Author: David Bulmer
MX2 Race 1
In pretty awful conditions the MX2 guys kicked off proceedings here in Loket. The rain was lashing down but that didn't stop Ken Roczen from ripping a massive holeshot ahead of fellow KTM riders Jeffrey Herlings, Jake Nicholls and Joel Roelants. Gautier Paulin would be the first non-KTM to round the first corner but his race wouldn't end too well...
Just like yesterday's qualifying races, passing at this track was nearly impossible so the start was extremely important and once again the CLS Kawasaki duo of Anstie and Searle got off poorly with Anstie 7th, but Searle was way down in around 13th.
Up front, it was follow the leader for the most part with only Paulin making any ground, overtaking Nicholls. Besides the top three of Roczen, Herlings and Paulin, it was very much a freight train involving Nicholls, Roelants, Aubin, Anstie and eventually Searle would join the line. However because of the rain and the nature of the track, passing was very much at a premium and it was only really the last 10 minutes when anything of note began to happen. First Paulin's bike seized, meaning he'd DNF and allowing Aubin his first podium of the year, and then Nicholls would make a mistake allowing Anstie to go past.
This meant the top six would end up Roczen, Herlings, Aubin, and the British trio of Anstie, Searle and Nicholls. Then, at the end of the race, Roczen had problems getting past a lapper Petrov and let his frustrations get the better of him after the checkered flag, giving the Bulgarian a good shove. Not a good display, especially as this track is so hard to pass on, a little patience is needed with the lappers.
MX2 Race 2
Once again it would be another Roczen holeshot with Herlings not far behind. Unlike race one though, Herlings wouldn't let Roczen out of his sight and those two would be within three seconds the entire race. But while Herlings tried his best to close, there was never the feeling he'd be able to get close enough to make a pass on a track that was still so difficult to pass on.
Valentin Teillet would be the surprise rider in 3rd, keeping Arnaud Tonus, Max Anstie and Tommy Searle at bay for a long period of the race. It was only when lappers got involved did Teillet lose momentum with the young Frenchman eventually losing positions to all of them. Searle would be the big mover, impressively getting past his team-mate Anstie as well as Tonus and Teillet to secure a podium in the race and the overall. Still, he definitely needs better starts if he wants to challenge the KTM top two.
Behind Searle and Tonus, Gautier Paulin was on a charge to try and make up for his moto one disappointment, starting way down in 15th before getting all the way to 5th. Anstie would finish 6th with Teillet, van Horebeek, Roelants and Kullas rounding out the top 10. Nicholls crashed in the first turn and placed him all the way back in 11th.
1. Ken Roczen 1-1 = 50pts
2. Jeffrey Herlings 2-2 = 44
3. Tommy Searle 6-3 = 35
4. Max Anstie 4-6 = 33
5. Arnaud Tonus 9-4 = 30
6. Valentin Teillet 8-7 = 27
7. Joel Roelants 7-9 = 26
8. Jake Nicholls 5-11 = 26
9. Nicolas Aubin 3-32 = 20
10. Jeremy van Horebeek 15-8 = 19
MX1 race 1
The rain had stopped for the first FIM World Championship MX1 race but the track was still very muddy. Off the line for yet another holeshot would be Italian Antonio Cairoli and that would be the last anyone would see of him. Like Roczen, he'd lead from start to finish, coming under very little pressure. Behind him round the first bend would be Rui Goncalves, Evgeny Bobryshev, Steven Frossard, Clement Desalle, Max Nagl and Shaun Simpson, new factory Suzuki rider Kevin Strijbos would be 11th and returning Christophe Pourcel would be 12th.
Much like the MX2 race, there was very little passing as leaving the one fast-line around the track usually meant you'd lose time. This meant every pass had to be forced, something of a speciality for Desalle who, along with Strijbos, would be the only movers in the field.
Desalle would gradually move his way into 2nd, as he looked to minimise the points loss to Cairoli while Strijbos would get his way up into 7th. So at the end of the race, the top 10 would look like this: Cairoli, Desalle, Goncalves, Bobryshev, Frossard, Strijbos, Nagl, Boog, Guarneri and Simpson.
MX1 Race 2
Tanel Leok on his TM would rip off the holeshot in race two, followed by Goncalves, Desalle, Boog, Nagl, Pourcel, Strijbos and Cairoli way down in 8th. Much like race one, it would be Desalle making up the places early as he tried to keep the flying Estonian within sight. He'd get past Goncalves early and start stalking the TM machine, eventually getting past mid-way through the race.
Goncalves though would keep up his speed and his 3rd place in moto two, combined with his 3rd in moto one would see him finally get up on the podium. It was well deserved after the bad luck he suffered at Lommel the previous weekend. He couldn't catch Leok though whose 12th place in race one cost him any chance of being on the podium. Still, 4th overall was a good result for him and it would certainly have pleased the local casino that sponsored the team for this race.
Cairoli would seem to be satisfied with letting things pan out ahead of him, only really dropping the hammer near the end of the race where he'd overtake Boog, Pourcel and Nagl to get 4th. He'd lose 4pts to Desalle overall, but he still sits 48pts clear in the championship so won't be too disheartened.
Pourcel did well to keep Cairoli behind him for most of the race, but once the Italian finally got past, he tracked him well and got a 5th place. Not too bad on his return to action after a couple of GPs off. The rest of the top 10 would be Nagl, Boog, Strijbos, de Dycker and Barragan.
1. Clement Desalle 2-1 = 47
2. Antonio Cairoli 1-4 = 43
3. Rui Goncalves 3-3 = 40
4. Tanel Leok 12-2 = 31
5. Max Nagl 7-6 = 29
6. Kevin Strijbos 6-8 = 28
7. Xavier Boog 8-7 = 27
8. Steven Frossard 5-12 = 25
9. Christophe Pourcel 13-5 = 24
10. Jonathan Barragan 11-10 = 21