Adamo on a rollercoaster weekend in Loket
The 2023 FIM Motocross World Championship dropped into the hilly hard-pack of Loket for the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic, and the twelfth round of the current campaign saw Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Andrea Adamo star with a second moto win in MX2 and 5th overall. Teammate Sacha Coenen managed 7th in hot conditions and in front of a large crowd.
- Adamo rescues the Czech Grand Prix with a fantastic second moto performance – the first checkered flag of his career – and secures 5th overall after a turbulent first race at Loket.
- The Italian extends his championship lead to 35 points in a stellar first season with the factory KTM 250 SX-F. In Loket he recorded his first RAM Qualification Heat victory on Saturday to achieve a maiden Pole Position.
- Rookie Sacha Coenen starts strongly and registers his best weekend of the year so far with 7th in the Grand Prix classification. Fellow Belgian Liam Everts rues misfortune to rank 11th.
- Jeffrey Herlings is recovering well from neck injury but will miss the Belgian Grand Prix and look for a racing return as soon as possible after the Lommel fixture.
- MXGP continues on a three-week streak of consecutive Grands Prix with the daunting sand of Lommel in Limburg to come next weekend.
Fully acclimatized on Central European Standard Time once more after two rounds of the series in Indonesia, MXGP ventured into three back-to-back events in Czech Republic, Belgium and Finland with the steep, narrow and hard-packed track of Loket up first. The slick circuit near the German border is a long-established venue for Grand Prix competition and favors a decent start with tight lap-times and reduced technical demand compared to other courses on the slate.
Andrea Adamo harnessed the merits of his KTM 250 SX-F through a hot Saturday with 2nd place in both Free Practice and Timed Practice. The Italian then rose from a bright start and 3rd spot in the RAM Qualification Heat to pass his teammate Liam Everts and win by more than 3.5 seconds. The success ensured a full bounty of championship points on Saturday and Everts sealed 3rd with rookie Sacha Coenen placing 17th.
On Sunday Adamo and Everts were desperately unlucky to get caught in a multi-rider incidents at the start of the first moto. Adamo tried to recover but hit the dirt again and classified 11th at the flag and was then demoted another two positions for apparently jumping while yellow flags were being waved. Everts was 17th and both were upstaged by Coenen, who rode to 5th place for his best result of the season to-date. The second moto saw a smoother getaway for the trio and Adamo was particularly decisive to work his way past title rival Jago Geerts and close to the rear wheel of leader Simon Laengenfelder. The Italian then seized P1 with ten minutes remaining and eased to his first race win of the season and of his career. The feat meant a full 25 points for the red plate holder as he extended his margin at the top of the MX2 standings to 35. Everts crossed the finish line in 6th for 11th overall and Coenen was 7th for the same slot in the Grand Prix standings; another personal-highest for the Belgian.
Elsewhere Loket was once more the scene of the EMX65 and EMX85 European Championship disputes and where the fastest youngsters from around the continent gathered for bragging rights. Brit Harry Dale used his KTM 65 SX to win the second EMX65 moto and take 3rd place on the overall podium. In EMX85 Liam Bruneau steered a KTM 85 SX to victory in the first race and was runner-up overall. The French teenager was the first of five KTM racers filling the top six.
The traditional calendar contrast from Loket hard-pack to deep Lommel sand now awaits the teams and riders. The championship moves north and to the Limburg region of Belgium for round thirteen in just a few days time.
Andrea Adamo, 13th and 1st for 5th overall in MX2: “I was feeling strong all weekend and I was happy with how things were going yesterday but the motos are always different! Anything can happen. Mixed feelings in the end because I won two of the three races here but didn’t make the podium. In the first race I got up and did my best to reach P11 and then was penalized two positions for jumping on the yellow flags, which I did not see. I want to say sorry for that because everyone is looking at us and that was not the example I wanted to set, but I did not see them. I really enjoyed the second moto: the feeling was good, the pace was good. Some strong battles. I still needed to be careful but for the overall result I had nothing to lose, so I went straight-out for the guys. I‘m very happy. Lommel will be tough, for sure! There are a lot of guys that go fast in the sand but I trained there quite a lot this winter. I’ll try my best and fight until the end like always.”
Sacha Coenen, 5th and 7th for 7th overall in MX2: “Definitely a good weekend, even though I always want to be riding at the front! 7th was not too bad but we were close to the podium places. I was running 2nd for quite a long time in the second moto but lost some ground when Andrea past me and I came up short on a jump. I’m happy but importantly we are getting closer to the top three. My home GP next weekend and I’m excited. All the fans will be there and it will be a nice GP.”
Liam Everts, 17th and 6th for 11th overall in MX2: “A strong qualifying race and I was happy with 3rd place but someone lost the rear in front of me at the start of the first moto and took away my front wheel. It wasn’t anybody’s fault. It was just a shame, and I hit the ground pretty hard so it took a while to get up. I managed to get a few points even though my front brake was missing. I started well in the second moto and after a mistake on the first lap I worked my way up to 6th and that’s where I stayed. A bit of a shame today. I felt there was a lot more to take from this weekend but I’m looking forward to Lommel now. It is always nice to race at home but it will be a busy one!”
Image: Ray Archer