Romain Febvre of Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP raced to his third consecutive GP victory in the FIM World MXGP Motocross Championship at Loket in the Czech Republic. The Frenchman confirmed his speed already during morning Warm-Up as he lapped seven-tenths of a second faster than any of his rivals and he wasted no time in taking control of the first moto; edged out by the narrowest of margins for the holeshot, he immediately launched over the following triple-jump to carry outrageous speed into turn two, railing the outside berm to take the lead and immediately sprinting clear. By the completion of the first complete lap he was already more than two seconds clear and gradually opened up his advantage to five seconds before backing off slightly through the final laps to bring home safely his fourth moto win of the campaign. The top three series contenders each gated up front in race two but no-one else had an answer to the Kawasaki leader as he set the fastest lap in each moto. After an inside move for second on lap two he made an enthralling pass on the previous leader on a steep climb four laps later and, quickly opening up a commanding lead, he appeared to be on the way to his first perfect two-moto GP victory of the season. But it was not to be; four laps from the end a small error saw him thrown to the ground. He remounted fourth and, despite bent handlebars and a painful shoulder, gritted it out to the finish to record his third GP victory in four weekends, having also won each of the two previous GPs in Indonesia. Post-race medical examinations revealed no damage to the shoulder and he now heads to round thirteen of nineteen next week in Belgium, having consolidated second in the series standings.
Romain Febvre: "I didn’t win three GPs in-a-row since 2015; that’s why I’m happy despite this crash in the second moto. 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, 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." KRT colleague Mitch Evans made it two Green bikes in the top-six off the start of race one and the Australian maintained that position until losing one position on lap seven but he regrouped quickly to bring home a secure seventh-placed finish. A midfield start in race two left him fifteenth on lap one but he made quick advances to twelfth and three laps from the end made the final decisive pass for eleventh in moto and ninth overall. The twenty-four points also see him move up to fourteenth in the series standings and, with seven rounds remaining, the top-ten is still a realistic target despite having been forced to sit out the first four GPs through injury. Mitch Evans: "I got a really good start in the first race and could keep the tempo all moto. I just got boxed-in off the start in race two but we made good progress again this weekend. Onwards and upwards to Lommel." Antti Pyrhönen (KRT team manager): "The entire team is really proud with three GP wins in-a-row. Romain rode an almost perfect race; he was the fastest rider in both motos and was completely in control until that small mistake near the end of race two. It's quite amazing that he could still win the GP and we keep our fingers crossed that he will be OK for Lommel next weekend. Mitch also rode a great first moto."