Tim Gajser and Mitch Evans head to Valkenswaard, Netherlands this weekend for what should be another tough test for them and their new Honda CRF450RW. After successfully negotiating the first round of the 2020 MXGP season with second and fifth overall results respectively, both riders are confident that they can maintain their high standards at this Dutch sand-track, located near the Belgian border.
With the vast quantities of rain that have fallen over northern Europe in the past few weeks, many expect the facility to be a lot rougher than in previous years, where the cold temperatures meant that it was almost hard-pack in places. This should provide a much different challenge than the rutted-dirt that was present at round one in Matterley Basin, Great Britain.
Last year, Gajser went seven-two for third overall here but he’ll be hoping for a bit more after another year of working on his sand skills. His improvement was highlighted when he won the Lommel GP in August 2019, known as the toughest motocross race in the world, so together with his new CRF450RW, expect the #243 machine to challenging right at the front of the field.
For Evans, his first and only visit here ended up with him scoring a 10th in race two in the MX2 class. However, after his excellent three-seven results in his MXGP debut last weekend, he’ll be hoping to cement himself as a top five prospect in conditions which should be similar to the pre-season race in Mantova, in which he came away victorious in the Super-final there.
Now though, the riders are preparing for Valkenswaard in what will hopefully be a return to the usual schedule with free practice at 10:20 on Saturday 7th March, with a qualifying race at 16:10 that same afternoon. The points scoring motos then take place at 13:15 and 16:10 on Sunday 8th March.