This weekend, Belgium will play host to the final European round of the MXGP season at the Lommel track, west of Antwerp near the Dutch border.
Steeped in motocross history and heritage, Lommel is a beast of a track – deep and loose sand, big ruts that get more treacherous as the track gets ever more rough, and incredibly physically demanding.
It’s also considered the home race for many of the current crop of MXGP riders, Max Nagl and Evgeny Bobryshev included, as they live nearby and use the track as a regular test venue.
Consequently, although it is a tough track, Max and Bobby know it well and the CRF450RW is equally well setup to the conditions there. Max likes sand tracks and usually thrives on them. Although he was forced to miss the MXGP of Belgium at Bastogne last year as he fought the virus that befell him at the end of last season, teammate Bobryshev finished third overall.
Max remains the sole rider for Team HRC this weekend, although Bobby will make an appearance in the paddock as a spectator, returning for the first time since the incident at the MXGP of Italy in which his left leg was broken in three places. As his recovery continues to progress well, the Russian is now able to start training again and will come to Lommel to spend time with the team and his friends in the paddock after a three-race absence.
Max Nagl: “Lommel is a good track and really it’s my home race because I live ten minutes away. Actually though it’s the home track for almost everyone as all the guys know the track very well and test there a lot. It’s really rough and the sand is really loose like in the desert. It’s normally the hardest track of the year physically, and I think especially this year as there are so many classes on track that will make it even rougher. Since last weekend in Czech I’ve done one test on sand to work on the bike a bit, but the best thing before Lommel is to rest a lot and not train too much so save energy. Usually on sand GPs I normally finish on the podium as I’m used to sand and I like it so we wait and see if we can do this again this weekend.”