Preview: Motocross Grand Prix of Holland
It’s Round 2 of the 2011 FIM World Motocross Championships, at the famous sand track of Valkenswaard. MX GP of Holland!
The track at Valkenswaard is a typical Dutch track – sand, sand, and more sand. The track becomes very rough as the day goes on, as the bumps get bigger and bigger.
One thing that can come with a race in Holland or Belgium, especially during this time of the year, is rain. However, all week the weather has been warm and dry, and that is the forecast for this weekend’s event!
Remember, the actual GP is going to be run Easter Monday, which is a big holiday in most of Western Europe.
Supercross.com, thru the power of Youthstream, is offering you a PPV and VOD system where you can watch the MX GP of Holland.
If you buy a Season Pass, you’ll be able to watch all the World MX GP events, include the US MX Grand Prix at Glen Helen Raceway, and prestigious Monster Energy Motocross of Nations.
Next, From Youthstream, here is more about this GP: It’s round 2 of the 2011 FIM Motocross World Championships, with Clement Desalle and Ken Roczen being the Championship leaders of the MX1 and MX2 classes respectively. The Grand Prix of the Netherlands will take place on Sunday 24th April with the qualifying races and on Easter Monday with the Grand Prix races.
Clement Desalle got the red plate in Sevlievo, but he was tight in points with Steven Frossard. While the third step of the podium was for Jonathan Barragan, who finished with the same points as German Max Nagl. MX1 riders showed how fit they are and how much they have trained during the wintertime, so a thrilling Championship is guaranteed this season.
German young talent Ken Roczen dominated the whole Grand Prix in Sevlievo, but Jeffrey Herlings rides home this weekend and he already proved last year how fast he can be on the sand. Tommy Searle was very consistent during the weekend in Bulgaria, finishing second overall on his comeback to the FIM MX2 World Championship.
Valkenswaard will also host the first round of the FIM Veterans World Cup, as well as the first appearance of the UEM EMX2 class, which initially counts with 107 entry riders.
MX1 class: Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1’s Clement Desalle left Sevlievo victorious after finishing at the top of the rostrum on his first appearance of the season. Last year, the Belgian could not take part in the second race of the Dutch Grand Prix as he dislocated his right shoulder during race one, so the current red plate holder will have to prove his talent on the sand this weekend in Valkenswaard.
The big surprise of the Grand Prix of Bulgaria was Monster Energy Yamaha’s Steven Frossard, after obtaining the second overall position on his debut in the MX1 class. Last year he finished third overall, so he might obtain his maiden MX1 Grand Prix victory in front of the Dutch crowd.
Third was Kawasaki Racing’s Jonathan Barragan, who proved to himself, his team and his fans that he is fully fit again to fight for the first positions of the MX1 Championship. The Spaniard could not take part on last year’s Dutch Grand Prix due to an injury on his hip, so he will do his best to show his riding skills on the sand this weekend.
German Max Nagl did an outstanding first race in Sevlievo, but his sixth position in the second moto made him be out of the podium with the same points as Barragan. Nagl finished fifth last year in Valkenswaard, so he is now focused on improving such position on his new 350cc KTM.
Rui Goncalves rounded the top five in Sevlievo after a very consistent weekend with his new Honda World Motocross team.
2010 FIM MX1 World Champion Antonio Cairoli finished ninth at the Grand Prix of Bulgaria. The Italian twisted his left knee during the first heat, so he might not be fully fit to repeat his last yearÃ¢Â€Â™s overall victory in Valkenswaard.
2010 MX1 PODIUM: 1. Antonio Cairoli, 2. Steve Ramon, 3. David Philippaerts
MX2: Red Bull Teka KTM Factory RacingÃ¢Â€Â™s Ken Roczen arrives in Valkenswaard being the clear dominant of the MX2 class. However, the German will race in Jeffrey Herlings’ soil, and he knows that it will be difficult to improve his last yearÃ¢Â€Â™s overall second place.
Tommy Searle from CLS Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit team left Sevlievo with very good feelings on his comeback to the series. The British talent is ready to race again in the sand after his two years stay in the USA.
The third overall position in Bulgaria was for Red Bull Teka KTM Factory rider Jeffrey Herlings, who plays home this weekend in Valkenswaard. The 16-year-old rider obtained his maiden Grand Prix victory last year in Valkenswaard on his debut in the MX2 class, so the Dutch is ready to repeat his performance in front of his crowd.
Monster Energy Yamaha’s Gautier Paulin missed the podium in Sevlievo, but he proved that his fitness and his riding have improved notoriously. The French rider could not take part in last yearÃ¢Â€Â™s race in Valkenswaard due to an injury, so he might be the big surprise of the weekend.
American Zach Osborne completed the top five of the first Grand Prix of the season and he is now determined to improve his 11th overall position obtained last year in Valkenswaard.
2010 MX2 PODIUM: 1. Jeffrey Herlings, 2. Ken Roczen, 3. Steven Frossard
VETERANS: The first round of the FIM Veterans World Cup will be hosted this weekend in Valkenswaard. 2010 Wold Champion Mats Nilsson is committed to repeat his overall victory in Valkenswaard, but he will have to test his talent with other 42 riders, including runner up of the 2010 season Pascal Bal and third in the championship Erwin Hendrickx.
UEM EMX2: The UEM EMX2 Championship is also starting this weekend in Valkenswaard with up to 107 entry riders. On Sunday, they will all have to fight for a place for Monday’s races, where only 40 riders will be able to fight for the overall victory.
TIMETABLE: Sunday: VMX Free Practice 7:20; EMX2 Free + Qualifying Time Practice Group A 7:55; EMX2 Free + Qualifying Time Practice Group B 8:35; MX2 Free Practice 9:30; MX1 Free Practice 10:15; VMX Time Practice 11:00; EMX2 Qualifying Race Group A 12:10; EMX2 Qualifying Race Group B 12:45; MX2 Pre-Qualifying Practice 13:15; MX1-Pre Qualifying Practice 14:00; VMX Race 1 15:10; MX2 Qualifying Race 16:10; MX1 Qualifying Race 17:00; EMX2 Last Chance Qualifying Practice 17:45; VMX Race 2 18:40; EMX2 B-Final 19:20.
Monday: EMX2 Warm up 8:30; MX2 Warm up 9:00; MX1 Warm up 9:30; EMX2 Race 1 10:20; MX2 Grand Prix Race 1 12:10; MX1 Grand Prix Race 1 13:10; EMX2 Race 2 14:10; MX2 Grand Prix Race 2 15:03; MX1 Grand Prix race 2 16:03.
Next, interviews with Ken Roczen and Steven Frossard from MXLarge
Ken Roczen interview: Red Bull KTM Factory rider, 16 year old Ken Roczen showed last weekend that he is going to be tough to beat in the 2011 FIM World MX2 Championship after running away with the opening round of the series last weekend in Sevlievo, Bulgaria.
MXlarge: Ken, did you have any idea how you might perform before coming into the opening round?
Roczen: I actually had no idea. I didnÃ¢Â€Â™t see the other guys riding and Supercross is a different World, plus it’s (SX) not endurance, it’s just really short bursts, so I didn’t know how it would be. I was hoping for the best, but didn’t expect to win so easily.
I can’t rest on that, because they will get stronger and stronger, but so will I. I just want to do my best every weekend and try not to crash, less mistakes.
MXlarge: On Saturday you looked like you were cruising, was that the case?
Roczen: I don’t know, everybody is riding 100%, I mean everyone is saying that I am riding slowly and not pushing, but I was riding alone without pressure and coming into a battle I want to shift into another year and go faster. So we will see when that happens.
MXlarge: Your style seems smoother – did you change some things in your riding style?
Roczen: I don’t know about that. Scrubbing is still my style, and those Supercross tracks get pretty rough and when there are big ruts in the take off’s it is hard to scrub. I still feel I am riding the style I did last year, I might be wrong, but I am trying to.
MXlarge: Did anything surprise you this weekend, or anyone?
Roczen: Nobody surprised me, I won these motos by a bit (good distance), but actually nothing surprised me.
MXlarge: You won by big distances and if it remains like this you are going to need to really work hard on your concentration aren’t you?
Roczen: This is the worst thing you can do – you need to know your body well. I read in Stefan Everts book, I read you need to choose between getting lazy and getting tired, sometimes when you have a big gap you can get lazy and when the back markers come you can make big mistakes.
MXlarge: And after the next round of the FIM World Championship you head back to America to race some more Supercross races, how difficult is that to keep your goal in order for the World Championship? That seems like it would be difficult to do both.
Roczen: Exactly, but I think it’s a good mix, keeping the Supercross thing in my schedule. Everyone said it will help me in outdoors also.
MXlarge: How was the track, it looked really fast and not that rough? How did it compare to last year?
Roczen: It got rough in the second race, compared to last year I don’t really remember the difference. I know the Saturday it was really fast.
MXlarge: You are very popular with the press, seems like everyone wants to speak to you. How difficult is that to keep all the media happy?
Roczen: I mean, press is normal and I knew when coming here the guys would go crazy, but that is normal and I expected that, and if I was in your position if there is an interview you have to do, you have to do it, and I know it’s something I have to do also.
Steven Frossard interview: Monster Energy Yamaha Factory rider Steven Frossard shocked the Motocross World as he nearly pulled of a victory in the World MX1 Championship race.
Starting with the Saturday qualification race Frossard looked at home on the super fast and dusty circuit. Victory on Saturday gave him pole position for Sunday’s races and he didn’t waste any time putting his black Yamaha at the front of the pack.
Q: Saturday you also rode really well. Can you tell me about your Saturday race?
Frossard: It was a little bit easy in two of the races, but when you take a good start it’s easy to have a good race, especially on a circuit like this one. I was second early in the qualification race and then I was able to pass for first, and I stayed there. I made a break from the second placed rider and I stayed focused and won the qualification race easy. At the end I slowed down, I just wanted to win, didnÃ¢Â€Â™t matter by how far.
Q: Steven, can you explain your Sunday races for us?
Frossard: The first moto I was strong and my start was perfect. I was able to get a win and that really gave me a lot of confidence for the second moto. I feel very good on the bike, it’s a really strong bike and I think for both heats it was good for me. In the second moto my start was not good I was in sixth and I came through the field and passed Clement (Desalle) for the lead, then I made a mistake and I was back in third. My condition was good and I came back to second and in the last lap I did a small mistake and I finished second. I wanted to win so bad I pushed really, really hard and that is maybe why I made some mistakes. I am not surprised about this result, my preparation has been good.
Q: You moved to the MX1 class and many people expected you to race the MX1 class earlier because you are such a big rider. Why didn’t you move to the MX1 class earlier?
Frossard: My feeling is very good, I have ridden the 450 before, but I wanted to be World Champion in the MX2 class first, but in my head I knew I had the speed in this class. I think if I take a good start in Valkenswaard and I can follow a good rider, then I can be fast in the start.
Q: I remember last year your starts were not that good, what has happened to make you so strong out of the start this year?
Frossard: In the Italian Championships earlier in the season I did some good starts and that seems to remain good for me. I had trouble with starts in 2010, but now with my Yamaha I am really starting at the front a lot, it makes my riding and confidence much better.
Q: I remember you winning a race in Bulgaria back in your MX2 days. What is it about you and this circuit?
Frossard: I have always done well at the Sevlievo circuit, three years ago I won a moto and last year I finished in third place overall, so it’s a place and I enjoy riding here. Maybe a little like the French tracks, very fast and you have to keep your concentration all the time.
Q: Did you have a goal coming into the season, maybe what position you want to finish in the Championship?
Frossard: I would like to finish top three, I think that is good, I am in my first year and I need to learn the bigger class and all the riders. If I can be around third place at the end of the season I will be happy about that.
Q: Next up we have Valkenswaard and its sand. French are not known for their sand skills. How can you do in round two?
Frossard: We will see (he said with a smile) I have improved in my sand skills and I think I can do well if I get a good start. I need to follow some of the faster riders, but riding MX1 in the sand is a lot different than riding in the MX2 class. My bike has a lot of power. I haven’t ridden much in the sand and I am sure I am better on the 450 than I was on the 250.
Next, courtesy of Suzuki Racing: Rockstar Energy Suzuki World MX1 will see Clement Desalle wearing the red plate as FIM MX1 Motocross World Championship leader when the series reconvenes this coming weekend at Valkenswaard for the Grand Prix of the Netherlands.
Round two of 15 means the Belgian team will make the short trip to the venue close to Eindhoven with Desalle looking for his second victory in a row and the team searching their first triumph in the dark shallow sand since 2008.
The Bulgarian Grand Prix winner two weeks ago has unfinished business at the technical course on his works RM-Z450; having fallen in the opening stages of the 2010 edition and suffering a dislocation of his shoulder. It was one of only four occasions in his maiden term with Suzuki that he failed to make the podium.
“You know, last year was last year; this weekend is a whole new event even if it is the same track,” the 21 year old said. “I am feeling good and felt comfortable in the sand at Mons last weekend. I was a bit sick for a few days but I have been following my usual programme of training this week. I hate the question about having a goal for a particular race or weekend. For me the goal is always the same and that’s to do my best, whether that means a win, podium or somewhere else; then that is what I will take.”
Steve Ramon was runner-up last year and also scored a third position at the 2007 Grand Prix at Valkenswaard. Despite his excellent ability in the sand – he won the prestigious Le Touquet beach race earlier this year – he knows fully-well the perils and difficulty of the service, as it was a crash at the Dutch course in 2009 that saw him suffer a fractured neck. The Belgian was able to make some decent inroads towards an effective suspension set-up with his ride to fourth place overall in the Mons sand last weekend for the opening round of the Flemish national series.
“I was feeling sick after Bulgaria but it was good to go to Mons and get some heats done in the sand and also work with the bike a little bit,” he said. “We had a good weekend at Valkenswaard in 2010, so something similar on Monday will be the target to aim for. I think the track will be a bit easier for me compared to Bulgaria and we just need to come through Sunday well and then make sure of some decent starts for the motos.”
Valkenswaard has a long history as part of the FIM Motocross World Championship that stretches back to the 1970s. Modifications to the site – that also houses a popular Rallycross layout – have included a shortening and reversal of the track in recent years. After the hard-pack of Sevlievo two weeks ago, the Grand Prix riders will have to employ a different side to their technique to conquer the sand that will get rougher and more varied as the weekend wears on.
Courtesy Honda World Motocross: The sand of Valkenswaard awaits the Honda World Motocross Team: This weekend the Honda World Motocross Team and riders Rui GonÃƒÂ§alves and Evgeny Bobryshev are back in action for the second MX1 Grand Prix of the season in Valkenswaard, Netherlands (24-25 April).
Looking to build on the solid foundations laid down in the season opener two weeks ago, GonÃƒÂ§alves and Bobryshev will be aiming to go a few better than the respective 5th and 6th place overall finishes achieved in Bulgaria and have their sights on podium positions at the famous Dutch track, located just outside of Eindhoven.
The sand of Valkenswaard is steeped in racing history and has been a regular fixture on the World Championship Grand Prix calendar for many years. It is favoured territory for Rui GonÃƒÂ§alves, having won there in the MX2 class in 2009, on his way to 2nd in the championship overall. However Rui’s 2010 Valkenswaard GP was marred by a recovering shoulder injury. A now fully fit GonÃƒÂ§alves will be out to prove what he can do on the 450cc machine.
Bobryshev is also partial to the sand, living and training for the most part of the year in the surrounding area of Valkenswaard and only a few miles from the track itself. An overall position of 7th in 2010 is an indication of what can be achieved by the powerful Russian but the new slimmed-down and fitter Bobryshev should pose a more potent threat this year.?
Evgeny Bobryshev, Honda World Motocross, “Valkenswaard is my kind of track, I really like it there and had good results last year even though I was not really that fit. My conditioning is a lot better now than it was at this stage last season. I have been training a lot in the sand, doing lots of simulation motos and even doing hour-long endurance runs as part of my preparation. It is also a really convenient GP for me as I live only 5 mins away from the track. This helps me over the race weekend; simple things like spending the night in my own bed.”
Rui Goncalves, Honda World Motocross, “I have good memories of Valkenswaard from my victory there in 2009 in the MX2 class. I really like the layout and the soil of the track and feel comfortable in conditions like these. Last year it was the first GP I rode after coming back from my shoulder injury so this year my objectives are very different as I can tackle it fully fit. The top 10 in MX1 is so competitive at the moment, so you really need to be on your game to be in the fight for the podium positions but this is my aim for the weekend.”
Supercross.com’s World Motocross Championships race results
We’ll have feature articles on Supercross.com from Saturday night with KTM, Sunday’s Qualifying Races, and, the Grand Prix on Monday!
And here is some fun ‘old’ stuff regarding the MX GP of Holland at Valkenswaard. It was Amanda’s first time doing live world wide TV of the World Motocross Championships from 2008! (Two YouTube videos)
- Amanda’s got another new gig! Dutch MXGP What is Amanda doing now? Where is she? Day 1 from the first round of the World Motocross Series – Valkenswaard, 2008!
- FIM World Motocross – Round 1 – Netherlands – recap by Amanda – 2008. Amanda cover the Dutch GP like a blanket, giving it her TV ‘treatment’! Ken de Dycker win the MX1 (450 class) while Tyla Rattray takes the MX2 class (250cc’s) over World Champion Tony Cairoli.
And don’t forget the MX GP Video on Demand, You Can Watch Live too! You’ll see Sunday’s Life Style Show, Qualifying Races, and then the Grand Prix races on Monday! Season Pass gets your Glen Helen MX GP and Motocross of Nations!
- Supercross.com’s iPhone Race Results App for 2011
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- Supercross.com’s Community – build your own profile, post in the message boards, and more
- Supercross.com’s YouTube Video Channel
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Ken Roczen 94, Jeffrey Herlings 84