MXLarge Logo
The Indonesian Experience

The Indonesian Experience

Jul 1

  • News

As expected, the MXGP paddock was greeted with open arms last weekend, as the always happy and friendly people of Indonesia made us feel welcome and did their best to present us with a good Grand Prix.

We were not disappointed with the racing, as the big three in MXGP, Jorge Prado, Tim Gajser and Jeffrey Herlings put on a show. Some dramas, some crashes and eventually the defending champion picking up a very impressive Grand Prix victory.

You have to hand it to Prado, because while Gajser and Herlings have been putting up more pressure and making life a little more difficult for Prado, he still came out the winner and closed the points gap on the HRC man.

In MX2, Dutchman Kay De Wolf was simply perfect, scoring 1-1 results on Sunday, and extending his already impressive series points lead. Also shining were the Coenen brothers and defending champion Andrea Adamo.

Special mention to Calvin Vlaanderen, who battled hard, fought through some tough racing with Jeremy Seewer, some crashes and came out with his first podium finish in two years. Vlaanderen has placed himself as the number four guy now behind the big three, and with those three having 13 World titles between them and around 200 GP victories, his job isn’t easy, but he kept his head down and his bum up and worked as hard as possible to make a difference.

Still a little off the pace of the top three, but still trying to find a way to reach them and that is what sport is all about, because clearly, those big three are all-time greats, who will all go down in history. It isn’t an easy road to the podium, but the South African/ Dutchman made it happen and he deserves huge respect for that.

I have to say, while the track workers got a hard time for a very, very wet second moto in both MX2 and MXGP, you have to respect their efforts, because their culture, their mentality is very different to that of us in Europe, or the rest of the World and while they made a mistake, you can be sure, they did the best job they could, but just fell short of the mark and in a sport like motocross, that can be lethal, so it can't be ignored that the track was not well prepared. I sure am glad I am not watering a track, because I wouldn’t have a clue how much water to put down and I am guessing, they didn’t really know either. In those hot conditions, and with the sun setting fast, I would assume mud is better than dust right?

The drama of the on-track battles was amazing and no more so than with the big three in MXGP. When Jorge Prado failed to beat Herlings on Saturday and in the first moto on Sunday, it would have been easy to write him off and I think many did, but he did what he does best and that was sit back, watch, wait and then attack. His goal is to win every single time and as Kay De Wolf told us in his interview, which puts huge pressure on the shoulder, and Prado relishes that pressure. He accepts the pressure and thrives on it and that is the sign of an all-time great.

The fact Prado is coming up against the best two riders of the last 15 years makes it even more impressive, because they are coming for him, and they have both closed the gap to the Spaniard. The speed difference isn’t like it was in those opening four rounds, when Prado just decimated everyone.

Most of us thought that Gajser and Herlings would gain speed as the season moved into the second half of the series and I think they have, but Prado isn’t have any of that, in his mind, he is still levels above them and will no doubt be trying to show that in round two in Indonesia next weekend.

We will all take the week off, the riders, the mechanics, team owners and managers and of course, the crew from Infront and the media. All taking different options, some heading to Kuta Beach in the south of the island, some to Senggigi which is where I spent the first four days, as did many of the paddock people.

I can’t say enough about this place, those always smiling faces, the polite greetings and the respect they show us. Having a daughter in law from Jakarta in Indonesia, the sweetest girl you would ever meet and an Indonesian that treats me son with such respect, I get to see an inside look into their culture, and I am never disappointed in these people. Sure, this country is a lot different to ours, many see it as dirty and the people being poor, but to me, these people are a lot wealthier than us, their positive energy and kind manner makes me want to return to this area for many more years to come and I think its important for us not to forget that, because kindness and positive energy sure is needed in a World that has changed a lot since I was a kid.

Enjoy your week paddock people and lets all meet again, same place, same time and lets all hope we can celebrate the best sport in the World, in a country that has taken us in like family and rewarded us with some great weather. For those of us that live in Europe, we sure could do with that sunshine after one of the worst 8 months of rain, overcast skies and damp humours. Maybe a little less mud in round two in Lombok, that would make us all a little happier too.

Ray Archer image

More similar articles

World Juniors - Highlights image

World Juniors - Highlights

Jul 15

  • Video
Chase Sexton interview - Winner image

Chase Sexton interview - Winner

Jul 15

  • Interview