Deep sand next up for Team HRC as Lommel awaits

2022-08-02 03:09
After the hard-pack of Loket in the Czech Republic, the Team HRC riders will have to adapt quickly for the next challenge, as arguably the toughest motocross track on the planet awaits them in the form of Lommel, Belgium.

Nestled near the Netherlands border, the flat industrial estate which houses the circuit might not give off the impression of a difficult venue to race on, but once you see the bottomless sand layout, it is hard not to be impressed by the riders who are able to negotiate it at such speed. In 2019 Tim Gajser won his first overall there, and he followed that up in 2020 by winning four of the six motos and two of the three overalls, to really show how much his sand riding has improved.

But while Gajser has raced here numerous times throughout his career, teammate Mitch Evans will be taking his first ever gate-drop at this infamous circuit. In fact, it wasn’t until last month when he rode it for the first ever time, but that was on a practice day when the track was still flat. As a result, the Australian will have his work cut-out to get to grips with the conditions in time for the Sunday races, as he looks to continue his recent run of good form.

While a heatwave has hit most of Europe this week, temperatures should be a little bit more bearable by the time the weekend comes around, making things slightly easier for the riders. However, the terrain is still going to be extremely treacherous, and a rumoured new layout will keep everyone on their toes for the first free practice on Saturday morning.

Tim Gajser 243

I’ve had some really good results in Lommel the past few years so I’m going to try my best to get back to that level and get myself on the top step of the podium again. Loket didn’t go my way, but in the end it was a good result for the championship so I can’t be too disappointed. This weekend will be a completely different challenge and I think the racing will be a lot better, because it is so easy to make up, or lose time with just the smallest line choice. I’m feeling confident and I’m looking forward to getting there and seeing just how difficult the track will be!

Tim Gajser

Mitch Evans 43

I’m actually really looking forward to this GP, because I’ve only ever ridden Lommel one time, and that was last month and it was completely flat, so I’m excited to test myself on raceday when the sand should get really rough. Obviously I know it won’t be easy, but these are the challenges that I need to pass if I want to keep my improvements going, so I’m ready to give it my best. I’ve had to let my hands heal this week, but I plan to do one session before the weekend, just to make sure the settings are good, and then its all system go for the weekend.

Mitch Evans

Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager - MXGP

It is always a big effort to get ready for Lommel, just because there are so many things we need to prepare for, especially when the previous round is at a hard-pack track. The short week doesn’t make that easy but everyone is still working hard to give the riders exactly what they need. The plan is to do a mid-week session just to run the bike in, and get them back into sand-riding shape because it’s been a while since the last deep-sand race in Sardinia. Both Tim and Mitch had a tough round in the Czech Republic, but they still put in good, strong finishes and we’ll be hoping for more of the same in Belgium this weekend.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

Rider Standings
Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 Gajser Tim 243 SLO 577 Team HRC - MXGP
2 Seewer Jeremy 91 SWI 452 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
3 Prado Garcia Jorge 61 SPA 442 Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing
4 Renaux Maxime 959 FRA 410 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team

Source: Honda Racing Corporation

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