MXGP Race 2
MXGP 2022
Round 2

Team HRC's Tim Gajser wins in Mantova

it Mantova

Round two of the 2022 FIM World Motocross Championship visited the historic northern Italian city of Mantova today.

Team HRC's Tim Gajser wins in Mantova

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.

Tim Gajser
Tim Gajser 243
Team HRC
I am really happy with how today went, finishing off with that second moto win and taking the overall with it. Honestly, I struggled a bit with getting the bike setup because this Mantova surface was different from previous races we’ve held here, but the team kept working and we found a good balance for the second moto and that really made a big difference. I also got two good starts which was critical here, so I didn’t have to pass too many guys as it was really difficult to make moves. In the first race it was a little frustrating, being so close to making a pass but not quite making it stick. Then in race two, I was in the lead before the end of the first lap and controlled the race. I made a little mistake but I was able to stay in front and just kept calm and then pulled away once again to go two-one and make it two GP wins out of two. I can’t wait to head to Argentina as that is a track I like and hopefully I can make it another win and keep hold of the red-plate.

Mitch Evans
Mitch Evans 43
Team HRC
Much improved weekend for me in Lombardia, and I’m leaving here feeling a lot more positive about the rest of the year. The results still aren’t where I want them to be, but I felt like my riding was a lot better, and it was good to battle with these guys again. The first race especially was really intense and I was always fighting for my position, so that was fun and it was something I’ve missed when away from the series. Now, I have a weekend off to keep building before heading down to Argentina which is a track I have fond memories of.

Rubén Fernández
Rubén Fernández 70
Honda 114 Motorsports
I had a good start in the Qualifying Race on Saturday but had quite a big crash on the second lap so I had to go to the start gate in 25th position. This gave me quite bad run into turn one from so wide on the start-gate.

In the motos though I still managed to get two good starts and got in-amongst the front guys and pushed very hard in the first few laps. This worked well for me today. 

The track was very tough in the second moto but I had a good set-up on my CRF450R and feel happy that I came away from Mantova with some good points. It’s going well and I’m happy.

I haven't yet been to Argentina, but I’m looking forward to it. I think the Spanish riders receive a warm welcome over there so I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Håkon Fredriksen
Håkon Fredriksen 427
Honda 114 Motorsports
Today was better than the last GP so that’s a big improvement. Mantova is one of my favourite tracks of the GP calendar and it’s been good to me over the years. 

In the first race race I lost a few positions in the early laps and this was because I wasn’t riding with enough aggression. I was kind of sleeping on the first two laps and I had a small tip-over in the middle of the race. I got that position back so it was OK. 

I spoke with the team about the first moto and we agreed that I needed to be more aggressive early in the race. I managed to get up into fifth place in race two and then stiffened up a little trying to follow other riders. I probably pushed a little too hard so I lost the tow. I realised that if I calmed down I could use less energy and go faster. 

With the help of my team I managed to get a good bike setup today and after Saturday’s qualifying and Qualifying Race we didn’t change anything. My CRF250R was running really well for me.

I’m really excited to race at the next race in Argentina. It looks like a fun track and I think it’ll suit me.     

Gordon Crockard
Gordon Crockard
Honda Motor Co. Ltd
This weekend has been great. 

We had a podium celebration in WMX with young talent Martine Hughes and victory again for Tiga243 showing he is the best. Strong rides from Rubén Fernández continuing to improve in his rookie year. Same for Hakon with his career best fifth in MX2. 

For our recovering injured riders Mitch and Henry, they demonstrated quality against their own physical challenges with encouraging performances. Henri had a race two holeshot and Mitch feeling his old form returning.

For our injured men the weekend break in racing ahead will allow for more healing time, then we have the long haul trip to Argentina to get back at scoring those podiums and points.

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