MXGP Race 2
MXGP 2022
Round 9

Gajser leads the MXGP World Championship in Spanish heat

es intu Xanadú - Arroyomolinos

Round nine of the 2022 FIM World Motocross Championship visited the Madrid International Motocross Circuit, right next-door to the intu Xanadú-Arroyomolinos retail complex.

Gajser leads the MXGP World Championship in Spanish heat

This is the third time the MXGP tour has visited Arroymolinos and as predicted, the weather was baking hot and temperatures exceeded 30 degrees throughout the weekend and once again challenged riders and machines on the tough and technical circuit.

In the MXGP class Team HRC’s Tim Gajser was keen to move on from his sickness at the last round in Sardinia two weeks ago and although a crash in Saturday’s qualifying race gave Gajser an average choice on the start-gate, he blasted his retro-liveried CRF450R into the first turn and came out in a fantastic third place.  

Gajser pushed hard in the first few laps and and moved into second place on lap three and despite challenging hard for the lead, after 18 laps of frantic racing the Slovenian settled for second place, adding 22 points to his GP account.

Tim’s team-mate Mitch Evans had a tough moto one. The Australian started in 11th place and set-about a charge up to seventh by lap four. Towards the end of the race arm-pump set in dropping Evans down to 12th at the finish.

Riding at his home GP, Team Honda 114 Motorsport’s Rubén Fernández had a relatively uneventful first race, starting in seventh place and moving into sixth on lap two where he remained for the remainder of the moto. 

As the temperature still soared the gate dropped for MXGP race two and this time Tim Gajser rounded lap one down in seventh place. The tight a technical circuit proved a hard challenge to make early passes and although Tim moved up one place during the race, sixth was the best result he could manage. He finished the day just one point away from a podium finish. 

Mitch Evans improved on his race one result crossing the line in eighth place for 11th overall and Rubén Fernández finished race two in seventh giving the Spaniard seventh overall.

The MX2 class also witnessed some Honda action at the front of the pack with Shiptocycle Honda SR Motoblouz’s Stephen Rubini pushing very hard from eighth place on lap one, race one and working his way up to a fantastic second place on lap seven. By the mid-race point Rubini dropped one position into third where he finished a tough and tiring race.

Stephen Rubini had to once again battle hard in MX2 race two. The Frenchman was tagged by another rider on the start straight and rounded the first turn in last position. He set about a charge back and managed to secure seventh place on lap nine, but small mistakes and fatigue took their toll. Rubini crossed the finish line in ninth place, just missing out on a podium position by two points. 

Round 10 of the MXGP Championship is set for Ernée, France in one week’s time.

Tim Gajser
Tim Gajser 243
Team HRC
It was another tough GP with high temperatures and still not feeling 100% for a couple of weeks now. The track was difficult and there were only one or two lines, so it was very difficult to make any passes once everyone found their rhythm. In the first race it wasn’t so much of a problem as I was in third place early and quickly got into second, but in the second race I started seventh and only got up to sixth and obviously I wanted to do better than that. We now have France the next weekend, so I will regroup again and get in so more training and just try to get back to the high level I had before Sardinia. A big thank you to the team for all their work and I’m sure we’ll get back to winning in this second-half of the season.

Mitch Evans
Mitch Evans 43
Team HRC
It was good to get this round done and finish strongly in that second moto. Even with the crash in 2020, I like this track and I felt good again this weekend so I felt I could get some good points. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get as many as I would have liked but I feel like I am progressing and the best is definitely still to come. This place is a really cool venue and the fans are great, so that also adds to the positive experience, and hopefully Ernée, France will be the same again next weekend.

Rubén Fernández
Rubén Fernández 70
Honda 114 Motorsports
I felt a little stress as it was my home GP today but it was good stress and I loved being with the fans. It was fun, so overall it was a great weekend and I enjoyed it a lot. I’m not too upset about my overall result. Sixth and seventh places in the MXGP class is very solid. I also felt the position that I dropped into in the first laps was more or less the position that I would finish the race. It was very hard today to make passes and it was like circulating in a train-like way. 
It was very nice to hear all the Spanish fans cheering me along and I would have like to do better for them, but I did my best from two average starts. Maybe at the next races I can improve. 

Stephen Rubini
Stephen Rubini 38
We had a good day on Saturday with fourth in free practice and sixth in timed practice so it proved that my speed was good and I felt comfortable on the track. Unfortunately I crashed early in the qualifying race and it was very hard to pass. I came back to 13th place which was not so great, but luckily we don’t need a great gate position to start well here, but then I had two bad starts anyway so that gave me a lot of work to do in the races.
In the first moto I managed a really good first lap and a strong first 15 minutes. I pushed into second place for two laps but then dropped to third and finished the race in that position. In the second race I started dead-last. I was bumped on the start-straight and almost crashed. The same thing happened in the second race and I was able to come back really strong for the first 15 minutes but the fatigue and heat hit me and I finished the race in ninth. 
Fifth overall is still good and we scored some good points. We’re fighting now for good overall GP results and I hope to continue in this direction. 

Gordon Crockard
Gordon Crockard
Honda Motor Co. Ltd
Another red hot high temperature race weekend to challenge our men and machines to the limit. Amazing for Stephen Rubini to show his best form with his third place in race one and strong ride through the pack in race two. The bad start and lap one incidents destroyed his chance of a podium overall, but in the end he still scored fifth overall.
Our CRF450R boys performed well too, even with Tim still riding with less than 100% full physical health he placed second in moto one in the heat and followed up with sixth in race two in a very processional non-passing race.
Ruben had the pressure of his home GP and handled it with a mature conduct. His starts of both races held him back from better results, but his riding was fantastic. 
Mitch also a very similar story to Ruben, suffering the penalty of the circuit conditions and the high importance of a good start. Rest, recovery, regroup and be ready for France next weekend.

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