The difficult hillside track of Villars-sous-Ecot in France provided the venue for the seventh round of the 2023 MXGP World Championship series, where Team HRC’s Ruben Fernandez put in two solid motos, to go five-four for fourth overall.
On a weekend where a lot of riders struggled to cope with the hard-pack, rutted surface, Fernandez kept any errors to a minimum by just putting in consistent laptimes and finding a steady rhythm that allowed him to have two uneventful, but productive motos. Those races were helped by two strong starts onboard his Honda CRF450R, which allowed him to get into the top five after the first few corners but once all the initial battling had taken place on lap one, Fernandez was neither passed nor, made any passes for the duration of both races.
This is testament to how much Fernandez’s riding has progressed this year, as he’s cutting out the errors, showing good speed and also good fitness as he’s battling for the podium spots with the best riders in the world. Especially on all the different terrains that the riders face in the MXGP championship, because this Villars-sous-Ecot track was ready to catch out any riders who weren’t concentrating 100%.
Following a weekend off, next up for Team HRC will be the round at Kegums, Latvia which is a sandy-based track but one which Fernandez got his first ever MXGP podium in 2022. Given his current form and his previous history there, hopes are high that the #70 can get back on the podium and re-claim sole third place in the world championship standings, which he is currently tied-for.
Ruben Fernandez 70
"Sometimes you have really crazy races, with constant battling and always having riders around you, but these two races were the opposite. Race one was just putting in consistent laptimes with no one in front or behind, and race two I was in the middle of some guys but never really under too much pressure, so not a lot happened. But I am happy because I rode smart on this difficult race track, I didn’t make any big mistakes and I finished fourth overall, which is a good result. I’ve now gone four-four-three-four so I’m showing good speed and good consistency and I’m happy with my overall riding."
Marcus Pereira de Freitas - HRC General Manager MXGP
"This weekend we saw a really mature performance from Ruben on what was a very tricky track. He just kept things under control and didn’t push too hard or make any mistakes and he ended up fourth. While it wasn’t his best result, it was a display which showed just how far he has come and how much he has learnt and we are excited to see how he does on tracks he likes. Now we have a weekend off before we take the trip to Latvia, which is a race Ruben has performed well at in the past and we will try our best to help him do that again."