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Czech representation to peak in 2005

Czech representation to peak in 2005

Czech representation to peak in 2005

The Czech Republic will boast its largest ever representation in Grand Prix racing next season, with no fewer than four riders making the provisional entry list in the 125cc and 250cc categories and mini-bike manufacturers Blata joining forces with the WCM team in MotoGP.

Jakub Smrz is set for his fifth World Championship season as he again tackles the 250cc class with Arie Molenaar's Honda outfit, the 21 year old again set to ride a kitted privateer RSW after finishing 20th overall in 2004.

Smrz will be joined in the quarter-litre class by compatriot Radomil Rous, who will also be on a kitted Honda after signing for the Wurth Honda BQR team alongside Spanish rider Alex Debón. Rous has made several Grand Prix appearances since his debut in 1997 as a wildcard but will contest his first full season in 2005 at the age of 27.

In the 125cc class promising teenager Lukas Pesek will link up with former World Champion Manuel Poggiali in a new-look pairing at Metis Gilera Racing. Pesek produced several encouraging performances last season riding the Ajo Motorsport Honda, lapping in the front group on several occasions but failing to consolidate with a top finish.

The latest Czech rider to take his full-time bow this year is Karel Abraham, a 14-year-old starlet who won't make the legal age limit of 15 until January. Abraham will contest his first season with Team Semprucci riding an Aprilia, after making his name in the 125cc World Championship.

The former Czechoslovakia had several riders competing in the 125cc World Championship in the 1950s, but it wasn't until recent seasons that the Eastern European nation began to produce riders on a regular basis again.

The late Jaroslav Hules, who died after a tragic suicide attempt last July, came closest to taking victory in the 125cc class but was unable to repeat the feat of Fratisek Stastny, the Czech Republic's only Grand Prix winner, who took victory in the 500cc race at the old Sachsenring circuit in 1966.

MotoGP, 2005

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