The 2022 Motocross World Championship was contested over 18 rounds / 36 races. Team HRC fielded two CRF450RWs in the premier MXGP class, ridden by Tim Gajser, aiming for his fourth world title, and Mitch Evans, back after a long layoff due to injury.
The one-day format adopted by MXGP midway through the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 outbreak was restored to a traditional schedule in 2022, with practice and qualifying session held on Saturday ,and warm-ups and two races on Sunday.
The season opener was held at the end of February in Matterley Basin, England. Gajser continued his good form from practice, finishing first in Race 1. He was second in Race 2, getting off to a good start for the season by winning the event.
Starting from Round 2 in Lombardy, Italy, Gajser’s red-plated bike, signifying he was points leader, took him to victory in one race in each round up to Round 4. In the fifth round in Pietramurata, Italy, he achieved his first perfect win of the season to the cheers of many fans from his home country of Slovenia. Gajser’s momentum accelerated with perfect wins in the following rounds in Latvia (Round 6) and Italy (Round 7), and he quickly expanded his points lead to 81, dominating the season.
After falling ill during Round 8, Sardinia in Italy, Gajser failed to return to full fitness, having difficulties in Round 9, Spain and Round 10, France. By Round 11, Germany, however, he was back in form, where he once again climbed the top step of the podium, extending his points lead to 101. He also achieved his fourth perfect win of the season in Round 12, Indonesia. He continued to accumulate points at each following round, and with two rounds to go, he was crowned champion for the first time in three years at Round 16, Finland, his fourth MXGP class world title, and his fifth including the MX2 class.
Despite winning the championship, Gajser did not let up on the gas, winning the remaining two rounds. He did not concede the red plate once since the start of the season, winning ten of the 18 rounds, a total of 14 races, scoring points in every race, and finishing a stunning 106 points ahead of second place with 763 points.
Evans, on the other hand, spent the season recovering from injury. Down in the bottom half of the standings at the start of the season, Evans gradually made a comeback to contend for the top 10, finishing seventh in Round 11, sixth in Round 12, and seventh in Round 13. He finished the season in tenth place with a season-best fourth place finish in Race 2 of Round 15.
Ruben Fernandez (Honda 114 Motorsports) finished eighth overall with two podium finishes in his first full MXGP class season, and will be joining Team HRC in 2023, where he is expected to progress his promising career.
MXGP - Standings