Pre-Race: MXGP of Latvia

Some pre-race musings.

Some pre-race musings.

The Grand Prix of Latvia, which will act as round seven of the FIM Motocross World Championship, is upon us. Although a race in Latvia may seem a little unorthodox, the Kegums facility is now a proven facility and one that most look forward to.

With that in mind, it is hardly surprising that the circuit has not changed at all. It is exactly as it has been in recent years. Heck, even the conditions are almost identical! No rain is expected throughout the weekend and it should be reasonably warm. There will be a little more time for track preparation also, as there are not enough EMX250 guys to fill two groups. That is why there will only be a single qualifying session.

The Grand Prix of Latvia is odd is some ways, as it is obviously quieter than most European events. A handful of teams and riders have commented that various characteristics resemble a flyaway; there is a lot more room to walk between each awning and not as much pressure from fans and sponsors. A strong crowd is still expected, of course, but it is unlikely that it will compare to Pietramurata or Valkenswaard.

There is a certain rider who will be beneath the microscope all weekend, however, as a majority of fans in attendance will want to see Pauls Jonass stand atop the podium. Jonass has dealt with the pressure well in recent years, as he has been on the podium in three of the last four motos at the venue. This is obviously a completely different scenario though. How is he going to react to the weight of expectation and the red plate? Time will tell. If Jeremy Seewer can defeat ‘41’ on home soil, it would contribute to a huge shift in momentum.

I almost feel as though this weekend could answer a lot of questions that onlookers want unanswered. Tim Gajser appeared to be the firm favourite in the premier division at the third and fourth round, but Antonio Cairoli has responded in a big way at the previous two fixtures. A real game of cat and mouse is going on between the two heavyweights, but the latter will make a statement if he steals more points on Sunday. That duel alone should be enough to make you tune in.

A lot of interest will also revolve around those who are returning to action this weekend. Max Anstie is back, following a brief hiatus, but is not quite one hundred percent. The same goes for riders like Jordi Tixier and Bas Vaessen, who have also missed the previous two fixtures. Those two completed races last weekend, however, so would have dismissed some rust. All of these guys will add something to proceedings, but obviously the loss of Kevin Strijbos and Adam Sterry is a blow.

Anyway, we’ll leave it there. The first EMX250 qualifying session will commence at 08:45am local time, so most of you will be able to view the results from that when you wake up.

Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX

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