Claiming an emphatic victory in the opening MX2 moto, Thomas Covington wrapped up round 13 of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship securing third overall in the MX2 class at the GP of the Czech Republic. In doing so the American racer secured his third consecutive MX2 class podium result for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team.
With rain falling heavily a few hours prior to Sunday's racing, competitors were faced with a muddy and slippery track. Finishing third in the MX2 qualifying race Thomas Covington had a great gate pick for the final motos.
Getting a good jump out of the gate in the opening race Covington found himself in second behind Jorge Prado. Making a quick pass for the lead the American started putting in some really fast lap times, opening up a sizeable gap to the rest of the field. Crossing the finish line 10 seconds ahead of his closest competitor, Covington celebrated his second moto victory of the season.
Battling through an early mistake in moto two, Covington had to dig deep. Making crucial passes the American managed to earn a 10th place result for third overall at the GP.
For Covington's Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing teammate Thomas Kjer-Olsen the GP of the Czech Republic was one of mixed results. Starting the opening MX2 moto inside the top 10 the young Dane kept charging hard for fourth at the chequered flag. Suffering an early fall in moto two, Kjer-Olsen had to settle for 13th at the finish. Getting eighth overall at the GP the FC 250 powered rider retains his third position in the provisional MX2 World Championship standings.
For Conrad Mewse the highlight of his GP in Loket were his good starts in both motos. Finishing 10th in moto on the young Brit found himself racing in second soon after the start of moto two. Wrapping up the final race in 12th place, Conrad claimed 10th overall at the GP.
In the MXGP category, Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing's best performing rider was Gautier Paulin. Showing again that he has the speed to battle for the top three, the Frenchman collected 4/5 moto results to wrap up the GP of the Czech Republic with a strong fifth overall in the 450cc class.
Claiming third in the MXGP class' qualifying race, Max Nagl was positive of claiming good results at the Loket circuit. Finishing 10th in moto one, the German lost a lot of time when he hit the start gate at the beginning of moto two. Crossing the line in 13th place he earned 11th overall.
Eager to continue his strong run of form Max Anstie was left with a mountain to climb after a crash in moto one. Briefly re-joining the race the Brit felt pain in his foot and was forced to stop. Battling for a place inside the top 10 in moto two Anstie crossed the line in 12th.
The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team will return to action at round 14 of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship in Lommel, Belgium on August 4/5.
Thomas Covington: "I had some ups and downs so it's quite good I got a spot on the podium. Getting third in the qualifying moto I was confident I could do even better in the final motos. I got a good start in race one and found myself following Garcia in second. I wanted to make a quick pass and I managed to pull it off. Then I kept my head down and tried to avoid mistakes. I pushed hard for the next couple of laps and got myself a clear gap for the win. With all that rain on Sunday morning the track was quite tricky. I had some bad luck in moto two as I got tangled up with some other riders right after the start. I re-joined the race from the back of the pack and slowly brought myself up to 10th. I'm happy with the podium and I'm already looking forward to Lommel."
Thomas Kjer-Olsen: "We've been working hard with the team during the last couple of rounds and it's paying off in my lap times. I felt really good coming into Loket. I had a good pace from the qualifying but unfortunately it rained on Sunday morning and conditions changed a lot. In moto one I started inside the top ten and made some good passes for fourth at the line. I knew I could do better in moto two but a bad start and a crash in the opening lap made everything difficult for me. I tried to come back and finished the second moto in 13th place. Going into Lommel now I have a great feeling for this GP. Our workshop is right next to the track so it's a place we know really, really well."
Conrad Mewse: "It's been a good GP for me. In moto one everything went quite well and I managed to get a spot in the top 10. Then in moto two I got a great start and found myself in second. I tried to remain focused but the pressure was maybe too much and I ended up making mistakes. Getting 12th in moto two for 10th overall is not bad. It shows the speed is there and I can now focus on getting even better results. The feeling is good at the moment and I'm looking forward to the following GP in Lommel."
Gautier Paulin: "We've spent the whole week prior to the race working on our bikes and made some big improvements. I started the weekend by posting the best lap time in Time Practice and that was a good moral booster. Unfortunately, conditions were totally different with the mud on Sunday. I knew it would be crucial to get good starts in this track so I focused all my efforts into making it happen. My starts were quite good in both motos and I did my best to remain close to the top three. Getting fourth in the first race and then fifth in the second was the best I could do but it's still a good overall result. The hard work continues and I'm hoping to get back on the box in Lommel."
Max Nagl: "I like the Loket track a lot so I was hoping I could push for some good results here. We made some changes on the bike this last week and the feeling was even better. I had a good qualifying race finishing third. The rain came on Sunday and things were different. I didn't get a good start in moto one but made a few good passes for 10th at the line. In moto two I really wanted to do better but I hit the gate right before the start and had to start from dead last. My riding was good but losing precious time when I hit the gate, the best I could do was finish in 13th place. Going into Lommel now expectations are high. It's a sandy track that suits my style and I know I can do well there."
Max Anstie: "We had a great week of testing before the GP in Loket and made some big steps forward. In the qualifying race my start was good but I got stuck in the first turn and lost time. Then on Sunday I was feeling quite good despite the muddy conditions. Unfortunately, I crashed on the first lap and hurt my foot. The pain was unbearable so I had to stop and get it checked. I had the medical team check it and luckily it was nothing serious, just some bruises on my foot. I did my best in moto two but the pain was still there."