good 7th overall and a 3rd top 10 in a row while Bogers took 9th overall.
With an 8-12 Watson managed to get a 10th overall which will be encouraging for next week in Finland. Gajser was 7th until lap 3 when he crashed and had to settle for 13th in the end.
Romain Febvre: “It was again a great weekend as I felt really good on the bike and the track since Saturday. The new layout made it more technical which helped to make the difference. The first race was really good as I made a comfortable gap at the front to win the race. In the second race after the bad start I worked some magic in the sand with a good pace until the end. I was exhausted in the end so I could not catch Prado. I’m very happy, four wins in a row is really something”
Jorge Prado: “I’m happy with that performance although I could have expected a little bit better but this track was tough. In the first race I didn’t have the best start and nearly crashed but I came back up to 3rd which was a decent race. I rode much better in the second race with more confidence and made few passes to take the lead and got to ride my race. We got good points for the Championship so we just need to keep going now.”
Glenn Coldenhoff: “I’m really happy to be on the podium. It was a good weekend. I ride with more consistency now and more often at the front. The track was tough but I love sand tracks as I kind of grew up on them. Now I want to build on that performances and really want to win a GP. I need to win soon and I will do all I can to get this GP win”
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), 35:24.776; 2. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:13.310; 3. Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:17.629; 4. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:18.909; 5. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:24.623; 6. Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), +1:19.883; 7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +1:22.943; 8. Mitchell Evans (AUS, Kawasaki), +1:28.790; 9. Ben Watson (GBR, Beta), +1:29.917; 10. Brian Bogers (NED, Honda), +1:32.020
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), 35:38.681; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:06.549; 3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:08.576; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:10.909; 5. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:32.123; 6. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:39.668; 7. Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), +0:43.613; 8. Harri Kullas (EST, Yamaha), +0:44.670; 9. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:59.801; 10. Brian Bogers (NED, Honda), +1:02.146
MXGP – Grand Prix Top 10 Classification: 1. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 47 points; 2. Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 45 p.; 3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 42 p.; 4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 34 p.; 5. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 34 p.; 6. Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), 29 p.; 7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 26 p.; 8. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 25 p.; 9. Brian Bogers (NED, HON), 22 p.; 10. Ben Watson (GBR, BET), 21 p
MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 665 points; 2. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 566 p.; 3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 506 p.; 4. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 481 p.; 5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 480 p.; 6. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 444 p.; 7. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 386 p.; 8. Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), 331 p.; 9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, HON), 276 p.; 10. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GAS), 203 p
MXGP – Manufacturers Classification: 1. GASGAS, 671 points; 2. Yamaha, 654 p.; 3. Kawasaki, 582 p.; 4. KTM, 541 p.; 5. Honda, 517 p.; 6. Beta, 237 p.; 7. Husqvarna, 51 p.; 8. Suzuki, 15 p.
In race 1, Jago Geerts took the FOX Holeshot and the lead at the same time in front of his countryman Lucas Coenen. Both Belgian riders pushed each other for a good part of the race with L.Coenen not allowing Geerts to relax for a second. On lap 9 of 16, Geerts started to edge away from L.Coenen and got a good rhythm to race to victory while L.Coenen got an excellent 2nd place.
Behind the front two, it was Simon Laengenfelder and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Andrea Adamo who also showed great control and speed around the track. Laengenfelder took the better of Adamo on lap 2 and kept racing his race to finish 3rd comfortably while Adamo displayed a solid performance demonstrating his huge improvement on sand.
WZ Racing Team’s Oriol Oliver was an impressive performer as the Spaniard got to 5th on lap 1 and was on course to finish there until Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Liam Everts, Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing Team’s Andrea Bonacorsi and F&H Kawasaki Racing Team’s Kevin Horgmo charged him on the last couple of laps. Oliver still finished at a good 8th place. For Everts, the performance was astonishing as he fell at the start and had to battle his way up from 16th on lap 1 to finish at an impressive 5th place.
Racing in MX2 for the first time this season, Bonacorsi showed that he has the shoulders to compete with the other riders as he went from 11th to a great 6th place. Horgmo stayed very consistent waving on his great result in Loket and finished 7th.
MX2 Rookie Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team’s Rick Elzinga is getting more consistent as he gets used to his bike and managed to ride within the top 10 the whole race to finish 9th while Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Sacha Coenen showed that he can bounce back after a fall. S.Coenen went down in lap 2 to move down from 6th to 12th but he didn’t give up and fought back up to 10th in the end.
In race 2, the surprising Fantic Racing MX’s Haakon Osterhagen took his first FOX Holeshot but unfortunately crashed few corners later and didn’t finish the race. It was Geerts who took the command of the race once again to fly to victory with panache to win another dominating Grand Prix and his third GP in a row to close in on Adamo in the Championship and reduce the gap to 13 points.
Fighting for 2nd were Laengenfelder and L.Coenen. Laengenfelder took the advantage and rode 2nd until lap 10 of 16. L.Coenen showed incredible speed after an average start that saw him 7th on lap 1. L.Coenen felt really good on this track and had the speed which he let speak to charge forward and pass many riders to get to 3rd on lap 6 behind Laengenfelder. L.Coenen got closer and closer and finally made a successful pass to move up to 2nd on lap 10. L.Coenen finished 2nd in the end to go 2nd overall and climb back on the podium after his victory in Sumbawa.
Laengenfelder had to settle for 3rd and 3rd overall but the German continues to get on the podium. It was all the more impressive given that Laengenfelder only trained on the sand once before coming to Lommel, one of the toughest sand tracks in the world.
Everts got a better start this time and got to 4th on lap 1 behind a very good VRT KTM Factory Juniors’ Ferruccio Zanchi 3rd. Everts showed his skills to pass Zanchi on lap 3 to go 3rd. He then only got passed by L.Coenen and finish 4th to get 4th overall. Zanchi faded a bit during the race and had to settle for 11th in the end.
Elzinga kept building on his good performance of race 1 and managed to be consistent and fast to finish 5th and got an encouraging 6th overall. Horgmo continued to display a really good performance as after finding himself 9th on lap 1 he showed again that he can always gain positions during races and finished 6th for 5th overall.
After finishing 12th in race 1, F&H Kawasaki Racing Team’s David Braceras managed to get a good result and finish 7th which was his season’s best finish. It was similar for Hutten Metaal Yamaha Racing Team’s Ivano Van Erp who managed a 9th place on his first MX2 GP.
Adamo got a great start to find himself 3rd but crashed during the first lap, picking himself up in 20th place. The MX2 Red Plate still showed impressive riding to finish 13th in the end with a 7th place overall.
Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kay de Wolf unfortunately crashed in the first race and tried to get back to it but had to retire without completing the first lap. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team’s Thibault Benistant didn’t take part in the races on Sunday in the end after picking an injury in the MX2 RAM Qualifying Race.
Jago Geerts: “I’m really happy with the weekend, I couldn’t be happier with 60 points in front of my home fans. It was a really nice weekend; the track was tough but I enjoyed every seconds out there. It is also looking good for the Championship and I have to continue like this for the next races and we’ll see how it goes”
Lucas Coenen: “It’s nice to be on the podium in my home GP although a bit annoyed at myself with a bad start in the second race as I got closed down but I would have loved to battle more with Jago (Geerts) although he was very fast this weekend. Now we go back training and we’ll see the next races.”
Simon Längenfelder: “We only did one training in the sand before this weekend because after the injury, we spend a lot of time training in Italy on hard pack. So, for that I’m very happy. Thanks to all the team for their support, my family and my girlfriend. I’m just happy to be backl on the podium and shoe that I can also ride on sand.”
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 35:17.877; 2. Lucas Coenen (BEL, Husqvarna), +0:07.597; 3. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:25.306; 4. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:51.511; 5. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:54.335; 6. Andrea Bonacorsi (ITA, Yamaha), +0:57.784; 7. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +1:03.826; 8. Oriol Oliver (ESP, KTM), +1:08.473; 9. Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +1:21.219; 10. Sacha Coenen (BEL, KTM), +1:24.008
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification: 1. Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 35:28.603; 2. Lucas Coenen (BEL, Husqvarna), +0:20.636; 3. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:39.030; 4. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:50.215; 5. Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +1:13.586; 6. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +1:18.723; 7. David Braceras (ESP, Kawasaki), +1:35.344; 8. Isak Gifting (SWE, GASGAS), +1:41.969; 9. Ivano Van Erp (NED, Yamaha), +1:45.877; 10. Oriol Oliver (ESP, KTM), +1:50.221
MX2 – Grand Prix Top 10 Classification: 1. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 50 points; 2. Lucas Coenen (BEL, HUS), 44 p.; 3. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 40 p.; 4. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 34 p.; 5. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 29 p.; 6. Rick Elzinga (NED, YAM), 28 p.; 7. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 26 p.; 8. Oriol Oliver (ESP, KTM), 24 p.; 9. David Braceras (ESP, KAW), 23 p.; 10. Isak Gifting (SWE, GAS), 23 p
MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification: 1. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 564 points; 2. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 551 p.; 3. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 501 p.; 4. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 487 p.; 5. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 462 p.; 6. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 438 p.; 7. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, HUS), 433 p.; 8. Lucas Coenen (BEL, HUS), 425 p.; 9. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 361 p.; 10. Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), 253 p
MX2 – Manufacturers Classification: 1. Yamaha, 694 points; 2. Husqvarna, 643 p.; 3. KTM, 617 p.; 4. GASGAS, 500 p.; 5. Kawasaki, 366 p.; 6. Honda, 238 p.; 7. Fantic, 18 p