Gajser and Zanchi on their Latvian GP – MXGP red plate back

Image: Shot by Bavo | Words: Press Release


Over the three races, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser went one-two-two at the Kegums circuit in Latvia, to take second step on the podium, and reclaim the championship-leading red-plate once again. In what were completely different conditions in the two GP-scoring races today, Gajser showed that it doesn’t matter if it is wet or dry, and that he is a threat to win in any weather.

Yesterday’s victory in the qualification race gave him first gate-pick and although he wasn’t able to repeat yesterday’s holeshot, he was still able to get round inside the top five. Unfortunately he was behind his two main rivals in both motos, but he was quickly able to pass one of them early-on in each moto to move into second.

Race one was a really wet moto, with standing water and wet sand making things difficult for everyone, but Gajser showed his skills to keep the leader in sight and pull away from the rest of the field. With the wet roost causing issues, he eventually had to settle for second place, which was still a good points tally and kept his chances of an overall alive.

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In race two, he once again moved into second place and although he was able to keep the winner of race one well behind him, he knew he had to win to get the GP overall and despite intense pressure on the leader, he wasn’t able to make the pass happen on what was now a dry one-lined Kegums track. Once again he crossed the line, just over a second behind the race winner, knowing that his two-two would see him on the second step of the podium. Still, it was good enough for him to now be leading the championship by four points as they head to the 10th round of the series, which will take place at the prestigious Maggiora track in northern Italy.


It was a tough points-day for Ferruccio Zanchi in the MX2 class, but his riding told a different story, as he came through the field in both races to narrowly miss out on the top 10 overall. In race one, he got a good start and was in seventh when he just slipped over and dropped to just inside the top 20. Knowing that time was on his side, he charged all the way up 10th in a really impressive display of riding, but on the last lap as he tried to pass the rider in ninth, he was involved in an incident and eventually crossed the line in 15th place.

Motivated to make amends, he was unfortunately caught up in the first lap chaos and had to remount almost last. Once again, the young Italian showed some good speed to move right the way through the field to 11th during the race, just running out of time before he could pass into the top 10. So his results were 15-11 for 13th, but the riding was much better than the numbers suggest and he’ll head to his home GP full of confidence that he is one of the faster riders in this MX2 class.

Tim Gajser 243

I rode well all weekend, and am happy with the overall effort. Going one-two-two shows that my consistency is good and that my speed is good enough to win, but I wasn’t quite able to make it happen. I got the red-plate back so that is a positive and although there is still a long way to go, it is nice to ride with the red-plate on my Honda CRF450R, especially next week in Maggiora which is a special track.

Ferruccio Zanchi 73

My speed was good and I made a lot of passes on a track that wasn’t easy to pass on, but a few small moments cost me a top 10 overall. One was my fault, early in the first moto but the other two were frustrating and I hope I can learn from them and avoid that kind of thing in the future. Still, my fitness was good and I pushed until the end in both races so overall I am pleased with my progress and I’m really looking forward to a home GP in Maggiora next weekend.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager – MXGP

It was great to see Tim have the red-plate back again in what is a highly contested series. The top three are all pushing really hard and it was impressive to see Tim matching everything that the other two guys are doing. He is showing a lot of speed and even more consistency so we’re happy with how things are going at this stage of the season. Next up is Maggiora and the potential for more rain, so we will see how that looks and adjust our plans accordingly. Whatever happens, Tim will be ready.
Ferruccio also rode well and his results don’t tell the full story. He came through the field well in both races and could easily have been inside the top 10. He’ll learn from it though and it’s another step in his progression that is well ahead of where we thought it would be at this stage.