MXGP of Lombardia
Gajser wins Lombardia qualification as Evans makes positive steps
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser made another impressive statement in the qualification race at the MXGP of Lombardia, winning it comfortably and proving that when he has the right setup for his Honda CRF450R, he is very tough to beat.
Throughout the day, the Mantova track was tricking riders as the usual sand track was showing a much tougher look, due to the lack of rain and sunny weather. As a result, grip and throttle control was at a premium and it meant that as Gajser tried to find the right settings, he was only able to post the fifth fastest lap in timed practice. This gave him fifth gate pick for the qualifying race, but a good start soon saw him in the top three, and within a lap, he was in the lead. From there he posted the fastest laptime of the race and pulled out a comfortable gap, crossing the chequered flag over seven seconds ahead of second place, giving him first gate-pick for the two motos on Sunday.
Mitch Evans was looking to build upon his results from round one in Matterley Basin and it was immediately evident that the Australian was in a much stronger position this weekend. At one stage of timed practice, he was fastest, before eventually dropping to eighth, but that was still a big improvement from the previous weekend. With this boost of confidence, he rocketed around the first corner of the qualifying race, only just missing out on the holeshot. He then battled hard through the first few laps as he tried to regain all the race craft he lost from his 15-month injury absence. Unfortunately, a technical issue meant that he had to pull into the pits soon after, when he was inside the top 10, so that dropped him right down the field, but he was still able to do good laptimes and if he can get a good start from the outside gate-pick, he’ll
be hoping for more improvement in tomorrow’s races.
In this two-day format, they’ll now have a morning warm-up session at 9:45 before the moto gate-drops at 13:15 and 16:10 where Gajser will be looking to make it two overall wins in a row and retain the red-plate he won at round one.