Team HRC’s Tim Gajser put in his best performance since returning from injury, to finish second at the MXGP of Sweden qualification race, held at the picturesque Uddevalla track. Teammate Ruben Fernandez also put in an impressive display as he rode for the first time since Finland a couple of weeks
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser put in his best performance since returning from injury, to finish second at the MXGP of Sweden qualification race, held at the picturesque Uddevalla track. Teammate Ruben Fernandez also put in an impressive display as he rode for the first time since Finland a couple of weeks ago, finishing seventh.
A lot of rain had hit the area in the week leading up to this race, and there was even some more overnight, but overall, the track was in good shape, if a little one-lined for the MXGP riders. That meant that getting a good gate position and then getting a good start were imperative to making tomorrow’s GP-scoring motos an easier task.
While Gajser was able to put in a fourth placed time, for his timed practice lap, Fernandez was trying to find his groove as he rode his machine for the first time since having to withdraw from the Finnish GP due to injury. The 13 days since the incident gave him a chance to heal up, and he used that time as best he could so that he would arrive in Sweden in a position to still score points. In the practice sessions he worked with the team to find a comfortable setup, and then he utilised that in the qualification race to get a good start and finish in seventh. It was a good effort and one that sets him up well for the motos tomorrow.
And lining up ahead of him will be the #243 after his excellent second-place, in what was a much-needed result for the reigning MXGP champion. It hasn’t been easy for the Slovenian since returning from his broken femur, but he has gradually got better in the three rounds since, and after this mini-break he continued that trend by placing highly in all three sessions. A third in free practice, preceded a fourth in timed practice, which gave him the chance to challenge with the front-runners out of the gate in the qualification race. That’s exactly what happened as he steered his Honda CRF450R around the first turn in second place and he didn’t look back, pulling out a comfortable gap behind him and crossing the line to give him nine championship points and second gate-pick for the two motos.
The forecast is a little uncertain for tomorrow, but both riders are in good positions to take advantage of whatever the weather throws at them, as they try to put Team HRC back in the podium positions.