Dean Gregoire steps on the World Cup podium

The past few months were dominated by July 2023 with both the World 85cc and European 85cc Championships on the calendar. The first race was the World Championship and there Dean Gregoire managed to capture the bronze. The 12-year-old rider finished third both motos at the TCS Racing Park, which earned him a nice third place in the final standings. The victory in Bucharest went to compatriot Dani Heitink.

First moto:
Qualifying on Saturday went very well for Dean who recorded the fastest time in his group. So the Brabander went into both moto’s over 20 minutes and two laps with confidence. In the first moto, the scholar came out of the start in the leading group and he managed to finish the first lap in fourth place. After about ten minutes, a place gain is made after which the arrows are set on Ryan Opligger. The Swiss rider obviously doesn’t let himself be overtaken easily but Dean manages to get closer to the French Champion little by little. It gets very exciting in the closing stages as they start the last lap with a difference of 0.3 seconds. Dean tries to take over second place but unfortunately fails and has to settle for third place.

Second moto:
Even after the starting gate for the second moto fell, the Brabander got away well. He comes out of the first corner in fourth position and moments later manages to take over third place. Austria’s Ernecker holds second place but after three laps he has to hand it over to the rider from Geldrop. The pursuit of leader Bervoets is started and the lead is reduced to more than 1.5 seconds. The riders pull out all the stops to catch up but fail. Heitink comes up and in the second half of the race he takes over second place. Dean crosses the finish line again in third place, which allows him to climb onto the podium in Romania!

FIM Junior World Championship 85cc; Bucharest, Rom:
1st moto
1. Dani Heitink NL Husqvarna
2. Ryan Opligger CH KTM
3. Dean Gregoire NL KTM
4. Ricardo Pini I KTM
5. Travis Leok Est Husqvarna

2nd moto
1. Jarne Bervoets B KTM
2. Dani Heitink NL Husqvarna
3. Dean Gregoire NL KTM
4. Moritz Ernecker A GasGas
5. Ricardo Pini I KTM

Day classification:
1. Dani Heitink NL Husqvarna 1-2
2. Jarne Bervoets B KTM 6-1
3. Dean Gregoire NL KTM 3-3
4. Ricardo Pini I KTM 4-5
5. Ryan Opligger CH KTM 2-11

Next time:
There is not much time to recover from this race. The final of the European 85cc Championship will be held at the Loket circuit next weekend.

By: Steven van Kempen/KEMCO
Photo: Voss KTM Racing Team