After taking his maiden victory in China
When Valsir Seedorf Derbi's Lukas Pesek crossed the line in first position in China it was not only the first Grand Prix victory of his career, but also the first time a Czech rider had ever won a 125cc race.
his triumph over Bancaja Aspar's Hector Faubel by just 0.187s, was also the first win for a Czech rider in any class of Grand Prix racing since Frantisek Stastny won the 500cc race at what was then the East German GP at the Sachsenring in 1966.
Pesek's maiden victory also meant he had finished in the top six for the last eight successive races, a run which of course includes the last four Grands Prix of 2006.
His success in Shanghai was a mark of his increasing consistency and the three podium finishes he has achieved thus far in 2007 have resulted in him leading the World Championship for the first time, as MotoGP heads to the Alice Grand Prix of France on 20th May.
After Pesek had taken time to let his Chinese victory sink in, we caught up with the affable 21 year-old from Prague to get his perspective on the season so far and his hopes for the rest of his World Championship challenge.
After taking your first ever Grand Prix win in China what were your thoughts immediately after the race on Sunday and how have you felt in the days since?
“Of course I felt very good because it was a beautiful moment and also my life is changing now, I came back to the Czech Republic after the race and people are starting to know me much more than before and I'm just enjoying it!”
There has been quite a big reaction in the Czech Republic then?
“It's a big reaction because after 41 years there's something like this.”
The last Grand Prix victory for a Czech rider was in 1966 so you're making history at the moment.
“Yes, at the moment I am, but I'd like to do a lot more than just one race, and I will!
What are your general thoughts on the season so far, after the first four races?
“It's really nice that I'm leading the championship but I said before the season that I would to like to be in the top three and that's still my target. I will work on that and if I am first or second that's just better (than before).”
Well you're leading the Championship at the moment with 71 points, have you started to think about winning the title or are you still thinking you would just like to finish in the top three?
“Well, I think I have my leg on the wall and I will be in the top three!”
Who are you looking at as your main rivals to take the title and who do you rate as the best of your competitors?
“I think for sure Talmacsi is the best, with Faubel, they are still at the front and they are fighting for wins, but anyway we are just four races in and it's still a long season. We will see, maybe after Assen I should say, it might be different.”
Finally, last year at Sachsenring in Germany when you took pole we saw you put a melon on your head after qualifying to celebrate … what was all that about?
“It was just to make a joke! My friend came along with this thing, let's make a helmet with a melon, I said ok let's do something crazy and it was really nice and people remember it! We'll have to do something else!"
DORNA / CAPSIS International