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Podium for Gajser in Spain

Zanchi continuing to progress.

MXGP

Team HRC’s Tim Gajser made it two podiums out of two, as the Slovenian went two-two for second overall at the difficult Intu-Xanadu circuit in Arroyomolinos, near Madrid, Spain. The deep, ruts provided a real challenge for all the riders but Gajser was able to put in two strong races and keep up the challenge at the top of the MXGP Championship. Teammate Ruben Fernandez will have surgery on his torn ACL this Tuesday, when more information about his recovery period will be available.

After his second place in the qualification race yesterday, the #243 had second gate-pick for the motos today but in the first race he wasn’t able to use that to his advantage and instead came around the first turn in the middle of the field. Showing his speed and precision in the rest of the lap, he quickly carved his way through the pack and was in fourth place by the end of complete first lap. A lap later he was up to third, and then a couple of laps after that he was in second, but much like the qualifying race yesterday, the leader was too far ahead to mount any challenge.

The start went a lot better in race two, as Gajser’s Honda CRF450R rocketed around the first turn in second place. Poised to capitalise on any mistake, the #243 tried his best to put pressure on the leader but with the track conditions deteriorating, he realised that it was better to maintain his second place, than to risk a crash and drop valuable points at this early stage in the championship. So in the end, a two-two finish was still good enough for second step on the podium, and gives him soul possession of second place in the title battle with 18 rounds still left to race.

Next up for Gajser will be the deep sand track of Riola Sardo, in Sardinia on April 6-7, which hasn’t always been kind to him before, but now offers the perfect chance for redemption and a great opportunity to take his first overall victory of the 2024 MXGP World Motocross Championship.

MX2

Following on from his excellent sixth overall in Argentina, was always going to be tough for rookie Ferruccio Zanchi, but the youngster continued to display the grit and determination that is needed from young riders, fighting hard for every position right until the very end.

Yesterday’s qualification race didn’t give him the best gate-pick but he was just outside the top 10 after the first lap, in 12th place. From there, he kept it steady until the very end, when a problem dropped him to 18th place just a couple of corners from the end.

Motivated to make up for that, the Italian once again had a good start around the top 10 and again spent the entire trying to make up places and hold his position from much more experienced riders. This time he was able to cross the line in a very respectable 12th place, and keep his early season momentum going, which will hopefully continue for the next couple of rounds, which are both in Italy and at tracks that he is familiar with, with the deep sand of Riola followed by the picturesque hillside track of Pietramurata in Trentino, Italy.

Race 1

1. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), 35:35.021;
2. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:03.331;
3. Lucas Coenen (BEL, Husqvarna), +0:04.857;
4. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:05.657;
5. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Triumph), +0:15.807;
6. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:33.992;
7. Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:41.988;
8. Camden Mc Lellan (RSA, Triumph), +0:42.910;
9. Marc-Antoine Rossi (FRA, GASGAS), +0:48.366;
10. Rick Elzinga (NED, Yamaha), +0:50.788;

18. Ferruccio Zanchi (ITA, Honda), -1 lap(s);

Race 2

1. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 35:28.621;
2. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:01.744;
3. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:02.759;
4. Lucas Coenen (BEL, Husqvarna), +0:03.492;
5. Thibault Benistant (FRA, Yamaha), +0:23.631;
6. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:30.532;
7. Camden Mc Lellan (RSA, Triumph), +0:36.472;
8. Sacha Coenen (BEL, KTM), +0:40.345;
9. Andrea Bonacorsi (ITA, Yamaha), +0:54.167;
10. Marc-Antoine Rossi (FRA, GASGAS), +0:58.999;

12. Ferruccio Zanchi (ITA, Honda), +1:19.771;

Overall

1. Kay de Wolf (NED, HUS), 47 points;
2. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GAS), 42 p.;
3. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), 40 p.;
4. Lucas Coenen (BEL, HUS), 38 p.;
5. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 33 p.;
6. Thibault Benistant (FRA, YAM), 30 p.;
7. Camden Mc Lellan (RSA, TRI), 27 p.;
8. Marc-Antoine Rossi (FRA, GAS), 23 p.;
9. Sacha Coenen (BEL, KTM), 22 p.;
10. Andrea Bonacorsi (ITA, YAM), 22 p.;

14. Ferruccio Zanchi (ITA, HON), 12 p.;

Tim Gajser  243

It was a solid consistent day, at a track that I must admit, isn’t my favourite. Still, there will be races when I’m not the fastest rider and I know that it is still important to get good points and today was like that. I didn’t get the best start in the first moto but was able to come through well to second place. Then in race two I got a much better start and was able to follow the leader round the first corner in second place. I tried to stay up with him but he pulled away and then the gap stayed pretty consistent. I wanted to push near the end but lappers made that difficult so in the end second was the best I could manage. Riola next up, will be a much different experience, but one I’m looking forward to.

Ferruccio Zanchi  73

It certainly wasn’t an easy day on what was a very difficult track. The ruts were long and deep and it really required a lot of focus to not make any mistakes. Still, I thought I did a good effort and I was just outside the top 10 for the majority of both races. My starts were also a lot better this week so there are definite positives to take away and with the next two rounds being in Italy, I am excited to race in front of my home fans.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager – MXGP

It was great to see Tim riding well and looking fast on a track that he hasn’t had the best results on in the past. The second moto start was also very good and we’ll keep working hard to try and get closer and closer to those holeshots that are always the aim. He is now second in points and looking strong so hopefully he can keep that going in Sardinia, which is another place that he hasn’t had good results in the MXGPs.

Ferro (Zanchi) had a tougher time of things than in Argentina but he still showed a lot of determination and improved a lot from Saturday to Sunday, which is really all we can ask from him.

A big thank you to the Team HRC staff who keep working hard, both here and in Japan. We couldn’t do it without all their effort and we really appreciate their expertise in a lot of the finer details. To get Tim’s brand new Honda CRF450R looking so good, and to have Ferro up to speed so quickly is very impressive and we’re excited for the future.