Prado wins MX2 from Vlaanderen – both on 45 points
Brando Rispoli wins EMX65 – Camden Mc Lellan wins EMX85
Hunter Lawrence goes 5-6 for 6th overall in MX2
Todd Waters takes 16-22 in MXGP
The Circuit of Loket has hosted Round 14 of the Motocross World Championship, with Jeffrey Herlings taking the MXGP Moto wins across both races for victory, while Antonio Cairoli and Tim Gajser took second and third respectively in each of the motos, which was mirrored in their round overall placings.
Jorge Prado narrowly won the MX2 class from Calvin Vlaanderen, who also took home 45 points, with Thomas Covington nipping on their heels on 44 points in third.
Hunter Lawrence took a 5-6 result in MX2 for sixth overall, and now sits 13th in the standings. Todd Waters went 16-22 for 20th overall, and now sits 25th in the MXGP standings.
Coinciding with Round 14 of the MXGP championship, the EMX85 and EMX65 classes both crowned their 2018 champions, with Camden Mc Lellan and Brando Rispoli winning their classes respectively. Mike Kras also won the EMX300 class at the Loket event.
MXGP’s two points leaders and standout Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders, Jeffrey Herlings and Antonio Cairoli both came into the weekend on the mend. Cairoli with the more recent fractures to his thumb and Herlings with the newly plated collar bone. The injuries provided no change in the racing however as both led the field throughout the weekend.
At the gate drop of MXGP Race 1 Cairoli was fastest but Herlings was quick to take the Sicilian’s lead. The spectator favorite this weekend was Team HRC’s Tim Gajser who’s following made the trip from Slovenia to cheer him on. Gajser’s start placed him in the battle for the top 3.
Gajser was followed by Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Gautier Paulin and Gebben Van Venroy Kawasaki’s Alessandro Lupino. Gajser’s focus was however on Cairoli as he latched on to speed of the 9-time champion.
Paulin was first to make a mistake when he fell at the top of the uphill to Pit Lane allowing Lupino and Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Team’s Clement Desalle past. Desalle continued to make gains with a pass on Lupino.
Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Jeremy Van Horebeek was also on the move forward climbing from 8th on lap one to pass Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Glenn Coldenhoff and Paulin before making it by Lupino for 5th.
At the front Herlings continued to grow his lead and Cairoli kept Gajser at bay. Lupino would lose a position back to Paulin before having one more taken by Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP’s Romain Febvre. At the finish of Race 1 Herlings took the win 31.99 seconds ahead of Cairoli, Gajser, Desalle, and Van Horebeek.
Race 2 started nearly identical for Cairoli and Herlings with another Fox Holeshot going to the Italian but the first official lap belonged to Herlings. Gajser was again 3rd and Paulin 4th but Van Horebeek was off to an improved 5th. Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP’s Shaun Simpson was also riding much better than recently in 6th before losing a spot to Febvre.
Both Van Horebeek and Febvre found a way past Paulin in the same corner on lap 7. The following lap the Yamaha riders switched positions with Febvre in 4th and Van Horebeek 5th. Herlings began to find his rhythm and better lines around the halfway points which gave him the extra edge to pull a gap over Cairoli.
At the finish Herlings won, with Cairoli 2nd, then Gajser, Febvre, and Van Horebeek rounded out the top five. In the overall the podium was clear with the top 3 the same as in both races Herlings, Cairoli, and Gajser while 4th and 5th were taken by Febvre and Van Horebeek.
Australian Todd Waters finished the event in 20th, with a 16-22 result to his name, and is 25th in the overall standings.
“It was really good today. We had a good start gate and I passed Tony on the first lap of the first moto and pulled a gap directly. In the second moto I was again leading early-on and battled with Tony for a while but was able to escape. I’m really happy with this win and now to get to Lommel in two weeks time. I’ll do my best and go for the win in Belgium; the podium is the goal but it is a sand race and quite close to my house so I definitely want to fight for the best we can get.”
“It was a difficult week after we found out about my thumb but Qualification was good on a dry track and it was easier to ride. Today it rained and I couldn’t really find a good rhythm; the track was very bumpy with a lot of ruts and I had a lot of pain, especially in the second moto and after the first fifteen minutes I could barely ride. I was fast behind Jeffrey but when he dropped the times I could not really follow him. Hopefully now we have more time to heal again and be in Lommel with less problems and pain and be able to fight for the win.”
“I’m quite happy with my performance this weekend. The podium is always the goal so I’m happy we got there. I was consistent in both races and managed to stay in the top-five after the start, which is especially important on a track like Loket. My riding was good, although I’ve had a bit of arm pump towards the end of both races, so I think we must work on that. I’d also like to say thank you to everyone who supported me here, to my team who are working so hard with me to get these results and to all the fans that made the trip from Slovenia. Next up is Lommel, which is one of the toughest GPs of the season: it is in summer and in the deep sand, so I’m planning to get as much sand riding done in this weekend off as possible in order to prepare for it. I am looking forward to it though and I hope I can get another podium.”
“The weekend was not so good, but also not so bad. I finished fourth overall, which was okay because it means I saved a lot of points. My weak point this weekend was the start. I didn’t get a good start all weekend long, so I came from behind in both races. I was riding good, I think I had the speed to be inside the top three, but without the start it is impossible. I need to work on this point for the next GP.”
Jeremy Van Horebeek
“It has been a long road back to the top five, and it is still along way, but I feel like I am moving in the right direction. I still struggle to have two fully fit races. I battled hard in the first race, and again in the second race. I knew in the beginning I was running a good pace and making time, but I was also aware it would cost me in energy at the end of the race. At the end of the day, I am happy. I feel like I have been under the ground recently, and now I am getting up and coming out. I don’t feel the track has anything to do with how I rode today, I think it is me personally. I feel good, I felt good on the bike and had a lot of fun. I am really happy because I am not even at 70% of what I know I can do. I still have some margin to make up.”
“The start was so important here to get a top result, as in both races everybody just follow each other. In the first race I was fifth after the start, and finished fourth when Paulin crashed. In the second race I got a good start and was again fourth after Herlings passed me at the second corner. I didn’t want to let the leaders escape but when I tried to pass Lupino we crashed together; it happened in a corner where almost nobody was taking the inside line so I decided to go for it but Lupino had the same idea. That put me back in ninth position; it was very difficult to pass but I did manage to get back to seventh. I’m disappointed as I couldn’t make more use of this good start than to get a better result than sixth overall but I want to stay positive, and we’ll continue to work to be back on the podium again soon.”
“I got two good starts inside the top five in both motos and that was really positive. In the opening moto I pushed hard right after the start and was inside a small group of riders who managed to break away from the rest of the pack. While running in fourth position I had a high-speed crash in the step-up and that made me lose some time. I got back and put my head down to cross the line in sixth place. I got another good start in moto two and from sixth I went up to fourth again. Some small mistakes midway through the moto forced me to settle for sixth again in the last moto. The bike is working great and I am really looking forward to the next GP in Lommel now.”
“I got a good start to race one and it was nice to battle with Tommy Searle and other opponents around the top-ten, but then I hit a wall in terms of fitness and that carried into the second race as well. The bike was perfect, nothing wrong with it, it was all me. Unfortunately, we’re not where we want to be so we need to train even harder in order to get closer to the type of form we need to be racing at this level. Lommel is one of the toughest tracks on the calendar, so we’ll be riding as much as we can before the weekend and be as ready as possible.”
MXGP Race 1 Top Ten
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:28.981
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:31.992
Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:35.048
Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:42.339
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:47.791
Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:51.183
Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:53.685
Alessandro Lupino (ITA, Kawasaki), +0:57.076
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:00.975
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +1:01.390
…16. Todd Waters (AUS, Honda)
MXGP Race 2 Top Ten
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 34:33.827
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), +0:31.568
Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:37.056
Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:51.917
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:57.637
Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +1:00.420
Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +1:02.022
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +1:02.791
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +1:03.549
Kevin Strijbos (BEL, KTM), +1:30.621
…22. Todd Waters (AUS, Honda)
MXGP Overall Top Ten
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 50 points
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 44
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 40
Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 32
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 32
Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 32
Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 30
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 24
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 24
Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 19
…20. Todd Waters (AUS, Honda)
MXGP Championship Top Ten
Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 633 points
Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 603
Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 479
Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 450
Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 432
Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 419
Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 353
Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 319
Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 312
Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 231
…25. Todd Waters (AUS, Honda)
Though the MXGP races were pretty clean cut the MX2 class was wildly unpredictable and thrilling until the final checkered flag had flown and the scores were tallied. MX2 Race 1 kicked off with the now common Fox Holeshot from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado.
Closely behind the KTM of Prado was the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna of Thomas Covington while his teammate Thomas Kjer Olsen came through the first corner in dead last.
Yamaha SM Action M.C. Migliori’s Michele Cervellin was impressive at the start of the race in 3rd with Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen 4th. The MX2 red plate holder at the beginning weekend, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass, was back in 6th position looking for a way by STC Racing Husqvarna’s Henry Jacobi.
Jonass found a way into the top 5 in lap 2 while Vlaanderen passed Cervellin for 3rd. 2 laps later Cervellin was dropped further back as both Jonass and Honda 114 Motorsport’s Hunter Lawrence made passes on the Italian. Clawing their way through the field after poor starts were Thomas Kjer Olsen and Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 Team’s Ben Watson.
Just before halfway through the race Vlaanderen gained massive ground on Prado in second and by lap 10 was past the Spaniard. Vlaanderen’s confidence showed in his riding and 4 laps after passing Prado he was pressuring Covington for the lead.
With 4 laps to go Vlaanderen claimed the lead and gapped both Covington and Prado. Across the finish Vlaanderen won by 2.5 seconds over Covington with Prado 3rd, Jonass 4th, and Lawrence 5th.
Prado’s holeshot prowess showed again in Race 2 for his 17th Fox Holeshot of the season. One of the few other riders to score a holeshot this year is Jacobi who was second on the first lap today. Covington was 3rd and struggled to make it past Jacobi until lap 2 at which point Prado had grown a sizable gap.
Again 6th on the first lap was Jonass with Yamaha SM Action M.C. Migliori’s Maxime Renaux just ahead. Vlaanderen was back in 8th behind Watson who fell on the finish during lap 3 and would be unable to rejoin after his bike was damaged. Jonass charged past Olsen and Jacobi after also getting Renaux. The moves of Jonass got him to third behind Covington who responded and started to close on the lead of Prado.
Vlaanderen was also charging forward and was one of the fastest rider on track with the exception of the start. By the 7th lap the HRC rider was up to 4th and closing on Jonass who had lost ground to Covington. In the later stages of the race Vlaanderen was all over Jonass for third and the pair swapped positions before the #10 made a pass stick.
Jonass then lost ground to Olsen while his teammate Prado was losing time to the other Husqvarna of Covington. Olsen made his pass on Jonass with 3 laps to go but Covington wasn’t able to do the same for the lead.
Making stabs at Prado for the race win and overall proved fruitless and Covington was forced to settle for 2nd. With Prado taking the win, Covington 2nd, and Vlaanderen 3rd the overall went to Prado’s 3-1 opposed to Vlaanderen’s 1-3 while Covington’s 2-2 gave him the final podium spot.
Prado’s victory combined with the 4th overall from Jonass gives the Red plate to Prado for the first time in his career with a 11 point advantage heading to Lommel in 2 week’s time.
“It was a really good weekend. The track was pretty sketchy but they left it rough from yesterday so the bumps were big from warm-up and it was very physical. I tried to attack Covington in the first moto but made a mistake with the goggle and Vlaanderen passed me. I rode strongly at the end but couldn’t rise higher than third. In the second moto I had a really good start and could handle the pressure from Covington in the last laps as well which means first place overall and the championship lead. I was able to fight for every single point and having the red plate is great. I know I need to keep doing what I am doing and keep the focus. I’ll be happy to get back to Belgium now and train in preparation for Lommel; a really tough track where I won last year. It is important to ride relaxed in the sand and not push too much.”
“I feel really good, I had such a good weekend. I was disappointed about yesterday and the crash with Pauls which resulted in the 21st gate-pick. I woke up this morning and felt really good, though; I thought this was the kind of day in which I could prove myself and try to win, and I think my riding showed it. I felt I could do anything I wanted on the bike. The time I’ve been spending at the front aboard the CRF is giving me a lot more confidence, and with confidence comes the motivation to train even harder and give it all on the track. We are working really well as a team and I feel we’re in a very good place right now. We have a weekend off now before Lommel, which is a pretty brutal track for us riders, but if we can keep the same momentum there it will be a good weekend I’m sure.”
“It was a good weekend and I’m happy I managed to put in two solid motos. Also, winning the Qualifying Race on Saturday felt great. In moto one my start was good and after a few passes I managed to get the lead for a few laps. I was riding a bit tight and that allowed Vlaanderen to make the pass. Nevertheless, I felt my riding was good and I was happy with second. My start in moto two was even better but I got caught up behind Jacobi. When I finally passed him, Prado had already made a gap for the lead. I put my head down and managed to catch Prado heading for the last couple of laps. I tried hard to win the moto and the overall but it just wasn’t meant to be. All in all, I am happy with my speed. My bike is working good and I will keep on battling for the overall win in the class.”
“It is never easy to lose the red plate but I’ll try to stay positive. I was feeling really good on Saturday but something – some click – was missing on Sunday. I was fighting with the track and not really flowing; my bad starts didn’t really help and it wasn’t easy to pass. I was riding well in the first fifteen minutes of the first moto but then just ‘lost’ it a bit. For sure I am a bit disappointed but we’ll keep working and fighting. There are still six races to go and you only need to win a championship by one point.”
“I’m satisfied with fifth overall at this GP. It might not be the best possible result but following my crash in the opening moto this was the best I could do. After the crash I had to dig deep to come from dead last to seventh at the line. It was a long moto and I spent too much energy to make it inside the top seven. Then in the second moto my start was a lot better and I found myself inside the top three in the second lap. I struggled a bit to get a good pace, but things kept getting better as the race went on. I am happy with fourth in moto two. I gave my best this weekend and this is what matters the most. I am looking forward to the GP in Lommel now.”
“It was a good comeback weekend overall really. In the first moto I got a decent start around 10th which made the race a lot easier. I passed as many people as I could early on and then found myself behind Jonass for pretty much the remainder of the moto. I battled with him for most of it but in the end had to settle for fifth place as it was just too difficult to make a pass stick on this track. In the second race, another rider completely cut across the track on the start straight, turning the opposite direction to the corner which put me right against the berm and ruined my good jump. I think was outside the top 20 and had to come back through the pack, which I did manage to do, all the way to sixth. I’m happy with that though as it is something to build on and even though there was a bit of fatigue towards the end of the races I think that is pretty normal for my first race back. I’m definitely looking forward to improving for the next couple of races.”
Coming into the weekend the 300cc class was stacked with the talented riders from the usual contenders like GL12 Racing’s Mike Kras and Verde Substance KTM’s Brad Anderson to Czech Republic’s Vaclav Kovar and the new entry of Dennis Ulrich.
Race 1 on Saturday started with former MXGP rider, Dennis Ulrich, in the lead and being chased by Mike Kras and Greg Smets from Belgium. Defending Champion Brad Anderson found himself further back than he’d hoped in 6th with Erik Willems and Czech rider Marek Sukup between him and the top 3.
Smets came into issues on lap 6 and dropped from 3rd to 9th which granted Willems, Sukup, and Anderson all a position. Also swapping positions were Ullrich and Kras for the lead, Kras crossed the finish in the lead for 2 laps before Ullrich fought his way back past the Dutchman. Meanwhile Anderson rode in 5th for only 4 laps before falling to 8th giving Kovar a top 5.
At the finish of Race 1 it was Ullrich, Kras, Willems and then the 4 Czech riders of Sukup, Kovar, Patrik Liska, and Petr Bartos ahead of Anderson. Rounding out the top ten was A1M Husqvarna’s Andero Lusbo and Smets.
Today’s Race 2 was the first event on track after the evening rain providing a new challenge to the riders. Nevertheless many of the same riders who were strong on the dry Saturday conditions battled for the win.
From the start of the race it was Kras who had the lead over Sukup, Kovar, and Anderson as the race 1 winner, Ullrich was 5th. First to lose ground and positions was Sukup as his fellow countryman Kovar took second on lap 4 and only another lap later Sukup lost another spot to Anderson.
For the majority of the race the top five remained the same and in the same order. With 3 laps to go Anderson stepped up his riding and passed Kovar for second just past Pit Lane at the same time Andero Lusbo took a fifth away from Ullrich.
At the finish line it was Kras by 12.4 seconds over Anderson then Kovar, Sukup, and Lusbo. In the overall standings Kras took the win with Ullrich 2nd and Kovar 3rd. Kras has gained 12 points on Anderson in the championship as it heads to the penultimate round in Bulgaria next month.
EMX300 Race 1 Top 10
Dennis Ullrich (GER, KTM), 30:28.738
Mike Kras (NED, KTM), +0:10.830
Erik Willems (BEL, Husqvarna), +0:13.821
Marek Sukup (CZE, TM), +0:16.827
Vaclav Kovar (CZE, Gas Gas), +0:24.828
Patrik Liska (CZE, Yamaha), +0:36.220
Petr Bartos (CZE, KTM), +0:37.328
Brad Anderson (GBR, KTM), +0:37.989
Andero Lusbo (EST, Husqvarna), +0:38.809
Greg Smets (BEL, KTM), +0:56.52
EMX300 Race 2 Top 10
Mike Kras (NED, KTM), 30:44.055
Brad Anderson (GBR, KTM), +0:12.490
Vaclav Kovar (CZE, Gas Gas), +0:16.206
Marek Sukup (CZE, TM), +0:28.115
Andero Lusbo (EST, Husqvarna), +0:38.224
Dennis Ullrich (GER, KTM), +0:40.270
Erik Willems (BEL, Husqvarna), +0:42.292
Patrik Liska (CZE, Yamaha), +0:55.497
Kay Ebben (NED, Yamaha), +1:14.987
Daymond Martens (BEL, Yamaha), +1:22.694
EMX300 Overall Top 10
Mike Kras (NED, KTM), 47 points
Dennis Ullrich (GER, KTM), 40
Vaclav Kovar (CZE, GAS), 36
Marek Sukup (CZE, TM), 36
Brad Anderson (GBR, KTM), 35
Erik Willems (BEL, HUS), 34
Andero Lusbo (EST, HUS), 28
Patrik Liska (CZE, YAM), 28
Petr Bartos (CZE, KTM), 23
Greg Smets (BEL, KTM), 21
EMX300 Championship Top 10
Brad Anderson (GBR, KTM), 204 points
Mike Kras (NED, KTM), 177
Andero Lusbo (EST, HUS), 171
Greg Smets (BEL, KTM), 153
Vaclav Kovar (CZE, GAS), 150
Erik Willems (BEL, HUS), 145
Manuel Iacopi (ITA, YAM), 116
Youri van t Ende (NED, KTM), 60
Tim Louis (BEL, HUS), 55
Daymond Martens (BEL, YAM), 52
One of the best classes to watch this weekend was the little 65cc rippers as they battled among the monstrous hillsides of Loket. 40 riders made the trip after qualifying through various regional races in Europe.
A fast start from Brando Rispoli led the field of small wheeled 2 strokes in race 1 but the #411 of Damian Knuiman from the Netherlands made a pair of passes to move from third into the top spot. Jakob Madsen from Denmark was the rider between Rispoli and Knuiman after the start but he dropped to third once the lead changed.
Rispoli was running in second but fell and rejoined in 6th giving Madsen 2nd back briefly. Working his up from 8th on the first lap to pass Madsen for 2nd was Slovenian Jaka Peklaj. Bradley Mesters from the Netherlands was 4th most of the race and held off Rispoli on the last two laps. At the finish of race 1 Knuiman topped Peklaj, Madsen, Mesters, and Rispoli.
Race 2 hosted another strong start from Rispoli as he led fellow Italian Alessandro Gaspari. Madsen was 3rd and KTM Silver Action’s Jan Janout from the Czech Republic was 4th. Sweden’s Anton Isaksson was in the top five before Mesters made pass with 3 laps to go.
Rispoli won the race ahead of Gaspari, Madsen, Janout, and Mesters. Rispoli’s race win gave him just enough points to take the overall and be crowned the 2018 EMX65 Champion! Taking a close second was Madsen with only 1 point less while third went to Knuiman.
The final EMX title to be decided this weekend was with the slightly larger and older EMX85 riders. The class was also filled with 40 riders and stacked with young talent and aspiring champions.
Race 1 was led by Kays Karssemakers on lap 1 with Liam Everts in 2nd and Raul Sanchez Garcia running 3rd. Garcia took the lead on lap 2 after Karsemakers fell to 9th. Germany’s Constantin Piller moved up to third while KTM Kosak Racing’s Camden Mc Lellan was fighting forward from 8th.
On lap 5 Everts took the lead but Garcia took it back the next time around. Clearly on a mission was South Africa’s Mc Lellan as he took the lead only a lap later. Mc Lellan was impressive as it only took him 7 laps to gain 7 positions.
Everts again went after Garcia with 4 laps to go and this time made a pass stick for second. At the finish Mc Lellan won ahead of Everts, Garcia, Piller, and Karssemakers.
Race 2 was dominated by Kay De Wolf who led every lap recorded but the championship deciding action was behind him. Karssemakers was 3rd on lap one but passed Italy’s Valerio Lata on lap 2 and held second for 2 laps before Mc Lellan took the position after running 5th on lap one.
Everts was back around mid-pack on the start but came across the first official lap in 9th. Everts methodically picked his way through the field to take fourth from JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team’s Radek Vetrovsky with only two laps remaining.
De Wolf held on to win the race with Mc Lellan second and Karssemakers third. The overall and 2018 EMX85 title went to Camden Mc Lellan with Kay De Wolf second and Liam Everts reaching the podium.
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