Yamaha Riders ‘Czech’ In For Loket
After a much needed weekend off, which allowed time for the flight cases and bikes to return to Europe from Indonesia, MXGP will return to action this weekend at Loket in the Czech Republic - the same venue that saw Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP's Jeremy Van Horebeek claim his first ever Grand Prix victory back in 2014. The two-week break has given Romain Febvre enough time to heal up after he was run-over in a first corner incident at the most recent Grand Prix in Semarang, and despite feeling stiff, he has set his sights on the podium once again. Meanwhile, after a rough patch in his 2018 MXGP Championship campaign Van Horebeek is eager to put his inner demons to bed and return to the speed he is capable of riding at.
The Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP team will line-up Jeremy Seewer and Shaun Simpson this weekend. Seewer is looking to carry the same speed that took him to a top-five finish in the final race in Semarang into this weekend with every intention of quickly finding a good set up on the hillside venue, while his teammate Simpson wants to ease back into racing and take home some solid points.
The Loket track is a familiar one. It has hosted 21 Grand Prixes since 1995 and will host the fourteenth round of the 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship this weekend where both YZ450FM riders Jeremy Van Horebeek and Romain Febvre will be aiming for a spot on the podium.
Loket is a classic style track that embodies plenty of steep up-hills, and as many daunting down-hills. The compound of the track is classed as 'blue-groove' clay, which means tyre selection and throttle control will be of the essence. The track is located 130km west of the countries capital - Prague - and has been etched into the hillside of Loket - a quaint medieval village that has been made famous by its role in the blockbuster hit - James Bond 007 Casino Royale - back in 2006.
Both YZ450FM riders, Febvre and Van Horebeek are renowned for their impeccable throttle control. Febvre is currently fifth in the MXGP Championship Classification and is hoping to chip away at a place inside the top-three before the twentieth and final round of the 2018 series. Van Horebeek in currently ninth, 15-points shy of Seewer in eighth.
Following a positive weekend at the final round of the Dutch Championship last weekend, where Jago Geerts wrapped up the 250cc title in his debut season, and where Anthony Rodriguez demonstrated his true potential with an emphatic race win and his first podium finish of the season, the Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 Team enter the fourteenth round of the FIM MX2 World Championship in Loket, Czech Republic confident of another solid weekend. Geerts is currently seventh in the championship chase, while a quiet eye is on his teammate Ben Watson who has been chipping away at the top-three all season long and will line up only 10-points short of Thomas Olsen, who is currently third.
Having missed eight rounds of the season, Rodriguez has been drafted in to replace the injured Vsevolod Brylyakov and is currently doing a great job at clawing back positions. The Venezuelan has been consistently improving at each and every round, and managed to achieve a fourth place finish in Race 1 at the most recent Grand Prix which is a career best for him, and he was sixth overall, which was another milestone achievement. The twenty-three-year-old is already up into nineteenth place in the MX2 Championship Standings and will join Paul Malin and Lisa Leyland on the live Studio Show at 1pm on Saturday. It can be viewed on www.mxgp-tv.com.
This round of MXGP is extra special as it will host the EMX65 and EMX85 grand finale where Grizzly Yamaha EMX Junior Team's Jayson van Drunen will line-up in the EMX65 class on the all-new YZ65 fresh off of his MX Master Kids victory in France last weekend.
4th MXGP Championship Standings, 400-points
"My plan going into Loket is to be back on the podium. I lost some positions in the championship at the last round, and quite a lot of points, but I feel that my speed was good. I feel like I am moving toward the front, and with this speed I need to be consistent. I want to fight for the lead, I know the track will be really slippery like always. I normally like these conditions, so with a good start I hope to have the speed to fight for the victory. For me, that would be really nice, and really good for the championship."
8th MXGP Championship Standings, 295-points
"Loket is quite a tricky track. It's different to most of the other tracks, it's hard, slippery and sketchy rocky hard-pack. I have struggled there in the past even though I got some podiums, but they weren't the easiest races for me. The start is really important. I do like the track, it's old-school natural terrain, plenty of up hills and down hills, and the atmosphere is always nice. The fans are super cool, I always enjoyed riding at Loket and I hope to continue improving my speed and getting good starts and if everything works out like we want, I will do great there."
Jeremy Van Horebeek
9th MXGP Championship Standings, 280-points
"I like Loket, I have obviously had some really good races there. I don't think I am going there aiming to win, just because of how my season has been so far, but I want to get back to that at some point. At the moment, I just want to feel good on the bike and take some steps in the right direction. I am being realistic. I still believe I can do it, but right now some things are missing and I need to work on getting that together and then we can focus on being back on the podium. This weekend, I would be really happy with a top-five."