Fernandez heads to Argentina as Gajser offers update on injury

The 2023 MXGP World Championship starts this weekend in Villa La Angostura, Argentina, with Ruben Fernandez heading Team HRC’s effort for this opening round. Unfortunately 2022 world champion and winningest rider of this event, Tim Gajser won’t be on the plane to South America as he recovers from a broken femur sustained at the Italian International Championship in Arco di Trento on February 19th.

Set in one of the most stunning locations around the world, the track weaves in and out of the forest, in the shadow of the Andes mountain range and provides a high-speed challenge that both the riders and fans enjoy.

With Gajser on the sidelines, it will down to Fernandez to lead the way on his Honda CRF450R, as the Spaniard makes his full-MXGP debut for Team HRC. Last year he put in an excellent performance here, making a pass in the last few corners to get a third place in moto two, and that was after leading part of moto one. And it was that kind of effort that caught the eye, eventually giving him his chance to ride for the factory team this year.

After a successful pre-season, which saw Fernandez win last time out at the Spanish Championship, the #70 will be looking to start off the championship strongly with this venue providing the perfect opportunity to do so, as plenty of Spanish-speaking fans will be cheering loudly for him all the race around this amazing race track.

This article continues below

Ruben Fernandez 70
I am extremely excited about this weekend, and riding down in Argentina. It is a fun track, and with everyone speaking Spanish, it is easy for me to interact with all the fans. Of course, I am hoping to do well, and I believe I have the chance to do so. Last year I got a third place in a moto, and I led a race for a little bit too, so I want to repeat that and try to do even better if possible. It will be tough as there are a lot of fast riders in the MXGP class but that is the aim and that is what I expect from myself.

Tim Gajser 243
Obviously I am extremely disappointed not to be out in Argentina racing, but this is part of the sport and now my focus is to get fit again and get back to riding as soon as possible. So far, my recovery is going well, I am improving every day and I am definitely heading in the right direction. It is still too early to give an exact return date but I hope to see everyone at the races soon. I always enjoyed going to Villa La Angostura and seeing the people there. It is a beautiful part of the world, and the fans are very passionate and make you feel very welcoming. I want to wish Ruben the best of luck this weekend and I hope that he puts on a strong performance for Team HRC.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager – MXGP
It is great to finally get the season started. Unfortunately we are without Tim, which is a big shame because he was feeling so good over the winter, so I’d like to wish him the best with his recovery, from me and from everyone at Team HRC, so that he can join us again soon. However, we are very pleased with how Ruben has been doing on the bike, and we hope he can show that to everyone in Argentina. It is a great venue, and the perfect place to start the 2023 season and we can’t wait for that first gate drop.

Words: Press Release

Image: Shot by Bavo