The Loket track may have been rough after heavy rain at the weekend but nothing deterred Ken Roczen and Jeffrey Herlings from dominating both motos at the MX2 GP. They walked away with the major silverware for a 1-2 result in both races and the GP.
Roczen got a perfect start and was in front in both races from the gate drop to the flag, saving himself a lot of dirt in the face on the soggy and unpredictable track. He now steals back six points on the advantage he has in the standings over Jeffrey Herlings as the two teenage factory riders continue to dominate the competition. With still three GPs to go and 150 points up for grabs, Roczen leads with 540 points and Herlings has 513 and they are way ahead of third placed Tommy Searle back at 435
The track, which is usually a mixed stony surface on a hard base turned out to be extra tricky, especially after heavy rain. Jeffrey Herlings had a big moment half way through the opener when he hit a concealed hole in the middle of the track, a chance to use his acrobatic skill and keep his KTM 250 SX-F upright. Even though conditions were difficult this weekend, Jeffrey was also able to lay some ghosts to rest with his positive result. It was here in Loket last year where he sustained an injury that put him out for the remainder of the season.
It was not such a good day for teammate Jeremy van Horebeek on the track that offered few line alternatives and made it essential to get a good start. Jeremy missed the start in both motos and in the first had to make a hasty trip into the pits to straighten a bent gearshift after a too-close encounter with another rider. He finished the day with a 15-8 result for overall tenth and 19 championship points.
It was a very good day overall for the Austrian-made sports motorcycles with KTM riders soaking up six of the top 10 places in the GP.
Ken Roczen: “It rained in the first race so there was way more grip, it was not so dry and rocky and slick. I got the holeshot and from then on I never looked back and won the race. I had a problem in the second race because all the sweat was running down inside my goggles and I couldn’t see too well so it was bad conditions for me for sure and not easy to win the race.”
Jeffrey Herlings: “I’m no big fan of the mud so I struggled a bit in the first moto. I had a good start but I couldn’t stay with Ken even if I was able to close in on him at the end of the race. In the second I managed to stay with him throughout moto but in the end I didn’t have anything left to beat him. Overall it was a good weekend, much better than last year!”
Jeremy van Horebeek: If you don’t get a good start then it’s not easy. I had the speed during the races but that wasn’t enough. Now for the next two weeks I am going to work hard on my starts. My bike is awesome and the team is working very hard and I’m confident that if I can get good starts like Ken and Jeffrey I can be in the top five and even on the podium with them.
Tony Cairoli a good second in Loket, retains red plate as overall leader
Reigning MX1 world champion and Red Bull Teka KTM factory rider Tony Cairoli followed up a stunning first moto victory with a strong fourth place in race two to finish second overall in the MX1 GP in Loket in the Czech Republic on Sunday to keep a firm hold on the red plate as championship leader.
In contrast to his copybook first race, Tony had more problems in the second moto. He again got away from the gate sharply in the second moto but got involved in several race incidents on the tough and gnarly track. He then had to settle down and pick off the riders in front of him to get back into contention. The Italian rider put in his copybook burst at the finish made his typical finish when he dropped the hammer in the last laps and moved up the order from seventh to fourth place.