Tony Cairoli Double Moto Victory in the Deep Sand of Lommel - Dirt Rider Magazine

Photo by Drew Ruiz

The demanding track of Lommel hosted the twelfth Grand Prix of the season meeting all the expectations. In both MX1 and MX2 classes there was incredible racing and Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings showed their skills on the sand wining the Grand Prix with a double victory in their respective categories.


Red Bull Teka KTM Factory Racing MX1's Cairoli succeeded in winning the Grand Prix of Limburg, but it was not an easy weekend for the Italian. In the first race he obtained the Lovemytime holeshot award, but he had to fight really hard with Desalle to keep the lead. The Italian even suffered a small crash during the race and injured a little bit his knee, but it did not stop him to win the second moto.Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1's Desalle got an eventual second overall position in Lommel. The home rider starred in a thrilling battle with Cairolli during the first race, but he had to settle down with the second position. In the second heat, Desalle rode fifth most of the race and in the last lap he was virtually fourth in the GP. However, Goncalves got a DNF while he was fourth and the Belgian went up one position, which made him go up on the second step of the podium.Third overall was Red Bull Teka KTM Factory Racing MX1's Nagl after finishing fifth in the first race and second in the following one. Nagl admitted that he has had an injury at his back since Valkenswaard and that he has been struggling when racing on hard pack. This weekend the sand made things easier for the German, but Nagl may have to undergo surgery in the near future.Honda World Motocross' Bobryshev was involved in a tangle at the beginning of the first race and had to push really hard from the last position to be able to cross the finish line sixth. Bobryshev did a superb start in the second moto and he took the lead after four laps, but the Russian made a mistake and Cairoli catch him up and passed him straight away. In the last laps Bobryshev was overtaken by Nagl, so he finished fourth overall.Monster Energy Yamaha's Frossard did a very good first race and he even exchanged the lead with Desalle when there were 20 minutes to go. During the last laps Frossard was down in the third position, but when he was about to cross the finish line, Goncalves overtook him in the last metres of the race. In the second heat, Frossard did not have a good start and ended sixth, which gave him the final fifth position.Leok was eighth in the first race, but in the second one he did a great recovery from an initial ninth position and managed to cross the finish line fifth and obtained the overall sixth place.Goncalves did one of the best races of the season, but he was touched by bad luck by the end of the second race. The Portuguese finished third in the first heat and he got the virtual overall position during the last lap of the second race when he was fourth, but his new engine broke having just two turnings to go. Goncalves finished seventh of the GP.Philippaerts struggled a lot in the sand and finished eighth, followed by Simpson and De Dycker.Tony Cairoli: "It's nice to race here in Lommel, I have always said many times that I like to race here in the sand. We had the speed to win this weekend but I made it a bit harder because I made some small mistakes. I got the two holeshots but a couple of times I lost concentration."Max Nagl: "I've been really looking forward to this GP because I know I am good in the sand. Since Latvia I haven't been able to train at all because the doctor would not allow it. So I am really happy to be on the podium today. I got two good starts and I could also see I had the same speed as the top guys, even if Tony was faster."Clement Desalle: "After Latvia I used the break to try and recover and it helped. I was confident coming here and I just wanted to feel good on the bike and with my shoulder. On Saturday I was happy with the way it was going, especially on a difficult track like this. Physically I am improving all the time. It felt good to be leading but it is a strange race here because there are so many lines and you can lose time on one lap and then make it back the next. I'm happy to make a good result in Belgium but second is not a win! Every rider knows a big crash like Steve's can happen at any time and it is something you try to put out of your head. When I saw him on the ground not moving for three laps yesterday it was hard to take and makes you think about your life but we have to take it out of our minds in order to ride the bike again."MX1 Race 1 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 39:57.975; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:09.126; 3. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:29.308; 4. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +0:29.343; 5. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), +0:32.189; 6. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:51.252; 7. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +0:58.628; 8. Tanel Leok (EST, TM), +1:07.701; 9. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Kawasaki), +1:20.422; 10. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:32.403;MX1 Race 2 top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 42:30.771; ; 2. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), +0:03.509; 3. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:14.535; 4. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:45.467; 5. Tanel Leok (EST, TM), +0:50.827; 6. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), +1:13.243; 7. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Honda), +1:33.494; 8. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Honda), +1:57.676; 9. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), +1:59.104; 10. Marc de Reuver (NED, Yamaha), +2:07.387;MX1 Overall top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 40 p.; 3. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), 38 p.; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 35 p.; 5. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), 33 p.; 6. Tanel Leok (EST, TM), 29 p.; 7. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 28 p.; 8. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 26 p.; 9. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Honda), 24 p.; 10. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Honda), 22 p.;MX1 Championship top ten: 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 466 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 414 p.; 3. Steven Frossard (FRA, Yamaha), 403 p.; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 369 p.; 5. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), 349 p.; 6. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 309 p.; 7. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 308 p.; 8. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Honda), 250 p.; 9. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 235 p.; 10. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Kawasaki), 233 p.;

Photo by Drew Ruiz


Red Bull Teka KTM Factory Racing MX2's Herlings dominated both heats and obtained his fourth GP victory of the season. In the first heat, Herlings took the holeshot and opened a big gap, but he then made a mistake and Roczen caught him up. Both riders offered the fans an incredible racing show on the sand exchanging the lead several times. In the last lap Roczen hit his stomach with his handlebar when he was first, went down the floor and crossed the finish line second. Herlings took the victory and he also won the second heat, which gave him the GP win.The second overall position was for Roczen, who proved once more that he is good on the sand by fighting with his teammate Herlings in both heats. In the second race he took the lead in the first laps, but Herlings overtook him and Roczen crossed the finish line 18 second behind his teammate.Red Bull Teka KTM Factory Racing MX2's Van Horebeek obtained his first podium of the season after finishing third in both heats. The home rider had been injured most of the season and he trained really hard with Stefan Everts to be back at his 100%, so this third place is like a reward for the hard work they have done.It was a very consistent weekend for CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit's Anstie, who finished fourth in both heats and obtained an overall fourth position. Anstie felt very comfortable on the track, as he spent quite a lot of time in Belgium, and he was satisfied with his performance, although he would have liked to finish on the podium.Monster Energy Yamaha's Paulin completed the top five with a 7-5 result. Paulin was doing a very good first race, but he crashed with Searle when they were fighting for the fourth position and it took him time to restart the bike again. In the second heat, he got a solid fifth position.Searle obtained the final sixth place after finishing sixth in both heats. The British rider crashed in the first race and bruised his back, so it was even more difficult for Searle to ride the deep sand track of Lommel in the second session.

Kullas finished seventh and he was followed by Tonus and Karro.Petrov did an incredible first race and he finished fifth, but in the second moto he made a couple of mistakes when he was riding among the top ten and he could not finish the race. The Bulgarian rider obtained a final 13th position.Home rider Roelants, who raced this weekend after having missed two GP, finished 14th. In the first heat he was riding sixth, when he crashed and he was forced to pull out. In the second one he obtained a solid seventh position.

Jeffrey Herling: "This year I finally won; last year I was second. My ribs were really painful but I took very strong pain killers so this was an amazing weekend for me."Ken Roczen: " I was disappointed after the first race because I crashed when I was in the lead on the last lap but actually I didn't ride that well and I didn't get into a good rhythm. When you don't play with the track and get into a good rhythm it costs you a lot of energy and time. Jeffrey is the fastest on sand and it was good for me to see that I can stay with him a little bit."Jeremy van Horebeek: "...the best present I could give to myself and to my team. This year I wasn't able to prove so much because of my injuries but today I had two perfect starts and the first moto was okay but the second was very difficult in the last 10 minutes because I don't have any race rhythm yet. Now I am really motivated. I like the track at Loket and want to go there an ride well and not make any mistakes,"MX2 Race 1 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 40:09.879; 2. Ken Roczen (GER, KTM), +0:25.846; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +0:54.275; 4. Max Anstie (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:13.150; 5. Petar Petrov (BUL, Yamaha), +1:24.853; 6. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:30.270; 7. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +1:30.797; 8. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +1:56.063; 9. Harri Kullas (FIN, Yamaha), +2:08.345; 10. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), -1 lap(s);MX2 Race 2 top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 41:28.098; 2. Ken Roczen (GER, KTM), +0:18.176; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +0:44.762; 4. Max Anstie (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:58.899; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), +1:20.408; 6. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), +1:28.568; 7. Joel Roelants (BEL, KTM), +1:32.563; 8. Harri Kullas (FIN, Yamaha), +1:57.215; 9. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), +2:05.593; 10. Matiss Karro (LAT, Honda), +2:32.356;MX2 Overall top ten: 1. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points; 2. Ken Roczen (GER, KTM), 44 p.; 3. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), 40 p.; 4. Max Anstie (GBR, Kawasaki), 36 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), 30 p.; 6. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 30 p.; 7. Harri Kullas (FIN, Yamaha), 25 p.; 8. Jake Nicholls (GBR, KTM), 25 p.; 9. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), 21 p.; 10. Matiss Karro (LAT, Honda), 20 p.;MX2 Championship top ten: 1. Ken Roczen (GER, KTM), 490 points; 2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 469 p.; 3. Tommy Searle (GBR, Kawasaki), 400 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Yamaha), 373 p.; 5. Zachary Osborne (USA, Yamaha), 295 p.; 6. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), 295 p.; 7. Max Anstie (GBR, Kawasaki), 285 p.; 8. Harri Kullas (FIN, Yamaha), 249 p.; 9. Nicolas Aubin (FRA, KTM), 207 p.; 10. Joel Roelants (BEL, KTM), 180 p.;