Courtesy of Infront Moto Racing
When news broke last week about the new calendar, the whole MXGP paddock celebrated. After four months of sitting around waiting to come out of lockdown, we are going racing again. Despite what been a very strange 2020, once we all arrive in Kegums, Latvia in early August for our first ever triple header GP, most people will have forgotten their time locked away in their houses and start to look forward to a better second half of this year.
Former Grand Prix racer and now team manager of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory team, Antti Pyrhonen can’t wait to get to Latvia and see the best motocross riders in the world perform three times in one week.
“It is a good way to start,” Pyrhonen said. “Latvia is a great organizer, great track and it is good to have these triple headers, back to back GPs. We haven’t done it before, and it is exciting to start like that. I look forward to it and for sure it is something big, Sunday, Wednesday, Sunday and it will be spectacular. It depends how tough it will be, Lommel is always heavy, but in October the weather is cooler, and the guys can do it. Anyway, it is just one day this year and they train at Lommel anyway two or three days in the week. Maybe Lommel in the middle of summer would have been difficult, but October will be okay.”
Scottish rider Shaun Simpson of the SS24 KTM team hasn’t raced a bike since the Grand Prix of Valkenswaard five months ago, and has been tucked away in his homeland, knows that racing and running a team isn’t easy, but he is also looking forward to the different formats and style of racing.
“I mean it is interesting,” Simpson said. “Obviously, I look now from two perspectives, a rider’s perspective and a team owner’s perspective. From the rider’s perspective, this year has so many differences already. We started a normal season and now some time off, and it won’t be a normal again and I find that really exciting. The Sunday only races, the time practices, going from the two-day format to the one-day format. It’s been said I ride better on the Saturday than on the Sunday, maybe the one-day format will suit me. Three races at one track, hopefully they will change the direction of the track in Lommel and Latvia or make the layouts different. I am excited about it. It will be different spending a whole week in Latvia and a whole week in Lommel. It might be a good idea to try these new things, the Sunday format. I am just glad we are going back to racing.”
Another former GP rider and also a team manager now Rasmus Jorgensen of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory MX2 effort knows that racing mean pleasure and also knows the riders will be tested to the limit in the deep sand of Kegums and Lommel.
“I am extremely happy we have something of a realistic calendar,” Jorgensen said. “At least a start date. I think we can expect some changes along the way, but starting with three races in Latvia is nice for everybody. Obviously Lommel and Latvia are physical tracks, but also in Italy we have two close together and in Italy in September it can be very warm, so it will be an advantage for the guys with a good base and who can recover well.”
So now, like everyone else who loves motocross, these three men will be working hard with their riders and mechanics to make sure when they arrive for the first ever triple GP, they are well prepared for the toughness of what this event will bring. Author: Geoff Meyer