MXGP Race 2
MXGP 2022
Round 13

Team HRC's Tim Gajser maintains championship lead in Czech Republic

cz Loket

Following a short break in the MXGP calendar the FIM World Motocross Championship fired up once again today at the spectacular Loket circuit in the Czech Republic.

Team HRC's Tim Gajser maintains championship lead in Czech Republic

Team HRC’s Tim Gajser started today’s races with a 125 point lead in the championship and was hoping to put further pressure to his competitors as he fights for his fifth World Championship riding for Team HRC

In race one the Slovenian took a good start and dropped into second place on lap one, but struggled to find a flow on the dry and loose Czech track. Tim dropped into third place on lap three, but regained second place on lap nine as his speed and flow improved. It was too late to take the win, but the 22 points from race one meant that he increased his championship lead. 

Tim’s teammate Mitch Evans had a good ride in race one and continued to show clear signs that his recovery from last year’s wrist injury is almost complete. Evans rounded lap one in sixth place and although there was the odd swapping of positions during the race, on every lap he passed the timing beacon in the same position. This was a solid and promising result for the Australian.

Although Team Honda 114 Motorsport’s Rubén Fernández showed great promise by leading Saturday’s Free Practice session, a crash in Timed Practice left the Spaniard needing stitches in his arm, concussion and a beaten up body meant he had to miss today’s racing. 

Team JM Honda Racing’s Henry Jacobi and Shiptocycle Honda SR Motoblouz’s Benoit Paturel brought their CRF450Rs home in 16th and 17th respectively. 

Shiptocycle Honda SR Motoblouz’s Stephen Rubini had high-hopes for a good result racing Loket’s French-like hard-packed hillsides and in race one he didn’t disappoint. A great start put the Frenchman in third place on lap one as he set-about a fast and consistent pace. He conceded a position on lap seven and frustratingly stalled the bike on lap 16 to drop to fifth place at the finish.      

As the challenging circuit baked under blue skies and sunshine the gate dropped for MXGP race two and Gajser rounded lap one in third place and pushed hard to fend off early race attacks. As the race developed Gajser found some additional speed and closed in to second place, but a little arm-pump set-in and he settled for a safe result to protect his championship lead of 125 points after 13 of 19 races.      

Mitch Evans had another good ride in race two. He started the race in fifth place and held onto the position for 14 laps, but had developed some painful blisters which were hard to ignore so Evans had to settle for 7th place at the finish giving him 7th overall, just three points away from a top five finish.  

Team JM Honda Racing's Ivo Monicelli and Henry Jacobi finished race two in 14th and 15th places respectively riding CRF450Rs.     

Stephen Rubini was hoping for anther good result MX2 race two and setoff with a good start, rounding lap one in fifth place. Unfortunately for Rubini, he was also suffering with blisters and the discomfort and lack of grip spoilt his focus and ability to ride in the way that he can. The much-improved CRF250R racer eventually finished race two in 12th place giving him 9th overall.  

The gate drops for round 14 in one week’s time in the endless sand of Lommel, Belgium.  

Tim Gajser
Tim Gajser 243
Team HRC
It was a tough day out on the track today. I never really felt comfortable and couldn’t push like I wanted to so I couldn’t close that gap on the riders in front. It was still good to get on the podium and I still remain 125 points ahead in the championship, so in that respect I am happy, but I wanted to perform a little bit better for all the fans that came to support me. It was great to see and hear them all around the track and I appreciate every one of them for making the journey to come and see me ride.

Mitch Evans
Mitch Evans 43
Team HRC
Overall I am happy with how the races went, going six-seven for seventh overall. Whilst the results weren’t quite as good as my results in Indonesia, I felt that I was able to keep the pace of the top guys and other than the end of the second moto when I had really bad blisters, I felt like I was doing a good job of matching their speed. I was in fifth for the majority of that second moto and if I would have stayed there, I would have been fifth overall so it is all positive. Now I have to let my hands heal a bit before heading to Lommel and doing my first ever laps on that track this coming weekend.

Rubén Fernández
Rubén Fernández 70
Honda 114 Motorsports
I feel very stiff and sore after my crash. I had a big cut on my right elbow which I had to get stitched and also ended up with a concussion. I don’t really remember much detail about the crash. Because Lommel is only next weekend, I’m not sure if I will race or not. It’s three weeks until Sweden and I think I might need this time to recover. We will see how the next week goes. 

Stephen Rubini
Stephen Rubini 38
I rode very well in the first race and although I lost one position, the other position I lost happened when I stalled my bike, which was really unfortunate. I finished race one in fifth and hoped for another good result in race two with a hope to be on the podium. In race two though I developed some big blisters and they were so painful that it affected my focus and ability to put the bike where I wanted. I’m disappointed, but will try to heal quickly and will certainly use some tape for the next race in Lommel.  

Gordon Crockard
Gordon Crockard
Honda Motor Co. Ltd
This Czech round has beat us up a little. After starting out with so much potential and fast pace for Tim, Ruben and Mitch in the opening track sessions, we suffered the loss of Rubén to a hard fall in Timed Practice, leaving him injured and unable to race for the podium follow up that he so enjoyed at the last round in Indonesia. Furthermore to that negative turn we also had an injury for Ruben's teammate and rookie to the 450 class, Håkon Fredriksen. I'm so sorry to see both these young guns injured today. I'm wishing full recovery to them both ASAP. 
Tim rode very well and managed himself intelligently. Scoring good points and placing himself on the podium is good for his championship hopes.
Mitch also showed his improvement journey is still in progress.
For MX2 Stephen Rubini placed himself well in both races and pushed through to the end despite his own difficulties from a training crash during the lead up to this race.
The next round is extremely different terrain as we switch from the hard pack bumpy Loket circuit of today and arrive to the famously deep heavy sand of Lommel in just 6 days time.
I look forward to seeing that deep Belgian sand and leaving today's dirt behind us.

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