Gajser close to HRC Honda contract extension while Fernandez to earn promotion?
MXGP World Championship leader Tim Gajser is on the verge of renewing his association with Team HRC for another two seasons, taking the Slovenia to more than a decade of competition with CRF racing technology in the FIM series.
Gajser, 26 in September, has been part of Honda’s Grand Prix set-up since 2014. He won the 2015 MX2 title on the CRF250F and became the first rider in the four-stroke era to claim back-to-back championships in different classes when he clinched MXGP as a rookie in 2016.
#243 has been part of the premier class since that 2016 season and as HRC’s star performer in that period; owning MXGP in 2019 and 2020. He is already Honda’s most successful ever motocrosser.
Gajser reaches the end of his current deal in 2022 but is already at advanced stages for a two-year extension meaning he will continue as Honda’s principal racer until after his 28th birthday and as one of the best paid riders in the championship. HRC Director Tetsuhiro Kuwata was in Maggiora for the Grand Prix of Italy were the deal was expected to be closed.
Honda are likely to maintain three CRF450FRs in MXGP 2023 with current rookie, 114 Motorsports Ruben Fernandez, likely to transition into the factory HRC team to replace Australian Mitch Evans. Fernandez, only 23 and already a podium-finisher in MXGP, has already held discussions with HRC for promotions out of Livia Lancelot’s satellite set-up.
Words: Adam Wheeler
Pic: Alex Piantanida