After three weekends off, the MXGP World Championship returns for the eighth and ninth rounds of the season, in what will be a double-header at the Afyonkarahisar track, located in the centre of Turkey. It is a venue that hosted rounds in both 2018 and 2019 and while Team HRC’s current red-plate holder Tim Gajser has yet to win an overall here, he’ll be hoping to rectify that situation in what is the first double-header of the 2021 campaign.
Before this mini-Summer break, Gajser had won his third overall of the season in just seven rounds at the MXGP of Latvia, extending his lead at the top of the championship table to 13 points. It was a season that got off to the best possible start with one-one results in Russia at the opening-round and while there has been some difficulty along the way, Gajser has kept focused and remains the rider to beat as he looks to retain the MXGP title he won in 2016, 2019 and 2020.
In this time away from the racing, the Slovenian rider has spent a lot of hours training at his new facility Tiga243land, which should help him with his Honda CRF450RW setup for what should also be a hard-pack race in Afyon. The layout should be the same from previous years, which will help the riders as they only have one 45 minutes free/timed practice on the morning of Sunday 5th September to re-learn the track before the motos on the same afternoon. However, it is believed that the layout will stay the same for the second event on Wednesday 8th and so by the end of those second motos, the riders will be extremely familiar with the Turkish venue where the weather should stay good for the duration.