Situated just 26km south-west of Madrid, the Xanadú-Arroyomolinos International Circuit hosted Round 13 of the FIM World Motocross Championship this weekend.
Featuring a hard-packed surface, high speeds and many jumps the Spanish track naturally favoured riders more accustomed to the throttle-control challenges that such a circuit brings.
As the gate dropped on MXGP race one it was Team HRC’s Tim Gajser who led the Hondas into turn one with Team Honda SR Motoblouz’s Benoit Paturel riding the CRF450R in fifth.
Gajser soon moved into third place and set about a battle to reel in the two riders ahead of him. The Slovenian briefly made a pass into second place, but couldn’t quite make the pass stick. A frustrated Gajser then made some small mistakes, followed by a crash which dropped him to fourth position by the flag.
Meanwhile, Frenchman Benoit Paturel defended his top-ten position very well to eventually finish the race in eighth place and a well-deserved 14 GP points.
Race two saw Gajser in a better position in the early laps, pushing hard for the lead. Although Tim dropped to third place on lap two, he set about a come-back and managed to climb back to second place on lap 13. The four-time World Champion finished the race in second, taking third overall and now sits just 15 points away from the championship lead.
Again Team Honda SR Motoblouz’s Benoit Paturel took his CRF450R to a great result in race two, starting in ninth, defending his race position well and finishing in ninth after holding onto eighth place for eight laps.
Starting his home MX2 Grand Prix with high hopes, Honda 114 Motorsports’ Ruben Fernandez fired his CRF250R into ninth place on lap one, but set about a tough push into eighth by lap two and held his position well, eventually finishing the race in seventh with hopes for a better result in race two.
Race two started for Fernandez with a eighth position on lap one, but the Spaniard was motivated and fast at his home GP and pushed into fifth place on lap seven, which he held onto until the finish giving him seventh overall - only six points away from a podium finish.