The track at Loket is 150 kilometres west of Prague and 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 (WMX).
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 women will be battling the third round of their WMX Championship series.
Otago’s Courtney Duncan (Kawasaki, pictured here) is leading the WMX class and has won three of the four races in the series so far, making her 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.
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 these riders are ready to battle for podium spots. 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. Jonass had a promising race two 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.
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.
New Zealand’s Dylan Walsh (Husqvarna) is currently 20th in the MX2 standings, but he did not contest the two previous rounds in Indonesia and so his points tally may have suffered because of this.
However, he is still just nine points behind Swedish rider Alvin Ostlund (Husqvarna) and could fancy his chances of moving up this weekend.
Prado has 11 GP wins out of 12 starts 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’ team-mate 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’s 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 team-mate Adam Sterry who could 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.
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.
WMX – World Championship Top Ten:
1. Courtney Duncan (NZL, KAW), 89 points; 2. Nancy Van De Ven (NED, YAM), 85 p.; 3. Larissa Papenmeier (GER, YAM), 82 p.; 4. Amandine Verstappen (BEL, YAM), 67 p.; 5. Lynn Valk (NED, YAM), 63 p.; 6. Shana van der Vlist (NED, KTM), 61 p.; 7. Line Dam (DEN, HON), 54 p.; 8. Nicky van Wordragen (NED, YAM), 54 p.; 9. Sara Andersen (DEN, KTM), 49 p.; 10. Anne Borchers (GER, SUZ), 37 p.
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