A victory at the legendary Keiheuvel in Balen -and the Sylvain Geboers Trophy- that comes with the territory were sadly missing on Ken De Dycker’s already impressive list of accomplishments. Red Bull KTM’s gentle giant decided to rectify things during the third round of his domestic championship yesterday. De Dycker convincingly won two heats and was once second. In provisional standings Keeno now leads Tanel Leok by a considerable 27 point-margin.
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Already in qualifiying the tall Belgian showed what he is made of. He lapped the gruelsome, punishing 1,852 metres long track nearly 1.8 seconds faster than Leok, one of the strongest sand riders in his own right. De Dycker went on to stamp his authority on the opening moto. After the holeshot from Max Nagl ahead of Strijbos and Van Horebeek the number 9 swiftly moved into the lead. From the 5th place in the start he came to the front early on and imediately started to pull away. When Ken crossed the line he held an 11 second-advantage over team mate Nagl. Keeno’s fastest lap -2.3 seconds faster than his closest competitor- equally demanded admiration.
Right on Nagl’s tail De Dycker stormed up the ‘Kei’, the sandy hill responsible for both the name and the characteristic of this iconic race track. Once more the Belgian championship leader remained untouchable. From start to finish Ken led the race. Under almost tropical, sunny conditions the 10.000-strong crowd witnessed De Dycker’s masterful display.
During the third race of the day De Dycker pushed his powerful KTM SX-F 450 to his third fastest lap. After a joined run at the front the Estonian Express seemed to have a little more left in the tank or rather more willing to spend what was left after a hard day of racing. With the upcoming British GP in the back of his mind ‘Keeno’ decided to back off and conserce energy. Still he managed to come home with a substantial lead over Van Horebeek and De Reuver.
Ken De Dycker: “Riding went really well today. I never had the holeshot but I had three pretty good starts. In the first two laps I created an early gap. That was the base for my win in the two motos. That way I could save my energy and it was also satisfying to ride to victory quite comfortably! In the last race I didn’t push as hard! Next weekend we have the GP in Matterly Basin and as you know with hot coditions you have to be careful not to get any blisters. Luckily the Keiheuvel track is shielded by some trees in many parts because it was really hot in Belgium! As soon as you just dared to move, sweat was pouring down. Still the Keiheuvel track held up nicely, the club had done a good job watering before and the new start straight is a big improvement in terms of safety.
I’m really in the mood to ride again in Matterly Basin. There are many classes scheduled to race so we can expect the soil to be quite rough. And according to the weather forecast it might rain as well. Those are the type of conditions I really like! But… what’s not to like about Matterly Basin? There’s a lot of atmosphere, the British fans are awesome, they have great track commentators and I love the jumps, the elevation changes and the complete setup over there! For me, the British GP track in Winchester is the best of the season. Even though there will be many different types of bikes racing -I do not think we will notice that much. I’m sure they will be prepping the track and come Saturday and Sunday the MX1 and MX2 lines and brake bumps will shape the circuit anyway.”
Inters Open Race 1 1. Ken De Dycker Red Bull KTM), 2. Nagl, 3. Strijbos, 4. Guarneri, 5. Leok, 6. Simpson, 7. De Reuver, 8. Van Nooten, 9. Barragan, 10. Priem
Inters Open Race 2 1. Ken De Dycker (Red Bull-KTM), 2. Leok, 3. Nagl, 4. Strijbos, 5. De reuver, 6. Van Horebeek, 7. Guarneri, 8. Simpson, 9. Delincé, 10. Van Nooten
Inters Open Race 3 1. Leok, 2. Ken De Dycker Red Bull KTM), 3. Van Horebeek, 4. De Reuver, 5. Guarneri, 6. Martens, 7. Coldenhoff, 8. Priem, 9. Van Nooten, 10. Delincé
CLASSIFICATION KEIHEUVEL 1. Ken De Dycker (Red Bull-KTM), 75, 2. Leok 63, 3. De Reuver 48, 4. Guarneri 48, 5. Nagl 42, 6. Simpson 38, 7. Strijbos 38, 8. Van Nooten 36, 9. Van Horebeek 35, 10. Priem 33
RADSON TROPHY STANDINGS AFTER 3 ROUNDS 1. Ken De Dycker (Red Bull-KTM) 192, 2. Leok 165, 3. Guarneri 131, 4. Van Nooten 103, 5. Priem 95, 6. Martens 83, 7. Van Horebeek 79, 8. Janvier 68,, 9. Delincé 63, 10.Van Daele 55