Revision: MXGP of Czechia

Flick through the MXGP history books

· 3 minutes read

The Grand Prix of the Czech Republic is one of the oldest races on the calendar. Bearing that in mind, it is hardly surprising that it has hosted many memorable moments in the FIM Motocross World Championship. It is not great racing that the slick circuit is remembered for, however, instead it is the fact that a lot of notable names have suffered crushing blows on the slick surface.

Loket has been particularly cruel to Jeffrey Herlings. A broken collarbone was sustained at the venue in his first visit at a professional, 2010, and then he dislocated his right hip at the circuit in 2015. The latter was particularly devastating; it ensured that he would not be able to claim his third world title. Although the circuit has been the cruellest to him, he has still enjoyed success on the old-school layout and is currently the winningest MX2 rider at the venue. Pauls Jonass could match his two victories at the Grand Prix this weekend though.

Jeffrey Herlings has had many highs and lows at Loket (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

Josh Coppins also experienced heartbreak at the Czech circuit back in 2007, when a horrific crash down one of the hills left him with a shoulder injury that ruled him out of the rest of the season. Coppins held a lead of one hundred and seven points entering that race and then had to watch his maiden title slip away. Although there has been a bit of a theme at the event over the years, there is no way that one can expect chaos this weekend. Some will undoubtedly face ghosts as they roll into the scenic facility that is extremely close to the German border though.

There has been a fair mix of joy in the Czech Republic over the years, additionally, as Kevin Strijbos claimed his maiden Grand Prix victory at Loket in 2005. Now, four thousand seven hundred and thirty-three days on from that triumph, he may be poised to compete at the track for the final time. Nicolas Aubin was another first-time winner there as a Yamaha pilot in 2007, the same year that the manufacturer dealt with the pain and heartbreak of that injury that Coppins sustained, then seven years later Jeremy Van Horebeek stood atop the premier-class podium for the first time. A lot goes on at Loket.

Jeremy Van Horebeek claimed his first MXGP win at Loket (Yamaha Racing)

Kawasaki have had a quiet time of it at Loket though, especially when compared against the other big five manufacturers, and have not actually claimed a win in the MXGP (previously named MX1) class yet. Could this weekend be a turning point? Clement Desalle is tied with Antonio Cairoli as the winningest rider on Czech soil in the premier class, both riders have three overall victories apiece, but has not won at the venue since 2013. One point separated him from the top step just last year though, so it is certainly a possibility. A surface like Pietramurata, Loket or even Orlyonok is where he truly thrives.

There have been five different Czech Grand Prix winners in the premier class in the last five years and four of those, Max Nagl excluded, will be on the starting line this weekend. It is most likely that a sixth name will be added to that though, as Jeffrey Herlings enters every race as the heavy favourite. Standing atop the podium at Loket again, which would be the first time that he has managed that since 2013, would be quite the way to put all of those negative memories in the past.

Antonio Cairoli is one of the winningest riders at Loket (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

Previous Winners: MXGP in Czechia

2017

Antonio Cairoli

2016

Max Nagl

2015

Romain Febvre

2014

Jeremy Van Horebeek

2013

Clement Desalle

2012

Antonio Cairoli

2011

Clement Desalle

2010

Antonio Cairoli

2009

Clement Desalle

2008

David Philippaerts

2007

Kevin Strijbos

2006

Stefan Everts

2005

Kevin Strijbos

2004

Mickael Pichon

Manufacturer Wins: MXGP in Czechia

2017

KTM

2016

Husqvarna

2015

Yamaha

2014

Yamaha

2013

Suzuki

2012

KTM

2011

Suzuki

2010

KTM

2009

Honda

2008

Yamaha

2007

Suzuki

2006

Yamaha

2005

Suzuki

2004

Honda

Pauls Jonass claimed his first Czech victory one year ago. (KTM Images/Ray Archer)

Previous Winners: MX2 in Czechia

2017

Pauls Jonass

2016

Dylan Ferrandis

2015

Valentin Guillod

2014

Jordi Tixier

2013

Jeffrey Herlings

2012

Jeffrey Herlings

2011

Ken Roczen

2010

Marvin Musquin

2009

Gautier Paulin

2008

Tommy Searle

2007

Nicolas Aubin

2006

David Philippaerts

2005

Antonio Cairoli

2004

Ben Townley

Manufacturer Wins: MX2 in Czechia

2017

KTM

2016

Kawasaki

2015

Yamaha

2014

KTM

2013

KTM

2012

KTM

2011

KTM

2010

KTM

2009

Kawasaki

2008

KTM

2007

Yamaha

2006

KTM

2005

Yamaha

2004

KTM

Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: KTM Images/Ray Archer

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