If anyone was hoping for any dramatic changes to the GP landscape at the last GP in Bastogne, they would have been seriously disappointed. OK so the appalling weather killed the racing on Saturday, but on Sunday it was business as usual. This weekend the Youthstream trucks head north from Belgium to Sweden, land of achingly beautiful blond women and silly sounding place names. And as if to prove the point, the venue for round 9 is the Glimminge Motorstadion at Uddevalla – you really couldn’t make up better! Set in a beautiful part of the country surrounded by the totally predictable pine forests, the track is a curious mix of soft sand over hard pack soil which makes a tricky and unpredictable racing surface. At the back of the track, the circuit is framed by a steep rocky slope and you can expect to see fans perched on the rocks like motocross loving mountain goats.
Checkout last years highlights
Sweden has an unexpectedly wide list of former champions with legendary names like Nilsson , Hallman, Aberg, Anderson, Carlquist and Hanson. But since the mid nineties, there has been a drought of decent riders from the country, and although their success in enduro has been truly impressive, there is little chance of a local hero and this particular stop.
In what is becoming a worryingly accurate trend, Moto correctly called the Belgian result, with reigning champion Antonio Cairoli blasting apart the field with two straight wins. The world’s best known Sicilian is now a comfortable 47 points ahead of Suzuki’s Clement Desalle. CD25 managed a good second in Belgium, but really did not have the pace to overhaul Tony, and you have to think that much the same will happen in Sweden, as the tricky surface is unlikely to suit Desalles bullish style. The challenge for the top of the podium seems more likely to come from Pourcel and at a push Paulin and Philippaerts, but they are really going to have to come out fighting to overcome Cairoli’s building momentum in the second half of the season.
Other notables for this fixture could be current British Championship front runner Kevin Strijbos after his blistering form at Desertmartin and if Karro can grab a tow, he has a chance of a good result in Uddevala. Our call would be Cairoli and Pourcel with a win a piece.
Whilst the MX1 class is rapidly becoming a foregone conclusion, the MX2 class is still open. OK so Herlings still has a 24 point advantage over Tommy, but he only needs to drop one race to reduce that to nothing. Tommy must be cursing his ‘nil points’ in Fermo moto 1, as without this, the playing field would be pretty level.
Behind the two chasing the title, little has changed in the top six. VanHorebeek still leads Roelants by a fat margin and despite our best hopes, Jordi Tixier still manages to stay ahead of Nicholls by 13 points. Max Anstie uninspiring performance in Belgium leaves him trailing Jake by exactly the same amount.
The only other rider that might be able to get to the podium this weekend is Arnaud Tonus, but with little to fight for this season thanks to the Maxxis round 2 injury, the result will be for the sponsors rather than the points.
If we are forced to make the predictions this weekend, it’s going to be a win a piece for Tommy and Jeffrey.
If you aren’t heading out to Sweden this weekend, get yourself a 45p hotdog and a slab of Kopparberg from Ikea and watch it all here on MOTO.