MXGP Race 2
MXGP 2021
Round 18

2021 podium finale for Team HRC’s Tim Gajser in Italy

it Mantova

The 2021 World Motocross Championship concluded today in Mantova, Italy after 18 gruelling rounds of racing and Team HRC’s Tim Gajser once again finished the day with a podium result - his 13th podium of the season.

2021 podium finale for Team HRC’s Tim Gajser in Italy

Gajser started 2021 as the current MXGP World Champion, winning his last two MXGP titles in 2019 and 2020 riding the Team HRC CRF450RW. 

Despite Tim leading the championship for much of 2021 a practice crash in early September left the Slovenian with a bad injury that required surgery. Although Tim raced at the next round in Sardinia, he could only finish the day in 12th following a race one crash. This was still an exceptional result considering the pain that Gajser suffered during the race. A two-week break in the calendar gave ‘Tiga’ the chance to recover and he bounced back to an overall win in Teutschenthal, Germany.

The final seven races of the 2021 MXGP season have come without respite and Gajser battled on with only three points separating the top three in the championship with two rounds to go, but a penalty in race one of Round 17 in Mantova cost Gajser five race positions and seven valuable championship points, putting him in third place in the championship and 15 points off the lead going into the final round today.

An average start in race one gave Gajser some work to do making his way quickly from seventh on lap one up to third on lap five. Gajser posted some impressive fast laps in the latter stages of the race and caught the leaders, but ultimately ran out of time, crossing the line 2.8 seconds off a race win.

Honda 114 Motorsports’ Ruben Fernandez had a good initial showing in race one, rounding lap on in ninth place and making his way up to 6th by the mid-race point. Small mistakes started to creep into his riding though as he tighten up under the pressure. The Spaniard eventually finished the race in 12th with hopes for improvement in race two.

JM Honda Racing’s Henry Jacobi took a mid-pack start in race one but battled hard throughout the moto to eventually come home in 11th place - one position ahead of Fernandez.

Gajser got a better start in race two and quickly secured third place as the intensity of the final race of the season raged. He inherited second place on lap four and piled the pressure on the leader. At the chequered flag Gajser was just 1.4 seconds behind and took second place in the race and second overall after a hectic day’s racing.

Gajser closes his 2021 MXGP account in third overall with a massive 688 points, heartbreakingly close to his fifth world title, but motivated to regroup and return stronger in 2022 with Team HRC and the fantastic CRF450RW.

Ruben Fernandez took a slightly better start in race two and rode very well to deferent his position and advance to sixth place at the chequered flag - another very promising ride from the young Spaniard. His teammate Dylan Wright had a better showing in race two and battled hard to finish the race in 11th place.   

Congratulations most go to all competitors in the 2021 MXGP World Motocross Championship -  the closest World Motocross Championship for decades.

Honda’s MX2 class entry was once again reduced due to the recent shoulder injury of Honda Racing Assomotor’s Stephen Rubini and Ruben Fernandez racing in the MXGP class. 

Tuesday's EMX250 class saw Honda Racing Assomotor’s Emil Weckman finish in 15th overall after a crash in race one whilst in ninth place. A better showing in race two saw the Finnish racer cross the line in ninth place. Weckman finished the championship in ninth overall after missing three rounds due to a back injury he picked up in Holland.

Tim Gajser
Tim Gajser 243
Team HRC
To come third in the championship is obviously not what I wanted when we came to Mantova last week, but this season has been filled with a lot of ups and downs and sometimes things just don’t go your way. It was a really close season until the very end, and we had some really good battles and I think we put on a great show for all the fans. Congratulations to Jeffrey for winning the title, he did what he needed to do and it was good to finish the season with another tight race with him, pushing until the chequered flag. It sounds like we’ll be starting the season at the end of February so we don’t have much of a break but I will have a little holiday and then prepare myself for 2022. A big thank you to all of the team and all the fans, I am privileged to have such great support on and off the track and I look forward to trying to win my fifth title next year.

Rubén Fernández
Rubén Fernández 70
Honda 114 Motorsports
We made some changes to my suspension settings before race one and unfortunately it didn’t work so well for me. I was riding a little tight because it was hard to predict exactly how the bike would handle and at this level of racing it’s important to feel as relaxed as possible on the bike. In race two we made some more changes to the suspension setting and this time it was much better and I could fight for a much better result. The power of the larger engine is still a lot for me to adjust to also, but I think I suit the bigger bike. Overall I’m very happy with my performance in these MXGP races especially after such a short amount of time for testing and setup.

Gordon Crockard
Gordon Crockard
Honda Motor Co. Ltd
So with the season being concluded today we must pass congratulations to our rivals who defeated us to the championship victory. Tim fought to the final turn and ended his season second overall on the podium of today's race. Again we witnessed outstanding riding from Ruben Fernandez, showing he has a fast learning rate gives strong promise for his future as a 450cc MXGP regular. Dylan Wright continued to impress and I'd very much would have loved to see Dylan make better starts in his races, always coming through the pack making passes and fast lap times. The season has ended with an intense schedule that brings most to welcome a short off-season of rest, recovery and quickly into focus for the 2022 preparations.

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