In a season filled with great moments, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser saved his best performance of the year for the second moto in Lommel, coming through from seventh place to power into the lead with five laps remaining and win the MXGP of Lommel with a one-one sweep.
Once again the Honda CRF450RW rider gave himself first gate pick by posting a qualification time over one second quicker than the rest of the field, which he then took full advantage of by reeling off two impressive holeshots. In the first race, this gave him the platform to control the moto, posting fast lap after fast lap as he pulled out a lead of over 20 seconds by the time the chequered flag was waved. It was his 11th race win of the season but he knew he still had a lot of work to do to get to number 12 which would give him the overall and the illusive one-one he has definitely deserved this year.
Like race one, he swept across the holeshot line in first place and was looking good until a mistake midway through lap one dropped him down to seventh position. With the runner-up from race one pulling away at the front, Gajser knew that the only way he’d get the overall was to win race two, but by the time he remounted, he was over 10 seconds behind. As the laps ticked off, the Slovenian worked his way through the field, posting the fastest lap of the moto to try and close in on the leader. With five laps left, he made his move and passed around the outside of one of the deep sandy bowl turns, immediately pulling out a gap that was unassailable for the tiring field. After a season of 12 moto wins, and three overalls, this was the best performance of a rider who is on top of his game and one which gave him perfect one-one moto wins. Importantly in the championship battle, it also extended his lead at the top of the table to 74 points with just three rounds and six motos left to run.
Next up for the reigning champion is the final triple-header of the year in Pietramurata, Italy. The Trentino track is a favourite of Gajser’s and he’ll be hoping to round off the season in perfect style, starting next weekend on Sunday 1st November.
Tim Gajser 243
I’m very happy with how the whole week went. All three rounds my speed was good and I was enjoying the riding. In the first moto I took a really important holeshot because it was raining and the track was wet so it was a lot easier to ride in front rather than get roosted. At the beginning Romain was pushing but I managed to get a good gap and control the race. The second race I got the holeshot again but on the first lap I fell after getting sideways. I went back to seventh or so and it took me a couple of laps to regroup a bit. Then I found some good lines, made some passes and worked all the way back into the lead. I was riding really well and I’m super happy to go one-one here and finish off this week with such a good performance. A big thanks to everyone in the team who continues to work so hard in these difficult times, and I’m really looking forward to getting to Trentino!
Marcus Pereira de Freitas - HRC General Manager MXGP
What a perfect day from Tim. His riding has been brilliant all week and most of the year too, but this was just amazing how he rode today. The first moto was another controlled performance, getting the lead and doing enough to win comfortably, but his second moto really just showed the level he is at right now, passing top riders quickly on this difficult sandy Lommel track. He proved he is the best rider this year on whatever surface they race on and the whole team couldn’t be prouder of him. To come to Lommel and extend his points gap by 50 points is a massive achievement and we can’t wait to race in Trentino next week for the final three rounds of the championship.