When the gates dropped for the opening MXGP race, Yamaha had strong presence at the front of the field once again. Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP's Romain Febvre led the charge onboard his YZ450FM claiming an eighth holeshot for Yamaha and the YZ450F this season. Making up the top-five, the Swiss riders went bar-to-bar. Seewer attacked the track a lot quicker than his compatriot, Tonus, and took the advantage.
The racing was fierce out on the unforgiving sand of Lommel, Belgium, as the riders battled the brutal track conditions and each other. Febvre overcame a brief challenge from the championship leader, Tim Gajser, on the opening lap by setting the fastest lap of the race on Lap-2. He then went on to lead every lap for his fourth race win of the season.
Seewer and Tonus put in some solid laps to make up the top-five, while Paulin struggled with his physical condition after coming down with some sort of illness on Friday night. Nonetheless, the '21' of Paulin pressed home ninth position in Race 1.
With Lommel being one of the most physically and mentally demanding tracks in the world, peak physical condition is crucial, as are good starts in order to save energy. In the final race of the day, the gate took longer than usual to fall and Febvre, Seewer and Paulin all missed the jump.
Starting outside of the top-15, Febvre and Seewer wasted little time charging forward. Both YZ450FM mounted stars broke into the top-10 before the end of the opening lap and put chase to the riders that made up the top-five. Before the end of Lap-2, the '461' of Febvre had forced his way into the top-five while the '91' stayed calm and out of trouble in seventh.
As conditions worsened, Jeremy Van Horebeek fell and Arminas Jasikonis faced a bike issue which put both Febvre and Seewer inside the top-five at the checkered flag. Febvre was fourth and Seewer was fifth.
Paulin mustered enough energy to finish tenth in the race and in the overall standings, while Tonus fell from sixth on the second lap, fought back to tenth, then fell again. He did make it back inside the top-10 before falling one last time on the final lap. He eventually came home in 14th and finished 11th overall.
Following the result of the Belgian Grand Prix, Seewer now has a 37-point advantage over Paulin who is third position in the MXGP Championship Standings. Tonus is fourth and trails his teammate by 3-points, while Febvre has lept up to eighth despite missing four rounds.
All four riders look forward to a one-weekend break before returning for the fifteenth round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Imola, Italy on the weekend of August 16th.