Team HRC’s Mitch Evans was the highest finishing Honda CRF450R rider in today’s MXGP of Spain qualification race after an excellent sixth place result, while championship leader Tim Gajser recovered from an early-race crash to storm through the field and get back to 11th, still giving him a decent gate-pick for tomorrow’s races.
In what is the ninth round of the 2022 MXGP World Championship, Team HRC were sporting a 1980s-inspired livery to mark the 50th anniversary of the Honda CR-CRF machine. But while the look was different, the power of the 2022 Honda CRF450R was still evident as Gajser posted a fastest lap just 0.005 seconds behind first place, giving him second gate-pick for the qualification race. Teammate Evans rounded out the top 10 with both riders well-placed to get a strong start on this long first straight.
After the first turn, both riders were challenging inside the top 10 and looking to move forward throughout the moto, however on lap two Gajser was forced to jump off the track to avoid the rider ahead and he slid out on the loose dirt next to the circuit. Remounting in 20th place, he soon began working his way through the field, and was actually the fastest rider on the track at one stage as he carved his way forward. Unfortunately he just ran out of time to get inside the top 10 but 11th position is still okay for this start and after Sardinia’s holeshot, he’ll be confident he can get out near the front and get back to adding to his six overall wins so far this campaign.
For Evans, he’ll be starting from sixth gate-pick as he worked his way forward from eighth place after lap one. It could have been even better for the Australian as he was extremely close to taking fourth place with a couple of laps remaining, but a small mistake then dropped him a position and he settled for another good qualification result in what were extremely hot and difficult conditions.
Tomorrow’s forecast also looks like 30C plus temperatures and with the rutted surface causing a number of mistakes, it will be a real challenge for all the riders to navigate this Arroyomolinos circuit. However the Team HRC duo are feeling confident and excited for the opportunity to once again showcase their speed and skill in front of what should be another massive Spanish crowd tomorrow.
|1||Coldenhoff Glenn||259||NDL||Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team||Yamaha||24:45.077|
|2||Prado Garcia Jorge||61||SPA||Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing||GasGas||0:04.095|
|3||Renaux Maxime||959||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team||Yamaha||0:11.130|
|4||Guadagnini Mattia||101||ITA||Husqvarna Junior Racing Maddii||Husqvarna||0:15.536|
|5||Seewer Jeremy||91||SWI||Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team||Yamaha||0:18.858|
|6||Evans Mitch||43||AUS||Team HRC - MXGP||Honda||0:21.524|
|7||Fernandez Ruben||70||SPA||Honda 114 Motorsports||Honda||0:22.729|
|8||Bogers Brian||189||NDL||Standing Construct Husqvarna Factory Racing Team||Husqvarna||0:26.160|
|9||Jonass Pauls||41||LAT||Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing Team||GasGas||0:30.758|
|10||Forato Alberto||303||ITA||SM Action Racing Team Yuasa Battery||GasGas||0:32.963|
|11||Gajser Tim||243||SLO||Team HRC - MXGP||Honda||0:37.001|
|12||Van Horebeek Jeremy||89||BEL||Beta SDM Corse MX Team||Beta||0:49.853|
|13||Vlaanderen Calvin||10||NDL||Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing||Yamaha||0:54.274|
|14||Jacobi Henry||29||GER||JM Honda Racing||Honda||0:57.179|
|15||Guillod Valentin||92||SWI||iXS MXGP Team||Yamaha||0:58.102|
|16||Beaton Jed||14||AUS||F&H Racing Team||Kawasaki||0:58.556|
|17||Charlier Christophe||23||FRA||Wildcard Rider||Yamaha||1:01.100|
|18||Östlund Alvin||161||SWE||JK Racing Yamaha Active||Yamaha||1:04.429|
|19||Paturel Benoit||16||FRA||Honda SR Motoblouz||Honda||1:09.541|
|20||Tixier Jordi||911||FRA||JT911 KTM Racing Team||KTM||1:14.485|