Mitch Evans led multiple laps on his way to a second-placed finish in the MXGP of Turkiye qualification race, just ahead of his Team HRC teammate Tim Gajser who finished fifth, in a strong performance for the Honda CRF450R pair.
As always, the temperatures were high in Afyonkarahisar, but that didn’t deter the Team HRC duo from putting in some blisteringly fast laptimes in timed practice, with Evans and Gajser ending the session first and second respectively. This gave them the top two gate-picks for the qualification race on this hard-pack track that didn’t seem as deeply ripped as in previous years.
At over 1000m above sea-level, the altitude adds to the difficulty level of this event, but that didn’t stop the pair from rounding the first lap around the top five. Evans had done particularly well on the opening lap to put himself right on the rear tyre of the leader and that’s where he stayed until two-thirds of the race when he moved into P1. The Australian then looked on his way to take a second qualification race win of the season, but a small error in line choice on the last lap allowed the rider behind him to come through and instead the Australian will line up in second place for tomorrow’s motos.
Gajser wasn’t able to come through the field quite as well as his teammate and instead settled for a fifth place in the race, not wishing to push too hard when the points are at stake in the two motos on Sunday. He proved with his timed practice time that he has the speed to win motos, just like he has done in previous years here, so now it will just be a case of putting himself in a position to win when the gate drops tomorrow.
|1||Renaux Maxime||959||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team||Yamaha||23:49.609|
|2||Evans Mitch||43||AUS||Team HRC - MXGP||Honda||0:04.114|
|3||Seewer Jeremy||91||SWI||Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team||Yamaha||0:08.819|
|4||Fernandez Ruben||70||SPA||Honda 114 Motorsports||Honda||0:10.953|
|5||Gajser Tim||243||SLO||Team HRC - MXGP||Honda||0:12.864|
|6||Coldenhoff Glenn||259||NDL||Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team||Yamaha||0:15.745|
|7||Guillod Valentin||92||SWI||iXS MXGP Team||Yamaha||0:15.954|
|8||Febvre Romain||3||FRA||Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing||Kawasaki||0:23.306|
|9||Jonass Pauls||41||LAT||Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing Team||GasGas||0:25.772|
|10||Vlaanderen Calvin||10||NDL||Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing||Yamaha||0:28.698|
|11||Forato Alberto||303||ITA||SM Action Racing Team Yuasa Battery||GasGas||0:30.701|
|12||Bogers Brian||189||NDL||Standing Construct Husqvarna Factory Racing Team||Husqvarna||0:31.513|
|13||Guadagnini Mattia||101||ITA||Husqvarna Junior Racing Maddii||Husqvarna||0:32.342|
|14||Prado Garcia Jorge||61||SPA||Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing||GasGas||0:43.075|
|15||Östlund Alvin||161||SWE||JK Racing Yamaha Active||Yamaha||0:48.279|
|16||Monticelli Ivo||128||ITA||Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing||Kawasaki||0:51.079|
|17||Jacobi Henry||29||GER||JM Honda Racing||Honda||0:52.859|
|18||Lapucci Nicholas||211||ITA||Steels - Dr. Jack Racing||KTM||1:03.969|
|19||Watson Ben||919||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP||Kawasaki||1:41.005|
|20||Kouzis Panagiotis||38||GRE||Wildcard Rider||Honda||1 Lap|