After just missing out at the two previous rounds, Team HRC’s Ruben Fernandez got the podium position he so richly deserved with five-two results at the MXGP of Spain – his home GP.
After just missing out at the two previous rounds, Team HRC’s Ruben Fernandez got the podium position he so richly deserved with five-two results at the MXGP of Spain – his home GP. Cheered on by a huge crowd at the Arroyomolinos circuit near Madrid, the Spaniard did exactly what he needed to do in race two and secured his second podium of this extremely impressive 2023 MXGP campaign.
There is always a lot of pressure at the home GP, and after narrowly missing out last weekend at his ‘local’ GP in Portugal, the Honda CRF450R rider was determined not to let that happen again and he rode excellently for the duration of both races to put himself on the third step of the podium.
In race one, a bad start left him with a lot of work to do, but he quickly moved forward into sixth place on lap one. With the rutted track proving very difficult to make passes on, Fernandez was only able to make up one more spot in the rest of the race, receiving the chequered flag in fifth place. In Argentina, he also finished fifth in race one before going onto win the GP so he knew it was possible, but he knew he had to get out of the gate much better in the second moto to stand a chance.
And that’s exactly what he did, missing out on the holeshot by a few centimetres, but quickly moving into the lead right after the line. From there, he led the first half of the race, but not quite being able to break away from the chasing pack and at the midpoint he relinquished the lead. He tried to follow as best he could and by doing that, pulled out a little gap to third. For the rest of the race, he was cheered on by the vocal Spanish crowd and when he crossed the line, he was delighted to know that would be given a chance to stand in front of all of them on the podium.
Not only that, but the 38-points he secured was enough to move him into third place in the championship which is an excellent achievement after just six rounds of the series. We now have a weekend off before resuming in Villars-sous-Ecot, France on May 20-21 where Fernandez will once again be looking to continue his great form and cement his position in the MXGP standings.