MXGP Race 2
MXGP 2022
Round 18

MXGP World Champion Tim Gajser wins Turkish season finale

tr Afyonkarahisar

The final round of the FIM World Motocross Championship visited the Turkish city of Afyonkarahisar this weekend. Situated 259km south-west of Turkey’s capital city Ankara the mountainous Afyon region is famed for its volcanic hot springs, spas and is globally renowned for its marble.

MXGP World Champion Tim Gajser wins Turkish season finale

With the MXGP World Championship already won by Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, his Australian teammate Mitch Evans was hoping to roundoff the season with some good results; and after Saturday’s second place qualification Mitch was hopeful and focused for Sunday’s races.

In MXGP race one Evans took a great start, rounding lap one in second place, but soon took over the lead. His smooth style and deceptively fast speed allowed Evans to pull away, but a mistake on lap eight dropped him to fourth and another mistake on lap 13 pushed him further back to eventually finish the race in a disappointing 12th place. 

Tim Gajser had meanwhile been working away quietly outside of the top ten on lap one, but chipped away lap-after-lap to find himself in a well-earned third place at the finish. 

Team JM Honda Racing’s Henry Jacobi finished race one in 11th place riding the CRF450R. 

In the MX2 class the two Shiptocycle Honda SR Motoblouz Honda CRF250Rs of Stephen Rubini and Emil Weckman were keen to finish off the season strongly. Rubini had a difficult qualifying race and came together with another rider on lap one. His 17th place finish gave him a poor gate-pick for Sunday’s races, but race one saw Rubini hit lap one in 10th place, but soon into lap two the Frenchman’s bike suffered an electrical problem which put him out of the race. 

Emil Weckman battled hard from 18th on lap one to push up to 13th place, but a mistake on lap 14 dropped the Fin down to 15th where he finished the race. 

Both Evans and Gajser had good starts in MXGP race two with Mitch in second and Tim in fourth. Evans was looking strong and confident, but on lap two an unlucky kicker on a high speed track section saw the Australian crash hard, putting an end to his race. Meanwhile, Gajser inherited third place and set-about a mission to get to the front. It was an easier said than done task for the Slovenian, but his efforts paid off on lap eight as he made his way up to second place. Gajser then closed down hard on the race leader, but ultimately ran out of time and finished the race in second. 

With his third place in race one and second in race two, Gajser took the overall win - his 10th GP victory of the season and 100th career podium. 

Henry Jacobi mirrored his race one finish with 11th place in race two, making his way back from 16th on lap one. 

In MX2 race two Stephen Rubini rounded lap one in 14th place with Emil Weckman down in 21st. Rubini worked hard to get up to ninth place on lap nine, but dropped one position towards the end of the moto to finish in 10th. Emil Weckman had a tough race, but made his way up to 17th at the finish. 

With the 2022 FIM World Motocross Championship coming to an end after 18 rounds of spectacular racing, congratulations go to Team HRC and Tim Gajser who are once again proud MXGP World Champions, racing the ever-competitive Honda CR - a motorcycle with a 50-year history of success and we hope to see more in 2023.

Tim Gajser
Tim Gajser 243
Team HRC
It was a great way to finish the season. Winning 10 GP overalls is a great achievement and I really can’t thank the whole of Team HRC enough, for all their work this year and throughout all the years. I also want to thank all the fans who came to Turkey to support me and all those around the world who send me messages. It all means so much and this year and I’m glad you all got to attend the races this year and cheer me on and meet me. This weekend wasn’t always the best, but I fought hard and in the end it turned out really well. I like coming to Turkey as they always do a fantastic job with the facility and the track and this year was no different. 2022 has been a great year, and I can’t wait to begin 2023!.

Mitch Evans
Mitch Evans 43
Team HRC
It seems like every time I’m making progress, something happens and I lose that work. In the first race, it felt great to lead the field for the first half and I was riding really well. Unfortunately I hit a bit of a wall, and I couldn’t maintain that level and I dropped down the standings. Then in race two, I once again got a good start and was battling for the lead, when I hit big bump just before the finish line and crashed. Thankfully I am just battered and bruised, so now I just need to have a few days to just relax and recover, before I head to America and try to win the Motocross of Nations with Team Australia.

Stephen Rubini
Stephen Rubini 38
We had a small electric issue in moto one today which started on lap two. This put me out of the race. Then in race two I came together with another rider and hit my hand really hard and after that I was really struggling for the rest of the moto. 
I’m happy that the season is over, but sad that it ended like this. 
Within the next 10 days I need to meet my surgeon to have a knee operation to try to reduce the pain that I’ve been dealing with all season. 

Gordon Crockard
Gordon Crockard
Honda Motor Co. Ltd
Today we closed the 2022 season racing at the MXGP of Turkey.
I was sad to see injuries to Mitch and Ruben. Wishing them both full and speedy recovery.
Mitch showed tremendous form all through the races, but took a hard fall whilst pushing for the lead of race two.
Early during race one Ruben was crashed into by another rider attempting to pass, which caused both to crash and he could not participate any further due to pain in his back.
I think the outstanding highlight is Tim taking the overall victory, proving his World Champion’s title as valid.

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