Pro Diary - Chuck Sun Lommel World Vet Grand Prix - Dirt Rider Magazine

As I reflect back on this past weekend, the deep sand of Belgium delivered all the expected drama that began for me 27 years ago. Lommel was the third and final round of the Veterans World MX Cup for 2008. April rains in Spain created a quagmire mud fest to begin the series giving way to the realization that I had lost some of the mud skills honed from countless laps in the liquid sunshine of Oregon. Mallory Park in the UK provided an all-new track to challenge my rusty jumping skills for race 2 in early June.Donnie Hanson, Danny Laporte, Johnny O'Mara and I were introduced to the unique sand of Belgium in 1981 when we became the first US Team to win the prestigious Trophee De Nations in the back yard of arguably the epicenter of World Motocross.I've had the great fortune of being invited to modern and vintage motocross events throughout the UK, France, Belgium and Holland over the last 6 weeks, so I was accustomed to the time zone. Logging time in the sand was even more important. I've ridden this year in sand at the WORCS races, but the wet Belgium sand was very much like wet cement! I felt like a beginner, but Toon Karsmakers assured me I was going to be OK. Toon saved the day by lending me his 05 CRF. CAS Honda was in a jam as they have a new rider, Steve Boniface and bikes were still on a plane coming back from the GP of South Africa. Fortunately the CAS crew really stepped up to make the 05 race ready. Glenn McGovern arrived with his Hungarian motor home, wife and year old ready to provide his much needed support. Now, after all this racing and practicing I was really ready to go after a top ten and a battle with the Russians. All I could muster in time practice was a 17th! As hard as I tried I just could not find that magic that we had when we rode to victory 27 years ago. With some self analysis in order to quell the depression demons that were beginning to make some noise from within this is what I,ve come up with. In the day I can remember attacking the turns and course without any hesitation. This weekend I was unsure of whether the deep sand was going to devour the front end and launch me over the bars! I did not want to leave this series without good points in each moto, so consequently I rode sure of the feed back I was receiving from the Honda. New riding buddy from the UK Terry Houser, produced much quicker times than I did with his pin it strategy on his 250RMZ unfortunately took a number of head plants in the Lommel sand finishing behind my 14-15 moto finishes. That put me in 14th overall for the day. It also put me in a tie for 11th in the series just 3 points out of the top ten!Toine Van Dijk from the Netherlands rode artful winning both motos and moving him ahead of David Thorpe for second on the series behind Peter Ivan from Belgium. Ivan had crashed a couple weeks ago and still rode through the pain with a bum shoulder! These guys are tough.Last year as I pondered racing on the same GP track as the MX1 guys it was quite a dream. It really hit me as I crossed the finish line 27 years later that I felt that we had done something. In my wildest dreams I never would have imagined that I would be back at Lommel in the legendary sand crossing the finish line as the top 50 rider in the World!When I said we, I really mean the support from so many people from not only the US, but overseas that have really made this dream a reality. I'll be recognizing everyone soon, as I'm being booted out of the internet caf here in Antwerpen, Belgium. Cleaned up the CAS truck and Toon's 450 then jumped on a train stopping here to send out this story. I'm on my way to the south of France to a twin shock motocross at Leguipe. More next week...Later Chuck