2008 FIM World Motocross – Round 11 – Belgium
Jon Barragan of Spain continues his winning streak in MX1, but Steve Ramon takes over points lead in world championship. Surprise winner in MX2 – Gert Krestinov from Estonia!
|1.||Jon Barragan 2/1||KTM
|2.||Ken de Dycker 3/3||SUZ|
|3.||Max Nagl 6/2||KTM
|4.||Marc de Reuver 1/10||HON|
|5.||Steve Ramon 4/5||SUZ|
|6.||Seb Pourcel 7/5||KAW|
|7.||Josh Coppins 5/8||YAM|
|8.||K Nemeth 11/7||KTM|
|9.||B McKenzie 9/11||HON|
|10.||D Philippaerts 15/6||YAM|
|11.||A Leok 12/9||YAM|
|12.||C Desalle 8/17||SUZ|
|13.||P Roos 13/16||KTM|
|14.||M Priem 10/19||KAW|
|15.||T Leok 18/13||KAW|
|Ken de Dycker||336|
|M. de Reuver||214|
|1.||Gert Krestinov 8/1||KTM|
|2.||Rui Goncalves 3/4||KTM|
|3.||Tommy Searle 2/6||KTM|
|4.||Tyla Rattray 1/10||KTM|
|5.||J v Horebeek 6/3||KTM|
|6.||J Roelants 4/5||KTM|
|7.||N. Aubin 12/2||YAM|
|8.||M Seistola 10/7||HON|
|9.||S Simpson 5/12||KTM|
|10.||D Guarneri 9/13||YAM|
|11.||S Frossard 7/16||KAW|
|12.||A Boissiere 15/11||KTM|
|13.||M Monni 9/15||YAM|
|14.||Zach Osborne dnf/8||YAM|
|15.||X Boog 20/9||SUZ|
|J v Horebeek||232|
In the premier MX1 450 class, it was Grand Prix motocross in it’s truest form – a huge enthusiastic crowd, a demanding race circuit, and great battles on the race track.
Once again, the winner, for the fourth time, was Jon Barragan from Spain with finishes of 2/1. He’s definitely the hottest rider on the GP scene right now.
And Belgium’s current MX1 450 World Champion had a great day – he’s taken over the world championship points lead from David Philippaerts with his fifth overall position today, as Philippaerts fell in the first moto, eventually finishing 15th. Ramon did pay a price on the most brutal sand track in the world – he was completely exhausted at the conclusion of the second moto, and literally staggered off his bike – his energy completely gone.
In the MX2 class, believe it or not, Estonia’s Gert Krestinov, riding a KTM, won the overall with moto finishes of 8/1. Tyla Rattray, the series points leader, won the first moto, with his top contender and team-mate Tommy Searle second. But in the second moto, they were both involved in a pile up, and started towards the rear of the pack. Rattray had eventually moved into fourth, and would of had the overall win, but he tumbled over again in the sand, handing the overall to Krestinov. KTM took the first six positions in the MX2 class, and also won the MX1 class. They are doing quite well this year in the Motocross World Championships!
August 1: In the ‘World Motocross’ scene, Belgium is the center of the Motocross Universe. It’s history and tradition in the sport are unmatched by any other country, which is even more incredible when you realize the size of the country itself – it’s not that big!
It’s past & current world champions, and stars could fill a starting gate all by themselves: Roger De Coster, Joel Robert, Stefan Everts, Eric Geboers, Georges Jobe, Andre Malherbe, Harry Everts, Gaston Rahier, Steve Ramon, Joel Smets, Patrick Caps, Sylvain Geboers, Andre Vromans, and more.
Even some of the circuits themselves have a wonderful history, some dating back to before World World II: Namur … Nismes … Angreau … Zolder … Lommel …
Today, most of the top teams and riders are based in Belgium as well.
This year, the Belgian Grand Prix is at the Lommel circuit. So, to be in the heart of the ‘World Motocross’ scene, and at the traditional Belgian Grand Prix (almost always held on the first Sunday in August.), it’s quite a thrill for a motocross fan.
Almost every rider here has said that the track at Lommel is the most demanding track in the world. And it’s because of the deep, soft sand – the track gets incredibly rough just a few minutes after a section has been bulldozed straight and smooth. In a word, the track is ‘brutal’. One rider told me ‘there is not one place to rest for even a second to take your tear offs off – it’s that difficult. It saps all your strength after just a few laps of racing because the bumps become so big.
And it’s true – in watching just one practice session, a completely smooth, just bull-dozed section becomes totally different after just one short practice session – it’s literally a different track from one practice or moto to the next – lines and braking bumps are constantly changing … growing …. moving.
The activities at the race track really start to come alive on Thursday. And build all the way thru the weekend. Today (Friday) the place was packed with people, the pits were full, work was being done everywhere, and there was a literal buzz in the air of the weekend’s activities.As an American visiting in Europe, I can make a comment on the difference of atmosphere at a Grand Prix event compared to what happens at a normal US supercross. The first thing to notice is the riders – they are all incredibly friendly, always easily accessible, and are willing to do just about anything with the media to help further the sport. It’s not unusual for a top world level rider (or world champions themselves) to invite you over to their house to ‘hang out’, have fun, and do your work of video, photography, and journalism. It’s genuine and real. It’s very different than a US supercoss, where the promoter does nothing to assist the media, which in turn grows the sport, provides more tickets sales, merchandise sales, and more. It’s a complete 180 in approach, and with the GPs growing exponentially, and with massive world wide TV and media coverage – it seems to be working – the results on numbers of spectators, TV viewers, sponsors, media coverage, and revenue are on a huge upswing, compared to stagnation in the US.
As it has over the past few decades, there is an ebb and flow to interest levels in the sport, and spectator attendance, primarily between Europe (where the sport was invented) and the USA. Right now, there is a real swing in worldwide interest, and the GPs are becoming increasingly popular and relevant again.
Video interviews with winners Jon Barragan & Gert Krestinov, along with some race action (Courtesy Youthstream).
In these photos you’ll see the MX2 podium, the MX1 podium, Jon Barragan 7, great Belgian fans, Josh Coppins 6, Ken de Dycker 9, Marc de Reuver 14, Gert Krestinov MX2 winner 37, my new friends, the new logo for the 2008 Motocross of Nations in England, Max Nagl 12, Zach Osborne 338 on a Yamaha, David Philippaerts 19, Seb Pourcel 90, MX1 World Motocross Champion Steve Ramon 11, Tyla Rattray 4, Tommy Searle 2, and Shaun Simpson 89.