Round 13 – Czech MXGP, Loket
Loket hosted Round 13 of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship where it was Romain Febvre who put on a brilliant performance to win his first GP since 2016, taking the double win from championship leader Tim Gajser and Jeremy Seewer.
In the MX2 Class Jorge Prado scored his 27th Grand Prix win, with a perfect 1-1 result at the Grand Prix of Czech Republic. The win extended Prado’s points lead in the series points, with 90 points separating Prado from second placed man Thomas Kjer Olsen, while second overall at Loket was Henry Jacobi and third Olsen.
MXGP Race 1
At the Gate drop of MXGP Race 1 Jeremy Seewer took the FOX Holeshot ahead of his teammate Romain Febvre and Tim Gajser, but Gautier Paulin pushed the HRC rider to the side and moved into third place. Gajser moved back past Paulin to get back into third place, and behind him came Paulin and Brian Bogers.
Febvre made gains with a pass on Seewer for first place at the opening lap. After three laps Febvre held just over a second to Seewer, followed by Gajser, Paulin and Arminas Jasikoniswho moved past Bogers for fifth. A lot was happening mid pack as Pauls Jonass was all over Bogers for sixth place, while Jasikonis was doing the same to Paulin for fourth position.
After eight laps it was still Febvre leading with around four seconds between himself and Seewer, with Gajser losing ground on the two Yamaha riders. Gajser started pushing harder at the end of the race and closed up on Seewer for second place.
After 13 laps Febvre held a four-second lead over Seewer with Gajser all over the Yamaha riders in third, then came Paulin and Jasikonis.
Gajser moved into second place after passing Seewer and added a few points to his championship lead. Gajser then easily pulled away from Seewer and seemed to be going after Febvre for the race win. Febvre though was too good and Gajser found himslef settled for the second place. Febvre won race 1 in Loket from Gajser and Seewer finishing third.
MXGP Race 2
Race 2 started nearly identical for Seewer who again took the FOX Holeshot and led the way ahead of Gajser, Paulin, Febvre and Arnaud Tonus. Febvre was quickly into third place and passed Paulin.
Tommy Searle also pushed hard as he moved into fifth place while Febvre moved forward in the early going of the race and looked to get to the front; the French moved into second place while Gajser seemed to back it down a little as both Seewer and Febvre were riding on the edge and very close. On lap three Febvre tried to make a pass on Seewer but couldn’t get past.
Gajser, after taking a little rest started pushing again and was back onto the two front guys. A brilliant battle for first place between the two Monster Energy Yamaha riders was set leaving Gajser sitting back watching it all. Febvre managed to move into first place on lap six.
Gajser started putting massive pressure on Seewer for second and pushed to get past but had to wait. Gajser rode past Seewer to move into second and started chasing after the leader.
Back in ninth position Searle crashed into the wire fence and his bike was stuck dropping himself into 21st.
The top ten after seven laps was Febvre, Gajser, Seewer, Paulin, Tonus, Jeremy Van Horebeek, Jonass, Glenn Coldenhoff, Jasikonis and Max Anstie in 10th. After nine laps suddenly Gajser was onto Febvre with just two seconds separating them two front guys.
Febvre settled and took command of the race, winning his third race of the season from Gajser and Seewer. Romain Febvre won the MXGP of Czech Republic at the Loket circuit on the back of a brilliant 1-1 performance and scored his first Grand Prix victory in three years.
Second overall was Tim Gajser with 2-2 scores and third Jeremy Seewer with 3-3 results. Tim Gajser goes to Lommel with 177 points ahead of Seewer and with a change to gain the title at the MXGP of Belgium.
Roman Febvre – P1
“I feel amazing. The whole weekend has been good for me. Right from the beginning my speed has been good, and I managed to go 1-1. I am really happy. It has been a long road back to victory and not an easy one. Many tough GP’s and some injuries. We are back! I am so happy, and happy for my team Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP. It means everything.”
Tim Gajser – P2
“The track was really tough, it was hard and slick so I didn’t feel so comfortable on the track, but I’m quite happy with how the motos turned out. I took two good starts and I was riding smart and I didn’t want to push too much because it was easy to make a mistake. Overall it was a good weekend and I’m happy I could give all the Slovenian fans something to cheer about. They support me so much on the track and I could really hear them around the start straight bend each lap. So many of them made the trip and I am just really thankful for every one of them and it is just an awesome feeling to be out there and celebrating with them.”
“I struggled to set-up the bike here, on a 450cc it’s really tricky because on a track like Loket we have a bike with so much power, but no traction. I managed to turn it around and find my flow. Romain was on another level today, but I think I had the same speed as Tim (Gajser), so it would have been nice to have kept second position. I am happy to be on the podium though, and the most amazing thing was to take three holeshots.”
Gautier Paulin – P4
“4-4 was my place today. I was fast all weekend. Starts were key on this track. I did make a few mistakes, but that is part of racing. I am happy with the full crew and I am happy to be back at a good level and to be pain free, which is a big deal. Fourth was my place this weekend, so it was a good weekend overall.”
Pauls Jonass – P6
“I guess I can say it’s been a decent GP for me – certainly not the worst, but also not the best. I had hoped to get better results coming back to Europe, but it’s like this. It’s good championship points, and sixth is a good overall result. Starts are so important here and I didn’t get the best of starts in either race. But I felt good in the first race and managed to make a few passes and, yeah, sixth was a good result. My pace wasn’t quite what I needed in the second moto. I felt ok, but I didn’t want to push too hard and take risks. Riding here is very different on a 450, but I enjoyed the GP. There aren’t too many races to go now, so the focus is to keep working and try and improve my position in the championship.”
Arminas Jasikonis – P7
“I’m pleased with the way the weekend has gone. It didn’t start in the best way when I got caught up in the first turn crash in the qualification race. But I rode well to come from almost last to 10th. I really pushed hard and was feeling good coming into today’s races. My start wasn’t the best in the first race, but I felt like I made some good passes during the early laps and kept a good pace going throughout the race. I was behind Paulin during the last laps but couldn’t find a way pass and didn’t want to take risks. Fifth was a really good result. The second moto went pretty well but I felt like I wasn’t quite flowing with the track like I needed. Seventh overall is a big step in the right direction after the last few GPs and I’m really looking forward to Lommel now.”
Arnaud Tonus – P8
“With how I felt, this weekend was quite OK. I was really sick for a week and a half. I had a bad bacterium that infected my body and made me very sick. In the last 10 days I could only ride once, so I knew it was going to be a tough GP. To come away with 10 and 5 in the races, was not so bad considering how I felt.”
MXGP Race 1
|7||Van Horebeek, Jeremy||BEL||Honda||++00:23.0|
MXGP Race 2
|6||Van Horebeek, Jeremy||BEL||Honda||+00:14.8|
MXGP Round Overall – Loket
|5||Van Horebeek, Jeremy||29|
|8||Van Horebeek, J.||BEL||HON||300|
MX2 Race 1
Just as he does so often Prado took the FOX Holeshot in the opening MX2 race followed by Tom Vialle, Calvin Vlaanderen, Jacobi, and Iker Larranaga in fifth place. Vlaanderen battled hard with Vialle and was looking to get past the French teenager.
After a lap the lead was one second and further back in the pack Jago Geerts moved into eight position. Adam Sterry was into the top ten as he was in ninth place. Two laps in and Prado was still just a second ahead and Vlaanderen looked desperate to get past Vialle and get a crack at the leader. Not a lot of position changes in the top ten and the lead went to nearly three seconds as Prado led Vialle and Vlaanderen.
Olsen moved into fifth position as he passed Larranaga, and Vialle continued to keep Vlaanderen from the leader. Beaton went past Larranaga and began his chase of his team-mate Olsen while Geerts was also looking to pass Larranaga. Prado continued to lead Vialle by three seconds, and the second placed man had moved away from Vlaanderen.
Sterry was pushing hard to get past Larranaga, and the two nearly collided on a couple of occasions. After seven laps it was Prado, Vialle, Vlaanderen, Jacobi, Olsen, Jed Beaton, Geerts, Larranaga, Sterry and Brian Moreau in 10th.
Vialle and Vlaanderen collided and both went down hard. Vlaanderen picked himself up in 10th place, but Vialle was out of the race as he cruised back to the mechanics area with a busted bike.
With the accident for second and third positions Prado suddenly had a big lead over Jacobi, then came Olsen, Beaton and Geerts in fifth. Prado eventually won it from Jacobi and Olsen.
MX2 Race 2
Prado’s FOX Holeshot power was shown also in the second MX2 race from Vialle, Jacobi and Vlaanderen. Sterry was also in among the leaders in fifth place and Olsen was back in seventh place.
After four laps the lead by Prado was more than two seconds with Vialle in safe second ahead of Jacobi, Vlaanderen and Sterry. Olsen continued to struggle a little in sixth place.
Jacobi moved past Vialle for second place and Vlaanderen started to put pressure on the young Frenchman. Vlaanderen and Sterry also moved past Vialle and then Olsen started to push for a passing move on Vialle. Prado in the meantime was miles ahead up front.
After 10 laps Prado held a 13 second lead over Jacobi, then came Vlaanderen, Sterry, and Olsen in fifth. Vlaanderen slipped over and was passed by Sterry, Olsen and Vialle. Geerts was also all over Vlaanderen for sixth position.
Vlaanderen came back on Vialle and was looking for a way past and on lap 13 he managed to pass the KTM rider. Geerts also passed Vialle as the Frenchman’s disappointing day continued. Sterry started to close up on Jacobi for second place, and further back Olsen was fourth, Vlaanderen fifth, Geerts sixth and Vialle seventh.
Prado remained in command as the race closed down, holding a 15 second lead over Jacobi and Sterry, with Olsen and Vlaanderen continuing to remain inside the top five. Great move by Sterry to move into second place as he blasted past Jacobi in a corner. Prado won his 22ndrace from Sterry and Jacobi.
Jorge Prado won the MX2 class overall, with 1-1 results, with Henry Jacobi second overall and Thomas Kjer Olsen third.
Jorge Prado – P1
“I didn’t feel so good in the first moto but was way-better in the second and it was a great weekend; winning both motos again and making that championship gap even bigger. Lommel next and it is a track that many people ride and I know it well. I won there last year and will be happy to go back.”
Henry Jacobi – P2
“Ever since my last podium at Matterley Basin we knew that I had the speed for podium results, but I got too many fourth positions! Finally I rode without any mistakes again and after two good starts I could ride two strong races. All the lines were broken on the track after the first MXGP race; I watched that race so I knew that you had to use the outside lines in our second moto. It was good for me to get a great start in the second moto, then when Adam came I knew that a third position was enough to get the podium so I didn’t risk making any stupid mistakes. And two-three is great for spirit in the entire team.”
Thomas Kjer Olsen – P3
“Considering how the last GP ended for me, to finish third overall here at Loket is awesome. I knew things would be tough for me, and that I’d maybe lack a little intensity having not been able to train and ride that much the last week, but I’m pleased with the way things came together for me. I didn’t get the best start in the first race but sneaked around the first turn and was in a pretty good position. It took me a while to get into fifth and I didn’t want to push too hard on this track. When Vialle and Vlaanderen went down it helped me a lot. I just tried to be smooth in the second race and do my best. I found the track pretty tough but kept pushing. Getting an overall podium result is a great way to start the final European GPs of the season.”
Jago Geerts – P5
“It was not such a bad day today. I didn’t have a good gate-pick after qualifying yesterday, I was fourteenth. Both my heats today were almost the same. I managed to pass some guys in the opening laps and then rode my own race. I tried to get closer to the guys in front of me, but it didn’t work out, so I finished 5thand 6th. I have moved back into third in the championship and now I am looking forward to my home GP where I hope to do good.”
Jed Beaton – P6
“It’s been a good weekend for me, especially the first moto. I got a decent start and was in around third or fourth coming out of the first turn, but some wheel spin dropped me back a few spots. I had a pretty good moto after that, following Thomas. Obviously, when Vialle and Vlaanderen went down it helped both of us, it was good to get fourth. My start wasn’t so good in the second moto and it was hard to make passes. I lost some time behind a few riders, so I wasn’t able to get as far forward as I wanted. But it’s been a solid weekend and I’m up to seventh now in the championship. I just need to focus on good point scoring finishes in both motos at each of the remaining GPs now, starting in Lommel next weekend.”
Calvin Vlaanderen – P7
“It wasn’t a great pair of races to be honest. I’m a bit disappointed with the results, but I’m happy with my riding. I didn’t feel fast, but I proved in a lot of sessions that I was one of the fastest out there, especially in the first race. I had a good start and was riding behind Tom (Vialle) and for 20 minutes I was getting roosted by him and I was trying everything to pass him but the track was so one lined and I couldn’t find a way. In the end I tried and he cut me off at the last second and we came together and we both went down. This was unfortunate but I was able to pick the bike up and finish ninth. Second race I had a pretty good start again, I moved from fourth to third and I then I had a small tipover. I didn’t feel great in that second moto but overall I’m happy with my speed and I’m going to keep working in order to make the most of these five remaining GPs.”
Tom Vialle – P15
“The weekend started very good and I had a decent feeling with the track and on my bike. Today was a bit of a different story. I was fast in the first moto and followed Jorge for about twenty-five minutes until Vlaanderen hit me. I couldn’t restart and I had some pain in my neck which affected me after about ten minutes of the second race. Anyway, I am happy with my speed and now I need to focus for Lommel and the sand.”
MX2 Race 1
|3||Olsen, Thomas Kjer||DEN||Husqvarna||+00:11.6|
|7||Larranaga Olano, Iker||ESP||KTM||+00:35.6|
|8||Strubhart Moreau, Brian||FRA||Kawasaki||+00:38.5|
|10||Van doninck, Brent||BEL||Honda||+00:42.1|
MX2 Race 2
|4||Olsen, Thomas Kjer||DEN||Husqvarna||+00:20.8|
|13||Van doninck, Brent||BEL||Honda||+01:05.0|
MX2 Round Overall
|3||Olsen, Thomas Kjer||38|
|10||Van doninck, Brent||19|
|11||Larranaga Olano, Iker||19|
|13||Strubhart Moreau, Brian||17|
|15||Van doninck, B.||BEL||HON||165|