Round two of the 2022 FIM World Motocross Championship visited the historic northern Italian city of Mantova today.
Situated in the Lombardia region Mantova’s loose and technical circuit produced a challenging and unpredictable surface throughout the day. This combined with the low winter sun, proved to be a tough test for all riders.
The MXGP class saw Team HRC’s Tim Gajser battle hard throughout race one - briefly leading the race at turn two, but a close-call on the next jump put the Slovenian into second place where he remained for the rest of the moto.
Team Honda 114 Motorsport’s Rubén Fernández battled hard in moto one, staring in seventh spot and moving up to fifth on lap five where he eventually finished the race. A great result for the Spaniard who's still a relative rookie in the MXGP class.
In Race two it was JM Honda Racing’s Henry Jacobi who took the holeshot on his CRF450R, closely followed by Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, keen to break away to secure the overall win.
Gajser was soon into the lead and eventually settled into a fast rhythm that no-one could match, going on to take the moto win and the overall Grand Prix victory. The 25-year-old new leads the MXGP World Championship by 12 points and the leader’s red plate still graces his CRF450R after two rounds of the championship.
Henry Jacobi finished the race in 12th, still recovering from a painful scaphoid injury. Meanwhile Team Honda 114 Motorsport’s Rubén Fernández battled hard to a sixth place finish, giving the talented racer seventh overall, only three points away from fourth.
Teammate to Fernández, MX2 racer Hakon Fredriksen had a promising started to the day with a ninth place finish in race one after a rollercoaster of a moto, but a top-ten finish is a good result for the young Norwegian, entering his first year in the MX2 class.
Turn one bad luck struck Team Ship To Cycle Honda SR Motoblouz’s Stephen Rubini. He remounted in last position, but bravely battled back to16th at the flag, one place behind JM Honda Racing’s Petr Polak also riding the CRF250R.
The second MX2 race of the day and Fredriksen had another average start, but again battled hard in the moto to eventuality finish the in sixth. A big improvement on race one as the CRF250R racer starts to make his mark on the MX2 class early in the season.
Frenchman Stephen Rubini had a better outing in race two, starting in 10th place and pushing up to eighth by mid-race. Mistakes in the latter stages of the moto dropped Rubini back to 10th where he finished the race. 13th overall and 16 points was an average day for Rubini as the first race crash cost him a better overall position.
In the women's WMX class congratulations also go to Team Honda 114 Motorsport’s Martine Hughes who finished the weekend with a fantastic podium finish in third place overall, also riding the versatile and competitive CRF250R.