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.
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.