The 2017 MXGP Motocross World Championship series arrived in the deep sands of Lommel for round number 14 of the MX2 and MXGP World Championships, and the 2017 MXGP of Belgium. In both classes, KTM riders absolutely put on a sand riding clinic—dominating with all six of the overall podium positions going to riders on orange.

In MXGP, the Red Bull / KTM MXGP trio of Jeffrey Herlings (1-1), Antonio Cairoli (2-2) and Glenn Coldenhoff (3-4) swept the MXGP podium. In the MX2 class, Red Bull / KTM riders Jorge Prado (2-1) and Pauls Jonass (1-5) took the top two spots on the podium, with Julien Lieber (5-2) occupying the third spot on the box with his LRT KTM. It was a day that will go down in the record books as the most dominant day by any manufacturer.

Jeffrey Herlings: (1st in MXGP) “We messed up a bit in Ottobiano. I never like excuses and Antonio won fair and square there but I was a bit sick that weekend. So I had something to make up [at Lommel]. He got the better of me there and I won here; home crowd for him and also for me but I’m super-happy and I want to thank Red Bull KTM because they have put in so much effort and work and to go 1-2-3 in both classes wouldn’t be possible without a great team. They are always behind me and I feel blessed for that. I won yesterday, won both motos today and even had a pretty good start in that last moto! Five races to go and the season is done. We are second in the championship now and it would be great to finish that way.”


Antonio Cairoli: (2nd in MXGP) “It is amazing to have six KTMs on the podium and [see] what this manufacturer is bringing to the sport. I’m really happy and big congratulations to all the people behind the scenes who help us. I’m very happy with the race. For sure Jeffrey is one of the fastest in the world in this type of ground. We had some good racing and Glenn was also very fast in the first moto. We are almost near the end of the season so we have to think about the championship now and it is time to look at the points and not do crazy stuff. We had some good battles in that second moto but for sure he was more motivated to get the win so congrats to him. Switzerland is one of my favourite tracks so I’m really looking forward to this race.”


Glenn Coldenhoff: (3rd in MXGP) “It’s a been a while! I had a good weekend and I felt really strong coming into this GP after some very competitive days [practicing] in the sand. I messed up my start a little bit yesterday and it was a tough day with the rain but I fixed that for the first moto today and gave myself an easier job. In the second one I was thinking of the podium from the second lap because I’ve been working hard for this together with the crew. We made a great plan after Loket and it worked out.”


Jorge Prado: (1st in MX2) “I’m feeling happy. It is hard to win a GP! Everyone goes so fast and you have to give your ‘all’ and that’s what I did both times. The track was terrible in the second moto: so tough! I got another good start and passed [Thomas Covington] through the quad. I rode good lines and smooth to take a good win.”


Pauls Jonass: (2nd in MX2) “It is always nice to win but sometimes you can have bad luck. In coming back from last to fifth I don’t feel too bad about today. They say you win a championship on your bad days and I think that was one of those for me. I did my best to stay in the lead in the first moto after passing Jorge and then after the crash at the beginning of the second moto I knew I was staring at a long, long race because the track was so rough and the last minutes would be the most important. I did not rush and took my time to move forward. The most important thing is that I didn’t lose points and we have a lead of a GP now, which is pretty good.”


Gautier Paulin: (5th in MXGP) “We’ve worked really hard these past few weeks and expectations were pretty high coming into Lommel. Getting fifth overall is by no means a bad result but I feel that it doesn’t reflect my riding level and the hard work we’ve all been putting in. My starts were not that good and it was really hard to make passes in this track. In the opening moto I had a crash right after making a crucial pass and that reduced my chances to fight for the top six. Then in moto two I found myself in ninth at the end of the first lap and it was not easy to gain many more places. We take this GP as a learning experience and we’re moving forward. I’m looking forward to the next few races hoping I will be able to show more of what I’m capable of.”


Clement Desalle: (4th in MXGP) “I came here with a top five result in my mind, so I achieved what I wanted but I was also looking for two top five moto results to maintain consistency; in general though it was not so bad and I was happier with the second moto in terms of my riding. There is not too much to say; I had some better times and some slow laps to finish sixth. In the second moto I was third at the start and tried to follow the two guys in front but they were really fast. I also had a crash, losing some time and two positions. When Jasikonis crashed I was back to fourth and I focused on my rhythm and during the final two laps I just took care to finish fifth. A podium would have been so cool today but it’s a positive weekend. In the last two weeks I tried a few things to improve myself in the sand and some small tests on the bike to help me on race day; I think we made a small step and that’s good. We’ll stay positive for the coming races. The track was difficult like every second moto in Lommel!”


Max Nagl: (6th in MXGP) “Overall, it was a good weekend and I managed to collect some good points for the championship. Getting the holeshot in the qualifying race and leading for the first few laps felt quite good. Going into Sunday I had a great start in moto one and could ride my own race for firth at the line. In moto two I had a bad jump out of the gate and found myself racing in 18th place after the first few corners. My riding again was good and I made some good passes for ninth at the end of the race. Everything is looking good for me at the moment and I can’t wait for the GP in Switzerland.”


Darian Sanayei: (17th in MX2) “In the first practice session on Saturday I tried to get a good feeling with this new track and it wasn’t too bad, but some heavy rain fell during the timed practice period and we had to make a quick lap early in the session; I posted the eleventh best time before a big storm came in. The track was strange with so much water on it during the qualifying race; it was a little crazy, I fell and couldn’t restart my bike. In the first moto I had to come back from around thirtieth to fifteenth which was not so bad. In the second race I was around fifteenth at the start; I caught some guys in front of me but when Jonass and Paturel passed me they broke my rhythm a little bit and then I just tried to survive and finish the race. It’s definitively one of the toughest race I ever did in my career.”


Marshal Weltin:  “Lommel was probably the most difficult race I did in my life, but I wanted to do it as it was a great opportunity for me during this first season in Europe. I wanted to take the opportunity to race here and it’s incredible to see how difficult the track is; I wasn’t really racing this weekend, it was just so extremely demanding. I want to thank the Dixon team who gave me this opportunity to race two GPs; their bike is great and the team is a great one. Next weekend in Switzerland I will be back in Team Bud Racing for the European series; I hope to get some good results there and I’m excited to be back racing with them.”


Max Anstie: (7th in MXGP) “It was great to finish off a challenging weekend with third in moto two. It shows the speed is there. In moto one I made a rookie mistake and started off the gate in first instead of second gear. I struggled to find my rhythm and had to settle for 14th. I knew I could do a lot better in these tough conditions and I wanted to make it happen in moto two. I got a great start and immediately the feeling was a lot better. I managed to put in some consistent lap times to bring my bike home in third place. It’s good that we leave Belgium with a positive result so I can now take this momentum to the following GPs.”


Benoit Paturel: (6th in MX2) “This weekend was so-so for me. I had good speed all weekend. In the second race I made a mistake on the start and I did my best to come back to eighth. There were some good things this weekend and we have learned from them, now we can only look forward to the next race.”


Alvin Östlund: (13th in MXGP) “I didn’t finish the qualifying race yesterday so I had the last pick on the start gate, so my starts were really bad. I worked my way up to thirteenth in both races, so the riding was really good. I was really happy with the way my YZ250F was working today. The bike and suspension was really good, so I am already looking forward to getting some better starts and then see what happens.”


Thomas Kjer-Olsen: (5th in MX2) “It was a tough GP and I did the best I could for a good overall result. The speed was there so I knew it was crucial to get good starts. In moto one I started within the top five and battled my way to seventh at the line. My lap times were good and I also tried to save some energy for moto two. We made some good changed during the break and I felt a lot better in the second race. I managed to improve my pace and was happy to earn third in the last moto. I’m still third in the championship. There’s still a long way to go for this season to end so the plan is to continue doing my best for some good overall results.”


Conrad Mewse: (7th in MX2) “I had two consistent motos and I’m satisfied with seventh overall. This result would have made me more than happy couple of rounds ago but now it’s just a reward for all the hard work we’re putting in. I got two decent starts and had to dig deep in both motos. I did my best for the first 25 minutes but then made a few mistakes and lost a few places during the final laps. Overall, it was a good weekend for me. There are no words to thank my team for standing by my side in all the good and the not so good moments. We’ll keep working as hard as we do hoping for some better results in the next rounds.”


Jeremy Seewer: (4th in MX2) “In the first moto I had a good start and got the holeshot that I predicted yesterday on board my RM-Z250. Unfortunately Jorge Prado Garcia passed me just after the line as he had a bit more momentum on the straight. However I had a good beginning and felt good on the bike and did some good early laps behind him. A little bit later Pauls Jonass passed me because he was riding really well but I still felt good and put in two good laps behind him, trying to see what lines he was using. After that I don’t really know what happened but I just started to get weak. It wasn’t my fitness as I know I’m one of the fittest guys in the field; my body just didn’t really feel right. This meant I had to drop back and settle for third position, which was ok, but could have been better. I had another good start in the second moto and was riding in third place but I had a crash early on which cost me the chance of a podium and at making-up some good points up on Jonass. It was just a race incident, my fault, but it happens and I can’t change it. It took a couple of laps to get all the sand out of my mouth and eyes but then I put in some good laps and charged through to fourth, for fourth overall. It’s not what I wanted, but I think I still made the best out of it on what was such a tricky track. Next week we head to Switzerland where I’m really looking forward to racing in front of my home crowd.”


Hunter Lawrence: (11th in MX2) “In the first moto I didn’t get the best start and came around the first corner in around 20th. I soon got to work though and worked my way up to 11th. That wasn’t too bad, but obviously I wanted to do a bit better in the second race. I got a top-15 start in the second race but in the third lap I got a bit too impatient and cased a jump and that sent me off the track. I didn’t crash but I stalled it and it took a while to get it fired up again. Everyone had passed me by that stage so I was almost last but I charged through the field once again to get up to 10th place. It was my first Lommel GP done and it went ok, so I know what to expect now and believe that I can come back next year and do much better.”


Thomas Covington: (14th in MX2) “I was feeling really good coming to Lommel and the plan was to keep my podium streak going. I didn’t get the best of starts in race one and rode a steady moto for ninth at the line. Then in moto two I got the holeshot and lead the first couple of laps before Prado passed me. I had a good race pace but three laps before the end I made a small mistake and ended up hitting the dirt pretty hard. I feel sore in my back but luckily I stayed away from any serious injury. I now need to give my body some time to relax but hopefully I will be back to my normal training schedule pretty soon.”


Tim Gajser: (11th in MXGP) “I am disappointed with today. We have been testing and during the test the speed was there, I was fast and comfortable on the bike. When I came into the race it was different I was struggling first Moto, I didn’t have a good start and I was struggling to pass the riders in front of me. My speed was there but I just couldn’t make a pass. Second race was a bit better, I had a better start and I made some decent passes. At the end of the race I was really fast, I caught Desalle and Coldenhoff and then I made a mistake and fell down and then fell again in the last lap. So, it has been a really disappointing weekend overall. That is just how it is, this season I don’t seem to have any luck but that is racing.”


Evgeny Bobryshev: (17th in MXGP) “Today was not an easy day for me. I had a lot of pain in my lower back from yesterday which gave me loads of problems in the first race and I ended up slowing down for a few laps to recover and I finished badly. The second race was going much better for me, I had a much better start and then I collided with a back marker. I am not sure what he was doing, or trying to do but he landed on me and knocked me off the bike and I ended up winded. I was worried I had hurt my back more too and I DNF’d the second race as a result. It is not getting better for me at the moment. It is a shame but I still keep my head up and keep fighting to come back. I am lucky I have such a good team behind me and I will work hard to come back for Switzerland.”


Kevin Strijbos: (12th in MXGP) “It wasn’t a great day. I made some changes yesterday and unfortunately they didn’t work out. I put a different sprocket on for the first moto and riding with that setup just didn’t go well. It’s my own fault, I wanted to try it but it didn’t work how I wanted it to. In the second moto we switched back to yesterday’s settings and it went a bit better. I got a decent gate drop in the second race but then crashed early on in the first lap and had to come through the field. My riding was a lot better though, not quite the level of the top three, but I felt good. I could see Max Anstie crossing me at different points in the track and we were keeping in around the same places and he finished in third. So 11th is really all I could manage after that crash. I expected more but it didn’t quite turn out that way. Winning last year was exceptional but it isn’t easy to do it. It’s a shame that AJ had hurt his ribs too because I think he could have had a real chance at doing well here and perhaps repeating what I did in 2016, but we can’t change it now and just have to move forward to the next race.”


Arminas Jasikonis: (16th in MXGP) “Unfortunately with my rib injury I wasn’t able to ride at 100% this weekend. It is a real shame as I was looking forward to riding this round and believed I could do well here. In the second moto when I moved through into third, I think I showed the speed I have here and how I can ride in the sand. The first moto didn’t go well with the first turn crash but I still came through to 11th. And then in race two after getting in third place and passing all those top riders on my RM-Z450WS, I had the crash that caused me to feel a bit dizzy. Combined with the pain in my ribs, I decided it was better to pull out and try and get myself as healthy as possible for next weekend.”


Romain Febvre: (8th in MXGP) “My weekend was not so good although my speed was pretty good, only problem was the mistake I made on the last lap in the first race so I was very disappointed. In the second race I got a good jump off the gate but then lost some time. I don’t know why, but then I was really far back. I got back to seventh, which is okay but it is not the result I am looking for.”


Jeremy Van Horebeek: (9th in MXGP) “The first moto was pretty good, but I had to dig deep so I had used too much enegy to finish fourth place. In the second race I had a bad start and then I crashed, and I couldn’t find my rhythm after that. It was tough, but it is always tough to get back to race pace after injuries. It’s not easy. I am really happy about the first moto, there were a lot of positive things to take away.”


Arnaud Tonus: (10th in MXGP) “We had a tough weekend. We had to make some changes for today after having a rough day yesterday. I am on the new bike, so it’s always tough to have a perfect setting and especially on a track like this that is so brutal. I am happy with the progress we are making with the bike. I got tenth and eighth in the moto’s, which is okay I suppose, but there is still some work to do. Overall, there are a lot of positives to take away from this weekend and I look forward to lining up for my first ever home grand prix in Switzerland next weekend.”


Michele Cervellin: (16th in MX2) “The MXGP of Belgium has been ok for me. I was 13th in the first race and then after one small crash I lost my rhythm and I finished 18th. In the second race, I had a good start in ninth or tenth which I was happy with but then in the last few minutes I lost a few places and finished 14th which is not so good but I just have not had my usual energy this weekend. I have been really sick in hospital over the last few weeks so I have been unable to train or get in any bike time. Now for Switzerland I can ride and train this week normally so I hope I can do better. I am happy overall with where I finished when I wasn’t even sure if I would race this weekend.”


Jed Beaton: (30th in MX2) “I haven’t exactly had the best day in Lommel today. The first start wasn’t so good and I don’t know what happened I think I just struggled a little bit and after making really good headway through the race I had a small crash which took all the energy out of me and then I ended up crashing again and by then I was just done! I wasn’t feeling it, I came in and regrouped for the second race. I got off to a good start in the second race but Jonass went down and a huge pile up happened and I ended up in it. The first couple of laps after that was good, I made progress through the pack and I was just trying to flow. Probably about six laps in I went down again which just took all my energy out of me again, then I ended up crashing another three times. So basically, this whole weekend has been a series of crashes. The track was so gnarly, it is the roughest track I have ever ridden. So, all in all, a lot of negative and positive things to take away from this weekend.”


Dan Lamb is a 12+ year journalist and the owner of MotoXAddicts.