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Tim Gajser - Toughing It Out

Tim Gajser - Toughing It Out

May 13

  • Interview

Team HRC’s Tim Gajser tried his hardest to keep his podium-streak alive at the MXGP of Galicia (Spain), but just narrowly missed out after putting in an extremely impressive second moto charge, keeping himself right in this 2024 MXGP Championship hunt.

“Obviously, I’m pretty frustrated with how that second race ended and overall, how the weekend went. I felt I was riding much better than my results show but that is motocross and sometimes it doesn’t work out for you. My speed in that second race was really pleasing, to move all the way from around ninth, right the way up into second, setting the fastest lap and catching up to the leader. Unfortunately, I just lost the front at the crucial moment and couldn’t hold it. Still, there is a long way to go in the championship and I’m in a good position and we start going to some good tracks for me.”

On the Saturday, Gajser continued his excellent qualification race results, with a second-placed finish, just 0.6 seconds behind the leader at the MXGP of Galicia. The Lugo circuit in north-west Spain, hosting a world motocross championship round for the first time provided an excellent challenge for the riders and Gajser showed that after the deep mud of last week, he can still ride to an extremely high standard in normal conditions.

The Slovenian had a strong day all round, opening off by posting the fastest lap in Free Practice, before finishing just 0.05 off the fastest time in Timed Practice. This gave him second gate-pick, which he used to his advantage to sneak around the first turn on the inside and quickly emerge in the lead. After an intense first few laps, the #243 was unable to break away and although he fought hard, he had to relinquish the lead midway through the moto. Hoping to study the lines of the new leader, he did mount a charge at the end of the race and crossed the line within touching distance to score nine points and keep a good grip on the championship red plate.

“It was a good day, on what was a fun track,” Gajser said about the Saturday. “I enjoyed riding here and I found myself in a good rhythm early-on which is promising. Even in the race, I put in some good laps and even though I didn’t win, I am still pleased with my riding and my consistency and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

On Sunday, the Slovenian rider had second gate-pick after his second place in Saturday’s qualification race, but he got closed out in both first turns and instead had to battle hard in the opening few corners. In race one, he made a couple of great moves and quickly got himself into third place but a mistake a bit later dropped him right down the field to 12th. From there, he had his work cut-out to get near the podium positions on a track that wasn’t very easy to pass on, but he put his head down and got all the way up to sixth place.

In race two, he was just outside the top 10 around the first bend, but in a series of impressive moves on a number of his championship rivals, he once again moved himself into third place as the top two tried to escape into the distance. Not deterred, the #243 once again put his head-down, posting the fastest lap of the race and quickly closed up on second place. A lap later he had made the move and set his sights firmly on the number one position. As the laps ticked down, so Gajser closed the gap down to just one second and just as he was ready to pounce for the lead, he had an unfortunate little mistake which instead cost him a position.

Riding across the line in third, the five-time world champion was disappointed with how it ended, but he can be proud of the speed and the passing ability he showed on a difficult Lugo circuit. And the good thing is, he doesn’t have long to dwell on this result as the series heads to France next weekend and the hillside track of St Jean D’Angely, where Gajser won in 2022 – the last time the series headed there for a GP.

Bavo Swijgers images

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