A strong second place from Team HRC’s Tim Gajser in the MXGP of Czech Republic qualification race means that he heads in tomorrow’s point-scoring motos confident that he can win his 10th overall of the season and extend his lead in the championship even further. Teammate Mitch Evans also had a good showing, finishing in eighth place, after an excellent second place in timed practice, just 0.09 seconds behind Gajser, for a Team HRC one-two.
After a couple of weekends off from racing, the riders were raring to go and the Honda CRF450R duo really showed their speed and improvements, to give themselves the top two gate-picks for the qualifying race. With the top 20 separated by just 2.5 seconds, it was an impressive feat from the Team HRC pair and a very promising sign for the future with over a third of the season still to race.
With the Loket start gate being wide open in terms of the best position for a holeshot, the timed practice domination didn’t provide such an advantage as it would at other venues on the calendar, where the inside slots are the most sought-after. And then, knowing that start is important here, Evans hit the gate, and Gajser slipped out in turn one, so the pair had to work hard to get themselves into strong positions. The #243 made some really impressive moves on lap one, moving him from seventh to third, while Evans did his best to follow him through, and ended up in seventh as they crossed the line for the first time.
With the hard, slick nature of this hillside track making passing difficult, that’s pretty much where they stayed for the rest of the race, with Gajser moving into second at the halfway mark before pressuring the leader in the last few laps. He wasn’t able to make the pass then, but he knows that he’s still in a strong position to come out near the front if he is able to get a good jump out of the gate.
Evans ended up finishing eighth, battling for the whole duration of the race, but knowing that the end result wasn’t as critical as his ability to start well in tomorrow’s two point-scoring motos. That is focus for both riders when the gate drops tomorrow at 14:15 and 17:10 for what should be another warm, sunny day in the Czech Republic.
|1||Seewer Jeremy||91||SWI||Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team||Yamaha||24:14.592|
|2||Gajser Tim||243||SLO||Team HRC - MXGP||Honda||0:03.096|
|3||Prado Garcia Jorge||61||SPA||Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing||GasGas||0:05.363|
|4||Coldenhoff Glenn||259||NDL||Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team||Yamaha||0:07.290|
|5||Jonass Pauls||41||LAT||Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing Team||GasGas||0:08.063|
|6||Renaux Maxime||959||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team||Yamaha||0:10.689|
|7||Guadagnini Mattia||101||ITA||Husqvarna Junior Racing Maddii||Husqvarna||0:14.284|
|8||Evans Mitch||43||AUS||Team HRC - MXGP||Honda||0:16.048|
|9||Watson Ben||919||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP||Kawasaki||0:17.210|
|10||Vlaanderen Calvin||10||NDL||Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing||Yamaha||0:18.596|
|11||Forato Alberto||303||ITA||SM Action Racing Team Yuasa Battery||GasGas||0:21.836|
|12||Van Horebeek Jeremy||89||BEL||Beta SDM Corse MX Team||Beta||0:23.428|
|13||Febvre Romain||3||FRA||Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing||Kawasaki||0:27.545|
|14||Guillod Valentin||92||SWI||iXS MXGP Team||Yamaha||0:29.589|
|15||Tixier Jordi||911||FRA||JT911 KTM Racing Team||KTM||0:34.062|
|16||Bogers Brian||189||NDL||Standing Construct Husqvarna Factory Racing Team||Husqvarna||0:39.976|
|17||Jacobi Henry||29||GER||JM Honda Racing||Honda||0:42.603|
|18||Paturel Benoit||16||FRA||Honda SR Motoblouz||Honda||0:44.992|
|19||Sterry Adam||811||GBR||Hitachi KTM fuelled by Milwaukee||KTM||0:47.351|
|20||van Doninck Brent||32||BEL||Riley Racing||Yamaha||0:48.510|