MXGP Recap: 2021 Grand Prix of the Czech Republicby Jack Gaffney July 27, 2021 1 comment
The World Motocross Championship tilt is now past the quarter-way mark after the trek to Loket in the Czech Republic. With preseason title contenders Jeffery Herlings now on the shelf and Tom Vialle back on track, another pair of Red Bull KTM riders would take center stage on Sunday. Recap from round five of the 2021 MXGP along with some other tidbits season forthwith.
Herlings Injury Update
Last weekend in his home GP in Oss, Herlings suffered a fractured left shoulder in an opening lap incident with Ivo Monticelli. He ended up winning that race but would miss Moto 2. The good news is that Herlings says he does not feel pain now, but running this weekend was out of the question. With that said, he did make the trip to Loket this weekend as a spectator.
MXGP pit reporter Lisa Leyland snagged an interview with the former 450 World Champion pre-race. With Herlings saying that he may be back in time for Lommel next weekend, despite also saying that also may not be a smart call. Also said that “Normally, the plan is to return for Finland and be healthy.” The Finish GP is set for August 22nd for those wondering.
Future of GP Factory Kawasaki
In what felt like out of nowhere, the KRT (Kawasaki Racing Team) group, which runs the Monster Kawi unit in MXGP, announced they are pulling out of the series. The group, led by Kawasaki Motors Europe, has run the team for close to 15 years. As of now, Kawaski has Romain Febvre and Monticelli as their 450 riders, but now that feels like it could change.
Now here is where things get interesting. The rumor and innuendo are that the IceOne team, which as of now is the Rockstar Husqvarna team, will switch over to Kawasaki in 2022. The team owner for IceOne by the way would be one Kimi Raikkonen. 2007 Formula 1 Champion and one of the most electric personalities in motorsports history.
Mattia Guadagnini would end up nabbing the opening MX2 holeshot over teammate Vialle and Wilson Todd. From here it was a cordial procedure, as the number 101 KTM went wire to wire to take home the Moto win. Vialle in his first appearance back would end up in second this Moto, with Jed Beaton third. However, maybe the most impressive run in this race came from Maxime Renaux. He came all the way back from 13th on the opening lap to end up in fifth by the end. A stout ride for the young Frenchman.
Despite a second in the previous moto, this one would not go good at all for the returning Vialle. He would go down multiple times, including on the start, on the way to scoring zero points for this Moto. Thibault Benistant ended up with the holeshot here, and like Guadagnini in Moto 1, would go wire-to-wire for the win. A fifth for Giadagnini here however would just be good enough for the overall win. Scoring three more points than second-place Renaux, Beninstant third overall on the day due to a ninth in Moto 1. Renaux however is still the series points leader in the MX2 class but is now only two points up on Guadagnini.
Top 10 Overall in MX2 Class
No. 101 Mattia Guadagnini 1-5
No. 959 Maxime Renaux 5-2
No. 198 Thibualt Benistant 9-1
No. 14 Jed Beaton 3-8
No. 70 Ruben Fernandez 4-7
No. 93 Jago Geerts 12-3
No. 711 Rene Hoffer 10-4
No. 74 Kay de Wolf 6-9
No. 172 Mathys Boisrame 11-6
No. 20 Wilson Todd 7-11
Jorge Prado would pick up his fourth holeshot of the year to kick things off in the GP class. Like the two MX2 Motos, it would make the difference as he went the distance here out in front. Tim Gajser ended up making things as close as a couple of bike lengths at the end to pick up a second. While Febvre made a mid-race charge from fifth to end up taking the final podium spot here. Antonio Cairoli never saw action in the top five in this one, staying in seventh in a sixth the whole way. Finally, it was a disappointing finish for Pauls Jonass out of the Husqvarna camp. A run inside the top 10 would be thwarted by a mid-race mechanical that forced a 29th place finish.
Prado again took home another holeshot in this Moto. To this point in the season, he has nabbed 50 percent of the GP Class holeshots five rounds in (five out of ten). His initial lead however would not last, as Cairoli made his way by his young teammate for the lead. A little ways back, Gajser had a somewhat significant get-off coming to lap five. The defending champion and points leader would drop nearly 25 spots in the process. Luckily he would make his way into a points-paying finish of 15th pace.
Cairoli meanwhile would nab the Moto win here, but it would be Prado who took home the overall win with a 1-3 on the day. Despite his send-off here, would retain the points lead But now is in a battle royale so to speak with Cairoli, Prado, and Febvre.
Top 10 Overall in MXGP Class
No. 61 Jorge Prado 1-3
No. 222 Antonio Cairoli 6-1
No. 91 Jeremy Seewer 5-2
No. 259 Glenn Coldenhoff 4-4
No. 3 Romain Febvre 3-10
No. 243 Tim Gajser 2-15
No. 711 Alessandro Lupino 8-8
No. 89 Jeremy Van Horebeek 7-9
No. 128 Ivo Monticelli 14-5
No. 919 Ben Watson 11-12
Also a shoutout to Courtney Duncan for taking the Women’s World Motocross Championship opener this weekend as well. The Series is off to the world’s biggest sandpit next weekend in Lommel, Belgium.
Follow Jack Gaffney on Twitter @JackGaffneyPTST
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images