MXGP of Great Britain
Gajser wins MXGP of Great Britain to lead world motocross championship
A dominant display of riding from Team HRC’s Tim Gajser saw the Honda CRF450R rider leave the Matterley Basin track – home of the British GP – with the championship-leading red-plate.
On a sun-filled but breezy day near Winchester, the first round of the world motocross championship eventually took place, after a postponement from last weekend due to storm Eunice. And while there was still a bitterly cold wind throughout the weekend, it wasn’t enough to affect the riders too much, for what is one of the best circuits on the calendar.
After finishing in second place from yesterday’s qualification race, Gajser had a good gate pick for both motos, however he wasn’t able to capitalise and instead had to work his way through the field in both races. In the first moto, he quickly moved through from 10th to sixth by the time they crossed the line the first time, and settled into a good rhythm. Gradually he picked off riders in front of him, showing good race craft as he moved forward and by the halfway point, he was already into second place. Again, a patient approach closed the gap to the leader and with a couple of laps to go, just as he was about to pounce, the leader made a mistake and he swept into the lead, comfortably pulling out a gap by the time he took the chequered flag.
It was a similar story in race two, recovering from an average start to be in fourth at the end of the first lap. Making good passes, he once again worked his way into second place after just five laps, which is when he really showed his speed to reel in the leader who had made an impressive gap to the rest of the field. Posting fastest lap after fastest lap, he quickly caught up to the leader’s back wheel, and just as quickly made his move on the corner before the start straight. Immediately putting in another fast lap, it looked like Gajser would cruise to a one-one victory, just like he achieved at the first round in Russia last year. However, the long shadows from a setting sun, caused a misjudgement and he dropped back into second place.
With a few laps remaining, he tried his best to make the pass for the lead but he wasn’t able to get it done, crossing the line just 0.5 seconds behind the winner. This meant he went one-two, but it was still good enough to take the overall victory and lead the MXGP world championship by four points.
For Evans, it was always going to be a tough ask, to come up against the best motocross riders in the world after over 15-months of absence due to injury. However, the Australian showed his fighting spirit, clicking off his laps and completing both motos in what were some extremely difficult conditions. His 17-22 results aren’t where he wants to be, but this was an important step in his recovery, as he attempts to get back to the front of this competitive MXGP class.
The series now heads to Mantova, Italy next weekend, for what is the second round of this twenty-round championship. It is a venue that has hosted plenty of MXGP rounds recently and the flat, sandy terrain should provide a much different challenge for both members of Team HRC, who have had good memories from past events there.