Honda Pro Racing News Release
After the punishing, maximum difficulty conditions of Lommel, this weekend’s Grand Prix in loket, Czech Republic will be a contrasting test for all aboard the CRF450R. Coming straight from the deep sand of Lommel, Honda riders will now have to reset and prepare for the hardpack surface of Loket. With its fast layout, slick surface and technical cambered turns it is a very different proposition.
LS Motors Honda rider Tanel Leok came back to world competition with a bang following a solid 5th place overall result in Lommel, which included a 2nd place finish in moto 2. However, he is yet to prove that he has shaken off the curse of bad luck that has been plaguing him in recent GPs. The hard-charging Estonian ran out of fuel in the first moto in Lommel (despite using the biggest tank available) and this unfortunate incident robbed him of a possible podium position in the overall classification. If his weekend is incident free in Loket then he is sure to challenge for a podium position once more but lady luck has been known to dish out more than her fair share to the LS man so far this year. Hopefully he has now reached his quota for the season. His team mate Davide Guarneri will be looking to re-assert his authority on the top 10 in the championship standings after a disappointing outing in Lommel.
Honda Racing MX Martin guest rider, Yu Hirata, had a baptism of fire in Lommel and unsurprisingly struggled to come to terms with devilish sand track and the step up to World Championship competition. However, he did show that he has a solid technical riding style and should be better suited to the hardpack Loket. Team mate Jimmy Albertson had a weekend to forget. A big crash in practice, resulting in a painful chest injury, meant that the American was not able to compete in the main event. He has however been training this week on the bike and is expected to ride in Loket.
CAS Monster Honda rider Gareth Swanepoel had a much improved showing in Belgium, beating his team mate Evgeny Bobryshev for the only the third time this season and securing an overall top 10 classification. The South African will be hoping to build on this in the Czech Republic and push towards the top 5. His Russian team mate Bobryshev will be looking to up his game this weekend and return to the form that saw him challenging for podium positions before the 3 week summer break.
Honda Racing MX Martin MX2 rider Alessandro Battig made a solid points scoring return to World Championship competition in Lommel. He will be looking to build on this and put together a strong finish to the season in the ultra-competitive MX2 class.
Tanel Leok, LS Motors Honda
“The start will be more important in Loket than it is in Lommel, but normally it’s quite a good track for me. I have been working really hard so I think everything will start to fall in place again. I still had some bad luck so I know better results are possible Apart from seasons were I was injured this must be my most unlucky season. Every time something happens! My speed has never been the problem this year, but it is positive that I know from the second moto in Lommel that my fitness is up there as well to push hard in two 40 minute moto’s.The environment and the atmosphere in Loket are always nice, so it’s definitely a GP that I enjoy.”
Davide Guarneri, LS Motors Honda
“For sure the Loket track suits me more than Lommel! Loket is a nice natural track, hard pack and it can be quite slippery. Sometimes overtaking is tough because there is one line, but if it rains a little bit before, conditions should be perfect. Getting a good spot on the gate will be important as well. The last two weeks I had some back ache, but hopefully it wears off by the time I get to the Czech Republic this weekend. I didn’t have outstanding results in Loket so far, but not because of bad luck just because I made mistakes. That means at least I know what to do!”
Jimmy Albertson, Honda Racing MX Martin
“I went riding yesterday and felt good on the bike. My speed and conditioning was good but I was still hurting a lot in my chest and back. I’m really excited about this weekend because I don’t think the pain is going to affect my riding too much.”
Alessandro Battig, Honda Racing MX Martin
“After Lommel, where I scored 2 points for the first time, I look with optimism to Loket, even if I never seen the track. I know that it is hardpack ground and I really prefer to ride on the hardpack. I want to improve my results and I hope to do it well. This week was very quiet because I was recovering after the tough Belgian sand.”
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