All eyes were on the MX2 class this weekend at an icy cold Grobbendonk as the KTM Junior Factory Team riders made their debut for the 2009 season. The crowds that turned up in their thousands to support the event were not disappointed as Jeremy Van Horebeek firmly proved to them he that he will most certainly be a force to be reckoned with in 2009.
The first heat got under way on a super slippery circuit. As the pack all slid through the first corner Jeremy got caught up with a fallen rider and almost went down. Just managing to keep upright amongst the fighting pack Jeremy came out the first corner in 10th position with a huge amount of work to do as the leading group of riders took advantage of the clear track to pull out a good lead. “The Jerre” got his head down and started to claw his way through the pack of top international riders. With only 5 laps to go Jeremy had managed to get his way through the field and into second position. By this stage German sensation Marcus Schiffer had a huge gap as he had been out front all race and had a clear track to take advantage of. As the clock counted down, Van Horebeek put on an assault and closed the gap right down on a worried Schiffer. As the two KTM riders crossed the finish line Schiffer took the win by only a couple of seconds over the charging Jeremy Van Horebeek.
After the heat we got the run down from an optimistic “Jerre”: “Coming out the gate I got a great jump on everyone and then I just lost grip going into the first corner and almost lost it”. Coming through the pack was really tough with all the mud coming off the riders, but I was amazed how well my Oakley Laminated Tear Offs worked allowing me to keep concentrating on the race and not worrying about the mud”.
The second moto was a much better start for Jeremy as he came out the first corner in the top 3. The crowd watched in anticipation as the 3 fastest riders on the day all battled wheel to wheel, lap after lap. By mid race it was a determined Schiffer out front chased by Roelants and Van Horebeek all over the back of him. As the 3 riders battled for position corner after corner the crowed were glued to the action out front. At the chequered flag it was Schiffer who got the win with KTM team mates Roelants and Van Horebeek split by a hair in 2nd and 3rd positions.
“I am happy with today’s racing” smiled the friendly Belgian. “ I put in a steady ride and came away from the season opener with a second overall – not bad! We have some changes to make on the bike now and I look forward to next weekend’s international race in France. Training with Stefan Everts and the KTM Team over the Winter has put me in a great position and I want to keep focused on improving my riding and setting up the bike to my needs. ”
Van Horebeek will get his first taste of a truly international field of riders when he heads to France next weekend for the Valence MX international.