Romain Febvre raced to his third consecutive GP victory in the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship at Loket in the Czech Republic while Jago Geerts continued his strong recovery from a recent injury to take his second MX2 Class win on the trot.
For the twelfth round of the 2023 FIM Motocross World Championship, the MXGP of Czech Republic, track conditions were really good, the temperatures dropped compared to Saturday and riders could express themselves on the technical track of Loket.
In MXGP, it was Romain Febvre who won his third GP in a row and continues his charge in the Championship. Jorge Prado finished second to snare another podium and keep scoring important points while a consistent Jeremy Seewer took his second podium out of the last three Grand Prix.
In MX2, Jago Geerts won back-to-back GPs to keep his chances of lifting the MX2 title. Simon Laengenfelder got another great podium showing very good speed while Kay de Wolf clinched his first podium since his foot injury.
In MXGP race one, the Holeshot was taken by fastest qualifier Jorge Prado but Romain Febvre took the lead straight after. Febvre kept going and never looked back as he looked very confident on a track he has won on twice in the past. Despite a couple of scares towards the end of the race, Febvre dominantly won the race.
Prado looked like he had the pace to chase after Febvre but on lap ten, Glenn Coldenhoff and Jeremy Seewer were pushing each other for third and got closer and closer to Prado. In the end, Seewer made a successful move on Coldenhoff for third and kept going to then pass Prado a lap later to go second. Seewer finished second while Prado had to draw some energy to keep Coldenhoff at bay and finished third. Coldenhoff settled for fourth.
It was another solid race for Calvin Vlaanderen who made a good start to get to fifth and kept it until the end. Tim Gajser and Ruben Fernandez got a similar start as they were seventh and eighth respectively off the start. Then Fernandez inched closer to Gajser and made a move up to seventh and kept charging to overtake Australian Mitch Evans for sixth. For Gajser, this first race was a good test but he could not defend Jeremy Van Horebeek and had to settle for ninth for his first race of the season. Evans had a solid race as he only got overtaken by Fernandez and finished seventh while Van Horebeek also rode consistently within the top ten and even passed Gajser to finish at a good eighth place.
In race two, Seewer took the Holeshot and the lead in front of Prado and Febvre. While the battle was fierce between the front three riders it was Febvre who first got the better of Prado on lap two to go second and kept pushing forward to put pressure on Seewer for the lead. The French rider finally made it to the top on lap six. However, another rider invited himself to the battle which was Vlaanderen.
Vlaanderen showed blistering speed to overtake Prado and Seewer. Vlaanderen was a solid second and kept racing with a strong pace but Febvre looked very composed until lap sixteen when he crashed and pick himself up in fourth position. Vlaanderen then took the matter into his own hands to power through victory and win his first race of the season. Unfortunately for Vlaanderen, it was still not enough to get his first podium of the season. He went 5-1 and finished fourth overall.
Prado followed and finished second while Seewer finished third. The expected podium didn’t change in the end with Febvre holding Gajser at bay for fourth, synonymous with the overall win. With 3-2, Prado got another podium finish in second place while Seewer got third overall with 2-3.
Gajser had a great second race as he passed his teammate Fernandez for fifth on lap six to finish fifth in the end. Gajser went 9-5 for seventh overall on his return. Fernandez settled for sixth to get to sixth overall.
“I didn’t win three GPs in a row since 2015; that’s why I’m happy despite this crash in the second moto,” Febvre said. “It could have been the perfect day with two moto wins; my speed was good, my riding was good, everything … until this mistake in the second moto. I controlled the first race, and then in the second, I had another good start. I passed Prado for second, then I followed Seewer for several laps and could compare our lines; sometimes it’s good to be the hunter! I saw that I was faster than him in several sections and after I passed him I made a gap on my rivals. I was riding consistently until the front wheel slipped away in a corner and I crashed. I lost a few positions but I knew if I kept fourth I had at least a podium result. My shoulder hurt but I could forget the pain until the end of the race. I’m happy to win the GP; it’s the third time I have won here at Loket and it was good to win again after several tough years here. I can’t say that it’s my favourite track but my riding style seems to suit the layout. The medical examinations didn’t reveal any damage to the shoulder but I will take some rest to be ready for Lommel next weekend.”
In MX2 Race One it was Jago Geerts who took the Holeshot and took the lead at the same time. Kevin Horgmo made a solid start and found himself riding right behind in second place. Geerts controlled the race from start to finish even though Horgmo got closer toward the end of the race. In the end, Geerts won in front of Horgmo who got his season’s best finish in second.
The start was eventful as many riders such as Red Plate Andrea Adamo and Liam Everts got involved in a multi-rider collision in the first corner. Adamo got back up and managed to get back to twelfth over the first lap but crashed again as Rick Elzinga forced a move on lap two. Adamo in the end crossed the line thirteenth. Everts got back to seventeenth in the end. Elzinga managed to finish tenth as he consistently rode within the top ten.
It was also a great start for Sacha Coenen who found himself third at the start. He kept on going and fought for his place in front of the excellent Camden Mc Lellan. Unfortunately, S.Coenen could not defend Kay de Wolf and Simon Laegenfelder. S.Coenen settled in for fifth and his season’s best finish. De Wolf and Laengenfelder followed each other to finish third and fourth respectively.
Mc Lellan in the end also got overtaken by de Wolf and Laengenfelder and finish in a really good sixth place in front of another good performer Emil Weckman who only lost one position to finish seventh.
Lucas Coenen was unlucky as he lost many positions in the multi-rider collision after several corners. The young Belgian found himself fifteenth on lap one but powered through to get to ninth. He then caught his teammate Roan Van de Moosdijk and managed to pass him to finish eighth. Van De Moosdijk settled for ninth.
In race two, Laengenfelder clinched the Holeshot and went on with the lead. S.Coenen made another great start but unfortunately faded away during the race and settled for seventh to get his season’s best finish with seventh overall. Laegenfelder looked like a solid leader but Adamo had other plans.
The MX2 Red plate holder had an average start as he found himself 6th on lap 1 but put his head down and charged forward. His incredible determination led him to overtake lap after lap Geerts, Mc Lellan, S.Coenen and in the end Laengenfelder. After that Adamo simply disappear at the front and continued on his great pace to win his first race of the season. Adamo got fifth overall which is excellent given the unfortunate chain of events in race one.
Laengenfelder who had an excellent race, finished second to 4-2 and second overall to get a back-to-back podium. Behind him, Geerts rode smart and managed to get where he wanted to be. He overtook Mc Lellan for fourth and S.Coenen for third a lap later to control his race and finish third. It is another back-to-back GP win for Geerts who is reaching his level from before his injury. McLellan showed incredible riding throughout the day as he went 6-5 for sixth overall, his best finish this season.
De Wolf displayed another really good performance as he charged from the back. ninth on lap one, de Wolf kept his cool to move up the rank and finish fourth for a 3-4 and his first podium since his foot injury. His teammate L.Coenen stayed consistent and only lost one position from the opening lap to finish eighth behind his twin brother. He also finishes just behind his brother in the overall eighth position.
Everts didn’t have the best weekend but he got his flow back in race two to finish sixth and show a good and encouraging speed for next weekend in Lommel. He finished eleventh overall. Elzinga on his side did not find the same flow in race two and finished thirteenth and twelfth overall.
Thibault Benistant withdrew following a heavy fall during the MX2 Qualifying Race on Saturday 15th July. Benistant was hit from behind by another rider who did not brake in time, resulting in a heavy crash on the start straight. The 21-year-old Frenchman, who holds the second position in the MX2 Championship Standings, was immediately taken to the on-site medical center and then transported to the nearest hospital in Karlovy Vary for further evaluation. It is noteworthy that Benistant was cleared from any fractures or serious injury and was discharged from the hospital the same night.
“Overall, it was a good weekend,” Geerts said. “I didn’t feel great on the track, but I still managed to win the first heat. The second race was a bit more of a struggle, but I still managed to get to third and win the overall, which I have to be happy with. Now I am really looking forward to the next two GP’s back in the sand!”
The traditional calendar contrast from Loket hard-pack to deep Lommel sand now awaits the teams and riders. The championship moves north and to the Limburg region of Belgium for round thirteen in just a few days time.
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), 34:50.813
2 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:00.822
3 Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:08.411
4 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:09.577
5 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), +0:19.677
6 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:39.139
7 Mitchell Evans (AUS, Kawasaki), +0:45.613
8 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:52.012
9 Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:55.651
10 Benoit Paturel (FRA, Yamaha), +0:58.075
MXGP – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, Yamaha), 35:14.549
2 Jorge Prado (ESP, GASGAS), +0:04.404
3 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, Yamaha), +0:05.542
4 Romain Febvre (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:09.000
5 Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:10.943
6 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Honda), +0:17.862
7 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, Yamaha), +0:26.106
8 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Honda), +0:29.697
9 Tom Koch (GER, KTM), +0:45.062
10 Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), +0:59.589
MXGP – Grand Prix Top 10 Classification:
1 Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 43 Points
2 Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 42 Points
3 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 42 Points
4 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 41 Points
5 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 32 Points
6 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 30 Points
7 Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 28 Points
8 Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, HON), 26 Points
9 Mitchell Evans (AUS, KAW), 24 Points
10 Tom Koch (GER, KTM), 17 Points
MXGP – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 614 Points
2 Romain Febvre (FRA, KAW), 510 Points
3 Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 465 Points
4 Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 452 Points
5 Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 428 Points
6 Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 402 Points
7 Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), 386 Points
8 Alberto Forato (ITA, KTM), 302 Points
9 Valentin Guillod (SUI, HON), 276 Points
10 Mattia Guadagnini (ITA, GAS), 203 Points
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 1 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), 33:46.123
2 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +0:02.248
3 Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:08.918
4 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:12.608
5 Sacha Coenen (BEL, KTM), +0:19.683
6 Camden Mc Lellan (RSA, Honda), +0:24.963
7 Emil Weckman (FIN, Honda), +0:25.791
8 Lucas Coenen (BEL, Husqvarna), +0:26.807
9 Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, Husqvarna), +0:29.718
10 Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +0:30.440
MX2 – Grand Prix Race 2 – Top 10 Classification:
1 Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 35:41.660
2 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:05.279
3 Jago Geerts (BEL, Yamaha), +0:13.877
4 Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:18.190
5 Camden Mc Lellan (RSA, Honda), +0:19.355
6 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:19.813
7 Sacha Coenen (BEL, KTM), +0:33.345
8 Lucas Coenen (BEL, Husqvarna), +0:35.908
9 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, Kawasaki), +0:40.559
10 Marcel Stauffer (AUT, KTM), +0:43.099
MX2 – Grand Prix Top 10 Classification:
1 Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 45 Points
2 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 40 Points
3 Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 38 Points
4 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 34 Points
5 Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 33 Points
6 Camden Mc Lellan (RSA, HON), 31 Points
7 Sacha Coenen (BEL, KTM), 30 Points
8 Lucas Coenen (BEL, HUS), 26 Points
9 Marcel Stauffer (AUT, KTM), 21 Points
10 Emil Weckman (FIN, HON), 20 Points
MX2 – World Championship Top 10 Classification:
1 Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 506 Points
2 Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 478 Points
3 Jago Geerts (BEL, YAM), 471 Points
4 Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 462 Points
5 Roan Van De Moosdijk (NED, HUS), 433 Points
6 Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 432 Points
7 Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 368 Points
8 Lucas Coenen (BEL, HUS), 359 Points
9 Kevin Horgmo (NOR, KAW), 316 Points
10 Jan Pancar (SLO, KTM), 248 Points