Team HRC’s Tim Gajser increased his lead at the top of the 2019 world motocross championship table to 177 points after finishing second overall at the MXGP of the Czech Republic. Watched on by a record number of Slovenian fans who made the journey north to watch their Honda CRF450RW-riding hero, the #243 rode solidly throughout both races to secure his podium position, his eighth in a row. Team mate Brian Bogers also had a good day, placing ninth in race one, before finishing just outside the top 10 in race two.
On the hard pack Loket track, Gajser made two good starts, placing inside the top three in both races and with passing opportunities limited due to the lack of line options, he settled for two second places to score 44 points on the day. This was good enough for second overall and more importantly, four points more than his nearest championship rival which left the gap at 177 with just 250 points left to race for. Unfortunately it does mean his winning streak ended at a record-breaking seven, but the vast number of Slovenian fans didn’t care one bit as the double world champion took another massive step towards title number three.
Taking a risky outside gate pick in both motos, Bogers stormed around the first corner in race one in fifth position. Holding a good speed early on, he eventually succumbed to arm pump on a track that was really tricky to go fast on. By the end of the race, he crossed the line in ninth place which was still inside the top 10, his goal at the beginning of the moto. Unfortunately the outside gate pick didn’t pay off in race two and he rounded the first bend outside the top 20. Making a lot of quick passes early on, he managed to work his way up to 13th by the midpoint of the race and although his pace was good, he could only finish in 12th, which was enough for 11th overall.
In fifth overall was Team Honda DR Motoblouz rider Jeremy van Horebeek, who put in two solid motos with results of seven and six. It was good to see the Belgian rider back up to the top five after a couple of difficult rounds in Asia and he’ll be hoping to do well at his home GP in seven days time.
Next weekend the MXGPs head to Lommel for one of the toughest tests of the year as the riders have to deal with the deep sand in the north of Belgium. It is certainly a much different surface than the hard pack surface they found this weekend in Loket, but as Gajser has proved over the last 13 rounds, he is capable on every type of terrain. He also knows that with a couple more good results, his dream of a third world championship title becomes ever nearer. Bogers is also looking forward to racing at a track that he grew up riding on and will once again set his sights on the MXGP top 10 when the gate drops in Lommel on Sunday 4th August.
Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen showed good speed all weekend at the MXGP of the Czech Republic, posting times in the top two in all the practice sessions and even riding inside the top four for the majority of the two races. Unfortunately though, he wasn’t quite able to translate this speed into podium results and instead had to settle for seventh overall after nine-five race results.
Getting a good start in race one at the Loket facility, the Honda CRF250RW rider was stuck in third place for the first 11 laps, unable to find a passing spot for the rider ahead, which would then have allowed him to go for the leader. Instead, on the twelfth lap as he looked to sweep around the outside, the two riders lines came together and both ended up on the ground. Vlaanderen was able to remount, but he’d lost seven spots in the incident and despite making one more pass, finished the race in ninth place.
It was similar story in race two as Vlaanderen rounded the first bend in fourth place. It took him eight laps to move into third and as he once again set his sights on the top two, a small mistake cost him a few positions and he dropped to sixth. He quickly moved back to fifth but any chance of a podium had gone and instead he had to settle for seventh overall. Still, there were a lot of positives to take out from the weekend and he’ll be looking to show similar speed next weekend when the series heads to the deep sand of Lommel, Belgium on August 3-4.
Just behind Vlaanderen were the Honda Redmoto Assomotor pair of Mathys Boisrame and Brent van Doninck, with Boisrame eighth overall with 11-8 and van Doninck 10th with 10-13 results. Both riders had to battle hard for all their results and were able to force a lot of passes on this tricky track. Passing should be a lot easier next week, but the terrain will pose a whole new challenge for all the riders.