Team HRC duo Mitch Evans and Tim Gajser dominated the qualification race at the MXGP of Sweden, going one-two in a procession of Honda CRF450Rs as they crossed the line well clear of third place.
After a two-year absence, Uddevalla returned to the world motocross championship calendar, and the picturesque venue was at it’s very best as the riders took to the track for each of their three sessions. In free practice, in a sign of things to come, the Team HRC pair went one-two, with Gajser taking the honours this time around as Evans was just 0.2 seconds behind. Timed practice saw themselves both have decent gate-picks inside the top seven, but it was their performance after the qualification race gate-drop that really showed the Swedish crowd who was the best team in the paddock as the two Honda’s quickly moved to the front of the field within the first few corners.
First it was Evans, who came through into the lead, but he was quickly followed by Gajser with the two of them already pulling a little gap before the end of the first lap. Gradually the duo edged further away from third, with both riders making the tricky Uddevalla surface look quite comfortable, putting in laptimes that the rest of the field couldn’t match. By the time Evans received the chequered flag, two seconds ahead of his #243 teammate, third place was over 10 seconds adrift, giving both riders will have the best two gate-picks for tomorrow’s points-scoring motos.
This result has been a long time coming for the Australian, as he finally put all the pieces of the puzzle together in a confident display of riding. He has shown promise on numerous times this season but hasn’t quite been able to do it on the Sunday, so that is his aim now and one that is very much achievable after today’s performance. For Gajser, he’ll be hoping for two good starts and with his extremely healthy 122-point championship, he doesn’t need to extend himself too much on a track that can easily catch out riders who aren’t fully-concentrated. However, the Slovenian will want to finish this record-breaking season with some strong results and if the win is possible, expect him to display the speed that has seen him take eight overall victories already this campaign.
|1||Evans Mitch||43||AUS||Team HRC - MXGP||Honda||24:21.440|
|2||Gajser Tim||243||SLO||Team HRC - MXGP||Honda||0:02.474|
|3||Vlaanderen Calvin||10||NDL||Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing||Yamaha||0:10.162|
|4||Febvre Romain||3||FRA||Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing||Kawasaki||0:12.011|
|5||Prado Garcia Jorge||61||SPA||Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing||GasGas||0:14.438|
|6||Seewer Jeremy||91||SWI||Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team||Yamaha||0:15.562|
|7||Coldenhoff Glenn||259||NDL||Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team||Yamaha||0:24.244|
|8||Renaux Maxime||959||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team||Yamaha||0:24.560|
|9||Guillod Valentin||92||SWI||iXS MXGP Team||Yamaha||0:29.775|
|10||Fernandez Ruben||70||SPA||Honda 114 Motorsports||Honda||0:33.026|
|11||Van Horebeek Jeremy||89||BEL||Beta SDM Corse MX Team||Beta||0:34.093|
|12||Forato Alberto||303||ITA||SM Action Racing Team Yuasa Battery||GasGas||0:34.655|
|13||Bogers Brian||189||NDL||Standing Construct Husqvarna Factory Racing Team||Husqvarna||0:37.565|
|14||van Doninck Brent||32||BEL||Riley Racing||Yamaha||0:41.575|
|15||Jacobi Henry||29||GER||JM Honda Racing||Honda||0:46.865|
|16||Tixier Jordi||911||FRA||JT911 KTM Racing Team||KTM||0:49.194|
|17||Watson Ben||919||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP||Kawasaki||0:51.078|
|18||Guadagnini Mattia||101||ITA||Husqvarna Junior Racing Maddii||Husqvarna||0:52.842|
|19||Östlund Alvin||161||SWE||JK Racing Yamaha Active||Yamaha||0:55.836|
|20||Koch Tom||226||GER||KTM Kozak Team||KTM||0:58.073|