MXGP Returns to Europe in Loket
After two weeks travelling through Indonesia the FIM Motocross World Championship returns to Europe for the 13thstop of the calendar and continues at the old school hard pack circuit of Loket for the MXGP of Czech Republic. 150 Km west of Prague, Loket has been part of the Motocross World Championship calendar since 1995. While the heat of Palembang and Semarang tested the MXGP and MX2 riders, a sudden heat wave in Europe might see the riders get another action-packed weekend.
Joining the MXGP and MX2 classes at round 13 of the 2019 series, will be the EMX65, EMX85 Finals and the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship. For the 65cc and 85cc young talents it will be their unique outing on the MXGP track in 2019 as finals of the European Championships while the WMX championship will be facing its 3rdround.
The New Zealander Courtney Duncan is leading the WMX class and won three of the four races in the series being very much the favourite going into Loket. Also looking to make a good points haul will be Nancy Van de Ven and Larissa Papenmeier. Both are very close to Duncan in the series points standings.
Heading into the MXGP of Czech Republic, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser will be going for his eight GP win in a row and extend his championship lead. Tim Gajser, who had a record-breaking in Semarang with his seventh GP win in a row, being the best ever Honda GP winner in the FIM Motocross World Championship had his best result in Loket in 2016 with a second position while he reached the podium in third in 2017 and 2018. The former MX2 and MXGP champion will line up this weekend not only to win his first MXGP of Czech Republic but ideally go into the next MXGP round in Lommel with step towards to wrap up the championship.
Behind Gajser comes a freight train of blue machines. The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team is shaping into form over the past few rounds and is now back at full strength with Romain Febvre who won his first race of 2019 in Palembang and Jeremy Seewer who moved up to second position and extended his gap on the MXGP Championship in Semarang, both are ready to battle for podium spots. Romain Febvre won the MXGP of Czech Republic in MXGP class in 2015 while he finishes 4thin 2018.
Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP rider Arnaud Tonus is riding at the peak of his career and a run of podium finishes and his first MXGP victory could be just around the corner. Also Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Gautier Paulin loves the hard pack and might be able to join his team-mate on the podium. The French won in Loket in MX2 class back in 2009. Tonus and Paulin are running fourth and fifth on the championship chase just a handful of points behind Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass also loves the hard pack of Loket and could spring a minor surprise.Pauls Jonass had a promising race 2 in Semarang and looks confident for a podium finish in Loket. Jonass has good memories from Loket, he missed the MX2 podium in Loket in 2018, but he won the MXGP of Czech Republic in 2017.
Tommy Searle is joining Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team for the remainder of the season and he’ll make his debut in the KRT family this weekend in Loket.
2018 MXGP of Czech Republic MX2 Podium
1. Jeffrey Herlings
2. Antonio Cairoli
3. Tim Gajser
MXGP – World Championship Top Ten:1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 538 points; 2. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 365 p.; 3. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 358 p.; 4. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, YAM), 346 p.; 5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, YAM), 343 p.; 6. Arminas Jasikonis (LTU, HUS), 299 p.; 7. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 288 p.; 8. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 271 p.; 9. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 268 p.; 10. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 243 p.
In MX2 class it has been Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado who has more or less dominated every single round he has ridden, and he will go into Loket riding the crest of a wave. Jorge Prado has 11 GP win out of 12 and he has good memories from Loket not only because the won the MXGP of Czech Republic in 2018 as in that occasion he took the MX2 Red Plate for the first time in his career.
Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha Official MX2’s Jago Geerts is one of the few riders this year to have taken a race from Prado, only 6 points separated Geerts to Vialle for the championship podium and you can be sure to see his best to be back on the top 3. Geerts’ teammate Ben Watson is not going to line up in Loket and his return will be announced shortly.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Tom Vialle is also showing good results or late, so he could easily figure in his 6thpodium finish of the season.
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Thomas Kjer Olsen who is the only other rider to have won a Grand Prix in MX2 this year, had solid performances in Indonesia and he is a favourite to make the podium in the Czech Republic.
Team HRC Calvin Vlaanderen, who had a promising return to action in Indonesia picking up his first podium of the season in Semarang, made the podium at Loket in 2018 so expect these two Honda riders to shine in the hot sun of Czech Republic.
Other M2 riders to watch out are Team SM Action Yamaha’s Maxime Renaux who showed good speed in Indonesia, F&H Racing’s Henry Jacobi who had shown brilliance in the early round of the year but struggled with mistakes recently, and his teammate Adam Sterry whocould be looking to make a charge as the season closes down. Honda 114 Motorsports’ Mitchell Evans had a tough time in Indonesia, injuring himself in Palembang, and missing the round in Semarang. He might come back well in Loket having made a trip home to Australia to recover.
2018 MXGP of Czech Republic MX2 Podium
- Jorge Prado
- Calvin Vlaanderen
- Thomas Covington
MX2 – World Championship Top Ten:1. Jorge Prado (ESP, KTM), 544 points; 2. Thomas Kjer Olsen (DEN, HUS), 466 p.; 3. Tom Vialle (FRA, KTM), 366 p.; 4. Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 360 p.; 5. Henry Jacobi (GER, KAW), 335 p.; 6. Ben Watson (GBR, YAM), 246 p.; 7. Adam Sterry (GBR, KAW), 242 p.; 8. Mitchell Evans (AUS, HON), 228 p.; 9. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 227 p.; 10. Jed Beaton (AUS, HUS), 220 p.;