Loket is always a round that prompts some intrigue from onlookers, as the old-school track is a unique challenge, hence why some new winners emerged. The race for the victory was hectic in both classes, so there is no better way to break down those battles than to delve into the lap times.
Jeremy van Horebeek vs. Antonio Cairoli vs. Kevin Strijbos (MXGP Moto Two):
Jeremy van Horebeek (1st):
Antonio Cairoli (2nd):
Kevin Strijbos (3rd):
The final MXGP moto at Loket was an exhilarating one, as either one of these three riders could have won the race; they were fairly evenly matched. Although you would normally expect Antonio to run away with the win when he takes the early lead, Loket is a track that he tends to struggle on – the old school, slick surface is one that he doesn’t gel with. Despite this, he came painfully close to taking the GP win. However, the stronger rider prevailed, as Jeremy van Horebeek made a pass for the lead with less than two laps to go.
Intriguingly, his lap times were almost identical to the ones that Cairoli was setting, hence why the gap hardly altered all race long. However, the factory Yamaha rider inched closer in the dying moments and capitalised on a mistake from the leader. It is quite clear that Jeremy upped his pace in the last couple of laps; he was almost two seconds faster than Tony on the lap that he made the pass, which allowed him to establish a crucial gap with one lap remaining.
Strangely, it seemed like Cairoli’s feathers were ruffled by the move that the Belgian made, as his last two laps were lacklustre. He was actually in danger of losing third, as Kevin Strijbos pounced and actually posted the fastest lap of the race on the last one! He was lurking in the background for the thirty minutes, and then dropped the hammer; it just seemed that Antonio couldn’t do that. A completely different track will greet the riders this weekend, and the Sicilian should be extremely difficult to beat. However, both van Horebeek and Strijbos have already revealed that they intend to build on the momentum gained at Loket.
Christophe Charlier vs. Dylan Ferrandis (MX2 Moto Two):
Christophe Charlier (1st):
Dylan Ferrandis (2nd):
With Jeffrey Herlings out of action, the door was open for a rider to claim the first GP win of their career win at Loket. Jordi Tixier was the man that did that, as we all know, but honestly, Dylan Ferrandis was probably the fastest rider in the Czech Republic, despite the fact that the results do not reflect this. Unfortunately, crashes and bad starts hindered him in the two motos, but he salvaged a second in race two at least.
Christophe Charlier took the lead in the first half of the second MX2 moto and then took control of the race; however, Dylan Ferrandis was coming. The CLS Kawasaki rider started in eighth, and only got into second on the eleventh lap. He did chip away at the gap, but his times were relatively inconsistent, which stopped him from making too much of a run at his fellow Frenchman. If he had started with Charlier, it might have played out differently – it did seem like he backed it down in the final few laps, when he realised that winning was not possible. I am sure that he was a little deflated too, as his title hopes had gone up in smoke earlier in the day.
Words: Lewis Phillips
Image: Yamaha Racing