Crockard credits Gajser’s determination

The FIM World Motocross Championship visited the picturesque island of Sardinia today, which is located west of the Italian Peninsula, north of Tunisia and immediately south of the French island of Corsica.

Known for its brutally deep sand, the Riola Sardo circuit hosted the race and the combination of 28C heat, 72% humidity and torturous track conditions meant that racing today was exhausting for even the best motocross riders in the world.

Team HRC’s Tim Gajser had an unlucky start to the day’s racing getting caught up in another rider’s first turn crash which caused a small tip-over for Gajser and put him down in 22nd position. Then another small crash a lap later dropped Tim to 27th. Nursing an injury that he picked up in practice last week, the Slovenian set about a heroic push to finish the race in 19th place and score two World Championship points, which may prove vital towards the season end.

Tim had a better start in race two and held onto 12th position on lap one and again pushed hard to gain places, eventually finishing the race in eight place giving the four-time World Champion 12th overall and just one point off the lead of the World Championship.

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There was early drama too in the MX2 race as Honda 114 Motorsport’s Ruben Fernandez tangled with other riders in the first turn and the subsequent crash injured the Spaniard’s shoulder putting him out of the race. As a precaution Fernandez skipped race two and will now focus on returning to racing at the German GP of Teutschenthal in two week’s time.

Ruben’s teammate Joel Rizzi scored his first ever MX2 points today on the CRF250R and hopes to build upon this result in the second half of the season. Meanwhile, Honda Racing Assomotor rider Stephan Rubini had a tough day and skipped race two due to pain and discomfort from an ongoing injury.

Tim Gajser 243
Coming into this race I knew it would be extremely tough, but I know how important that every single point can be in this championship battle so I wanted to try.

Despite the injury, I actually felt pretty good posting a fast lap-time in free practice, but I wasn’t able to do a good one in the timed practice and this really hurt my chances of a top 10 start.

Then unfortunately in the first moto I got caught up by another rider as he fell over round the first bend and I had to remount almost last. I tried to regroup but another crash a lap later made things very difficult. I didn’t give up though and kept pushing and pushing and eventually I passed a couple of guys to finish 19th.

Obviously, I was disappointed but I really felt I could do better if I got a good start, which thankfully I did in race two. I rounded the first lap in 12th place and I got into a nice rhythm on what was a really difficult track. I knew I was fit, and although I was hurting, I battled through into eighth place.

Overall, I am happy to have scored 15 crucial points and with a weekend off to get healthy, I hope that by Teutschenthal, I will be able to be back battling for wins once again.

A big thank you to the team for supporting me during this difficult week. I really appreciate everything you do!

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Gordon Crockard
Honda Off Road Racing Manager
Today was our most difficult day of the season so far. Injuries, crashes, defeat and struggle dominate my feeling over the good points.

There were however some good points. A season best performance for Joel Rizzi scoring his first ever MX2 points in super-physical conditions, testing his body that is just recovering from a virus.

In MXGP class Benoit Paturel scored a superb 11th place in race one. Really well deserved and encouraging for the up coming races ahead. Benoit is fighting the effects of Long-Covid and not considered to be a sand specialist, which adds more value to his great ride.

Henry Jacobi showed maturity by putting in two 14th place finishes today, elevating him up to 14th in the championship points.

Credit must also go to Tim Gajser for his determination and ability to suffer pain. The points he scored today could turn out to be his most valuable in the championship.

Words: Honda Pro Racing

Pic: Shot by Bavo