The Belgian Charge - Home Riders
By Geoff Meyer | 12 Jun 2012
The victory by Clement Desalle at the Grand Prix of Portugal last weekend couldn’t have come at a better time. With this weekend’s Grand Prix of Belgium being held you can count on a massive amount of Belgian fans heading to Bastogne for what will be another chapter in the 2012 FIM World Motocross Championship.
While Desalle is the only Belgian to win a GP this year, there are a number of Belgians who will stand out this weekend. With three Belgians in the top eight in MX1 and two Belgian in the top four in MX2, the home fans should find enough to cheer about. Here are the local’s riders who we think can make some surprises.
Desalle just hadn’t shown his 2011 form until last weekend in Portugal and for the tough Rockstar Suzuki rider it has given him extra confidence as he heads to his home GP. Desalle is now just 37 points behind series leader Antonio Cairoli. Having won last weekend Desalle moved to 10 Grand Prix victories in his career, which makes his the 13th most successful Belgian rider in terms of Grand Prix wins. That is a pretty impressive list above him and Desalle is now four GP wins away from his team manager Sylvain Geboers (who has 14 GP wins) and nine GP wins behind Marnicq Bervoets.
Red Bull KTM Factory rider Ken De Dycker has shown brilliant form in 2012 and comes into his home Grand Prix with confidence and motivation. Holding down fifth place in the FIM World MX1 Championship points proves that De Dycker can still run up front, which was a question mark after a disappointing 2011 assault.
De Dycker has five Grand Prix victories, his last was two years ago in Germany. Had this year’s Belgian GP been held in the deep sand of Lommel, then it might have been possible to expect him to battle for the overall, but it won’t be in sand but on hard-pack and it might take a little miracle for the tall De Dycker to win it this time around.
Kevin Strijbos is eighth in the FIM World MX1 Championship points and like De Dycker has five Grand Prix victories. His last one coming in 2007 in the white sand of Lierop. A former World number two does give Strijbos a good looking CV, but against the likes of Antonio Cairoli, Gautier Paulin, Christophe Pourcel and Clement Desalle, it might be asking too much for Strijbos to win this weekend. A podium is always possible.
While Red Bull KTM Factory rider Jeremy Van Horebeek only has one Grand Prix victory, his form this year has shown that he is serious about adding GP win number two to his tally. His speed is often as good as that of red plate owner Jeffrey Herlings and Van Horebeek is strong on hard pack circuits, which is what we can expect at Bastogne this weekend.
Joel Roelants has never looked as strong as he does in 2012. His speed is impressive and like Van Horebeek a GP victory must be close. Roelants has shown in a couple of Grand Prix’s in 2012 that he can run up front with Herlings and Searle, so will the added pressure of racing at home help or hurt him.
Photo: Ken De Dycker - Christophe Desmet image
Read the next news: Grand Prix’s in Belgium – History (12 Jun 2012)
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