Gajser prioritises better race starts for 2022 title bid

Three-times MXGP World Champion, Tim Gajser, has flagged improved start performances by his factory CRF450R as a pivotal factor in his plight for a fourth crown at the highest level in 2022. The 25-year-old was clear-cut regarding the weakest element of his 2021 campaign and in what was the closest and most electrifying title contest in recent memory.

Gajser was dwarfed in the holeshot stakes. Red Bull KTM’s Jorge Prado posted 18 holeshots as the Honda man’s main 2021 championship rivals – Kawasaki Racing Team’s Romain Febvre and Red Bull KTM’s Jeffrey Herlings – grabbed at least 6 and 4 Fox ‘black plates’. Gajser ranked 2nd in terms of fastest laps set through the 2021 season but led 97 laps compared to Herlings’ 157 and Febvre’s 138.

“The championship was incredible, everybody was fit and there, and that’s what made it so interesting. It was so close, it went down to the last moto, and that’s why the starts were crucial,” he said. “I need to work on them, a lot. Starts have always been important but this year it will be even more so. We are definitely on it.”

2022 will be Gajser’s seventh year in MXGP and in Honda colours, nine GP terms altogether Including his stint with the CRF250R in MX2. The Slovenian insists he is “super-motivated…because I lost that 2021 title” but will already have been given a headstart by Herlings’ pre-season left heel injury and Febvre recouperation from a broken leg sustained at the Paris Supercross.

Words: Adam Wheeler

Pic: HRC Honda/Shot by Bavo