LOKET (CZECH REPUBLIC), 9 August 2008 – It was a beautiful and sunny start to the 12th Grand Prix of the season in Loket, Czech Republic.
Billy Mackenzie took his first pole of the year and second of the career in front of Kawasaki fellow riders Tanel Leok and Sebastien Pourcel, with Josh Coppins and Steve Ramon rounding off the top five.
In the MX2 class Tyla Rattray won the first qualifying moto from Stephen Sword. Rui Goncalves won the second moto from Nicolas Aubin after Tommy Searle crashed.
Billy Mackenzie took his first pole since he races with Honda
It was a solid opening day to the Czech GP for Billy Mackenzie of CAS Honda with the Brit taking his second career pole after his maiden one from Namur 2007.
Mackenzie left former team mate Kawasaki Racing's Tanel Leok behind in second with a 0.412 second gap as GPKR's Sebastien Pourcel completed the top three. The Frenchman was sitting on pole with 20 minutes to go but a final charge from Mackenzie unveiled to be fatal for Pourcel, who still leads the Lovemytime standings with four poles.
Tanel Leok riding to second in the time sheets
Yamaha Monster Motocross' Joshua Coppins moved up to third with eight minutes to go but he eventually ended fourth after Pourcel moved past. The last time the Kiwi ended fourth quickest he took his first season's victory at the German GP in Teutschenthal.
Current series leader Steve Ramon of Teka Suzuki WMX1 took fifth from Suzuki fellow rider Clement Desalle, who topped the time sheets in the early minutes.
David Philippaerts was 11th ahead of a surprising Gregory Aranda while the winner of the latest three GP's Jonathan Barragan was 14th.
Kevin Strijbos was 17th at his comeback after Bellpuig's injury.
Top five: 1. Billy Mackenzie (GBR, Honda), 1:47.227; 2. Tanel Leok (EST, Kawasaki), +0:00.412; 3. Sebastien Pourcel (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:00.530; 4. Joshua Coppins (NZL, Yamaha), +0:00.758; 5. Steve Ramon (BEL, Suzuki), +0:00.869
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's team mates Tyla Rattray and Rui Goncalves took victory in the two qualifying moto's today. Rattray eventually beat a strong Stephen Sword of Molson Kawasaki as the Brit led the first nine laps to finish second from Kawasaki fellow rider Steven Frossard of CLS. In the second heat Red Bull KTM Factory Racing's Tommy Searle crashed when he was leading; he finished fifth as Goncalves won from Ricci Racing Yamaha's Nicolas Aubin. Shaun Simpson made a mistake in the final laps of the first heat to end eighth.
Tyla Rattray battled it out with Stephen Sword for victory in heat one
MX2 QUALIFYING RACE 1
Swordy took the holeshot and tried to escape from his challengers from the second turn. Rattray was the only one to keep up with the Brit and he eventually moved past towards the end of the moto. Rattray won from Sword as another KTM/Kawasaki battle for third was going on between Frossard and Simpson. Frossard ended third while Simpson made a mistake dropping down to eighth. Seistola and Boissiere rounded off the top five ahead of Nunn and American Osbourne.
Top five: 1. Tyla Rattray (RSA, KTM), 24:52.449; ; 2. Stephen Sword (GBR, Kawasaki), +0:01.745; 3. Steven Frossard (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:13.501; 4. Matti Seistola (FIN, Honda), +0:18.652; 5. Anthony Boissiere (FRA, KTM), +0:19.304
Swordy was an eventual second in heat one
MX2 QUALIFYING RACE 2
Goncalves started strong to pull away from Searle and Aubin; Searle caught up with him and moved past at lap seven. Three laps later Searle went down and handed Goncalves the first place. The Portuguese won from Yamaha fellow riders Aubin and Monni. Van Horebeek played defence from Searle as he brought the fourth place home from the Brit. Belgian GP winner Krestinov was 11th.
Top five: 1. Rui Goncalves (POR, KTM), 24:38.520; ; 2. Nicolas Aubin (FRA, Yamaha), +0:07.944; 3. Manuel Monni (ITA, Yamaha), +0:11.548; 4. Jeremy van Horebeek (BEL, KTM), +0:13.023; 5. Tommy Searle (GBR, KTM), +0:14.641
Rui Goncalves took his first Lovemytime Qualifying Award of the year courtesy of the second heat victory
LOKETSKE SERPENTINY AND LOKET
The race track in Loket is called the "serpentine" and it is one of the most twisty in the FIM Motocross World Championship calendar. The characteristic elevation changes provide a good variety of racing situations while the intermediate ground has a hard base making it totally different from the previous Belgian venue, Lommel. Last year's winners were Kevin Strijbos –at his last year with the works Suzuki team- and Nicolas Aubin as the weather conditions were wet.
The race track in Loket
Loket is famous among the sports' fans as it hosts the main Motocross course in the country whose capital is Prague, just 140 kilometres away from the town hosting round 12 of the World MX series. Loket is in the Karlovy Vary region and it is characterized by the Castle overlooking the Oh?e river and the whole town which used to be the temporary seat of the members of the royal family –it has been visited several times by King Jan Luxembourg.
THE EVENT'S SCHEDULE
Sunday August 10: MX2 Warm-up at 9:00 am; MX1 Warm-up at 9:30 am; MX2 Grand Prix Race 1 at 12:10 am; MX1 Grand Prix Race 1 at 1:10 pm; MX2 Grand Prix Race 2 at 3:03 pm; MX1 Grand Prix Race 2 at 4:03 pm (local time).
The Grand Prix will be broadcast live on:
- EUROSPORT 2 (Pan Europe) : MX1 Race 1 at 13:00 and Race 2 at 16:00 CET
- MOTORS TV (Pan Europe): MX2 Race 1 at 12:00 and Race 2 at 15:00 CET
- SPORT ITALIA (Italy): MX2 Race 1 at 12:00 and Race 2 at 15:00 CET
- VRT (Belgium): Summary MX1 Race 1 and Race 2 N/A CET
- GALAXIE SPORT (Czech Republic): MX2 Race 1 at 12:00 and Race 2 at 15:00 CET
- ART (Pan Middle East): MX1 Race 2 at 16:00 CET
- SPORT TV (Slovenia): MX2 Race 1 at 12:00 and Race 2 at 15:00 CET
- EUROSPORT WORLD (PAN ASIA): MX1 Race 1 at 11:00 GMT
- RED BULL TV (Austria): MX2 Race 1 at 12:00 and Race 2 at 15:00; MX1 Race 1 at 13:00 and Race 2 at 16:00 CET
- MEDIAZONE (Worldwide): MX2 Race 1 at 12:00 and Race 2 at 15:00; MX1 Race 1 at 13:00 and Race 2 at 16:00 CET
- TRANS 7 (Indonesia): MX2 Race 1 at 12:00 and Race 2 at 15:00; MX1 Race 1 at 13:00 and Race 2 at 16:00 CET
The Grand Prix will be broadcast delayed on:
- EUROSPORT 2 (Pan Europe): Sunday August 10; MX1 Race 1 at 15:30. Monday August 11, MX2 Class at 17:00 CET
- MOTORS TV (Pan Europe): Sunday August 10; MX2 Race 1 at 21:00 and Race 2 at 21:55 CET
- SPORT ITALIA (Italy): Sunday August 10; MX1 Race 1 at 23:40. Monday August 11; MX1 Race 2 at 00:40 CET
- EUROSPORT WORLD (Pan Asia): Sunday August 10; MX1 Race 1 at 15:45 and 23:30 and Race 2 at 16:30. Monday August 11; MX1 Race 2 at 00:15, at 04:15, at 16:15 and at 23:15; MX1 Race 1 at 03:30 and at 22:30; MX2 Class at 17:00. Tuesday August 12; MX2 Class at 00:00, at 04:00, at 09:30 and at 21:00; MX1 Race 1 at 8:00 and Race 2 at 08:45. Wednesday August 13; MX2 Class at 8:00 and at 15:00 and at 22:30 GMT
- AMERICA ONE SPORTS (USA): Second Tuesday after the GP; MX2 Race 2 at 21:00; MX1 Race 2 at 22:00 USA Eastern Time
- GAORA (Japan): MX2 Race 1 and Race 2; MX1 Race 1 and Race 2 N/A CET
Information, photos and results are online at http://www.motocrossMX1.com, the official website of the FIM Motocross World Championships.