Gajser Back to Best in MXGP
A couple of months back, after Round 7 of the FIM MXGP World Championship at Italy’s iconic Maggiora Park track, we were marvelling at how Team HRC’s Tim Gajser had built an 81-point lead in the premier-class standings so early in the season. Now, after last weekend’s 12th round of the Championship in Indonesia, where Gajser put in another dominant 1-1 showing on the loamy track in front of 40,000 race fans, the Slovenian is sitting on a massive 125-point lead over second place, GASGAS’s Jorge Prado. And the crazy thing is, Gajser has managed to gap his rivals in the hotly contested MXGP class in spite of a few mediocre performances in the interim while he recovered from the ongoing effects of an illness.
Admittedly, a few things have helped Gajser’s cause – the fact the reigning champ, KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings, has been sidelined through injury all year, and several of his other main rivals – guys such as Jorge Prado, Romain Febvre, Maxime Renaux, Jeremy Seewer and Glenn Coldenhoff – have all been sidelined for at least a round due to injuries. But you can’t take anything away from Tim Gajser, who looks very much like he’s intent on making amends for his bitterly disappointing loss last year after an intense, season-long title battle in 2021 with Herlings and Febvre.
Meanwhile, Gajser’s Aussie teammate, the ever-improving Mitch Evans (#43), enjoyed his best result of the season in Indonesia. Evans’ 5-6 results gave him sixth overall, which elevated him to 11th in the Overall standings. It was a rally pressive effort from the Australian, who also posted the second-fastest lap time in the second moto, only slightly behind Gajser.
Tim Gajser: “It was a great day today, going 1-1 and really having fun out on the track. The first moto was almost perfect, getting the holeshot and controlling the whole race to take the win. I felt really good and the track was a lot better today, so well done to the track crew who worked on it. In race two, I didn’t get quite as good a start, and was fourth, but I made some really nice passes and within a few laps I was in the lead. Once again, I was able to control the race and take the win and my eighth Overall of the season. My lead in the championship is now 125 points so I am very happy with how the season is going. A big thank you to my whole team for working so hard and a big thank you to the people of Sumbawa who have been great since our arrival. I am already looking forward to coming back next year.”
Mitch Evans: “Another season-best performance so I am very happy with that, especially after feeling so bad earlier in the day. I really had to fight hard in both races to keep my pace up and keep the riders behind me, so this was a massive effort and it feels great to have that effort pay off. Scoring 31 points and getting sixth Overall after 5-6 moto scores is a nice boost heading into these couple of weeks off, so now I will keep working hard and keep this momentum for the next round in the Czech Republic.”
MXGP CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS (AFTER RD 12)
1. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 535pts
2. Jorge Prado (ESP, GAS), 410pts
3. Jeremy Seewer (SUI, YAM), 405pts
4. Maxime Renaux (FRA, YAM), 365pts
5. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, YAM), 363pts
6. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, HON), 342pts
7. Pauls Jonass (LAT, HUS), 278pts
8. Brian Bogers (NED, HUS), 263pts
9. Calvin Vlaanderen (NED, YAM), 239pts
10. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, BET), 229pts
11. Mitch Evans (AUS, HON), 206pts
The riders will now have a couple of weekends off to recuperate from all the travel and prepare themselves for the final seven rounds of the season. Up next is Loket in the Czech Republic, which takes place on the weekend of July 17.