MXGP Race 2
MXGP 2021
Round 9

Tim Gajser leads the MXGP championship with an epic race two win in Turkey

tr Afyonkarahisar

The second episode of the Turkish MXGP double-header played out today under baking-hot sunshine and blue skies and again the hard-packed circuit of Afyon witnessed some fast and furious racing in all classes.

Tim Gajser leads the MXGP championship with an epic race two win in Turkey

Team HRC’s Tim Gajser once again stood on the podium today, improving on last Sunday’s third overall to take second overall and extend his lead in the MXGP World Championship to 28 points with nine races to go. 

Gajser battled hard in race one from fourth place on lap one to push into third on lap four and set about a charge to the front.

Although Tim’s early laps were faster than the race leaders’, making the final two passes eluded the Slovenian and he had to settle for third place and 20 safe points.

JM Honda Racing’s Henry Jacobi had another strong first moto today and battled hard in a top-ten position to eventually finish the race in a fantastic seventh, riding the CRF450R.

As the gate fell on race two it was Gajser again who lead the Hondas into the first turn. On this occasion Gajser entered lap one in third place and soon found a fast and comfortable pace. Riding the CRF450RW ‘Tiga’ moved into second on lap six and then took the lead on lap eight, going onto set the fastest laps, lap-after-lap and win the moto by almost six seconds. 

Meanwhile Jacobi was circulating in 10th place, but tightened up a little close to the mid-race point and eventually came home in 11th.

Henry finished the day in a well-earned eighth overall as he strives and battles for continued improvement. A great result for Henry today though as top-ten finishes are his goal. 

In the MX2 class CRF250R racer Ruben Fernandez had a tough day battling back from a disappointing start in moto one to finish in 8th.

In moto two Fernandez was taken out by a crashed rider whilst holding fifth position on the opening lap. Ruben fought back to 12th at the finish giving the Spaniard 10th overall. 

Team Honda Racing Assomotor’s Stephen Rubini continued his return to better results in Turkey today with a 13th in race one, followed by 12th in race two to give the Frenchman 13th overall with positive progress back into the top-ten. A place that Rubini is more than capable of.

Tim Gajser
Tim Gajser 243
Team HRC
I really enjoyed myself in that second moto. I felt so comfortable on the bike and I found the flow of the track without pushing over the limit. 

Of course I'm a little disappointed with the first moto, to have lost a position so close to the end of the race and in the end, this cost me the overall but it was nice to be able to show my speed and make some nice passes in that second moto and win with a solid gap. 

Now I will prepare for Riola Sardo which will be a completely different challenge as it is deep sand, but I have ridden there a lot these last few years so I am looking forward to it. 

A big thank you to the team for working so hard in this break and thank you to everyone who has wished me a ‘happy birthday’. It was a great day!

Henry Jacobi
Henry Jacobi 29
JM Honda Racing
The goal today was to improve my Timed Qualifying to give me a better choice on the start-gate. It wasn’t really good, but an improvement over last Sunday and it did help. 

I had a good start in the first moto. I held the bike wide open around the outside on the first corner and eventually finished the race in seventh. 

I really wanted that top ten overall result, so I took it a little bit easier in race two and finished the race in 11th place and this gave me eighth overall. 

It’s going in the right direction. Every weekend we get better and better. I’m learning at every race and the bike helps a lot as I’m very happy with the setup we have and didn’t need the change anything from last Sunday’s race. 

Gordon Crockard
Gordon Crockard
Honda Motor Co. Ltd
Today in Turkey there wasn’t too much of a change to the results that we saw last Sunday. 

It was very positive to see Henry Jacobi take the CRF450R to eighth overall and break into the top-ten. This is something that Henry and the JM Honda Racing team have been working hard towards. Well done to Henry and his team for making positive progress and we look forward to this continuing.

Tim Gajser’s results were also similar to Sunday’s race and it’s good to see him extent his lead in the MXGP World Championship to 28 points. Well done to Tim again and great to see Honda lead the championship for the whole season so far. 

In the MX2 class Ruben Fernandez had a tough day today despite his fifth place in Timed Qualification showing that he has the speed to run at the front.  

He had a poor start in race one and had to battle back from 14th on lap one to eventually finish in eighth. We were pleased to see Ruben fight back and work hard to salvage points. 

Then in race two Ruben was in fifth place going into turn ten on the opening lap and got caught up in another rider’s crash. He had nowhere to go and crashed himself. He restarted in 20th place and fought his way back to 12th at the finish. Fernandez finished the day in 10th overall, but he’s  clearly capable of top-five or podium finishes.

Stephen Rubini continued his journey back to full race fitness and it was good to see him score some solid points in both motos today. We really want to see Stephen rediscover his confidence and speed to run consistently in the top ten which we know he can do. 

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