Few, if any Motocross tracks carry the reputation that Lommel does anywhere in the world. The deep sanded course has been a staple on the World Motocross circuit for decades and has played host to multiple Motocross Des Nations. Lommel also plays right into the hands of the Dutch and Belgian riders who grew up on tracks like this.
Take native Belgian and MX2 points leader Jago Geerts for example. The No. 93 retook the red plate with a 3-1 in the Czech Republic and looked to keep on rolling on home soil. What played into title rival Tom Vialle‘s hands was that the red plate had swapped hands the prior eight rounds. With no consistency at the top, the Frenchman looked to make that nine. As for Tim Gajser, his hopes for a third 450 World Title got slightly better this week. As the MXGP of Oman was outright canceled, leaving just four rounds to go after this week. How much closer could the 243 get this week to championship gold?
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Red Bull KTM MX2 Shakeup
The 250 program for the European KTM unit will be looking quite different next season. This weekend the team announced at Lommel that Vialle, who has been long rumored to move to the United States and run AMA Supercross and Motocross, will do so. That leaves the 250 team empty, which led to part two of the team’s announcement. Starting in 2023, Liam Everts and Andrea Adamo will be riding for the team as Vialle departs.
Everts, the son of the all-time great Stefan Everts, is in the middle of his rookie MX2 campaign with DIGA KTM. After getting settled in, the Belgian has done quite well for himself, becoming a regular in the top 10 this season. In 2021, Everts also finished seventh in the EMX250 Championship and ran well for Belgium in Des Nations as well. Adamo meanwhile jumps over from SM Action Racing GasGas. The Italian has also been a top 10 regular and finished second at the Grand Prix of Lombardia earlier this year.
Team Japan and Belgium MXdN Announcement
Two more notable teams for Des Nations also were announced this weekend after the Swiss went last week. First is the Japanese squad, who skipped out last year, and hasn’t made the main show since 2016. This year should likely go different, as they get some heavy reinforcements in the form of Jo Shimoda. The Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider is currently third in the AMA 250 standings, picking up his first career National win at RedBud. Not often that the 250 rider is a country’s best but that is the case here. Joining him will be Kainosuke Oshiro (MX1) and Kota Toriyabe (Open). Oshiro recently picked up his first 450 win in the All Japan National series at Sugo.
Now for the Belgians, who waited until MXGP came to their yard to announce their squad. Leading things will be Geerts, who will be making his 450 debut in the event. Not completely unorthodox, as Australia’s Jett Lawrence could be doing the same. This move allows Everts to join the team as the MX2 entry, and Jeremy Van Horebeek as the Open entry. The Belgians are riding a nearly decade-long drought in the event. But Van Horebeek was the team’s MX2 entry when they last won in 2013.
MX2 Class Recap
The Monster Yamaha duo of Geerts (holeshot) and Thibault Beninstant led the MX2 field into the first few corners with the latter taking an early lead. A nice sight for sore eyes was a returning Roan Van De Moosdijk, who hadn’t raced in over four months. He got by both Yamaha riders to lead the opening two laps before Geerts took over. Geerts’ lead only lasted a few laps after, as Van De Moosdijk’s Husqvarna running mate Kay De Wolf got out in front of the field. That move was all the Dutchman needed for his second career race win. As for Vialle in this Moto, he started around eighth, but fell early on and went back to around 17th. However, the former MX2 World Champion was able to climb up to seventh.
Geerts ended up getting a double holeshot on home soil, for what is only his third of the year. De Wolf and Van De Moosdijk were right in the thick of things early, as was Vialle who started much better in Moto 2. De Wolf once again was able to get by Geerts for the lead, doing so in the sand rollers after the scrub hill. That second would also be where De Wolf lost the lead to Geerts all of four laps later, and the No. 93 was off into the sunset.
De Wolf wasn’t out of the wood by any stretch, as Simon Laengenfelder ended up getting by for second on lap 10. To the credit of the Husqvarna rider, De Wolf was able to make a charge, but Laengenfelder assisted him with a fall in turn one. Due to that mistake in the sand rollers, however, Geerts would win the day on the tiebreaker of a better second Moto. A huge day for the Belgian on home soil, as he successfully defends the red plate for the first time in months. With just four rounds remaining, he sits in front of Vialle with a 23-point advantage.
MX2 Class Top 10 Results
1st No. 93 Jago Geerts 2-1
2nd No. 74 Kay De Wolf 1-2
3rd No. 28 Tom Vialle 7-4
4th No. 516 Simon Laengenfelder 3-9
5th No. 39 Roan Van De Moosdijk 6-5
6th No. 198 Thibault Benistant 4-8
7th No. 72 Liam Everts 5-7
8th No. 80 Andrea Adamo 8-6
9th No. 24 Kevin Horgmo DNF-3
10th No. 39 Stephen Rubini 9-14
MX2 Points Standings After Flanders
1st No. 93 Jago Geerts 590 Points
2nd No. 28 Tom Vialle 567 Points (-23)
3rd No. 516 Simon Laengenfelder 469 Points (-121)
4th No. 24 Kevin Horgmo 410 Points (-180)
5th No. 198 Thibault Benistant 378 Points (-212)
MXGP Class Recap
To no surprise, Jorge Prado picked up holeshot No. 14 of 2022 over Jeremy Seewer, Brian Bogers, and Gajser. Coming into the weekend ill, the GasGas rider faded much earlier than usual in Lommel. He lost the lead on lap three, lost a top three spot by lap seven, and nearly fell out of the top 10 entirely, but finished in ninth. Another fader in this Moto was Gajser, who never saw the lead once on Sunday. After starting inside the top five, the 243 fell back to seventh and never recovered.
Romain Febvre meanwhile was making a mad dash to the front, going from sixth to second in the opening five laps on his KRT Kawasaki ride. All things considered, the Championship runner-up from a year ago looked sporty in the deep sand which was nice to see. Febvre didn’t end up winning, nor did Seewer, or even Glenn Coldenhoff. Bogers, who ended up getting by Prado on lap three, bolted from the field for a stunner of a first career 450 race win. In the end, it was a 15-plus second win over fellow Dutchman Calvin Vlaanderen.
Even under the weather, Prado still managed another double holeshot day, picking up his 15th of the year in Moto 2. His lead lasted around as long as his Moto 1 lead did, with Coldenhoff playing the role of Bogers this go around. Prado ended up in 10th, but it wasn’t for the lack of effort on his end. He deserves some credit for hanging in there at Lommel of all places.
Coldenhoff and Vlaanderen locked up the top two spots, but all eyes were on Febvre and Bogers on the final lap. The Dutch Husqvarna ride needed to get by the Frenchman for the Grand Prix win. Bogers was able to get the job done railing the outside of a 90-degree corner before tripling into the next section. It has been quite a long while since this Standing Construct team or Husqvarna had won at the 450 level, but Bogers was able to snap both dry spells at arguably the world’s toughest track. With a 1-3, Bogers gets his first career MXGP Grand Prix win, the first for Husqvarna since 2017.
MX2 Class Top 10 Results
1st No. 189 Brian Bogers 1-3
2nd No. 10 Calvin Vlaanderen 2-2
3rd No. 259 Glenn Coldenhoff 4-1
4th No. 3 Romain Febvre 3-4
5th No. 91 Jeremy Seewer 6-5
6th No. 959 Maxime Renaux 5-6
7th No. 243 Tim Gajser 7-7
8th No. 61 Jorge Prado 9-10
9th No. 32 Brent Van Doninck 10-8
10th No. 29 Henri Jacobi 11-9
MXGP Points Standings After Flanders
1st No. 243 Tim Gajser 605 Points
2nd No. 91 Jeremy Seewer 483 Points (-122)
3rd No. 61 Jorge Prado 465 Points (-140)
4th No. 259 Glenn Coldenhoff 442 Points (-163)
5th No. 959 Maxime Renaux 441 Points (-164)
Follow Jack Gaffney on Twitter @JackGaffneyPTST
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images