Revision: MXGP of Europe

Valuable Valkenswaard information

· 3 min read

Does Valkenswaard really need an introduction? The Dutch circuit has been a staple on the calendar for many seasons now, aside from a brief two-year break more than ten years ago, and has become a stop that European fans eagerly await. It is typically the first event of the season that Belgian, Dutch and French residents can easily access.

There were only five events last year that had a lower attendance, which will catch some by surprise. It always seems as though the venue is bursting at the seams. However, looking at it in more detail, there is not too much room for fans to line the fences. Losail, Agueda, Loket, Uddevalla and WW Motocross Park were the events that had smaller crowds. Anyway, enough about those figures, as it is impossible to discuss Valkenswaard without immediately mentioning Jeffrey Herlings. Herlings is extremely difficult to beat in the sand, which every single fan in the world is aware of, and just exceptional at Valkenswaard.

Jeffrey Herlings took his first victory at Valkenswaard in 2010 (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

After claiming the first victory of his career at the circuit eight years ago, which was only the third race that he completed in the FIM Motocross World Championship, he went on a streak that ended just last year. Herlings won fourteen consecutive motos at the Eurocircuit. The fact that he acquired a brace of seconds in the premier division last year stopped that run, of course, and forced him to stand on one of the lower steps for the first time. Will he rebound in a spectacular fashion this weekend and claim his first 450F victory at Valkenswaard? One would presume that will end up being the case.

Jeffrey Herlings is considered the king of Valkenswaard and has claimed seven overall victories at the venue. Another active rider, Antonio Cairoli, has only won one less than that though (2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014) and that is often overlooked in pre-race chatter. This is further bench-racing ammo ahead of the highly-anticipated duel that will take place between the two heavyweights on Sunday. Before we move on from that, however, there is one more fact about Jeffrey Herlings to consider. Herlings lapped up to sixth in the second MX2 moto in 2012, the year that he claimed his maiden title, and has not bettered that since.

Pauls Jonass is expected to continue KTM's streak in MX2 (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

Since 2004, the year that the MXGP (formerly MX1) and MX2 classes were introduced, the winner of Valkenswaard has gone on to claim the premier-class title six times. Whereas, in comparison, the MX2 winner has eventually taken the title seven times. Does that mean that Valkenswaard is not particularly poignant? One could certainly argue that, seeing as it takes place so early on in the season, but the MX2 number would obviously much higher had Herlings not suffered those devastating injuries towards the end of his time on the smaller bike.

There are some more intriguing statistics to consider heading into the weekend. Every single MX2 winner has swept both motos, except for one: Rui Goncalves registered a 2-1 scorecard in 2009. Shaun Simpson won the only other moto that day and is the only rider who has won an MX2 moto at Valkenswaard, but not stood atop the podium. Both Goncalves and Simpson were on Red Bull KTM that year, which is also poignant. KTM have won twenty-two of the twenty-four MX2 motos that have been run at the Dutch venue and not lost since 2007. Incredible, right?

MXGP Winners (Grand Prix of Europe)

Stefan Everts

2004

Josh Coppins

2007

Ken De Dycker

2008

Jonathan Barragan

2009

Antonio Cairoli

2010

Antonio Cairoli

2011

Antonio Cairoli

2012

Antonio Cairoli

2013

Antonio Cairoli

2014

Gautier Paulin

2015

Romain Febvre

2016

Gautier Paulin

2017

MX2 Winners (Grand Prix of Europe)

Ben Townley

2004

Antonio Cairoli

2007

Tyla Rattray

2008

Rui Goncalves

2009

Jeffrey Herlings

2010

Jeffrey Herlings

2011

Jeffrey Herlings

2012

Jeffrey Herlings

2013

Jeffrey Herlings

2014

Jeffrey Herlings

2015

Jeffrey Herlings

2016

Pauls Jonass

2017

Manufacturer MXGP Wins (Grand Prix of Europe)

Yamaha

2004

Yamaha

2007

Suzuki

2008

KTM

2009

KTM

2010

KTM

2011

KTM

2012

KTM

2013

KTM

2014

Honda

2015

Yamaha

2016

Husqvarna

2017

Manufacturer MX2 Wins (Grand Prix of Europe)

KTM

2004

Yamaha

2007

KTM

2008

KTM

2009

KTM

2010

KTM

2011

KTM

2012

KTM

2013

KTM

2014

KTM

2015

KTM

2016

KTM

2017

Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: KTM Images/Ray Archer

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