Rider Comments: GP of Belgium

Max Anstie: “We didn’t make things easy for ourselves but everyone has worked so hard. From where we started at the beginning of the year the thoughts going through my head today were ‘I have to finish the job I started in Qatar with the ’13 YZ250F’. I said to the guys in Czech Republic that if we had a good Saturday here then we would put ourselves in the position for a good finish and we did that. It is amazing to see the effort that has been put in, and this is the day that we lived for. Before that second race I was thinking ‘this is what I am here for’ and I was nervous..but we got it done. It was a very difficult race and this track is obviously the hardest both on the bike and also physically of the year. I’m over-the-moon but I don’t think it has really hit me yet.”

Christophe Charlier: “I’m not sure what to say; the whole weekend hasn’t been a good one and from my crash on Saturday I just did not have a good feeling in this sand. The results were not good and the riding also. Too many mistakes and I just have to look ahead.”

Petar Petrov: “Looking at the fact all the doctors told me I wouldn’t be able to race here I’m quite satisfied. This isn’t the result I was looking for but with the injury I’m happy I could finish both races and finish tenth overall. Now I have some time to heal up and I hope to be 100% for Brazil and Mexico. I really want to thank Yves Demeulemeester and Dr Claes for their help. They helped me a lot to get me on the bike this weekend and I’m really thankful for that.”

Nick Kouwenberg: “At least I could save my weekend with the second race… On Saturday things were going well and I was riding in third place when I got some issues and fell back to seventh place. On Sunday I was at the front from start to finish and rode a good race. In the end I’m missing just one point for the podium and that was my goal. So I can’t say I’m happy of my weekend. I had hoped for more but I can’t thank the team enough for supporting me.”

Jeremy Van Horebeek: “It doesn’t matter. Maybe I made a rookie mistake. I felt good in the first moto and my pace was pretty good. I thought second place was possible but then Simpson and Paulin started to jump the quad and I looked at it and believed it was quite easy, so I went for it also. Yeah…it was further than I thought! I cased it quite badly and smashed my face on the handlebar. My eye was bleeding a lot and I wasn’t feeling so well. I wasn’t sure about the second moto but we are racers, not football players so I went for it. I had an awesome start but I started bleeding again and it was running into the goggles so I had to dump them, it was ‘game over’ then. A shame but I’m having an awesome season and we are close to second in the championship.

David Philippaerts: “I knew it would be very hard for me here but this was an important GP for me and the team so I wanted to try at least. The big holes and the landings from some of the jumps were hard for me to deal with and I know I would have to take too many risks for maybe just one or two points. It was senseless to risk another crash. I should be in good shape after a couple of weeks and ready to go for Brazil and Mexico.”

Rui Gonçalves: “I’m a bit disappointed because I was looking for better results. Today I don’t know what happened with my back but on the first lap of the first moto I pulled a muscle or something and it was just locked. I could stand up or sit down properly and was struggling. I worked with the physio between motos and it helped but it was not how it should be. We worked hard this weekend and it a shame I couldn’t do better. We just have to look forward now to the last two rounds for good points there. My first priority is to fix my back and will check with my doctor tomorrow. Thanks to the team and the mechanics for all they have done.”

Kevin Strijbos: “I don’t know what happened today. I was behind Tony at the start of the first moto and had good lines and passed him. I felt like I was quick and it did not cost too much energy. Then at one point I was ‘done’. I lost speed and could not make the corners or hit the bumps. I was not fluid anymore and that was ‘it’. Second race and my riding was just nothing. It was such a shame, both for me and for it being the Belgian GP. I don’t know what to say. There was nothing I could do. I tried to start slowly because I thought it would be a long race and I would come good at the end. I picked it up at one point but then I fell flat again. Sometimes I felt tired and then other times like I could really get faster: so strange. I expected much more from this weekend.”

Glenn Coldenhoff: “I can’t say this was exactly what I was expecting. It was already tough after the crash on Saturday which I couldn’t do anything about. Coming back through the field was even harder work and I knew already I was not the fittest guy out there. In the beginning I was fourth and made some passes but after about 20 minutes I got pretty tired. It happened even earlier in the second moto. Coming here I had a good feeling in the sand and all the people around me gave the confidence to race here when I wasn’t so sure at first. Seventh overall is not really what I wanted but the pressure is off now and we are going to work hard. We know what we have to do for Brazil and we’ll be back swinging there.”

Jeremy Seewer: “Not too bad. I was quite interested to see how I would do this weekend because I remember how tough it was two years ago at the ‘Nations. I was really happy with the track actually. My start was not the best in the first race but I had a really good rhythm and passed some guys early on. I got tired after 25 minutes but I was still fast enough to keep tenth place which was really good for me. I know I have to work more on this for the future and it is something to aim towards. I had probably one of my best starts of the year in the second moto but ran quite wide. For three or laps my speed was good but then we started swapping some positions and my muscles and back started to tire. I had a small crash but finished the moto. Overall for a track like Lommel I’m quite happy. The speed is there but with some better physical condition and more sand riding then I can do much more.”

Brian Hsu: “The beginning of the season wasn’t so good and I had some problems but I grew into the year and got much better. I felt good and was riding good. I know in Loket I had to get some points ahead for the championship for this sandy track where we race something similar perhaps once a year. Today was good, it was tough. I came here to win but couldn’t because Ostlund was so fast. In the back of my mind I was thinking about the championship and to be safe. We go to the world championship now and I have to keep working.”

Gautier Paulin: “I’m happy with my performance this weekend, but unhappy to miss the podium as there were three of us tied with the same number of points, from second to fourth overall! It is just three months since I got injured and I have worked hard to get these results. My first start was not very good, and when I came through to second behind Cairoli he found another rhythm; we did four very fast laps, but then I decided to keep some energy for the second race. We had some heavy rain in the last ten minutes, and I finished fourth. Now I will go back home to prepare the last two GPs and the Motocross of Nations.”

Steven Frossard: “ I was in the top eight of the first race when I came short up on a jump, and when I landed I had pain everywhere in my body so the goal was just to finish the race and salvage some points. The second race was much better; my start was not really good but I recovered to fourth, but when the rain came I lost two positions as I couldn’t see the track very well. Lommel was nice to ride this year; they did a very good job to keep the track safe even though so many classes were racing all weekend.”

Dylan Ferrandis: “Saturday was a mixed day for me, as I posted fast laps in the practice session but crashed after the start of the qualifying race when I was in second position. I hurt my shoulder, and on Sunday morning when I woke up I couldn’t move my right shoulder. We worked with Bruno Losito and the medical staff to find a solution so I could race the GP. My first start was not so bad, but when I recovered to second place the leader was out of sight. The second start was similar and I was fighting with Febvre and Anstie for second place until I lost time in a small crash; that put me back to fourth, but I could pass Febvre again to finish third and gain my third podium of the season.”

Thomas Covington: “I have been struggling a little bit with my health in recent weeks due to overtraining so this week I took some rest time and didn’t train on the bike. I came here and had a really good qualifying time but the races were different. My goal was to finish the races and that’s what I did, scoring points in both races; the track in Lommel didn’t surprise me so much it was just as tough as I expected it would be. Now I will go back home to prepare the last two GPs; I think that the tracks in South America will suits more my style.”

Max Nagl: “Yesterday was already really hard in terms of getting the bike set up for the deep sand conditions. Normally I really enjoy riding the sand but this time was very difficult. I had a good start in the first heat with the holeshot and I was happy because Saturday felt much worse. My start was not great in the second moto and I don’t know what happened then; I had so much pain in my legs and across my body and I could not hold the bike any more. I tried doing one lap very slowly to try and recover but I didn’t get any better. I tried to push but lost grip of the handlebars three times. There is nothing you can do when your body is so tired. I will go this week to a specialist place in Germany where I can make some analysis because the situation today was not normal. This track is heavy but when you are an athlete you should not need to pull out. We are all training hard and well so we need to check what is wrong.”

Romain Febvre: “I’m happy with my performance this weekend. Finishing second in qualification was a big help. I got two good starts and was able to run a strong pace. I really wanted to put two strong rides together and I felt I did that this weekend. Of course I wanted to make the podium but I was consistent and scored more important points for the championship.”

Aleksandr Tonkov: “What can I say – it’s been an ok result for me. Both of my starts were good but I lost a few places on the first lap of each race and had to fight my way back from that.”

Dean Ferris: “On Saturday I felt very sick but I managed to pull through. My starts were strong and in the first race I enjoyed a good battle with Tyla for most of the race. Race two was better. I was seventh and closing in on the guys fighting for fourth. My laps times were faster and I felt like I could get it. But then things turned crazy with the rain and lightning. I had to ditch my goggles – after that it was a matter of survival. Overall these four European races with the team have been a fantastic experience. They’ve been awesome and despite being a replacement rider they gave 100 per cent effort to my results. I’m grateful to the opportunity they gave me.”

Tyla Rattray: “Returning back to the MXGP at Lommel was always going to be tough – this track is brutal. I’ve only rode my bike about four times prior to this race so it was hard to match the top guys but I gave it a good shot. I’m happy to have got this race out of the way and will work hard for the next few weeks to be ready for the final rounds of the series.”

Antonio Cairoli: “It was a crazy day but I like this track. The conditions were not perfect and I am happy that I managed to make it in the last ten minutes after I went out only with roll offs it made it hard to see in the last stages.”

Ken de Dycker: “It was easier to ride with my injury in the sand but I didn’t expect to be on the podium. I was hoping for a top five. “I hope this [having another surgery on his wrist] will really fix the problem and I can be back next year up front where I know I can be.”

Jordi Tixier: “In the second race I told myself ‘now you have to do it’. I had a very good start and I pushed to the limit for the whole moto and now I got some very good points for the championship. Last week I won on hard pack and today I came second in the sand so I’ve shown everyone I can ride on all kinds of surfaces.”

MX Vice Editor || 25

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