VALKENSWAARD (The Netherlands), 29 March 2013 – After the first two successful overseas Grand Prix in Qatar and Thailand, the FIM Motocross World Championship had two weeks off and it is now ready for the third MXGP of the season which will take place this Easter weekend in Valkenswaard, the Netherlands. It will be the seventh year in a row that the sand track of Valkenswaard hosts an MXGP, but this year it will be different from the previous seasons because the start goes back where it was until 2004 and the direction of the race will be inverted.
The Grand Prix of the Netherlands will also see a new structure of the FIM Motocross World Championship, which will be placed behind the starting gate in all the Grand Prix celebrated in Europe. The “SkyBox” will be the new waiting zone for the riders and the second floor will let the VIP spectators to see the start from a unique perspective, as well as the podium, which will be integrated in the SkyBox structure.
Like last year, a part from the MX1 and MX2 classes, Valkenswaard will also host the first round of the FIM MX3 World Championship and the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship. Among the 53 MX3 entered riders stands out the number one of Matthias Walkner, who is determined to defend his world title in his first appearance of the season. In the WMX class Chiara Fontanesi is also looking forward to racing this weekend in Valkenswaard and defend his Title in the track that saw her winning last year.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli has had an excellent start of the season and he is heading Valkenswaard with the red plate on his KTM machine. The Italian has been winning every year in the Dutch track since 2010, so he is determined to add one more victory to his belt this weekend and increase his leadership in the championship standings.
The current runner up of the MX1 class is the Belgian Clement Desalle, who lost the red plate after finishing third in the MXPG of Thailand. The Rockstar Energy Suzuki World rider has admitted that he is feeling really good on his bike and he is feeling very comfortable when he is riding, so even if he knows that Cairoli is really strong on the sand, he will do his best to fight for the overall victory and claim back the red plate.
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin has been on the podium in the first two Grand Prix of the season and he is now third in the standings nine points behind Desalle. The French rider has been training on the sand more than ever this winter time, so he can be once again on the rostrum and improve the fourth overall position he obtained last year in Valkenswaard.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker is fourth at the moment in the championship standings and he is focused in finishing on the podium this weekend in Valkenswaard, where he made his debut with KTM last year, and try to enter the top three. De Dycker has been training hard on the sand together with Cairoli to prepare the Grand Prix and he is now ready to do well in a track that saw him winning in 2008 with a double heat victory.
Completing the top five is the MX1 rookie Tommy Searle who has proved that his adaptation to the 450cc and the new class is going really good. This weekend the CLS MX1 Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit rider might find it more difficult to be fighting for the top three positions, as he does not feel very comfortable riding on the sand. Searle finished third last year behind Herlings and Roelants.
Kevin Strijbos, who is currently sixth in the MX1 classification ahead of Rui Gonçalves, is really happy for being back in Europe and racing in front of his fans who will come from Belgium support him. Evgeny Bobryshev is eighth in the championship and Steven Frossard and Xavier Boog are completing the top ten.
Max Nagl will be back racing this weekend after suffering from a stomach infection, which prevent him to take part in the Thai Grand Prix. The German has been able to train with his Honda machine, so he might be racing again among the top five riders of the MX1 class.
Home rider Marc De Reuver, who has recently become father, will race the Dutch Grand Prix where he wants to have fun on the bike and give a good show to his home fans.
2012 MX1 Podium
1. Antonio Cairoli
2. Clement Desalle
3. Steven Frossard
2012 MX1 POLEMAN: Antonio Cairoli
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings is one of the most excited riders to take part in the MXGP of The Netherlands this weekend; the Dutch riders is riding home in the track where he won his maiden MXGP and where he has been unbeaten since 2010. Herlings’ goal this weekend is going 1-1 once again and increase the difference with the second classified in the MX2 championship, Romain Febvre.
Wilvo Nestaan JM Racing KTM’s Romain Febvre, as well as Herlings, has been on the podium in the first two Grand Prix of the season and he is now second in championship with a comfortable 13 points difference with third classified Dean Ferris. Febvre had a difficult weekend last year in Valkenswaard and he finished 20th, but it must be said that it was also his first Grand Prix in the MX2 class. The French rider is for sure a rider to look at, especially to see how much his riding skills have improved on the sand.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Dean Ferris, who is currently third in the point standings, is still a question mark for the weekend, as he is still recovering from the injuries he suffered racing two weeks ago. The Australian broke his collarbone, a rib and he also caused some damage to one of his lungs. Ferris will wait until the last moment to take the final decision.
Fourth in the MX2 class is Christophe Charlier, who is looking forward to racing in Valkenswaard this weekend, as he missed the Dutch Grand Prix last year due to an injury. The Monster Energy Yamaha rider has a good opportunity to enter the top three this weekend, as he is only three points away from Ferris, but his pursuers are following him closely in the standings.
Home rider Glenn Coldenhoff is one of the favourites to be fighting for the top three positions this weekend. The Standing Construct KTM rider has had a solid beginning of the season and he is now fifth in the championship. The Dutch rider is aware of Herlings’ potential on the sand, but he will give his best to follow his compatriot and do well also in front of his fans.
Jose Butrón was on the third step of the podium in Thailand and he is sixth in the standings just three points behind Coldenhoff. The Spaniard was fifth last year in Valkenswaard, so he has many possibilities to be riding once again among the top best three riders in the MX2 class.
Jordi Tixier is seventh and he is determined to move up in the classification by finishing on the podium this weekend, but Alessandro Lupino and Julien Lieber, who are eighth and ninth at the moment, will also do their best to climb up some positions in the standings. Completing the top ten is Max Anstie, another rider who is very skilled riding on the sand and who can also finish among the top best five MX2 riders
Yesterday the CLS MX2 Kawasaki Monster Energy Pro Circuit team announced that Arnaud Tonus would not take part in the Dutch Grand Prix this weekend because the Swiss rider is still having a lot of pain in the leg he broke last September.
2012 MX2 Podium
1. Jeffrey Herlings
2. Joel Roelants
3. Tommy Searle
2012 MX2 POLEMAN: Jeffrey Herlings