As fans returned in huge numbers to the Lacapelle-Marival track in southern France, Tim Gajser had to fight hard for his podium spot, keeping him in contention for this highly contested 2021 MXGP World Championship.
Having not ridden here since 2010, the lack of experience of riding the tight, narrow and hard-pack circuit meant that Gajser was only able to qualify in sixth place and with starts being crucial, that proved a difficult obstacle to overcome as he tried to retain the series leading red-plate.
In the first race, he was blocked out from the riders inside and had to settle for coming round the first lap in ninth. He did make a couple of quick passes, but a small tip-over undid that hard work and he got back on his bike in 10th. Having to venture off the main racing line to make passes, he gradually worked his way through to sixth place, just seven seconds behind third, but he ran out of time and instead had to focus on doing his best for moto two.
He got off to a much better start in the second race, coming round lap one in fourth position but unfortunately he wasn’t able to get into third quickly enough to follow the front two as they pulled away. Eventually, he did make the move stick and that pass was good enough to grab third place on the podium. Despite a 35-point haul, he was unable to hold onto the red plate, and now sits just 10 points off the lead with six rounds still remaining. Next up for the series is the MXGP of Spain on Sunday 17th October, with the Intu Xanadu-Arroyomolinos venue hosting its second GP after a successful debut last year where Gajser finished second overall.