Oh, what a fantastic era we sit in at this moment. It doesn't seem to matter who leaves the FIM World MX2 Championship, be it Marvin Musquin or Ken Roczen gone this class just oozes with classic moments. It was just two weeks ago that Tommy Searle put together one of the all time great GP moments.
Two stunning victories in front of a massive crowd. Then along comes Jeffrey Herlings and his own public in Lierop.
I can't remember a bigger crowd in Lierop, not even for the 2004 Motocross of Nations. The forest was loaded with people and the main area was what Motocross atmosphere is all about. Even the somewhat introvert Dutch came out of their shell and screaming their appraisal of one of the more dominant performances in Grand Prix history.
When Jeffrey Herlings crossed the finish line of moto one and had lapped all but Jeremy Van Horebeek we all sat in awe of the teenager. Stefan Everts had lapped nearly a complete field once in his career, and we all know of Mr. Everts domination of the MX1 class in the 2000's.
Anyway, here is my top ten things from the Grand Prix of Benelux.
1. Jeffrey Herlings. Could anything else be number one. What a performance, history making, something that the brilliant Dutchman might just duplicate in Lommel in a few weeks time at the Motocross of Nations, I really believe that. Think about it, he lapped all but Jeremy Van Horebeek, who has improved out of sight in his sand skills (thanks to help from the two best sand riders ever (Herlings and Everts). If he can get the start in Lommel and ride up front anything is possible.
2. Antonio Cairoli. Maybe not to the level of Herlings victory, but the Italian was a one man show. His control in sand is beautiful to watch and the speed at which he catches and passes riders is also impressive. He's broken all his rivals apart from his two team-mates and that sixth World Motocross Championship is just a few days away.
3. Max Anstie. Well done Max, his performance gives Team Great Britain for the MXoN a great shot at not only a podium, but they are now an outside chance for victory. Anstie came close to catching Van Horebeek in both motos, but bobbles and slight mistakes cost him. Anstie lead a strong weekend for British riders and both Tommy Searle and Jake Nicholls will be happy to have the smiling redhead as their team-mate when it comes time for the deep sand of Lommel.
4. The public. After arriving on Saturday and seeing just a small crowd I was worried for the organizer, but the Sunday crowd was massive and expect Lierop to be fighting to get a GP in 2013. The spot of Portugal on September 8 would be perfect and with the country of Portugal struggling with the recession wouldn't it be nice to see Lierop back in 2013.
5. The weather. Sunshine and perfect conditions. Every year Lierop seems to give us perfect Motocross. It's one of my favourite places and not just because it's an hour from my house, but also because it's a really pleasant experience. Well organized great circuits in the middle of nature and the Dutch people are always a warm and respectful.
6. Ken De Dycker and Max Nagl. How KTM have developed a great team here. Pity Max is going, but in 2012, or at least at the end of 2012 these two are putting a lot of points between Cairoli and his championship rivals. Nagl also showed that Ken Roczen will have a good back-up when it's time for Team Germany to go for a podium place.
7. Eindhoven. Gotta love this city. It's not one of the most beautiful cities in The Netherlands, but the street of 1000 bars sure is inviting for the Motocross public. A good Motocross also needs a good place to enjoy the night life and Eindhoven gives just that.
8. Media centre. As always the media centre in Lierop is the best of the year. Friendly faces, food and drinks and perfectly places for minimal walking. For a lazy Aussie it's a pleasant change from walking miles in St Jean d'Angely or Valkenswaard.
9. Jeremy Van Horebeek. He has improved so much in 2012 and his speed in sand is amazing. Unfortunately his 2-2 result was totally forgotten by the massive performance of his good friend and team-mate Herlings. Van Horebeek has the potential to win the MX2 class in Lommel, even with Baggett and Roczen in the field.
10. Glenn Coldenhoff. His near victory on Saturday, come from behind 9th place finish in the opening moto on Sunday and another top ten place in moto two showed that this kid is making quick progress. He also gave Team Netherlands a shot at a top five or podium finish in Lommel in a few weeks time.