Team HRC’s Tim Gajser and Mitch Evans will line-up with seventh and 15th gate-pick respectively for tomorrow’s motos in the MXGP of Portugal, after what was an extremely hard-fought qualification race for the Honda CRF450R duo.

The Agueda track, with the distinctive orange dirt, was providing a challenge all day to the riders as the wide, slippery surface meant that grip was at a premium. This made putting in a fast-lap in the timed practice session a pretty tricky affair, with mistakes on hot-laps costing both riders a few tenths here and there.

Eventually Gajser was able to nail down an extremely quick time, just 0.18 seconds off the lead in second place, giving him a really good chance in the qualification race later that afternoon. And the #243 made full use of that gate-pick, rocketing off to another holeshot as he led the opening part of the race. However, a racing incident with another rider midway round lap one caused the Slovenian to drop his bike and by the time he had remounted, he was way down in 23rd position. From there, the hard work began as he began passing as many riders as he could in order to get a good gate-pick for the points-paying motos tomorrow. On almost every lap, Gajser moved forward and by the time the chequered flag came out, he was in seventh place, an incredible effort in the 20 minutes plus two.

Evans had given himself 10th gate pick after the timed practice session and he was right around that mark in the qualification race after a couple of laps. However, a small mistake on lap four lost him eight places so he had to regroup and follow his teammate through the field. Like Gajser, he also picked off a number of riders and was once again near the top 10, only to have a small tip-over on the final lap, dropping him back to 15th.

Although it was a tough way to finish the day, both riders know that they are performing at a much higher level and will head into Sunday’s races (14:15 and 17:10) looking to score good points and continue a start to this 2022 campaign that has seen Gajser win the first three rounds, and Evans improve each time the gate has dropped.

Tim Gajser 243

Obviously, it’s a little disappointing to only have seventh gate pick for tomorrow’s motos after feeling good all day. I got a really good start in the qualification race, another holeshot, and was leading the first few corners and looking forward to having a good result. Unfortunately, I had coming together with another rider halfway around the first lap and we both went down, meaning I had to pick my bike up right at the back of the field. I tried not to let it affect me too much though and knew I had the whole race to make as many passes as possible. Every lap I tried to pick off a rider and gradually I worked my way towards the top 10. In the end I was seventh, which is okay, and I know I can make some passes now, so hopefully I can get more good starts tomorrow and challenge for the GP overall.

Mitch Evans 43

I feel like I was riding a lot better than my 15th place in qualification suggests. Just a couple of small mistakes in the timed practice, and then the qualification race meant I dropped down the field at the wrong times, but it is much better to do them today, than tomorrow, so I’m still feeling positive that the motos can go well. My speed was good, and I made some passes in the race so I just need to keep flowing for the whole 35 minutes plus two, and if I do that, I’m sure I can maintain my recent results progression.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager - MXGP

We were very happy to see Tim get such a good start once again, after his holeshot in Argentina last time out. This is such an important aspect of MXGP racing right now so it is great to see the Honda CRF450R leading the way. Unfortunately, the small incident on the first lap left Tim way down the field, but he fought hard to get back to seventh and that still gives him a good chance of another holeshot tomorrow.
Mitch also fought hard in the qualification race and although a last lap mistake cost him a couple of positions, we are confident he can put it together for the races tomorrow, on what is turning out to be a pretty tricky track. Overall though, Team HRC are expecting better fortune tomorrow and to be fighting it out at the front of the field.

MXGP 2022
Qualifying Round 4   Portugal

Qualification

Sunny
Air Temp
15°C
Track Cond
Hard Pack
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Coldenhoff Glenn 259 NDL Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha 25:25.899
2 Prado Garcia Jorge 61 SPA Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing GasGas 0:02.095
3 Bogers Brian 189 NDL Standing Construct Husqvarna Factory Racing Team Husqvarna 0:04.531
4 Jonass Pauls 41 LAT Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing Team GasGas 0:10.801
5 Seewer Jeremy 91 SWI Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha 0:14.104
6 Vlaanderen Calvin 10 NDL Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing Yamaha 0:23.569
7 Gajser Tim 243 SLO Team HRC - MXGP Honda 0:25.995
8 Jacobi Henry 29 GER JM Honda Racing Honda 0:29.633
9 Beaton Jed 14 AUS F&H Racing Team Kawasaki 0:30.338
10 Renaux Maxime 959 FRA Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha 0:35.536
11 van Doninck Brent 32 BEL Riley Racing Yamaha 0:36.376
12 Watson Ben 919 GBR Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP Kawasaki 0:38.234
13 Östlund Alvin 161 SWE JK Racing Yamaha Active Yamaha 0:41.958
14 Tixier Jordi 911 FRA JT911 KTM Racing Team KTM 0:44.931
15 Evans Mitch 43 AUS Team HRC - MXGP Honda 0:50.025
16 Forato Alberto 303 ITA SM Action Racing Team Yuasa Battery GasGas 0:52.674
17 Koch Tom 226 GER KTM Kozak Team KTM 0:55.300
18 Lapucci Nicholas 211 ITA Steels - Dr. Jack Racing KTM 1:02.869
19 Paturel Benoit 16 FRA Honda SR Motoblouz Honda 1:07.742
20 Roosiorg Hardi 75 EST Sahkar KTM Racing KTM 1:09.458
Location Information

Agueda, Portugal - View in Google Maps