PM: MXGP of Flanders

Completely revamped Lommel welcomes MXGP for the Monster Energy MXGP of Flanders.

The FIM Motocross World Championship comes back for the thirteenth round of the 2023 series. The sand of Lommel will welcome all the riders for the Monster Energy MXGP of Flanders.

The circuit of Lommel has been completely renewed which will give riders added work to figure it out before the RAM Qualifying Races on Saturday. However, one thing will not change is that the famous sand of Lommel will give an edge to the sand-specialists of the categories.

Since its first edition in 1990 when Pekka Vehkonen won, many incredible riders got to race and win on the sand of Lommel. Stefan Everts won once in 1995 while Antonio Cairoli won three times in 2012, 2011 and 2014. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings also has written his name to the winners’ list in 2017, 2018 in MXGP and 2011 in MX2. The current Red Plate Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado won four times already (2017, 2018, 2019 in MX2 and 2020 in MXGP). On-form Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre also won in 2021 while Team HRC’s Tim Gajser won three times in MXGP (in 2019 and twice in 2020)

The Monster Energy MXGP of Flanders will also host the seventh round of EMX125 presented by FMF Racing and the unique round of EMXOpen.

In 2022 the MXGP of Flanders in Lommel marked the 14th stop of the season and saw a surprising Standing Construct Honda MXGP’s Brian Bogers in Lommel winning in front of two other Dutch riders, Team Gebben Van Venroy Yamaha Racing’s Calvin Vlaanderen and Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team’s Glenn Coldenhoff.

Jorge Prado will come to Lommel with more points to spare than last weekend in Loket, thanks to his win in RAM Qualifying and his 2nd place on the podium in Czech Republic. While the Red Plate was not feeling completely fine with some stomach issues, he still managed to get on the podium which shows his incredible resilience and adversity this season. Having won in Lommel four times, it is easy to foresee another incredible performance this weekend for Prado.

Romain Febvre won his third Grand Prix in a row which speaks for itself in term of performance and how good he feels on the bike. He has shown incredible speed and good starts but made few mistakes when he was at the lead in Loket which costed him precious points although he still won the overall. He looks like a man on a mission and going to Lommel, it will be interesting to see if he can extend his winning streak to 4 on a track where he already won.

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team’s Jeremy Seewer gained a place in the Championship as he overtook Fernandez, thanks to his consistency and the 3rd overall last weekend. The Swiss has stepped on 2 out of the last 3 podiums. Despite riding at the lead during last weekend in Loket, the Swiss could not manage to hold on to it and felt a bit frustrated as he has this winning mentality that makes him want to win every races. However, Seewer will come to Belgium with many positives, encouraging performances and results. He is determined to battle for the win.

Team HRC’s Rubén Fernández is now 4th in the Championship and has finished 6th overall. Fernandez had somewhat of a quiet weekend as he was not really involved in the fight for the podium which he has been used too this season. Fernandez is also now competing with his teammate Tim Gajser on the track which will definitely need some adjustment to find the perfect balance. 

Tim Gajser has made it to 7th overall on his very first Grand Prix following his injury in pre-season. This was a good and encouraging first test for the 2022 World Champion who will build on these invaluable first feelings on the track in competition mode. Lommel is also a winning ground for the Slovenian who came out victorious three times in the past.

Glenn Coldenhoff didn’t ride as quick as in Indonesia but the Dutch is still a force to reckon with as he managed a 5th overall keeping on his confident riding. The ‘Hoff’ is a rider that showed he can be very quick and coming back on the sand of Lommel after his first race win of the season in Sardinia will definitely give him a lot to be confident about in approaching this weekend racing.

The other Dutch rider, Calvin Vlaanderen has superbly won Race 2 in Loket for his first race win of the season. Vlaanderen finally got rewarded following a consistent season although he missed on his first podium as he fell short in 4th overall. But he now knows that he is winner-worthy this season which will give him that extra boost of confidence on top of getting on the podium last season in Lommel. Vlaanderen may be one of the good surprises again this weekend on a surface he enjoys.

Understandably, Jeffrey Herlings has moved down the ranks after missing few Grand Prix following his neck injury and will not be competing in Lommel.

8th in the Championship, SM Action Racing Team Yuasa Battery MXGP’s Alberto Forato had a bit of a dip in form in Loket with a 12th overall but he is still a solid top 10 rider. He is just ahead of Ship to Cycle Honda SR Motoblouz’s Valentin Guillod who had to retire in race 2 in Czech Republic for a 17th overall finish. 

Home Hero Standing Construct Honda MXGP’s Jeremy Van Horebeek will come back to Lommel on a back of two really good performances and two top 10s for his only two appearances this season. Competing in front of his home fans will be an incredible experience for the Belgian as it could give him an edge to perform well this weekend.

Championship Standings

1. Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 614 points;
2. Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 510 p.;
3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 465 p.;
4. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 452 p.;
5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 428 p.;
6. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 402 p.;
7. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 386 p.;
8. Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), 302 p.;
9. Valentin Guillod (SUI, HON), 276 p.;
10. Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GAS), 203 p.;

2022 MXGP of Flanders – MXGP Top 3:

  1. Brian Bogers
  2. Calvin Vlaanderen
  3. Glenn Coldenhoff

In 2022, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team’s Jago Geerts won the MXGP of Flanders levelled on points with Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Kay de Wolf second and it was Tom Vialle who closed the podium in third.

Red Plate Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Andrea Adamo missed out on a podium in Loket with a 5th overall but he won his first RAM Qualifying race. He was unfortunate to fall in race 1 but answered in race 2 with his first race win of the season following a spectacular race for the Italian. He also showed great speed as he set the fastest time of the weekend in MX2 demonstrating that he is at the top for a reason, his undeniable talent.

Kay de Wolf has won a place and is now 2nd in the Championship thanks to his first podium since his foot injury. De Wolf his getting his flow back and gets more and more comfortable on the bike. Coming into Lommel as a sand specialist, this could be the perfect opportunity to get a second GP win after his first one in Latvia.

Jago Geerts is also climbing one spot to 3rd as he won his second GP in a row. The Belgian is on a mission to come back to the top where he was before his injury in France. Since his return in Germany, Geerts has clinched 3 podiums out of the last 3 GPs. He is putting pressure on his rivals with his level and speed back to his usual standards. As the first Belgian rider in MX2, going to compete at home will give him an extra lift from the passionate Belgian fans who will come in numbers to cheer for him. Geerts has also won the last two editions which is an incredible added confidence.

Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team’s Thibault Benistant crashed in the RAM Qualifying Race in Loket and preferred to sit the Czech Republic GP out anf come back stronger in Lommel. He lost 2 places in the Championship but is still very much so in the mix to fight for the title. 

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Liam Everts is 5th in the Championship and comes to his homeland on the back of a contrasting performance in Loket. With a 11th overall due to being involved in the multi-rider collision at the start of Race 1 in Loket. Everts will be determined to show and give what the home fans want. For that he has already shown this season that he is definitely built to succeed with a GP win in Germany and 4 podiums.

Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Roan Van de Moosdijk will also need to bounce back from his 16th overall in Loket last weekend and maintain his excellent form before that dip. On the other side, Red Bull GASGAS Factory Racing’s Simon Längenfelder who is behind in 7th place is on a positive streak with a 2nd overall in Loket and second podium in a row. The German gets consistent and is a force to reckon with in MX2,  thanks to his fast starts and great speed.

Another Belgian and GP winner is Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Lucas Coenen who is 8th in the Championship. He managed to get 8th overall and was a bit under the usual speed he showed recently. The young Belgian will definitely be one to watch, riding at home with the great support of Belgian fans. If he finds his flow, his blistering speed will be handy to get on the podium and confirming even more his talent this season. 

Lucas’ twin brother, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Sacha Coenen has been excellent in Loket and is getting used to this new bike and new MX2 class on his rookie year. His starts were fast and the young Belgian fought at the top. He got his career’s best finish in Loket with 7th overall last weekend and gained important confidence to compete in his home Grand Prix and perform as well as he is capable of. 

Championship Standings

1. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 531 points;
2. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 496 p.;
3. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 491 p.;
4. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 462 p.;
5. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 447 p.;
6. Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, HUS), 433 p.;
7. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 390 p.;
8. Lucas Coenen (BEL, HUS), 372 p.;
9. Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 328 p.;
10. Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), 253 p.;

2022 MXGP of Flanders – MX2 Top 3:

  1. Jago Geerts
  2. Kay de Wolf
  3. Tom Vialle

Text/Bild: Infront