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Gajser - Still Owns The Red Plate

Gajser - Still Owns The Red Plate

Jul 1

  • Interview

Five time World motocross champion and current owner of the red plate, Tim Gajser might not have had the Grand Prix he hoped for last weekend, but despite the disappointment, Gajser narrowly missed out on the podium at the Mataram track, but still retains a healthy lead in the 2024 MXGP World Championship.

“Things didn’t go my way today,” Gajser said. “On what was quite a difficult track. I couldn’t find a good rhythm in race one and just had to settle for third place. Race two started a lot better, including getting the holeshot but I ran a bit wide and let a couple of guys through. I then fought hard in the first few laps and got myself back into the lead, but a couple of mistakes and I ended up finishing fifth. It’s not where I want to be, but I had five days to recuperate and then we go again next weekend.”

Gajser’s 3-5 results saw him miss out on third place due to the second-moto tie-breaker, in what was a tough day of racing for the five-time world champion. After a third in yesterday’s qualification race, he used his third gate-pick to excellent advantage, starting well in both races, including a race two holeshot. However, on what was a difficult track, the Slovenian was unable to capitalise as much as he would have liked and instead leaves the circuit ruing what might have been.

In a largely uneventful race one, Gajser held onto a third place, comfortably ahead of P4 but not quite being able to stay in touch with the leaders. Although this lonely race did allow him to save some energy for the second moto where the #243 looked much more positive.

After the holeshot, he did run a little wide and that allowed two riders through, but he soon got back into second place and started stalking the leader. A mistake then allowed him through to first position but as the sun became a problem, the bumpy terrain started causing some issues and he made a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes. As he crossed the line in fifth place, his 36-point tally wasn’t quite good enough for the podium, but he does have a 22-point advantage in the standings which he takes into next weekend, when the series returns to the Mataram circuit for the second of the two rounds to be held here, but on what is said to be a changed layout.

Saturday Qualifier

On the Saturday, Gajser rode a strong qualifying race placing third and maintaining his healthy points lead in the 2024 MXGP World Championship in the process. The circuit, created at the old airport in the city of Mataram, on the island of Lombok hosted it’s first GP last year, but Gajser missed it due to injury, and as such first took to the track this morning. However, it didn’t take the Slovenian long to get to grips with the venue as he posted the fastest time in free practice and then backed that up with a second-fastest time in timed practice.

“It was great to get another good start and lead the first few laps here. I did lose my rhythm in the middle of the race though and that cost me a couple of positions but I felt it was better to just keep it calm and under control for this race than risk it on a track that was pretty difficult with the low sun and hidden bumps. Still, third place is okay and I’m happy to get this day under my belt, and I was looking forward to doing better on Sunday.”

This gave the #243 second gate-pick for the qualifying race, which he then turned into first position after an excellent start on-board his Honda CRF450R. Leading this MXGP field around for the first few laps, Gajser looked like he had settled quickly, but with the sun-setting and the track getting a bit more treacherous, the championship-leader decided that it would be better to bring it home safely in third position that to risk it on a Saturday.

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