Can anyone beat Gajser in Loket?
Antontio Cairoli gave it a good go in Mantova but ultimately came up just a bit short of defeating the world championship leader but after a three week break, Gajser should have more competition in Loket – even if the hard pack, slick nature of the crcuit in Loket is is prefered surface!
Firstly Carioli will be back on the 350, a bike he has always looked more comfortable on, is should allow Cairoli be more aggressive and suit his late race charge that he loves to do when coming from behind. Loket though is one of Cairoli’s least favourite tracks as the Italian just doesn’t like the slick condition.
Clement Desalle should be finally approaching his best form in the last third of the season. Injured at the beginning of the year, Desalle has been racing himself back to full race fitness and, with a podium before the break, and a further three weeks to get himself back on top form, Desalle should be ready to go for it in Loket. The Belgium is good on hard pack and won’t be intimidated by Gajser’s dominance, if he gets a start expect him keep his elbows wide and the throttle open!
Gautier Paulin is beginning to look like the rider we know he can be, like Desalle, Paulin has been riding himself back into shape after injury and has been getting stronger each time out. He is getting the starts now on the Honda and will want to put himself in the frame for the French MXDN team at the end of September to be held on a similarly slick circuit in Maggiora. Paulin has the talent to win races, if his head is right he could be in the battle this weekend.
Romain Febvre just needs to fix his starts and Gajser will have his hands full with the defending world championship this weekend! Febvre had his first race back after his enforced lay-off due to a concussion sustained at the British GP at the French nationals last weekend and dominated showing no ill-effects of his injury. His injuries in Spain and GB have cost Febvre a shot at retaining his title, but the speed is still there and you can bet that Febvre will want to show Gajser he is still the man to beat and it was only injuries that cost him this season. Both Febvre and Gajser excel on this terrain and like in France a few weeks ago they might just put on a riding clinic for the rest of the world if they get away 1-2!