Catching up with ‘big Ken’ after the MXGP Festival

Ray Chuss Ray Chuss
Catching up with ‘big Ken’ after the MXGP Festival

Red Bull KTM’s Ken De Dycker looked strong all weekend for the first ever MX GP Festival. The strong Belgian was one of the fastest men on track in Matterly Basin in fornt of a weekend-crowd of 35.000. While Keeno continued his string of consistent results -eleven top-six finishes out of thirteen GP’s so far- his points haul even might have been bigger. A poor jump from the gate in the second moto and a moment of lost concentration costed him the overall podium. With three remaining GP’s and a potential 150 points for grabs the KTM SX-F 450F mounted rider has his eyes firmly set on fourth overall in the championship. It’s not an easy goal, however in terms of race speed and fitness the former British and German MX1 champion is close to his peak. So you can count on De Dycker to push right till the end.

Ken De Dycker: “I had an okay start in qualyfing. I picked a gate more on the outside to go around the pack into the first corner. That seemed to work out great! So that was how I arrived in seventh. From there on I gradually started pushing more. I was careful not to go too fast at the start because I had a tough week with the Belgian championshp at the Keiheuvel on Wednesday. Riding in the heat takes a lot of energy as well!

The first moto on race day was more difficult than what it looked like on TV! With the heat it was hard work out there and the speed was really high for the first couple of laps because many corners were flattened again. After that more lines were created as we got going and I got into a good rhythm. Unfortunately I lost a bit of my focus just after half race distance. That’s when I went off track! I spun the rear wheel too much behind the start gate for the second race. That was a bummer because my speed was okay. From twelfth I pushed on to fifth and I was right behind Paulin when I lost the front in one of the off-camber corners. Although it was just a small slip it dropped me back to 8th so it was not too bad to get fifth.

This weekend my back was a bit locked which gave my physiotherapist a bit of extra work. It’s a pity to miss my third podium of the season because again I really liked the Matterly Basin track and the atmosphere. On the other hand we have some exciting weeks ahead of us. There’s the penultimate round of the Belgian championship where I am leading for the moment. Next weekend we race Orp-Le-Grand, which is a cool old-school track that’s reminding Namur. I would love to finally win my home series but I don’t take anything for granted with Tanel Leok and Davide Guarneri pushing hard behind me. Besides there’s so much that can happen before it’s in the bag. In 2009 I was on my way to win the Belgian title when my bike broke in the last moto two laps before the end…

Of course I am also looking forward to the next GP in Lierop. It’s a gnarly track that I enjoy riding and where I have been successful in the past. On top of that there’s always a big crowd with a lot of my fans attending! Last week I was selected for Team Belgium to race the Motocross Of Nations. It’s always an honour to be picked for your national team so that’s definitely a reward for the hard work I have put in this season. To race the MXoN at home in Lommel is like a dream setting. I know that people at home expect a lot from us so it’s easy to get carried away. For now the race is still quite far away though. However Belgian and Dutch riders are no longer the only ones to go fast in the sand that’s a big difference with how it used to be. I just know that we have a really strong team, we’re very motivated and we will fight like hell!”

EVENT NOTES
• Ken rode a strong qualifying race on Saturday, climbing up from seventh to finish third behind both of his team mates Antonio Cairoli and Max Nagl. • After making a great start to move to second on the first lap, Ken rode well to bring home twenty points in Sunday’s first moto. A mistake six laps before the end dropped him to third. • Charged hard again in the second moto. Unfortunately his race was hindered by a bad start but De Dycker still managed to cross the line fifth.
• Just missed out on his third MX1 podium of the season by 2 points
• Remains fifth in provisional MX1 World Standings, 36 points down on 4th placed Gautier Paulin

Image by Ray Chuss

MX1 Race 1 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 40:25.134; 2. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), +0:15.529; 3. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Red Bull KTM), +0:25.647; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:31.712; 5. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:35.562; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), +0:40.016; 7. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +0:40.614; 8. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Honda), +0:44.173; 9. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:46.476; 10. Nicolas Aubin (FRA, Honda), +0:47.368;

MX1 Race 2 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 41:00.780; 2. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), +0:10.508; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:24.624; 4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:32.799; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Red Bull KTM), +0:37.732; 6. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), +0:40.465; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:41.367; 8. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), +0:42.135; 9. Davide Guarneri (ITA, KTM), +0:50.894; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), +0:51.464;

GP of Great Britain classification 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points; 2. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), 44 p.; 3. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 38 p.; 4. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Red Bull KTM), 36 p.; 5. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 30 p.; 6. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 25 p.; 7. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), 23 p.; 8. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 23 p.; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 22 p.; 10. Davide Guarneri (ITA, KTM), 21 p.;

FIM MX1 standings after 13 GP’s 1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 542 points; 2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Suzuki), 487 p.; 3. Christophe Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 452 p.; 4. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Kawasaki), 440 p.; 5. Ken de Dycker (BEL, Red Bull KTM), 404 p.; 6. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), 342 p.; 7. Xavier Boog (FRA, Kawasaki), 336 p.; 8. Tanel Leok (EST, Suzuki), 300 p.; 9. Rui Goncalves (POR, Honda), 295 p.; 10. Shaun Simpson (GBR, Yamaha), 242 p.; 11. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), 235 p.; 12. David Philippaerts (ITA, Yamaha), 212 p.; 13. Jonathan Barragan (ESP, Honda), 201 p.; 14. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), 178 p.; 15. Davide Guarneri (ITA, KTM), 173 p.; 16. Matiss Karro (LAT, KTM), 112 p.; 17. Maximilian Nagl (GER, KTM), 82 p.; 18. Cedric Soubeyras (FRA, Honda), 67 p.; 19.

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