Following a short break in the MXGP calendar the FIM World Motocross Championship fired up once again today at the spectacular Loket circuit in the Czech Republic.
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser started today’s races with a 125 point lead in the championship and was hoping to put further pressure to his competitors as he fights for his fifth World Championship riding for Team HRC
In race one the Slovenian took a good start and dropped into second place on lap one, but struggled to find a flow on the dry and loose Czech track. Tim dropped into third place on lap three, but regained second place on lap nine as his speed and flow improved. It was too late to take the win, but the 22 points from race one meant that he increased his championship lead.
Tim’s teammate Mitch Evans had a good ride in race one and continued to show clear signs that his recovery from last year’s wrist injury is almost complete. Evans rounded lap one in sixth place and although there was the odd swapping of positions during the race, on every lap he passed the timing beacon in the same position. This was a solid and promising result for the Australian.
Although Team Honda 114 Motorsport’s Rubén Fernández showed great promise by leading Saturday’s Free Practice session, a crash in Timed Practice left the Spaniard needing stitches in his arm, concussion and a beaten up body meant he had to miss today’s racing.
Team JM Honda Racing’s Henry Jacobi and Shiptocycle Honda SR Motoblouz’s Benoit Paturel brought their CRF450Rs home in 16th and 17th respectively.
Shiptocycle Honda SR Motoblouz’s Stephen Rubini had high-hopes for a good result racing Loket’s French-like hard-packed hillsides and in race one he didn’t disappoint. A great start put the Frenchman in third place on lap one as he set-about a fast and consistent pace. He conceded a position on lap seven and frustratingly stalled the bike on lap 16 to drop to fifth place at the finish.
As the challenging circuit baked under blue skies and sunshine the gate dropped for MXGP race two and Gajser rounded lap one in third place and pushed hard to fend off early race attacks. As the race developed Gajser found some additional speed and closed in to second place, but a little arm-pump set-in and he settled for a safe result to protect his championship lead of 125 points after 13 of 19 races.
Mitch Evans had another good ride in race two. He started the race in fifth place and held onto the position for 14 laps, but had developed some painful blisters which were hard to ignore so Evans had to settle for 7th place at the finish giving him 7th overall, just three points away from a top five finish.
Team JM Honda Racing's Ivo Monicelli and Henry Jacobi finished race two in 14th and 15th places respectively riding CRF450Rs.
Stephen Rubini was hoping for anther good result MX2 race two and setoff with a good start, rounding lap one in fifth place. Unfortunately for Rubini, he was also suffering with blisters and the discomfort and lack of grip spoilt his focus and ability to ride in the way that he can. The much-improved CRF250R racer eventually finished race two in 12th place giving him 9th overall.
The gate drops for round 14 in one week’s time in the endless sand of Lommel, Belgium.