The weekend’s Czech GP action is as packed with controversy as ever with Herlings and Searle coming to blows once more and Tony Cairoli clocking up his 50th GP win…

Red Bull KTM’s Tony Cairoli dominates with two wins at the hardpack Loket circuit to take his 50th grand prix victory. He has to work a bit harder this weekend to fend off Pourcel in race one and hang ahead of a four man dice in moto two with Christophe Pourcel, Clement Desalle and a returning Max Nagl pushing hard. But in the end Cairoli whistles both wins leaving Christophe Pourcel to snick second overall from Desalle.



Story of the day in MX1 though is the return of Cairoli’s team-mate Max Nagl. After a prolonged recuperation period – following back surgery – Nagl hits the hard Czech ground running with a result which must have been as much about letting the world know all was well as it was about letting his stand-in Ken De Dycker know who’s the 450 boss at KTM. A 3-4 result for the 450SX-F pilot is a fine return. Shaun Simpson is best Brit with an 8-14 card while Jamie Law and STR team-mate Nathan Parker both come home with three points.


In MX2 it would be simple to look at the results and think it’s business as usual – Herlings, from Searle and van Horebeek on the overall podium. And it kinda is in race one as Herlings takes an easy lead and Searle has a poor start (again) and has to battle through the pack (again) to claim an eventual second (again).


But as van Horebeek holeshots moto two and builds a gap Searle lines up and eventually makes what is best described as a ‘solid’ move on Herlings. So solid in fact Herlings goes down. Searle then “hits a wall” in the middle of the moto and can do nothing about the gap to van Horebeek. Angry Jeffrey meanwhile picks himself up and charges like the championship depended on it. Either way he duly catches and passes Searle with ease, showing his feelings with a ‘here’s the edge of the track sonny if you want to play dirty’ before pressing on again to catch and pass van Horebeek (who duly rolls over like a puppy wanting his tummy rubbed). Searle finishes third.


At least the two took it like men with Searle approaching Herlings immediately after the race to account for his aggressive move and Jeffrey more or less shrugging it off. Not that Herlings is whiter-than-white of course.


Behind the handbags though it’s a fantastic weekend for long time nearly podium man Jake Nicholls. Jake has been banging his Nestaan Racing KTM on the door of the podium of late and with a recent engine upgrade from the KTM factory he takes that extra step needed and bags his first ever GP moto podium.


“It feels unbelievable,” Jake says after. “It’s my fifth year in this class and I’ve been working so hard. When I first started racing GPs I thought ‘will I ever reach it?’ but I kept pushing and pushing and pushing. It’s come with so much hard work and it really hasn’t come easy, even in that race it was a fight all the way to the end.”


The icing on the cake would have been a trip to the overall podium but a flying Zach Osborne is having none of that aboard his Monster Energy Yamaha with a 4-4 result that sees him take third overall. Max Anstie bags a 5-12.


Mel Pocock is again the man in UEM EMX250 with a 2-1 scorecard that gives him another overall victory in class and he now holds a 39 point lead in the series for himself and Monster Energy Yamaha. James Dunn takes a handy 8-8 from his Czech trip.




1          Antonio Cairoli          1-1

2          Christophe Pourcel   2-3

3          Clement Desalle       4-2

4          Max Nagl                    3-4

5          Xavier Boog  5-6

6          Ken De Dycker          6-7


1          Jeffrey Herlings         1-1

2          Tommy Searle           2-3

3          Zach Osborne            4-4

4          Jake Nicholls                         3-5

5          Romain Febvre         8-6

6          Valentin Teillet           9-7


Series standings


1 Cairoli 492, 2 Desalle 462, 3 Pourcel 435, 4 Paulin 402, 5 de Dycker 368, 6 Strijbos 319


1 Herlings 528, 2 Searle 471, 3 van Horebeek 439, 4 Roelants 367, 5 Nicholls 325, 6 Tixier 319