Romain Febvre has secured his first ever Grand Prix victory in Lommel, while Jago Geerts redeemed himself with an overall win of the MXGP of Flanders-Belgium, after some unlucky races at his home track last season.
The conditions at the sixth round of the 2021 FIM Motocross World Championship tested even the best sand riders, with heavy rainfall during parts of the day which made the deep sand of Lommel even heavier and harder to maneuver around. Though this did not stop the MXGP and MX2 stars from treating the Belgian fans to some intense race action.
The first MXGP race saw Romain Febvre secure the first Fox Holeshot as he led the race from early on. Jeremy Seewer followed in second, with Pauls Jonass and Jeffrey Herlings right there in third and fourth.
Seewer then dropped a couple of positions as Herlings took second from Jonass.
Jorge Prado got a good start in the race but then dropped down to 14th, as championship leader Tim Gajser also struggled after crashed out of fifth place.
Febvre then led Herlings by 3.045 seconds, as Gajser got himself back into the top 10 but was then passed by Prado as the pair continued to fight up the order.
After taking his time, Herlings then started to close in on Febvre for the win and it was game on. By lap 11 Herlings was the new race leader as Febvre was keen to fight back. Though the Kawasaki rider ended up making a costly mistake and crashing. He did however hold on to that second place because both he and Herlings were so far ahead of Jonass who continued to have a fantastic race in third.
With two laps to go, Antonio Cairoli managed to get around Jonass for third as the Latvian dropped to fourth where he eventually finished the race.
Meanwhile, Herlings took a very impressive race win just a couple of weeks after breaking his shoulder blade while Febvre was second and Cairoli third. Championship leader, Gajser, finished the race seventh.
In race two it was another Kawasaki who took the Fox Holeshot, this time Ivo Monticelli was the rider who led very briefly before Febvre jumped into the lead. Monticelli crashed and looked hurt, while Jonass jumped into second with Prado just behind.
In the second lap of the race, Febvre crashed out which meant that Jonass was the new race leader with Gajser just 1.590 seconds behind as Febvre re-joined in fourth.
Gajser then crashed out of second, while Herlings was making his way back up the order after going down with Glenn Coldenhoff on the opening lap of the race.
Febvre then closed in on Prado who was ahead in second and by lap eight, the Kawasaki rider managed to find a way around the Spaniard. Jonass continued to lead by 4.319 at that point.
Herlings then went off track as he chased Arminas Jasikonis who was having a strong race in fifth place. By lap 9 Herlings was able to get around the Lithuanian to making an incredible come back from last to fifth where he finished the race.
Meanwhile, at the front, Febvre brought the gap down to 1.532 seconds to Jonass who needed to be careful as it was obvious that Febvre only had one thing on his mind – the win.
The Frenchman caught onto the back wheel of the Latvian and by lap 11 was back in the lead. Gajser then put on a late charge of his own as he got around Prado for third and was looking to get Jonass too but crashed once again. The Honda rider finished fourth.
Febvre was the race winner, with Jonass taking second and Prado crossing the line third. With a 2-1 result, Romain Febvre secured his first GP win in Lommel, while Jeffrey Herlings win and fifth in race two put him on the second step of the podium as Pauls Jonass enjoyed his first podium of 2021 with third overall.
Tim Gajser continues to lead the championship as Febvre moves into second place just five appoints adrift, while Cairoli drops to third.
“Good day, good start, I worked to improve the start this week, so that’s a good point,” Febvre said. “Both races I was leading. First race, I had a bad lap and Jeffrey caught me and passed me. I tried to stay focused and to analyse where he or I was a little faster. I did not let him go, but after two laps I tipped over and crashed. So yeah, I was a little bit alone in second place, so I settled for second.
“Second race I knew it could be my day. So again, I took a good start. I made a really fast lap at the beginning to be alone. It’s what I did but still made a few mistakes and crashed then I was about 4th or 5th. Took me some laps to regroup and then I passed the guys in front of me. To win here in Lommel means a lot to me. I feel clean and thanks a lot for my team”.
“I don’t think about the championship at the moment. It’s a long season. I mean it’s always good to be in that position for sure. It was a good day for us but yeah still many races to go. So let’s see what happens in the future”. Febvre concluded.
In the first MX2 race, it was Tom Vialle who grabbed the first Fox Holeshot of the day, though it was Maxime Renaux who led the way.
Mattia Guadagnini had an unlucky start to the race as he crashed in the first corner and had to re-join the races way behind the rest of the pack. Eventually, the Italian was able to fight back to 14th place.
Conrad Mewse got off to a great start in the race as he was running behind Renaux, Vialle and Geerts, though by the second lap he crashed and was unable to carry on due to a bike issue.
Kay De Wolf started the race down in around 10th place, while Australian Jed Beaton was fighting sixth place. By the following lap, Beaton dropped to 12th, while De Wolf was able to make a couple of nice passes to get into eighth.
Vialle also crashed in the beginning stages of the race as Renaux continued to lead Geerts who was keeping close.
De Wolf then continued his charge up the field after making passes on Mikkel Haarup and Mathys Boisrame, while Vialle took third from Ruben Fernandez.
At one point, De Wolf and Vialle were the two fastest riders on the track, setting very similar lap times. By lap seven De Wolf caught onto Fernandez to take fourth and then just under three laps later he was also ahead of Vialle as he got himself into third position.
Renaux continued to lead the race keeping Geerts at bay until lap 10. The Frenchman crashed which allowed Geerts through. Luckily, the pair was so far ahead that Renaux was still able to finish the race second, as Geerts took the win and De Wolf finished third.
In race two, it was De Wolf who was flying into the first corner and took the second Fox Holeshot of the races. He led the race immediately with Geerts and Thibault Benistant, Renaux, and Mewse just behind.
Geerts then got Benistant for second as Renaux struggled for a few laps to do the same. Meanwhile, Vialle started the race in sixth place though crashed lap two and dropped down to 10th.
After making several attempts, Renaux was finally able to get Benistant for third at lap five, by which point De Wolf and Geerts were already quite far ahead as the two leaders kept a steady gap, setting very similar lap times.
At one point, Mewse started to close in on Renaux and Benistant as it looked like the Brit was going to push for higher positions, though started to fade a little towards the end of the race to eventually finish in sixth position. Beaton was one of the riders who passed Mewse in the closing stages, as the Aussie made his way from eighth to fifth in the race.
De Wolf’s gap to Geerts remained at around three seconds for most of the race, though with two laps to go Geerts put on a late charge to get onto the back of the Husqvarna rider. The battle for the win was close and continued right until the chequered flag, but it was De Wolf who came out on top to win his first ever MX2 race, while Geerts finished second and Renaux in a distant third.
With a win and a second, Jago Geerts was the overall winner at his home track, while Kay De Wolf stood on the second step of the podium after some very strong races and Maxime Renaux joined the pair, to stand on the third step of the podium and extend his championship lead to 26 points over Mattia Guadagnini who only managed 12th overall today. Fernandez remains third in the standings, while Geerts is fourth just two points from second.
“I’m really happy to win here in Lommel,” Geerts said. “Last year I think everyone expected that I would win at least one of the three GP’s but it didn’t happen. In the second race Kay was riding really good and at the end I tried to go for the pass, but I couldn’t make it happen.”
“It’s nice to head in the right direction but the season is still long and I’m not really thinking about the championship that much, I just want to go out every weekend, do my best and collect as many points as possible”.
The flurry of four Grands Prix in four weeks will come to a close with the trip to the Kegums circuit and Latvia in the coming days. Kegums promises another sandy challenge, but the ground is harder and slicker than the surface encountered at Lommel.
Results MXGP Flanders-Belgium 2021
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:37.691
2 Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:28.149
3 Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:36.418
4 Pauls Jonass (LAT, GASGAS), +0:41.724
5 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:49.914
6 Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:56.529
7 Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:57.895
8 Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, Husqvarna), +1:00.916
9 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +1:10.924
10 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +1:19.128
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), 35:47.024
2 Pauls Jonass (LAT, GASGAS), +0:04.339
3 Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), +0:09.748
4 Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:11.213
5 Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:31.247
6 Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, Husqvarna), +0:34.905
7 Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:37.604
8 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:39.296
9 Ben Watson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:47.333
10 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:49.616
MXGP – GP Top 10 Classification:
1 Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 47 Points
2 Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 41 Points
3 Pauls Jonass (LAT, GAS), 40 Points
4 Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 35 Points
5 Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 34 Points
6 Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 32 Points
7 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 29 Points
8 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 22 Points
9 Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 21 Points
10 Brian Bogers (NED, GAS), 20 Points
MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 226 Points
2 Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 221 Points
3 Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 217 Points
4 Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 212 Points
5 Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 184 Points
6 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 180 Points
7 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 160 Points
8 Pauls Jonass (LAT, GAS), 159 Points
9 Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 111 Points
10 Alessandro Lupino (ITA, KTM), 109 Points
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 36:38.821
2 Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:10.529
3 Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:20.279
4 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), +0:32.334
5 Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:32.414
6 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:38.826
7 Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:54.685
8 Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +0:54.987
9 Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Kawasaki), +0:59.295
10 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +1:02.374
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), 34:43.435
2 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:02.744
3 Maxime Renaux (FRA, Yamaha), +0:59.764
4 Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +1:19.564
5 Jed Beaton (AUS, Husqvarna), +1:24.645
6 Conrad Mewse (GBR, KTM), +1:25.926
7 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +1:29.338
8 Mathys Boisrame (FRA, Kawasaki), +1:38.812
9 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +1:42.989
10 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, KTM), +1:45.176
MX2 – GP Top 10 Classification:
1 Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 47 Points
2 Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 45 Points
3 Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 42 Points
4 Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 34 Points
5 Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 29 Points
6 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 29 Points
7 Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 28 Points
8 Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 27 Points
9 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 23 Points
10 Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 19 Points
MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 221 Points
2 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, KTM), 195 Points
3 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 194 Points
4 Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 193 Points
5 Mathys Boisrame (FRA, KAW), 176 Points
6 Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 174 Points
7 Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 171 Points
8 Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 159 Points
9 Rene Hofer (AUT, KTM), 156 Points
10 Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, KAW), 132 Points