The traditional track of Loket in the Czech Republic will be the scenario to host the twelfth MXGP of the season this weekend, where Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings will have to defend their leadership more than ever as there are only five MXGP left until the end of the season. For fourth year in a row the company Bonver Group, which is one of the leading operators of electromechanical roulettes, gaming machines and Video Lottery Terminals in the Czech Republic, will have the naming right of the Czech Grand Prix.
Bonver Group was founded in 1992 and it is run and owned by Mr. Pavel Kulajta and Mr. Dalibor Poboril. Its activities also cover the real estates business, as the Bonver Group owns a brewery producing beer under the company‘s trademark.
The fourth round of the UEM EMX250 series will also take place this weekend in Loket. Mel Pocock, who has won all the races so far, is travelling to Loket determined to battle for another overall victory and widen his advantage over his pursuers to be able to travel to his home event at Matterley Basin being the red plate holder of the series. Second in the championship is Stefan Olsen, who was very close to win the first race of the Russian round, and third in the point standings is Mike Kras.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antonio Cairoli is flying to Loket with the red plate on his KTM and with twenty points advantage over second classified Clement Desalle. The Italian is determined to fight for the overall victory this weekend and increase the difference with his pursuers and he knows better than anybody that a good start in the Czech track is crucial to be on the top of the podium. In fact, Cairoli missed the overall victory last year in Loket due to a bad start in the second heat.
Clement Desalle has really good memories of the old school track of Loket, where he has been able to win in 2009 and 2011, and he was second in 2010. The Rockstar Energy Suzuki World rider has been training really hard to prepare the very last part of the season to try to claim back the red plate and finish at the top of the standings at the end of the season.
Third in the MX1 class is Christophe Pourcel, who is twenty-nine points behind Desalle. The CP377 Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit rider has missed the podium in the two Grand Prix, and although he finished ninth last year in Loket, he will do his best to be back on the podium and try to win his third Grand Prix this weekend.
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Gautier Paulin is fourth in the MX1 point standings just seventeen points behind Pourcel. The French rider had a very strong beginning of the season and he has been on the podium in three occasions, conquering the first step in Sevlievo, Bulgaria. However, during the last Grand Prix the French rider has obtained solid results, but he has not been able to ride for the top three positions. This weekend Paulin is determined to show all his potential and be back on the podium and fight for the third position in the MX1 Championship.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Ken De Dycker has been second and third overall in the previous MXGP and he is flying to the Czech Republic to repeat such performance and get closer to the top three positions of the Championship. At the moment the Belgian rider is fifth, thirty-five points behind Paulin, so he needs to keep on being on the rostrum to improve such position at the end of the season.
Kevin Strijbos has been on the podium in three occasions this season and he was able to win the second race of the Latvian Grand Prix. At the moment he is sixth in the point standings, ahead of Xavier Boog and Tanel Leok, who is still struggling with his injury in his ankle. Rui Gonçalves, who was on the third step of the podium last year in Loket, is ninth in the championship, followed by David Philippaerts.
Evgeny Bobryshev, who was fifth of his home Grand Prix in Semigorje, is feeling much better now and he has admitted that he feels ready to fight for a podium finish this weekend. The Russian is twelfth in the MX1 point standings, behind Shaun Simpson.
Max Nagl will be back in the FIM Motocross World Championship this weekend after his long absence due to his back injury. The German rider will join Cairoli and De Dycker in the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team from this weekend until the end of the season.
Home rider Martin Michek, who is currently fourth of the MX3 World Championship, will race this weekend against the best MX1 riders in the world and he hopes to do a good performance in front of his home crowd.
2011 MX1 Podium
1. Clement Desalle
2. Antonio Cairoli
3. Rui Gonçalves
2011 MX1 POLEMAN: Max Nagl
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeffrey Herlings keeps on being the clear favourite to claim the MX2 Title, being forty-nine points ahead of Tommy Searle. The Dutch rider was back on the first step of podium in Russia after having missed it in the three previous MXGP. This weekend Herlings will have to deal with a broken rib, caused by a car accident he suffered on his way back to the airport after the Russian Grand Prix. The Dutch rider has been training on his mountain bike and he has admitted that he still feels some pain, but he expects not to have major problems to bring his KTM back to the podium in Loket.
Runner up of the MX2 championship is Tommy Searle, who did an incredible performance in Russia even if he was not able to conquer the first step of the podium. The team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit rider has not given up and he is still fighting for MX2 Title, so he will give his best one more time to go 1-1 and close the gap with Herlings.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Jeremy Van Horebeek is getting closer to the second position of the Championship thanks to his consistent results; the Belgian rider is just twelve points behind Searle. Last year Van Horebeek was not lucky in Loket and finished tenth overall, but this weekend he is determined to finish once again on the podium.
Joel Roelants, who obtained his maiden GP win in Latvia, is fourth in the championship, seventy-three points behind his compatriot Van Horebeek. The Team Floride Monster Energy Kawasaki Pro Circuit rider missed the podium in Russia, but he is fully focused to do well this weekend and fight for the top three positions and close the gap with Van Horebeek in the point standings.
Completing the top five of the MX2 championship is Jordi Tixier, who obtained his first podium finish in Latvia and won the MX2 qualifying race in Russia. The French rider is feeling more confident than ever on his KTM, so it would not be a surprise to see him fighting for a top three result this weekend in Loket.
Jake Nicholls is sixth in the championship and Max Anstie, who had some mechanical problems with his Honda in Russia, is seventh. José Butrón is eighth, followed by Dylan Ferrandis and Alessandro Lupino.
Arnaud Tonus, who is fifteenth in the championship, finished fifth last year in Loket, so he might be able to fight for a podium finish this weekend.
It will be a very special weekend for the SKS Polned TM Factory Racing riders Andrea Cervellin and Nick Kouwenberg because they will ride home of their main sponsor Casino Bonver.
Italian Ivo Monticelli has joined the Husqvarna Ricci Racing team and he will make his debut with his new colours this weekend in Loket.
Christophe Charlier will not be able to take part in the Casino Bonver Grand Prix of the Czech Republic, as he needs to undergo surgery on his right shoulder, which he dislocated during the French Grand Prix. The French rider will miss the rest of the season.
2011 MX2 Podium
1. Ken Roczen
2. Jeffrey Herlings
3. Tommy Searle
2011 MX2 POLEMAN: Arnaud Tonus
Saturday: EMX250 Free + Qualifying Time Practice Group A 7:55; EMX250 Free + Qualifying Time Practice Group B 8:35; MX2 Free Practice 9:30; MX1 Free Practice 10:15; EMX250 Qualifying Race Group A 11:15; EMX250 Qualifying Race Group B 12:00; MX2 Pre-Qualifying Practice 13:15; MX1-Pre Qualifying Practice 14:00; EMX250 Last Chance Qualifying Practice 15:00; MX2 Qualifying Race 16:10; MX1 Qualifying Race 17:00; EMX250 B-Final 17:50; EMX250 Race 1 18:40.
Sunday: EMX250 Warm up 8:30; MX2 Warm up 9:00; MX1 Warm up 9:30; EMX250 Race 2 10:15; MX2 Grand Prix Race 1 12:10; MX1 Grand Prix Race 1 13:10; MX2 Grand Prix Race 2 15:03; MX1 Grand Prix race 2 16:03.