MXGP 2023
Round 16

Solid day for Team HRC in Dutch sand

nl Arnhem

As expected, the Arnhem track in the Netherlands provided a real test for both man and machine with the deep sand making for really tough conditions for this 16th round of the 2023 MXGP World Championship.

Solid day for Team HRC in Dutch sand

As expected, the Arnhem track in the Netherlands provided a real test for both man and machine with the deep sand making for really tough conditions for this 16th round of the 2023 MXGP World Championship.

Tim Gajser and Ruben Fernandez came into the weekend knowing that it would be a difficult weekend, but both riders adapted to sand and put in three strong sessions throughout the day to give them hope that tomorrow can be even better.

Like in previous rounds, Gajser was able to show the speed of the Honda CRF450R in practice, putting in laptimes that were second quickest in both the free and timed sessions, and giving him second gate-pick for the afternoon qualification race. While he was able to turn that into a start that saw him round the first lap in fifth place, he wasn’t able to close up enough to the riders in front to make any passes and instead came home in a solid fifth place. Given the speed he showed earlier, he is a little disappointed, but with two motos tomorrow, he knows he has a good chance at doing better for the GP-scoring races.

After his get-off in Finland, Fernandez hasn’t been able to train during the week, and so his preparation for this sand race isn’t where he would want it to be. Still, the Spaniard continues to get on with business without complaint and while he was outside the top 10 in timed practice, he got a good start in the qualification race and put in consistent laptimes to finish in seventh place. It was an impressive ride given the conditions of the track and gives him a good boost of confidence that when the gate-drops tomorrow he can do the same again.

With the Sunday forecast also showing sunshine, that is one variable in the riders’ favour, but with four classes all racing tomorrow, this sand track will be at its toughest and will require the utmost concentration and skill from the Team HRC duo, if they are to challenge for the podium spots.

Tim Gajser
Tim Gajser 243
Team HRC
After being second in free practice and second in timed practice, I was hoping to do a little bit better than fifth in the qualification race, but it was still a good day and I’m happy with the things we did to help me get ready for today. My speed was good, but I just couldn’t make the move stick on the rider in front and fifth was where I stayed. Hopefully tomorrow I can get to the front a little bit quicker and fight for those podium spots.

Rubén Fernández
Rubén Fernández 70
Team HRC
I knew it was going to be tough today, with the sand and just not feeling 100% still after Finland so seventh is actually a good result and one that I can be proud of. I know when I’m feeling better, I’ll be nearer the front, but right now, I am doing the best I can and the team are helping me with all their work so I am very thankful for that. Hopefully, I can get out the gate well tomorrow and put in similar performances in the two motos.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas
Marcus Pereira de Freitas
Team HRC
This is a tough track, but both Tim and Ruben put in two solid days of racing. Tim really looked good in the practice sessions and now we need to help him get up front in the races so he can put in those laptimes in the races as well. Ruben is slightly different due to the fact he is coming in a bit under-prepared, but once again he is showing great determination and putting in rides that are better than the results show. Thankfully we look like we’re going to have a good forecast tomorrow so we can get everything setup and ready to attack the two motos.

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