With just seven days passing since the last FIM World Motocross Championship race, the MXGPs today visited the scenic Loket circuit in the northwest of the Czech Republic, close to the German border.
This hard-packed hillside track has long history of hosting World Championship motocross races and is notorious for its fast pace, exciting racing and spectacular landscapes.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser came to Loket with one thing on his mind - to add hard points to his MXGP account and retain the World Championship leader’s red plate.
As the gate dropped on race one, the talented Slovenian slipped his CRF450RW nicely into a top-three position in the first turn and secured a safe second place by lap one. As the race played-out Gajser pushed his HRC machine closer and closer to the lead, but by the chequered flag Tim just ran out of time and came home in second place by just 0.529 seconds after 35 minutes of fast racing.
JM Honda Racing’s Henry Jacobi had a good race one on his CRF450R, battling hard throughout the moto to defend a hard-earned 10th place - swapping places in the latter stages of the race.
As the gate dropped on MXGP race two the skies hung heavy as the threats of thunderstorms loomed over the drying track.
Gajser once again battled hard into the first turn, this time rounding lap one in fifth place with some work to do to push to the front. By lap two the four-time champion had made it into fourth position, but an unfortunate and hard fall dropped Gajser down to 22nd place.
With damage to the bike’s clutch lever Gajser came into pit lane for repairs - rejoining the race in 28th with a mountain to climb. A heroic charge followed as Tim cut his way through the pack to finish the race in 15th place, adding six points to his GP tally, sufficient to retain the lead of the World Championship.
Honda’s continued presence towards the front of the MX2 World Championship brought more hope and expectation for Team Honda 114 Motorsport this weekend. With just eight points separating the top three championship leaders, Spaniard, Ruben Fernandez was keen to defend and retain his position in the championship.
Race one saw the 22-year-old hit the first lap in fifth position and climb to fourth by lap two, which he held onto until the finish. Race two saw a repeat of race one with Fernandez in fifth position on lap one. He held onto this until lap nine and then dropped a few positions and fought back towards the end of the race finishing the moto in seventh.
Fernandez finished the day in fifth overall and sits in third place in the championship, just 14 points from the lead.