The 2004 FIM Motocross World Championship is back in action this weekend for the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic after a three week break following the Swedish GP at the beginning of July.
Most of the riders have participated in some National championship rounds during this period, but they've also had time to relax before the final stretch of the series with the five last GPs over the next eight weeks.
The Czech Republic has retained a constant presence in Motocross championship history, providing the famous (three times world champion) CZ motorcycle brand (several top riders, including Roger De Coster, Joel Robert, Sylvain Geboers, were CZ factory riders in the 60s) and great Champions such as Vlastimil Valek (6 GP wins), Jaroslva Falta (4 GP wins, 250 vice-champion in 1974), Zdeny Velky (3 GP wins) or Antonin Baborovsky (2 GP wins).
A total of 21 GP wins have been scored by Czech riders throughout the history of the sport but unfortunately it was a long time ago...
The Czech Grand Prix has been a regular fixture in the calendar; Holice, Dalecin, Sisbro, Povaska Bystrica, Kramolin and Jinin were the main venues, but since 1995 Loket has welcomed the GP stars.
2004 will be the third time in a row that Loket (located in the west part of Czech Republic, 150kms from Prague) hosts a GP, and slightly earlier than usual as the event has appeared at the tail end of the season for several years now.
Stefan Everts (in 2002) and Joel Smets (in 2003) clinched a title there, but Loket will not witness any championship celebrations this weekend as there are still 250 points up for grabs in each class.
With a strong lead (97 points) in the MX1 category, Everts seems to have one hand on the title, even if French rival Mickael Pichon has won the last two events in Belgium and Sweden.
Stefan, who was not in his best shape last month (he crashed three times in the last four motos – a rare sight), has now renewed his deal with L&M Yamaha and can focus on the races even he if not yet an happy father. The doctors finally decided that his girlfriend Kelly would deliver the baby at full term and Stefan has to wait some more days for a little visitor….