GP Bits: MXGP of The Netherlands | Round Three 2

An inside look at the third round of the 2019 MXGP FIM Motocross World Championship from Valkenswaard, Netherlands.

GP Bits: MXGP of The Netherlands | Round Three

The Netherlands is known for its sand. The dark loamy sand of Valkenswaard took down a fair share of riders throughout the weekend.

We'll be looking at a lot of the sand tires from this round. Here, under the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna tent, you can see a prototype sand tire from Dunlop. This isn't an MX11 or MX12, their currently available MX sand tires.

Here is Cairoli's bike with the Pirelli MX Soft tire, which has been around for a couple of years now. Even though it is not on Pirelli's website, you can see it in the WPS tire catalog. It has a less "cupped" pattern than other sand tires.

Pirelli sand tire.
Pirelli sand tires.

Clement Desalle prefers to run the older Dunlop MX11 tire.

A closer look shows that he is also running his rear wheel slammed way back in the swingarm, and up front, the team has put the fan back on the KX450's huge oversize radiators.

More sand prep, this time on Jeremy Seewer's Monster Energy Yamaha YZ450FM. An extra cover on the air filter helps keep the sand from clogging up the filter. It is also cool to see that carbon fiber tank hiding in the bowels of the bike.

Speaking of Seewer, he has a unique sponsor set up running Alpinestars gear and boots, yet Fox goggles with his Shoei helmet. Typically, you only see Fox goggles on head-to-toe Fox guys.

The Wilvo Yamaha team utilizing their lift work/bike stands. If you look closely you can see a hydraulic clutch on Arnaud Tonus' YZ450F. Also, the front engine mount looks to be different than stock, and the rear wheel is also at the furthest adjustment in the swingarm.

Also on the Wilvo Yamaha team, Gautier Paulin's bike has the new Dunlop sand tire. A European Dunlop rep said this of the sand knobbie: "This tyre doesn't have a name yet, but it features some technologies that may be seen in the MX11/MX12 sand tyre successors. Dunlop's philosophy is to develop tyres in MX and SX racing and then industrialize the technologies for mass production."

The prototype Dunlop in action.

Red Bull KTM's Antonio Cairoli was dominant in the Netherlands, getting both holeshots and going 1 - 1, making the math pretty easy for an overall victory.

"A very nice weekend. I didn’t really feel great all week. On hard-pack I was OK but this small shoulder problem in the sand made things difficult. Anyway, looking at the bigger picture we took two wins and you cannot get more than fifty points so it was a great weekend. Also no crashes, which was important on this track where we saw a lot of people going down. It will be a busy week now with my home GP but I hope to see a lot of public at Arco and KTM again on top of the podium.”

Monster Energy Kawasaki's Clement Desalle secured his season's best overall with a second, going 2 - 5 on the weekend. He is now third in the overall points.

"I’m really happy as it’s not my favourite track and I was not expecting such a good result as I couldn’t train as I like during the week after my crash in Great Britain; I had pain in my hand and in my neck. Yesterday I just took it step-by-step and did what I needed to do. Today was different; I got good starts, was feeling good and could come back to second position during the first race. But I hurt my knee during this race; between the motos we had to work with the physio and doctor so I was able to get another top five finish which gave me a first podium this season. We are now third in the championship and I’m really confident for the rest of the season after this podium.”

Honda HRC rider Tim Gajser seems to be both faster, yet more out of control than years past. He hit the ground hard again this weekend and had to settle for 7 - 2 moto scores for third overall.

The trouble begins.
Not good.
Out of control.
Regains composure.

"I’m quite happy to finish on the podium again. I’m just a little bit disappointed with the first race. I made a mistake and finished seventh, but I’m trying to learn as much as possible from these mistakes so I don’t make them in the future. The second race was good though. My speed was good, my start was good. We were really close to the front and the pace was high so overall I’m quite happy and I’m really looking forward to next weekend in Arco di Trento. A huge thanks to everyone in the team, they did an amazing job with the bike and I felt comfortable on it in both the motos."

Honda SR Motoblouz rider Jeremy Van Horebeek put together 5 - 3 moto scores to just missing the podium in fourth overall.

Rounding out the top five in the MXGP class was Rockstar Energy Rider Arminas Jasikonis on his FC 450. A pair of fourth place moto finishes put him fifth overall.

"This weekend in the Netherlands went really well for me. I feel in top form, and every time I went on the track I kept improving my pace. If I had started a little better, I would have picked up an even better result; instead, I had to reassemble in both motos. But despite this, I have the same points as third place, Tim Gajser, and this motivates me to keep pushing. I am very satisfied with where I am and I look forward to racing in Italy. "

Full side view of Jasikonis' bike shows that he likes a tall seat and unlike many of the MXGP teams, doesn't have a carbon fiber gas tank. Some riders might not like the lack of flex in the carbon tanks.

Other than some Husqvarna Power Parts, from the outside, this FC 450 looks pretty stock. But we all know there is some magic going on within those cases and behind those cylinder walls.

Red Bull KTM's Jorge Prado is back in action and let everyone know that his absence last weekend isn't going to slow him down. His 1 - 1 finishes put a dominant stamp on the weekend. He is 36 points down from the leader Thomas Kjer Olsen.

“It was a great weekend. Four days ago I could not think about riding. I had too much pain and I didn't really know how my body was reacting. I had to rest these weeks and take it easy. I wasn’t happy at all to miss Matterley Basin. I don't think we really expected these results here this weekend: the goal had been just to ride and get some points! On Saturday I had some issues and didn't feel comfortable but today I woke up and I felt better. So to win both motos was great and to get some points back. I took some painkillers today just to be safe but everything that we did for this weekend turned out well. It is a long championship and my rivals are riding well. We just need to keep going, keep focussed, limit the mistakes and keep trying to improve.”

Prado is getting plenty of champagne-spraying practice.
Low-key is more my style but, holy sparkles this lid is cool.

The red plate stays with Rockstar Energy Husqvarna rider Thomas Kjer-Olsen, going 2 - 3 for second overall on the weekend. He is 23 points ahead of second place, Jacobi.

"Here in Holland I have collected precious points, and this is what matters most to me. Knowing that the track would be tricky, my main goal was to run safely and do my best to maintain the championship lead. In Race 1 I kept a good pace by crossing the finish line second. Then in Race 2, I was overtaken by Geerts while I was second again, just before the checkered flag, so I finished third and second of the day. The championship will be very long, and I aim to run it with the maximum consistency of performance. "

The Valkenswaard track was one of the toughest competitors.

Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha rider Jago Geerts had a mixed bag of results to get third overall. His 7th in moto one was absolved by a solid 2nd in moto two.

"It was a really good weekend for me. I was really happy with my Qualifying Race yesterday where I finished third place. My first heat didn't go to plan today. I had a terrible start and then I crashed so I ended up seventh. The second race went much better. My pace was good and I picked the riders off and managed to take second place on the last jump. To be on the podium here is Valkenswaard was awesome!"

Calvin Vlaanderen of Honda HRC gets a pretty sweet custom paint job for his Fox V3.

Vlaanderen's 4 - 4 moto finishes gave him 4th overall.

"It was two really long tough motos today, to be honest. Obviously having 14th place gate pick didn’t make things easy for me, and in the first race, I didn’t have the best start. The first few laps I was carving through the field, making passes but I knew it was going to be a long race so I tried to save my energy to push at the end. That’s what I did and I got up to fourth, which I was quite happy with. In the second moto, I got a better start, around sixth or seventh before making a couple of passes to get into fifth. I stayed there for a lot of the moto before I could finally make a move to finish fourth. This gave me four-four results for fourth overall, my third time in a row and the second time this season I had the same points as the person in third. It’s disappointing to be so close and miss out on the podium but at the same time its continued motivation because I know I need to be better than fourth."

Henry Jacobi's butt patch.

F&H Racing Kawasaki's Henry Jacobi is staying up front with a top-five finish. He was third place the entire first moto, then faded a bit in the second moto finishing 6th, for fifth overall.

“I had a super first race as I did the entire moto in third position; at one stage I even made an attack for the second position but I found some lappers in my way. But a podium here was already a good result. I got another good start in the second race; I was second at first but got pushed to third and then I gave everything to keep that position but during the last five minutes I lost my rhythm and a few positions. I missed the podium by just one point but I’m happy to gain some good points for the championship, especially on a sandy track.”

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