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Romain Febvre at the 2018 Grand Prix of Czech Republic
NEWS

Monster Energy Yamaha take top five fill at Czech MXGP

Jul 232018

Fast, unrelenting cambers, climbs and drops matched with slick, stony hard-pack: welcome to Loket. The picturesque circuit close to the German border and deep in the west of the Czech Republic gathered MXGP together for the first event back in Europe and for the seven-round run towards the end of September and to the culmination of the 2018 contest.

Loket is typically tight, quick (and on this occasional very bumpy) but also stingy with open overtaking opportunities, and the long start straight and unusual uphill first turn held the key to possible podium results.

Under cloudy and occasionally leaky skies it was 2018 MXGP supremo Jeffrey Herlings who aced the premier class for the eleventh time from fourteen rounds and is looking a championship-cert this season once more.

“The weekend was not so good but also not so bad,” Febvre admitted. “I saved a lot of points. I think I had the speed to be inside the top three, but without the start it is impossible…”

 

“It has been a long road back to the top five and it is still a long way, but I feel like I am moving in the right direction,” said Van Horebeek who has yet to reach the podium in ‘18. “I still struggle to have two fully fit races. I feel like I have been under the ground recently, and now I am getting up and coming out. I don't feel the track has anything to do with how I rode today, I think it is me personally. I feel good, I felt good on the bike and had a lot of fun.”

 

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Clement Desalle was a close sixth. The Belgian is also another former winner at Loket and was an intruder among the blue Yamaha dispute as he scored a 4-7 on his #25 and at a compact site where starts were premium.

Kemea Yamaha duo Jago Geerts and Ben Watson had contrasting fortunes. Geerts enjoyed a respectable top ten result with 9th – three places behind 114 Honda Motorsports Hunter Lawrence – while Watson crashed out of the second moto and a damaged YZ250F meant the Brit’s first DNF from twenty-eight outings so far in 2018.

 

MXGP moves from Loket to Lommel and perhaps the biggest contrast of racing venues on the Grand Prix slate. Riders and teams have to swiftly transfer their thinking, skills and bike set-ups from slippery hard terrain to deep, sapping Belgian sand. The challenge will take place in less than two weeks and the first of the final six rounds in 2018 will occur on the first weekend of August.

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