MXGP 2024
Round 7

Championship all-square as Gajser shows mud skills in St Jean D’Angely

fr St Jean d'Angely

The Slovenian rose to the challenge the conditions presented and powered his Honda CRF450R round to finish second and tie the points in the championship standings

Championship all-square as Gajser shows mud skills in St Jean D’Angely


After a rainstorm hammered the French circuit of St Jean D’Angely before the qualification race, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser was faced with a much-changed surface when he took to the gate. However, like Portugal a couple of rounds earlier, the Slovenian rose to the occasion and powered his Honda CRF450R round to finish second and tie the points in the championship standings.

In the morning free practice and again in timed practice, Gajser was showing-off his hard-pack skills on this beautiful hillside circuit, to place himself inside the top five of both sessions. At that stage, everything was looking pristine in France, but an hour or so before they would line-up, the heaven’s opened and the track changed from rutted and hard-pack to wet and sloppy, especially on the start straight and first corner.

Taking an inside position, the #243 avoided a chaotic mix-up just out of the gate, but he wasn’t quite so lucky around the first turn and narrowly avoided ending up in the mud. Skilfully threading his way around the outside of a lot of people in the next few bends, he made up a lot of positions and by the time they crossed for the first lap, he was all the way up to fifth and looking confident of moving higher. And that’s exactly what happened as by the time they crossed for lap five, he had made his way into second place and was chasing the leader.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of a mud-race, he got caught behind a few lappers which really stopped his momentum and although he closed up to just six seconds by the chequered flag, he had to settle for second place. However, having passed his closest championship rival earlier in the race, it now meant that the points were tied as they head into the two GP-scoring races tomorrow, where the weather could once again cause all manner of track conditions for the best motocross riders in the world.



Continuing on from his return in Galicia, Spain, Team HRC’s Ferruccio Zanchi posted another impressive result, by coming ninth in a weather-affected MX2 French GP qualification race. The young Italian was also ninth fastest when the conditions were dry for the timed practice, so it seemed like another fair result for the #73, who is coming back from an injury earlier in the year. However, given the fact that he was running in fifth place in the early stages before a small mistake, he’ll be hoping for even more when they line-up for the two motos tomorrow.

1. Lucas Coenen (BEL, Husqvarna), 25:45.416;
2. Marc-Antoine Rossi (FRA, GASGAS), +0:32.848;
3. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:45.228;
4. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:21.632;
5. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:56.564;
6. Quentin Marc Prugnieres (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:59.726;
7. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +1:13.266;
8. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Triumph), +1:18.668;
9. Ferruccio Zanchi (ITA, Honda), +1:19.013;
10. Oriol Oliver (ESP, KTM), +1:40.215;

Tim Gajser
Tim Gajser 243
Team HRC
Very happy with my riding in all the different conditions we faced today. I felt good when it was dry and know if I had a completely clean hotlap I would have been close to being fastest, but then it started to rain and the track completely changed. I didn’t get the best start and only just avoided trouble around the first corner but I put on a really strong ride to come from near the back of the field all the way through to finish second. No one really knows what it’ll be like tomorrow but I’m ready for everything and with the championship now tied, it is all going to be some great racing.

Ferruccio Zanchi
Ferruccio Zanchi 73
Team HRC
The weather really made our MX2 qualification race a tough one because the track was wet, but the ground was still hard from the good weather earlier in the day. I got a good start once again and was inside the top five and feeling pretty good in the difficult conditions. Unfortunately, I made a mistake and dropped to around 10th and had to fight the rest of the race to stay there. In the end, I crossed in ninth so I’m reasonably happy but I still feel there is more to come and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas
Marcus Pereira de Freitas
Team HRC
To go from sun to rain and then back to sun again never makes things easy for the riders or the team, but everyone did a great job adapting and performing all the tasks necessary when faced with such weather. Tim did a great job riding through the pack and passing a lot of his rivals and showed that when the conditions get tough, he really comes to the fore and shows what a complete rider he is. Ferro also did another good job fighting out for a top 10 when the track was probably at its trickiest. Being a youngster, he hasn’t raced too many times when a circuit is like that so it was impressive what he achieved. Given the forecast for tomorrow, we are going to plan for every eventuality and see how it turns out, but whatever the weather does, we’ll be ready!

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