Team HRC’s Tim Gajser and Mitch Evans head to Afyonkarahisar in Turkey for what is the final round of this 2022 MXGP World Championship. In Gajser’s case, it has been an immensely successful campaign, winning 14 motos, nine rounds and wrapping up the title with two rounds to go. And while Evans hasn’t been able to achieve all of his goals, he can still hold his head up high in the knowledge that he has improved significantly as the season has gone on.
Both riders will be looking to finish the season on the podium, which would be the #243’s 13th visit to the box in just 18 rounds. He is the only rider to have held the red-plate and a victory on this Afyon track – a circuit where he has won motos previously – would really seal his position as not just the premier rider in 2022, but also as the most successful rider in recent times, after winning three of the last four MXGP titles. His victory in St Jean D’Angely in the last round, was a true sign that when he is riding at his best, very few can match him, and he’ll be hoping for a repeat performance in what is his final race of the year.
For Evans, he’ll be hoping he can finish on the podium in Turkey, to give himself a nice boost as he heads to the Motocross of Nations in September, where he’ll be representing Australia. The Honda CRF450R rider has been close to the box on numerous occasions in 2022, and with just this round remaining, it is his last chance to get the rewards that all his hard work deserves, after recovering from a serious wrist injury that ruled him out for the entire 2021 campaign.
With temperatures around 30C over the weekend, the riders will need to be at their best in every one of the on-track sessions. First up is the free practice, followed by timed practice which gives the gate-pick for the Saturday evening qualifying race. The result of this race then gives the gate-pick for the two motos which take place on Sunday afternoon at 14:15 and 17:10 local time.