The FIM Motocross World Championship was in Loket for the MXGP of Czech Republic but crowning champions are the classes of EMX85 and EMX65 along with the Czech round of EMX300 presented by FMF Racing. Taking the title as 2018 European Champion was Camden Mc Lellan in EMX85 and Brando Rispoli in EMX65 while Mike Kras won the Czech round of EMX300 presented by FMF Racing.
The Loket circuit provided epic conditions for the riders with overnight rain watering the track perfectly. The EMX classes took advantage of the conditions with amazing racing in front of the thousands of motocross fans lining the massive hillsides. Racing was over two days, with the first action being completed on Saturday, while Sunday hosted the deciding races of all three classes.
One of the best classes to watch this weekend was the little 65cc rippers as they battled among the monstrous hillsides of Loket. 40 riders made the trip after qualifying through various regional races in Europe.
A fast start from Brando Rispoli led the field of small wheeled 2 strokes in race 1 but the #411 of Damian Knuiman from the Netherlands made a pair of passes to move from third into the top spot. Jakob Madsen from Denmark was the rider betzween Rispoli and Knuiman after the start xbut he dropped to third once the lead changed.
Rispoli was running in second but fell and rejoined in 6th giving Madsen 2nd back briefly. Working his up from 8th on the first lap to pass Madsen for 2nd was Slovenian Jaka Peklaj. Bradley Mesters from the Netherlands was 4th most of the race and held off Rispoli on the last two laps. At the finish of race 1 Knuiman topped Peklaj, Madsen, Mesters, and Rispoli.
Race 2 hosted another strong start from Rispoli as he led fellow Italian Alessandro Gaspari. Madsen was 3rd and KTM Silver Action’s Jan Janout from the Czech Republic was 4th. Sweden’s Anton Isaksson was in the top five before Mesters made pass with 3 laps to go.
Rispoli won the race ahead of Gaspari, Madsen, Janout, and Mesters. Rispoli’s race win gave him just enough points to take the overall and be crowned the 2018 EMX65 Champion. Taking a close second was Madsen with only 1 point less while third went to Knuiman.
The final EMX title to be decided this weekend was with the slightly larger and older EMX85 riders. The class was also filled with 40 riders and stacked with young talent and aspiring champions.
Race 1 was led by Kays Karssemakers on lap 1 with Liam Everts in 2nd and Raul Sanchez Garcia running 3rd. Garcia took the lead on lap 2 after Karsemakers fell to 9th. Germany’s Constantin Piller moved up to third while KTM Kosak Racing’s Camden Mc Lellan was fighting forward from 8th.
On lap 5 Everts took the lead but Garcia took it back the next time around. Clearly on a mission was South Africa’s Mc Lellan as he took the lead only a lap later. Mc Lellan was impressive as it only took him 7 laps to gain 7 positions.
Everts again went after Garcia with 4 laps to go and this time made a pass stick for second. At the finish Mc Lellan (in the photo) won ahead of Everts, Garcia, Piller, and Karssemakers.
Race 2 was dominated by Kay De Wolf who led every lap recorded but the championship deciding action was behind him. Karssemakers was 3rd on lap one but passed Italy’s Valerio Lata on lap 2 and held second for 2 laps before Mc Lellan took the position after running 5th on lap one.
Everts was back around mid-pack on the start but came across the first official lap in 9th. Everts methodically picked his way through the field to take fourth from JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team’s Radek Vetrovsky with only two laps remaining.
De Wolf held on to win the race with Mc Lellan second and Karssemakers third. The overall and 2018 EMX85 title went to Camden Mc Lellan with Kay De Wolf second and Liam Everts reaching the podium.
Coming into the weekend the 300cc class was stacked with the talented riders from the usual contenders like GL12 Racing’s Mike Kras and Verde Substance KTM’s Brad Anderson to Czech Republic’s Vaclav Kovar and the new entry of Dennis Ulrich.
Race 1 on Saturday started with former MXGP rider, Dennis Ulrich, in the lead and being chased by Mike Kras and Greg Smets from Belgium. Defending Champion Brad Anderson found himself further back than he’d hoped in 6th with Erik Willems and Czech rider Marek Sukup between him and the top 3.
Smets came into issues on lap 6 and dropped from 3rd to 9th which granted Willems, Sukup, and Anderson all a position. Also swapping positions were Ullrich and Kras for the lead, Kras crossed the finish in the lead for 2 laps before Ullrich fought his way back past the Dutchman. Meanwhile Anderson rode in 5th for only 4 laps before falling to 8th giving Kovar a top 5.
At the finish of Race 1 it was Ullrich, Kras, Willems and then the 4 Czech riders of Sukup, Kovar, Patrik Liska, and Petr Bartos ahead of Anderson. Rounding out the top ten was A1M Husqvarna’s Andero Lusbo and Smets.
Race 2 was the first event on track after the evening rain providing a new challenge to the riders. Nevertheless many of the same riders who were strong on the dry Saturday conditions battled for the win.
From the start of the race it was Kras who had the lead over Sukup, Kovar, and Anderson as the race 1 winner, Ullrich was 5th. First to lose ground and positions was Sukup as his fellow countryman Kovar took second on lap 4 and only another lap later Sukup lost another spot to Anderson.
For the majority of the race the top five remained the same and in the same order. With 3 laps to go Anderson stepped up his riding and passed Kovar for second just past Pit Lane at the same time Andero Lusbo took a fifth away from Ullrich.
At the finish line it was Kras by 12.4 seconds over Anderson then Kovar, Sukup, and Lusbo. In the overall standings Kras took the win with Ullrich 2nd and Kovar 3rd. Kras has gained 12 points on Anderson in the championship as it heads to the penultimate round in Bulgaria next month.
Full results on FIM Europe website: http://www.fim-europe.eu/events/599