Team HRC’s Ruben Fernandez had to fight extremely hard for his fifth overall after the second of the two Indonesian GP’s, held on the island of Lombok at the old airport of Mataram.
A second place in the qualification race yesterday gave the #70 a good gate-pick for the two motos today and he used that to his advantage in race to come out of turn two in second place. Riding at a pace that kept the leader in sight, the Honda CRF450R rider was looking good and hoping to even improve upon Saturday’s result, but a small mistake a third of the way through the race dropped him a couple of spots. He than had a hard-fought battle to stay in fourth, which unfortunately didn’t go his way and he ended up finishing the race in fifth.
In race two, he didn’t quite get as good a start, but worked his way into third very quickly and once again had the leaders in sight. On a track which provided the best battles of the year, Fernandez had to push as hard as he could to remain in third but once again wasn’t able to hold off two riders and crossed the line in fifth place for fifth overall.
Overall, it wasn’t the result that he wanted as the second place in the qualification race showed he had the speed to battle up front but this double-header of Indonesian races has been tough for a lot of riders and despite this, his solid results were still good enough to move him up to third place in the 2023 MXGP World Championship, which is an excellent position in what is only his second full season in the class.
Next up for the riders is the MXGP of the Czech Republic on July 15-16, giving the riders a weekend off to recover from the extensive travel back to Europe. Last year, Fernandez was looking extremely good on the hard-pack terrain in Loket and he’ll be hoping to rediscover that form when they get there in a couple of weeks.
Ruben Fernandez 70
"Once again, I am a little disappointed to be leaving the track in the position that I’m in. I really felt like I could have been challenging the guys at the front, and getting myself on the podium but a couple of mistakes in that first moto when I was in second really stopped my momentum and then I just couldn’t make that push in race two to get to the riders in front. It is a bit frustrating as I know I had the opportunity, but this motocross and now I need to focus on the next round in Loket and try once again to get myself back on the podium."
Marcus Pereira de Freitas - HRC General Manager MXGP
"We definitely can’t fault the effort that Ruben put into this weekend. He gave everything and that is something we are very happy with. Unfortunately, it didn’t go completely to plan on the track, and he let slip some positions when he was very well placed in race one so that is something we will try to make sure doesn’t happen, but it is still a strong performance against the very best motocross riders in the world and he moved himself into third place in the championship, and that is an impressive achievement."