Ken De Dycker and Tyla Rattray came out swinging in the Grand Prix opener at Valkenswaard.
De Dycker, was just peerless in his first MX1 GP as Suzuki team mate to reigning World Champion Steve Ramon, taking the lead early in both races and winning at a canter.
Ramon himself took a third and a fourth for second overall, and was happy with the points after falling sick on Monday which stopped him from training all week whilst KTM’s Max Nagl was on step three of the podium, tied on points with Steve Ramon.
Pre-season favorite Josh Coppins had to work hard to just to get sixth overall, the tough Kiwi racing with a specially modified boot over his badly-broken toes, but a rough sand track was not what a man with injured toes needed.
Britain’s Billy Mackenzie crashed whilst second in moto one, reappearing in tenth - moto two ran smoother for the reigning British champion, an untroubled second place a more accurate measure of his ability.
In MX2, Tyla Rattray came out like his old self, winning both motos in the rough Belgian sand.
Britain’s Tommy Searle came out like the pretender to the throne, charging hard early in moto one to briefly take the lead before a crash dropped him back down the pack, but the KTM star recovered well to take third in moto one.
Reigning World Champion Tony Cairoli trailed Tyla Rattray home in both races, unable to mount a challenge to the South African.
Tony revealed after the meeting that he has been concentrating on his MX1 bike for 2009 of late, but will drop back down to work with the smaller bike after being unable to counter Rattray’s pace on Sunday.
Tommy Searle rode to a quiet fifth in moto two, but missed the podium by two points, beaten by Dutch veteran Erik Eggens.
Shaun Simpson put in a laudable performance, the KTM UK youngster gating well and taking fifth in moto one.
A crash early in moto two put him almost out of the top 20, but Simpson just rolled his sleeves up and got stuck in, battling back into the top ten.
Also in the top ten in moto two was Molson Kawasaki’s Stephen Sword - Swordy DNF’d moto one, but came out fighting in the second, taking a decent seventh.
In contrast, Carl Nunn and Jason Dougan had weekends to forget - Dougan failed to qualify, whilst Nunn had an awful day, a long way from the points.
FIM Motocross World Championships
MX1 Round one - Valkanswaard
1 De Dycker (Suzuki) - 50
2 Ramon (Suzuki) - 38
3 Nagl (KTM) - 38
4 Mackenzie (Honda) - 33
5 Philippaerts (Yamaha) - 33
MX2 Round one - Valkanswaard
1. Rattray (KTM) - 50
2. Cairoli (Yamaha) - 44
3. Eggens (Suzuki) - 38
4. Searle (KTM) - 36
5. Goncalves (KTM) - 33