Jeremy Van Horebeek benefited from several modifications to his works Monster Energy Yamaha YZ450FM last weekend at Lommel and the Belgian almost snared a second rostrum finish this season.
#89 ran to a clear runner-up in the Qualification Heat on Saturday and only a nudge from Tim Gajser out of the gate in the first moto on Sunday that caused ‘JVH’ to crash prevented a realistic shot at the overall top three. Van Horebeek returned from last position to seventh and then rode to fourth in the second moto.
After a turbulent 2015 in which the ’14 runner-up was outdone by a combination of a broken foot, Romain Febvre’s form and his own pressure to be in contention for the MXGP world championship (he eventually finished fifth), Van Horebeek has also had a quiet term in 2016 and has been missing effective starts on a consistent basis to be in contention for the podium.
“The team did an awesome job and it is the first time in quite a while I have felt good on my bike,” said Van Horebeek who is sixth in the current MXGP table. “Unfortunately it did not pay off because not even two seconds into the first moto Gajser went to the right instead of the left out of the start so I went down and had to come through the pack which cost a lot of energy and I ‘paid in cash’ in the second moto; I was still feeling good…but not fresh.”
The Rinaldi team allegedly bought several internal components solely for Van Horebeek’s YZ. What was the effect? “More power, but smooth power,” he explained. “The gearing is a little bit different; that’s what I feel. I didn’t ride with the changes before Saturday and straightaway it was good. We need to see now how the engine feels on hard-pack.”