The deep sand of Axel – on the Dutch/Belgian border – provided a suitable training exercise for the Grand Prix of Latvia at the Kegums circuit; round three of the long-delayed 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship. Although Kegums has a hard base the terrain is sandy and can churn in a series of tough and technical bumps. While Tom Vialle, Tony Cairoli and Jorge Prado rounded off their personal programmes prior to the trip east without competition, Herlings and Hofer decided to tackle the International meeting and some first-class opposition for extra starts ahead of MXGP action.
Herlings won the opening moto convincingly but was caught up in a first turn crash in the second outing. The Dutchman and MXGP standings leader flew back through the field to 5th position, going 1-5 on the day and for 2nd place overall. Hofer rode safely and strongly to cross the finish line with 5th and 4th places for 4th in the final classification.
Kegums will host rounds three, four and five of 2020 MXGP with the Grands Prix now running a one-day format. The events will take place on Sunday 9th, Wednesday 12th and Sunday 16th. Red Bull KTM currently lead both the MXGP and MX2 contests.
Jeffrey Herlings:“Today was a good day. I holeshotted the first moto before it was red-flagged and then did the same again and dominated. It was pretty-easy going. I started well in the second moto but a bunch of guys crashed and I ended up with my front wheel stuck between the rear wheel and the fender of another bike. So, it took some time to get free and start again. I was last but worked my way up to the front-runners. I just ran out of time. It was decent practice and beneficial day. I enjoyed it. Now we’re looking forward to Latvia.”
Rene Hofer: “It was a fun day and definitely the best preparation for the upcoming triple event in Latvia. The track was rough but not too demanding. I miscued both of my starts but made some passes in the first laps which helped a lot. Riding-wise I was really happy about today. Especially in that second moto I felt really strong, so I am definitely ready to restart the MXGP season next Sunday. Finally!”
Axel International MXGP Overall
1. Romain Febvre (FRA), Kawasaki 47 points
2. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), Red Bull KTM 41
3. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED), GasGas 36
4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI), Yamaha 35
5. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU), Husqvarna 34
Axel International MX2 Overall
1. Jago Geerts (BEL), Yamaha 50 points
2. Roan VD Moosdijk (NED), Kawasaki 44
3. Mathys Boisrame (FRA), Kawasaki 40
4. Rene Hofer (AUT) Red Bull KTM 34
5. Mikkel Haarup (DEN), Kawasaki 34