Hungary to host Baja World Cup Round 4 this weekend – 2021 Hungarian Baja
Nowra AORC postponed due to NSW lockdown
2021 Gillman ProMX Round postponed
2021 Atacama Baja 1 & 2 cancelled
Red Bull TKO Hard Enduro event confirmed for USA in August
Bartosz Zmarzlik does the SGP of Poland double
Courtney Duncan P5 at Lommel MXGP
Pol Tarres takes his Tenere 700 to P18 at Romaniacs
2021 Red Bull Romaniacs Final Wrap
2021 MXGP of Belgium – Lommel Round 6 Report
Jed Beaton P5 in MX2 at Lommel
2021 Racing Calendars
2021 Provisional MXGP
2021 Yamaha AORC presented by MXStore
2021 Australian Penrite ProMX
2021 Speedway GP
2021 FIM Hard Enduro World Championship
2021 FIM Cross-Country Rallies
2021 AMA Supercross
2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross
2021 Progressive American Flat Track
2021 New Zealand Motocross
2021 New Zealand Cross-Country
2021 New Zealand Enduro
2021 Australian Supercross (provisional)
Hungary to host Baja World Cup Round 4 this weekend – 2021 Hungarian Baja
Less than two weeks after Baja Spain Aragón, Hungary will host the fourth round of the 2021 FIM Bajas World Cup – the 2021 Hungarian Baja.
Thirteen FIM motorcycle riders and six FIM quads are expected to pass administration and technical checks at Suzuki Meszaros in Várpalota – a pretty village close to the town of Veszprém and the famous Lake Balaton – on Thursday (August 5th).
On Friday (August 6th), riders will tackle a 7.69 km Super Special Stage (also considered as SS1) to establish the starting order for the next day’s SS2. Riders will compete over a total of seven selective sections, including four on Saturday and a further two on Sunday, for a total of 604.97km of which 454.75km will be timed against the clock.
While Michek and the Hero duo of Rodrigues and Bühler fight it out for overall honours, Konrad Dabrowski (KTM) is the sole Junior entrant at the Hungarian Baja. Mathieu Doveze (KTM) finished sixth in Baja Spain Aragôn and registered his entry at the last minute. There are several entrants in the Ladies category for this year’s Hungarian Baja: Mirjam Pol (Husqvarna), Margot Llobera (KTM), Sarah Khuraibet (KTM) and a quad bike for Olga Rouckova (Yamaha).
Nowra AORC postponed due to NSW lockdown
The AORC Management Team have made the tough decision to postpone the Yamaha Australian Offroad Championship, presented by MXstore (AORC) Rounds 7 & 8 at Nowra, New South Wales (NSW).
With the recent announcement of Lockdown extension in Greater Sydney due to the Covid-19 outbreak, unfortunately it will make it impossible for AORC to be conducted on 28th & 29th August 2021.
AORC Management Team further announced that the next round of the AORC is planned for Rounds 9&10 at Kingston SE, SA on 18th & 19th September. This event is also under review, with a final decision on this event to be no later than the end of August.
AORC Management Team will work with Oyster Bay Motorcycle Club, as the Nowra host club and continue to work with all the other clubs and partners of the current postponed events to rebuild the calendar. Motorcycling Australia is committed to ensuring the championship can continue and conclude with the maximum rounds in 2021.
2021 Gillman ProMX Round postponed
ProMX Management have postponement of the ProMX round at Gillman, due to the NSW Government further extending the Greater Sydney Lockdown and the continued problems with state border restrictions. The ProMX round at Gillman was planned to be the next scheduled championship event on September 4 and 5 of the Penrite ProMX Championship, presented by AMX Superstores.
As a result of the extension, Sydney would only be a week out of lockdown prior to the event, therefore it will be unachievable to conduct the ProMX Championship even if Sydney were released from lockdown on time.
ProMX Management acknowledges that this is a hard time for many ProMX Competitors and Teams affected by lockdowns coupled with growing restrictions to business and everyday life. The priority of ProMX is the health and safety of all the championship Competitors and Teams along with certifying that the Championship can be run in a safe & fair environment for all.
ProMX Management Team is currently working with the host clubs of the postponed events and is reviewing a reconstructed calendar. Motorcycling Australia is committed to ensuring the championship can restart as soon as realistically feasible with the maximum rounds planned in 2021.
ProMX Management also thanked riders, teams, hosting clubs and fans for their understanding and support during these difficult times for the championship and advise further announcements on rescheduled dates will be provided in the coming weeks.
2021 Atacama Baja 1 & 2 cancelled
The FIM, together with the Chilean Motorcycling Federation (FMC) and local organiser, regret to announce that the Atacama Baja 1 & 2 scheduled on 29 August to 01 September and 02 to 04 September in Copiapo have been cancelled.
Despite their best efforts and due to the sudden increase of restrictions put in place by the Chilean government in relation with the COVID-19 pandemic this year’s Atacama Bajas cannot be run.
The FIM expresses its thanks to all stakeholders involved for their continued efforts in these complicated times.
2021 FIM Bajas World Cup calendar
30 Sept-02 Oct
Qatar Intl. Baja
Baja do Oeste Torres
Red Bull TKO Hard Enduro event confirmed for USA in August
Despite the ongoing difficulties surrounding racing and travelling during a global pandemic, WESS Promotion GmbH has confirm the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship will soon head to the USA, for Red Bull TKO, on August 13-15.
Thanks to the efforts of the AMA’s Michael Sayre, together with the personal support of FIM President Jorge Viegas and AMA President Rob Dingman, Red Bull TKO has been aproved by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which means all named participants, team members, and media, will be permitted travel to the US.
Bartosz Zmarzlik does the SGP of Poland double
Double world champion Bartosz Zmarzlik was delighted to defy a dramatic restart and see off Maciej Janowski to win a Betard Wroclaw FIM Speedway Grand Prix of Poland round-three thriller on Friday.
Zmarzlik just got the better of his fellow Polish icon and home hero Janowski in an epic duel, culminating in the closest of finishes, to claim his first win of SGP 2021.
The Gorzow star stormed into the lead in the first run of the final, only for the red stop lights to halt his victory charge when Janowski and Emil Sayfutdinov collided as they battled for third place going into lap three.
Sayfutdinov was excluded from the re-run and SGP World Championship leader Janowski took full advantage of his reprieve to take the fight to Zmarzlik.
Wroclaw-born Janowski used all his local knowledge to pile the pressure on the Polish champion. But Zmarzlik held on in a close finish on the line to become only the third rider after six-time world champion Tony Rickardsson and his mentor Tomasz Gollob to become a double Wroclaw winner.
Zmarzlik was pleased to put on a great show for the fans and admits he was relieved victory didn’t slip away in the re-run.
“It was a very good night for me. I have won in Wroclaw again. I am happy because the final was so good for the fans. For me that’s very important. The track in Wroclaw makes this possible. I won the start the first time in the final and went to the outside. I was going very fast. But then after three laps I saw the right lights. I was thinking ‘wow, what happens now?!’ I didn’t know what to change on the bike. I knew the other guys may make changes and be faster, and I knew they would know what to do in the first corner. This is hard for the guy who was winning before. It’s always hard for the head, but I had to focus and make the first corner. I am happy now that I made it in the re-run and won.”
Zmarzlik was delighted to reach his first final of SGP 2021 after exiting both rounds of the Anlas Czech Republic SGP double-header at the semi-final stage. The 26-year-old admits he put in plenty of work to find some extra speed for rounds three and four this weekend.
“I feel it was a good day today. I have been practising before the GP and I am feeling better on the bike, with the bike and with the setups. This made me feel a little better than I did before Prague and now I am seeing some better results. It’s very hard because sometimes you have problems with the setups and you don’t have too much time before a GP for more testing or practice. Sometimes you don’t get such good results. I just wanted to focus on my points and I wanted to be happy with my racing. This is very important for me.”
Zmarzlik is now fourth in the SGP World Championship on 43 points – 13 behind leader Janowski who has 56.
He is racing to become only the second rider to win three straight world titles in the sport’s history, with New Zealand great Ivan Mauger the only man to achieve this feat between 1968 and 1970.
But Poland’s first-ever two-time world champion won’t be piling the pressure on himself to write more history.
Janowski was expected to star in his home city, but admits he had far from an easy night as he made it into the semi-finals on nine race points, before battling his way to a huge 18 championship points for second spot.
“It was tough. It was very hard from the beginning. We couldn’t find the right setup, but finally at the end of the meeting, when the most important heats came, we got good points. My bike was very fast and I was very happy. Bartosz was quick in the final. He got some good speed on the first corner and then it was very hard to chase him. But I think we showed some good speedway and the fans will be happy.”
Third-placed Artem Laguta was glad to follow up his victory at round three in Prague with a second straight podium appearance.
“It was a very good meeting for me today. It was a very good track – a special track for me – and I started very well. In every heat I won, I made a good start. The final was not a good start for me. But I am very happy. Every year it has been no problem for me in Wroclaw. I have always had good speed.”
Zmarzlik saw off SGP World Championship leader and local favourite Maciej Janowski in Round 3 and he repeated the feat with a breathtaking last-bend cutback to blaze under another Wroclaw star Artem Laguta to win round four on Saturday.
Having started the weekend sixth in the SGP World Championship on 23 points – 15 behind Janowski – he is now just three adrift of his fellow countryman in third place going into next weekend’s Orlen Lublin SGP of Poland double-header on Friday and Saturday.
Zmarzlik has 63 championship points, while Janowski and Laguta lead the way on 66 apiece. But the Gorzow man was elated to close the gap by claiming all 40 championship points on offer in Wroclaw with two incredible final wins.
Zmarzlik insists he won’t be celebrating his wondrous Wroclaw weekend for long with another 40 points up for grabs in Lublin in less than a week.
“It really is the best feeling – two wins in two days. Yesterday it was close and today it was also close. The Wroclaw men are really strong here. I only come here sometimes – one or two times a year. But it doesn’t matter; sometimes I find good setups. I don’t always know what will work because we don’t get much practice. But I am very happy and I don’t know what more I can say; two wins and two times 20 points. It was really nice work from my whole team. I want to say thanks to my tuner Ryszard Kowalski and my boys. They did some very good work this weekend. I am happy because I won, but I am always focused on what is happening in front of me. What’s important now is what I do tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday and then in the GP next weekend. I just want to produce more great racing for the fans and that’s it.”
Laguta was gutted he couldn’t cling on for his second SGP win of 2021, having led until the last turn, only for Zmarzlik to pip him to the line.
Third-placed Leon Madsen was pleased to reach his first final of SGP 2021, especially after topping the heat score chart on 14 race points on Friday, only to be excluded from the semi-final. The Dane was glad his search for speed in recent weeks has paid off with 16 championship points.
The second round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship delivered interesting races that saw Shana Van Der Vlist come out on top, to take her first ever WMX overall victory and the championship lead after an unlucky day for Bike it MTX Kawasaki rider Courtney Duncan who missed out on a podium position.
As the gate dropped for the first WMX race, it was Van Der Vlist with a flying start with Larissa Papenmeier of 423 Yamaha Racing and Kiara Fontanesi right there as well. Meanwhile Duncan started further down the order in eighth place.
Papenmeier then dropped a few positions as Fontanesi remained in third with Lynn Valk going through into second. While Britt Jans-Beken was having a strong ride in fourth.
We saw our first lot of drama in the race as Duncan was looking to dive down the inside of Sara Andersen, but the pair touched, and both crashed as a result.
Meanwhile, Nancy Van De Ven of Ceres 71 Racing was making her way up the order as she looked for a way around Amandine Verstappen who was in fifth.
As the gap between Van Der Vlist and Valk remained at 3.028 seconds, Jans-Beken was pushing for a way around Fontanesi for third, while Duncan made her way into 9th place as Andersen broke into the top 20 after the crash with the Kawasaki rider and a brief stop in pitlane.
But all eyes were at the front of the field as Valk took the lead from Van Der Vlist on lap six. The pair then kept things close until the end of the race.
Jans-Beken briefly managed to get Fontanesi for third, though by the end of the race she dropped to fifth as Fontanesi and Van De Ven found a way through. In the end it was Valk who secured her first ever win ahead of Van Der Vlist.
In the second race it was Duncan who led Papenmeier as Van De Ven took second from the German, with Verstappen right there too.
Fontanesi started the race further down the field in eighth place but was moving quickly on the opening lap as she was second by lap two. The Italian then set the fastest lap of the race as it was clear she was hungry for the win.
Van Der Vlist had to work harder in the second race as she made her way into the top five, as Duncan defended the lead from Fontanesi, with the GasGas rider making several attempts to pass the Kiwi and by lap four she was the new race leader.
Van De Ven then made a mistake which allowed Van Der Vlist through, who then put on strong charge for the lead and was the new race leader on lap seven.
Duncan then got herself into third after a nice battle with Van De Ven which went on for several laps as Van Der Vlist edged out by 6.846 seconds.
In the end it was Van Der Vlist who enjoyed her first WMX race victory as Fontanesi, and Duncan finished second and third. With a 2-1 result, Shana Van Der Vlist was the overall round winner, with Kiara Fontanesi making her first podium appearance of the season in second and Lynn Valk also making her first ever podium appearance as she took to the third step of the podium.
After an unlucky first race, Duncan drops to second in the championship as Van Der Vlist leads with just a two-point advantage as Valk moves to third. The WMX action heads to Turkey for a special double-header race on the 4th and 5th of September, followed by a mid-week race on the 7th and 8th of September.
Shana Van Der Vlist – P1
“I still can’t believe it actually. I really enjoyed riding in the sand today. The track was really heavy and tough, but I had two good races. I could take the win, so it is unbelievable. In the first race I had a battle with Lynn. Actually all race. First, I was in the lead and then she passed me, I stayed behind her all race and I could not make a pass for the lead, so I was happy with second place. In the second race, I had a really bad start. In the first lap I was around twelfth place. I just had a good flow and good speed. I was just passing all the girls for the win and I am really happy. I just try to enjoy the ride and don’t put too much pressure on myself.”
Kiara Fontanesi – P2
“After the race in Loket, it was important for me to come here, make no mistakes and get some points. So, I am happy about how the races went. It was difficult to get in the rhythm in the beginning because I haven’t raced in those kind of tracks since Valkenswaard last year and I haven’t even trained on sand. I was much more prepared for Loket than here, and we knew it. But I could find a good rhythm in the second race and that’s why I came from the back to the lead, pushed really hard and got really tired. Shana was really fast today. She caught me and she passed me. But I was happy anyway to finish second because we moved up a bit in the championship. I am closer to the girls now and the championship is still long, and we go home with a happy result.I didn’t go to Turkey in 2019 because I was pregnant so, it is completely new for me. I go to Turkey happy and with a positive mind because I felt great in Loket and this means we are very well prepared for the hard pack and I feel good physically and mentally. The bike is really strong and I am positive. For sure I won’t look at the championship now because it makes no sense. We’ll take race by race and try to enjoy it without any risks, this is what we need.”
Lynn Valk – P3
“I didn’t expect the podium because I was sixth and my mechanic did not tell me anything. So, I was really happy to be on the podium for the first time. The first race was great, I took a good start and had a great battle with Shana and I could win. The second one was tough. I had a bad start. My body isn’t feeling one hundred percent after Loket, but I am happy to be on the podium for the first time. I will be ready and fit for Turkey.”
Courtney Duncan – P5
“It was a tough day in Belgium’s sand but we knew it would be tough. The local and European girls live here, or can train here and it’s always going to be hard to compete with that. It’s hard to accept though, especially after coming off double wins. However, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I put my best effort into the two races, fought all the way to the chequered flag and banked important points. I have to remind myself that championships are won on your bad days. I’m going to keep my chin up and keep working hard. We’re in a positive position and there’s a long way to go.”
Pol Tarres takes his Tenere 700 to P18 at Romaniacs
Pol Tarres raised some eyebrows with the announcement he’d be racing a Tenere 700 in the Hard Enduro championship, with his team stripping back the bike and getting it into racing trim with minimal changes, including an Akrapovic exhaust, Motortek sump guard, linkage protector and crash bars.
The aim was to stay true to the original Tenere 700, with Pol explaining that anyone could get a Tenere 700 into similar shape with two hours work. Even the stock suspension was just tuned.
Racing in the Bronze class in the Red Bull Romaniacs, Pol finished in P18 overall, in an impressive effort.
“WE DID IT. First ever Red Bull Romaniacs finisher Bronze class with Yamaha Tenere 700. This is a dream come true! Overall P18. Thanks every one for the messages and support! Without you this challenge would be impossible. What a team TRE Racing Society. Because we are passion, friendship and one big family. Still can’t believe what we got yesterday, you can’t imagine the months of preparation and suffering behind this great project! Nothing would have been possible without this team. Each of them are a must have in my team, in my day to day and also to the people working from home! A thousand thanks for helping me fulfil my dreams, supporting me at all times and giving your 200% every day so that everything could come forward! You are some true warriors! Thank you to my family, friends, sponsors and all of you for the messages of support, encouragement and desire to continue fighting! You guys are cool. This big win is also all yours!”
For a bit more insight, check out the short film ‘The Seekers’ below.
2021 Red Bull Romaniacs Final Wrap
Germany’s Manuel Lettenbichler won the fourth round of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship at Red Bull Romaniacs. The victory moves the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider to the top of the championship standings. An outstanding performance by Sherco Factory Racing saw them fill the remainder of the podium with Wade Young and Mario Roman in second and third respectively.
Offroad Day 4 saw the world’s toughest Hard Enduro Rallye come to a close following a week of epic racing. At the head of the Gold class, Lettenbichler had a virtual grasp on the overall victory thanks to a healthy 20-minute plus lead, but behind him the remainder of the podium was anything but settled.
Young had a strong grip on securing the runner-up result but still needed a solid final day to seal the deal. Roman, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Billy Bolt, and Vision Track Beta’s Jonny Walker were all capable of taking that third step.
Starting his morning fourth on the road, Lettenbichler set about locking down his third Red Bull Romaniacs victory in a row. In full tune with the terrain, the German was at his best. Reeling in those ahead of him to shadow Young across the finish line in Gusterita, Manuel both won the day and the race. The win moves him to the top of the championship standings.
Knowing he had a slight cushion over this rivals, Young played it safe once Lettenbichler and Bolt caught up to him. Clearing the final sections, he ended this year’s rallye as the runner-up.
Starting out his day seventh, Roman was a man on a mission to defend that third step of the podium. Knowing Bolt was on the attack, Roman produced one of his strongest rides of the week. Topping two checkpoints, he pushed on to end his day in second and with it ensure a Sherco 2-3 result.
For Bolt, hopes of mirroring his Abestone Hard Enduro victory never materialised in Romania. Despite a brilliant end to his week, it was ultimately the opening days that did the damage. Finishing a close third today, the Husqvarna rider had to settle for fourth overall.
For Walker, his first outing on Beta machinery in the Carpathian Mountains was a very promising one. Consistently in the mix throughout the week, he rounded out the top five with fifth. Ending Offroad Day 4 in fifth, GASGAS Factory Racing’s Taddy Blazusiak took sixth overall.
Finishing top rookie in his debut Red Bull Romaniacs, Canada’s Trystan Hart (KTM) took seventh and will no doubt be a rider to watch for at round five’s Red Bull TKO in the USA. Bulgaria’s Teodor Kabakchiev (Husqvarna) certainly came of age this week in Romania to take home eighth, with a similar performance from rising Austrian talent Michael Walkner (GASGAS) in ninth. Poland’s Dominik Olszowy (KTM) will be another rider happy with his efforts, claiming 10th.
The FIM Hard Enduro World Championship continues with round five at the Red Bull TKO in USA on August 13-15.
Manuel Lettenbichler (KTM) P1
“I am absolutely stoked with the win! And to get three-in-a-row at Red Bull Romaniacs is like a dream come true. It’s been a tough five days here this year, but the pace has been insane. I have to give credit to Graham (Jarvis) for pushing me so hard early on – I think if he’d stayed in it would have been a lot closer at the top. The race has been amazing, the organizers did a great job and I’ve really enjoyed it. It feels good to be leading the championship now too, but there is still a long way to go. I’ll try and get some rest now before the next one.”
Wade Young (Sherco) P2
“With second up for grabs, I gave it everything today to make sure it was mine. I’m so happy for this result, but also for Sherco going 2-3, with Mario in third. We’ve have a good week, some great rides. A highlight was winning Offroad Day 3 for sure.”
Mario Roman (Sherco) P3
“I’ve enjoyed it a lot. It’s been a tough, hard week and I’m happy to have shown myself in this. Today the pressure was on, I knew Billy was close and he’d be pushing. But I also felt that if I could arrive to the service point, without losing time then it would ease the pressure in the closing stages. I managed that and was able to keep it all together to the finish.”
Billy Bolt (Husqvarna) P4
“I didn’t quite get the result I came here looking for. As ever Romaniacs never pulls its punches and on the first couple of days I took a beating. I think I was just overriding the terrain and that’s where the mistakes came from. I managed to tidy things up at the midway point, be more patient and the results started to come good. It’s a bit frustrating to just miss out on the podium, but I’ll learn from these mistakes and come back stronger.”
Taddy Blazusiak (GASGAS) – P6
“I’m really happy to have reached the finish line here at Romaniacs. It’s been a wild event with crashes and navigational mistakes, but this is hard enduro and I really love the challenge of it. The adrenalin took over today as I had a big crash yesterday and hurt my shoulder, but I was able to ride through the pain and finish. Overall, it’s good points again and my bike worked great all week, so it’s been a very positive race for me besides my crashes and a few navigational mistakes on day two. It’s been an awesome experience as always at Romaniacs and I’m looking forward to the next one in two weeks’ time.”
Graham Jarvis (Husqvarna) – DNF
“I’m gutted with how the race turned out. I felt I was doing everything right and had the pace to push for the win this year. Unfortunately, just one little mistake did the damage, and my race was done. My plan now is to head home and get the injury fully assessed.”
The 2021 MXGP of Belgium, in Lommel, took place over the weekend and witnessed Romain Febvre claiming his first ever GP victory at the circuit, while in the MX2 class it was Jago Geerts who claimed the overall win at his home track.
The conditions 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.
MXGP Race 1
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 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 dropped down to 14th, as Team HRC’s Tim Gajser struggled as he crashed out of fifth place.
Febvre 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 started to close in on Febvre for the win and it was game on. By lap 11 Herlings was the new race leader with Febvre 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 an 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.
MXGP Race 2
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, meaning that Jonass was the new race leader with Gajser just 1.590 seconds behind as Febvre re-joined in fourth.
Gajser 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 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 went off track as he chased Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Arminas Jasikonis who was having a strong race in fifth place. But 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 – P1
“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 – P2
“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 – P3
“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.”
Jorge Prado – P4
“I’m very happy about today. I feel that we progressed a lot on the physical side. We raced on a track that was not typically what we find here. It was very bumpy from the support races yesterday and, already from Timed Practice, it was so rough. We just had to survive out there. I would have liked to have been ‘on the box’ but a small crash in the second moto did not make it easy. I made a few small mistakes and had to re-group to catch people. I could not make it happen but I’m happy.”
Tony Cairoli – P5
“I didn’t have a good feeling on the track during practice and was struggling to find a rhythm and the lines. I was patient in the first moto and waited a little bit because I could see that Jeffrey and [Romain] Febvre had gone. It started raining very heavily so I decided to try and see if I could make 3rd place. I was riding smart, and 3rd was OK. The track was getting very wet in the second moto and I always struggle a bit in the sand in these types of conditions. It gets very heavy, and you need to ride with a lot of power and strength, which is not really my style. I didn’t really find the flow and had a bad start so had to work through the pack. I finished my roll-off behind [Arminas] Jasikonis. and just had to take 7th. The championship is very close. The result was OK today – even if we didn’t make the podium – but I’m not happy with my riding. It should have been better for this surface. We rode defensive today and not really what I enjoy on these types of tracks.”
Tim Gajser – P6
“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.”
Coming into round six of the MX2 World Championship, Jed Beaton was in great form following podium appearances and solid results in recent weeks. In Belgium, the Australian’s strong speed continued with an eighth-place finish in race one despite a small crash around the halfway stage of the moto.
In race two, Beaton started eighth and moved into fifth as the moto reached half distance. The 23-year-old then engaged in a battle for position with Conrad Mewse, ultimately coming out on top to claim fifth in the moto and secure his third consecutive top-five overall finish.
“Today was a little bit of a bad day, but if I can take fifth overall on a bad day then it’s not so bad. I was fortunate in race one to miss a big crash just after the start but then while sixth I crashed on my own and fell way down the field. I got back to eighth which was ok though. My start in race two wasn’t so good and by the time I got into fifth the leaders were gone. It was unfortunate but fifth was good and solid points overall so all things considered, I’m happy with today.”
Bike It MTX Kawasaki’s Wilson Todd had a tough introduction to the deep Lommel sand. A respectable thirteenth in Qualifying, the Australian charged from twenty-third to fifteenth during the first half of race one before being forced out.
A lightning start in race two saw him round turn one in the top six but the joy did not last long as a fall at turn three put him at the back of the field; he bravely persisted to the end to finish twenty-third despite two further falls. He is now thirteenth in the series points standings.
MX2 Race 1
In the first MX2 race, it was Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle who grabbed the Fox Holeshot, 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 race 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 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. Jed Beaton finished eighth.
MX2 Race 2
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 he 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.
Jed Beaton finished fifth, to claim fifth overall for the weekend, while Wilson Todd was 23rd.
“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 – P2
“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 – P3
“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.”
Thibault Benistant – P6
“My day was quite good overall because I finished fourth with 34-points. This is only 1-point less than my best ever finish this year, with my best weekend being 35-points. When you look at it like this, it is quite good. I had a bit of bad luck in the first race. Another rider hit my lever and I had no front brake for the whole race, but in the end of the race I was feeling really good and was one of the fastest guys on track at the end of the moto. In the second race, the feeling was not there, so I did not want to go over the limit and make a mistake for nothing; fourth overall in Lommel is not a bad result.”
Tom Vialle – P7
“Seventh is not what we want but after the injury I have not ridden in the sand for a long time. I tried twice this week but it wasn’t going too well with my hand. In another way I’m quite happy because my hand came through the motos well. We can build from here. I was already tired at the start of the second moto and the track was really tough today. If you are not ‘bike fit’ then it is extra difficult here. I think I would have enjoyed today a lot more if I had that fitness. I know from here we will be a bit better every day. We will train hard this week and I know I will be 100% by the time we go to Turkey.”
Simon Langenfelder – P9
“I felt really good on my bike today. I was flowing in the turns and after qualifying I was really confident for some strong results. Unfortunately, in both races I had to come from the back because of avoiding a crash in race one and then in moto two, I had a really good start, but I was pushed wide and off the track. In that one I came from 25th to ninth so my speed is there, I just needed a little bit of luck to get some better results.”
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.