Following the postponement of last weekend’s Grand Prix of Great Britain, the start-gate eventually dropped at Matterley Basin today to begin the 2022 FIM World Motocross Championship.
In the MXGP class Team HRC’s four-time World Champion Tim Gajser launched the famous #243 CRF450R into a solid sixth place on the first lap of race one and soon set-about picking off his rivals one-by-one to push into the lead with two laps remaining. Tim took the race win by 3.7 seconds looking fast and nimble on a rough and rutted Hampshire circuit.
Team Honda 114 Motorsport’s Rubén Fernández also had a strong start to the season, but struck some bad luck early in race. Whilst in fifth position the fast Spaniard tipped over in one of the track's numerous deep-rutted turns and rejoined the race in 20th position. He rode into pit-lane for a quick assessment of his CRF450R and rejoined the race a lap down, but decided to withdraw and refocus for race two.
Tim Gajser had a better start in race two and was followed on lap one by a rejuvenated Rubén Fernández. Gajser soon moved into third place leaving Fernández in fifth. The Slovenian took the lead on lap 10 only to tip-over in a very technical tight downhill rutted right turn. Although Gajser almost retook the lead on the final lap, time ran out, but his second place finish gave ‘Tiga’ the overall GP win and Championship leader’s red-plate.
Fernández defended his fifth place throughout the moto demonstrating that he has the speed and endurance to race at this elite level of motocross racing.
In the MX2 class Team Ship To Cycle Honda SR Motoblouz’s Stephen Rubini showed early speed on his CRF250R and lead Sunday morning’s Warm Up session - a clear indication the Frenchman had come to fight hard for results.
In race one Rubini pushed well on lap one to place his Honda in a top five position and was looking strong and hungry to prove a point after last year’s injury-stricken season. He moved into fourth place on lap three and held this position until the last lap when a small mistake cost him one position, but his fifth place was his best race finish in the MX2 class since moving up from EMX250 in 2021.
Race two was challenging for Rubini, but he fought off a mid-race loss of rhythm to come home in 10th place, giving him seventh overall and tied on points for sixth place.
Round two of the 2022 MXGP season visits the Italian circuit of Mantova in one week's time - Sunday 6th March.