The deep sand of Lommel, Belgium really tested the pair of Ruben Fernandez and Tim Gajser as both riders had to fight hard to finish around the top 10.
The deep sand of Lommel, Belgium really tested the pair of Ruben Fernandez and Tim Gajser as both riders had to fight hard to finish around the top 10. Fernandez’s second moto result of sixth was the best result from the duo, coming off the back of the Fox Holeshot as the #70’s Honda CRF450R powered around the first corner in first position.
Overall though, it was a day where positives were in short-supply as the damp conditions, combined with the difficult new layout meant neither rider leaves the MXGP of Flanders happy with their results.
In moto one, both riders were just outside the top five as the pack went through the first few bends, however very quickly afterwards, a mistake from the rider ahead of Gajser caused the #243 to tip over, allowing the whole field to go past. That position was made even tougher as he burned his hand on the exhaust during the incident and now had to ride the whole moto in excruciating pain. Giving his best effort, he made his way up to 15th as time expired, but it was also done with the knowledge that the second moto would also be a struggle.
Meanwhile Fernandez was looking solid just outside the top five, riding consistent laptimes and keeping the riders in front, in sight. Unfortunately, a mistake four laps from the end dropped him down the field and a lot of his hard work was undone as he received the chequered flag in 11th.
Motivation was high for both riders and the start of the second race went better with Fernandez leading the field around the first corner, and Gajser not too far behind him. The pair were riding well in the first couple of laps and looking like they belonged around the top five, however a mistake from the #243 dropped him down the field again and he had to recover from 15th, eventually crossing the line in 13th.
Fernandez was running inside the top five for the majority of the race, trying to right the wrongs from the previous moto and although he slipped to sixth near the end, it was a definite improvement and one that should give him confidence as he heads to Vantaa in Finland, which is also another sand track, for what will be the 14th round of the 2023 MXGP championship next weekend.