Battling performance from Gajser as Evans continues his improvement

In what was a scorching day at the Italian hillside venue of Faenza, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser fought hard in both races as he looked to maintain his championship challenge at the first of this Italian set of races. In what is an old-school, tight and twisty layout, passing was at a premium and good starts were very important which unfortunately Gajser wasn’t able to pull off in either of his two motos. The #243 had to fight through from outside the top 10 and although he was able to make a few moves, he had to settle for eight-five results for sixth overall.

Just behind him in the standings was teammate Mitch Evans, who achieved his top 10 goal from before the weekend by posting nine-seven moto finishes for eighth overall. The Australian rider has been improving every time he got on the track since his return to action in Latvia a few weeks ago, and with some good training between these Latvian and Italian triple-headers, he is returning to the form that saw him put his Honda CRF450RW in third place in the opening moto of the season. Like Gajser, he had to work hard for each position, working his way through the field and having to put in aggressive passes to secure his best points haul since Matterley Basin, UK, back in March.

With the next round also taking place in Faenza on Wednesday, the riders don’t have much time to recover but as always, the whole of Team HRC will be working hard to make sure that they are fully focused for the next gate drop.

HRC MXGP Tim Gajser 243

Tim Gajser 243

I was feeling okay at the beginning, the track looked really good in timed practice and even during the races they kept the track in good shape. It’s just that it was really difficult to pass on the track and the start was the key. The start was really important and today I didn’t get two good starts. I was back in the pack, having to work my way through and I even made two crashes in the first race so that didn’t help. I was really disappointed.

The second race was better, the pace was there, just a few seconds from first to fifth but I just couldn’t make the moves I needed to. That’s how it is though, and we still have two more rounds to go here in Faenza, so I will try to put this day out of my mind and focus ahead for the rest of the championship. I know the team will help with this, as they continually help me with all the preparations, so bring on Wednesday!

HRC MXGP Mitch Evans 43

Mitch Evans 43

The first Faenza was good. The goal is still to be better each time I go out on track and we achieved that again today starting with ninth in moto one and seventh in moto two, so really happy with that. These first two rounds I was hoping top 10 results and to slowly progress to the top five, but those guys are running a really fast pace at the front so we’ve still got a way to go. However, we’re heading in the right direction and I’m feeling better and better each race and I’m very happy with how today went.

HRC MXGP Marcus Pereira de Freitas - HRC General Manager MXGP

Marcus Pereira de Freitas - HRC General Manager MXGP

We knew before the racing that the starts would be crucial, as this is a very tight track with not many opportunities to pass on it. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get out of the gate well and this immediately made life difficult. Of course, both riders fought as hard as they could but we will definitely be hoping for more from Tim when we come back here on Wednesday. He showed he had the speed, so now he needs to show that at the front of the field.

For Mitch, it was another good step in his comeback and another good performance. We were looking for top 10 rides and that’s exactly what he produced, so now we have to aim a little higher in the upcoming rounds. It won’t be easy but he gets better every time he is on the bike and we’re excited to see how far he can progress.

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