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.”