GP Bits: MXGP of Flanders | Round 13 3

The first of three rounds slotted to take place at the infamously bottomless sand track that is Lommel.

GP Bits: MXGP of Flanders | Round 13

Lommel can only be described as bottomless and ever-changing.

Antonio Cairoli was collected in a first turn crash in moto one that put in 13th at the checkers. 6th in the second moto gave him 9th overall on the day. But he got a new lid!

Tony Cairoli: “We expected a better result here. We’ve had some good races in the past, so I’m a bit disappointed. Again, we struggled in the Timed Practice and from my gate-pick I was pushed out in both starts and was outside the top ten. In the first moto I even crashed on the first lap. I came back to 13th but for sure is not what I am capable of on this track. In the second moto I tagged onto the back of [Gautier] Paulin and we had a good rhythm. I finished 6th but we want to be much closer to the podium. We have to see what we can improve for Wednesday.”

Our photographer abroad focused on some rear brakes this round.
When you put them all together you can see how many patterns are used.
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Cleanliness is next to godliness, as they say.

Looks like the deep sand of Lommel makes bikes thirsty! Man I wouldn't want to set up too far forward for a turn.

How about them boots? Part of the new Fox 360 Voke Aqua gear set.

Tim Gajser gets yet another overall victory with 2-1 moto scores.

Check out the 'Tiga' logo on his sleeve. That's when you know you are a big deal.

Tim Gajser: "From the beginning of the day, I felt great on the track and on the bike. In the first moto, I got a good start, in second place around the first corner and then I moved quickly into the lead, pulling out a little gap. Unfortunately, I made a small mistake and fell, which allowed Gautier to pass me and I finished second. In the second moto, I had a good first corner and came out second again. I passed Jorge in the second lap and then pulled out a decent gap to control the race and take the overall. I’m really happy to take the victory here because we have worked so hard to get better in the sand and this is toughest race to win. Everyone in the team has been great and we just keep on pushing to get better and better and I can’t thank everyone enough!"

Mathys Boisrame showing of that new Leatt gear. It's got a '00 Vans vibe.

The new 'United' colorway of the 5.5 Flexlock boot.

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Yamaha's Gautier Paulin got his first moto win since 2017 and went 1-5 to get second overall.

Gautier Paulin: “This is an emotional high. I am really happy to be back on the podium especially for myself and for my team. It has been a tough road, it has been a long time since I had a win, so in the first moto I could have it, I was really pushing hard on a good rhythm. I didn’t really talk about it, but at the end of May I broke my back and knocked myself hard, so to be back at this level I am really happy because from the ground, in hospital where I broke two vertebra, it was a really hard time and then I crashed again in Faenza (Italy) and hurt myself again. Now I am feeling 100% and I am really happy to be back again.”

Sur Ron electric bikes have been gaining traction in the emoto market. F&H Kawasaki has employed one as a pit bike, it seems.

A YZ125 in the EMX125 class getting a thorough cleaning. That Ohlins suspension sure looks good on a blue bike.

If you want a bike spotless, you have to have trust in those electrical components.

Again, with the sand, every drop of fuel counts.

Jorge Prado, fresh off his 1-1 of last weekend, got a 3rd overall at Lommel. An off-the-shelf Thor rain jacket just isn't good enough for the Spaniard. Got to keep those sponsors happy.

Jorge Prado: “It was a positive day. The track was very rough and it was good to get used to the conditions because we still have another two rounds to go here. We also made some improvements to the bike, so that was useful. I had a perfect start in the second moto and was block-passed by Seewer while holding a good position. I rode strongly to make sure of 4th though and 3rd overall was pretty decent. I’m very happy to be 3rd in the championship after the way the year started. We are still charging.”

Tony's mechanic's cart is dialed. Want a different tire? Got it. Bust off your muffler? Got three, no prob.

Tony rocking the custom Sidi Atojos.

But Prodo is in the Sidi Crossfire 3s.

That is a cool looking down-hill mtb.
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Not many pros are classical pianists as well. Good thing for Seewer, Yamaha makes both!

Jeremy Seewer: “Lommel is always tough except when you are winning, and then I think you enjoy it. I felt okay today. I had a tip over on the first lap and was caught in the pack, almost last, but I had good speed and rhythm and I came back to fifth but then I made another small mistake and had a technical problem which cost me another three positions. I had a good start in the second race which paid off. I felt solid in second position but I threw it away with a stupid crash, but this is how it is in Lommel. If you’re on the limit it’s really sketchy, but I am still happy with third in that race but a little bit disappointed. At least we have another two rounds to make up.”

Both Factory Kawi bikes have hydro clutches but Desalle prefers a Brembo setup...
While Febvre sticks to stock. Both have custom carbon guards.

At Lommel, all you see is sand tires. Here is Pirelli's latest, the Scorpion MX Soft.

This looks to be the Mitas Terra Force MX Sand.

Not sure of the brand of this one.

Here is Dunlop's latest sand mx tire, the Geomax MX12.

Pirelli Scorpion MX Soft.

Looks to be an extra starter button on Henry Jacobi's YZ450F.

In the MX2 class, Tom Vialle was fast and consistent with 2-2 moto scores giving him the overall.

Tom Vialle: “I was feeling really good in both motos today, and I really enjoyed track: the bumps and the corners were fun and a challenge. I had two good starts, and Jago was pushing a lot. I was following his lines and had a go at trying to catch him in the last few laps. I just missed out. Anyway, I’m really happy because this is my first win here in the Lommel sand in only my second GP. Together with Joel and the team we worked a lot for this one.”

Always good advice.

Jago Geerts put together 4-1 moto scores for second overall. He has brilliant speed, but spends a lot of time on the ground.

Jago Geerts: “Today was not too bad. I made some small mistakes; I was not happy with how I was riding in the first race. I finished fourth. I made some changes to my bike and then it felt a bit better in the second heat, but I still think there is room to improve for Wednesday. I finished second overall, so I have to be happy with that, but I know my riding can be better. I will work on that for Wednesday and then we will have a new chance.”

Ben Watson got his first moto victory in the MX2 class and ended up thrid on the day with 1-5 moto scores.

Here is a closer look at the 2021 EMX250 Champion Thibault Benistant's YZ250F.

Some Pro-Pegs pegs.

Custom carbon fiber air box cover with metal screen.

Here is a another angle.

Cool brake protection from Pro-Carbon.
He really wants traction on that adjuster.
Recessed kill switch.
And recessed start button.

We'll see you Thursday after the next MXGP on Wednesday.


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