Gajser sets up race day with qualification victory

2019-08-18 09:18
Team HRC’s recorded another qualification race win to take first pick at the MXGP of Italy, taking another step towards his goal of a third world title.

Needing just 13 points in the first moto of to secure the 2019 MXGP world championship, Gajser put himself in prime position to accomplish that feat with an impressive victory in qualifying on the hard pack Imola circuit. He stalked the leader for two thirds of the race before pouncing on a mistake and then stretching out a comfortable gap as he took the chequered flag in first place. Cheered on by a large number of Slovenian fans, the Honda CRF450RW rider showed why he leads the championship by 187 points, as he also posted the fastest laptimes in free and timed practice.

Teammate Brian Bogers didn’t settle quite as quickly on the track, as he struggled to get a good time in free practice. However the Dutch rider did improve in each of the sessions and he battled his way through the pack well on his way to a 13th place finish in the qualification race. The CRF450RW rider started well outside the top 20 but he was able to make a lot of early passes as the riders around him struggled to get into a rhythm. He was actually able to get as high as 11th but a couple of bad lines choices dropped him back and he was left with 13th gate pick.

Both riders know a good start is important tomorrow but for Gajser especially, he knows that a strong jump will set him on his way to his second MXGP 450cc world title in four years and one that he has thoroughly deserved, having won eight of the last nine GPs and 10 out of the 14 rounds so far this campaign. There is a warm up for the riders on Sunday morning at 10.45am before the first gate drops at 14:15 on Sunday 18th August.

Tim Gajser 243
Today was a good day, with a good result in front of a large number of Slovenian fans. I didn’t quite get the holeshot which meant I spent a lot of time in second place looking for the pass to take me into the lead. Eventually, near the end of the race I made it stick and I was able to make a little gap and take the win. The track was quite difficult with some sketchy parts but overall I had a good feeling and I’m very much looking forward to the races tomorrow.

Tim Gajser
Brian Bogers 189
Today didn’t start well as I felt really bad on the track, I just couldn’t find a rhythm at all. I knew it was me though, and not the bike so we kept everything the same and timed practice went a lot better. I was 15th and felt better on the track so that gave me confidence for the race. I didn’t get a good start though but after one lap I was 18th and then up to 11th so things were going well. I started looking for different lines and that messed my rhythm a little bit and I dropped two places to finish 13th but I’m happy with how the day went overall. I got better throughout the day and that was important and I’m excited for tomorrow.

Brian Bogers
Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager - MXGP
It was another impressive ride by Tim, who looked like he might settle for second place at one stage in the race. However, when the opportunity arose, he grabbed it right away and ended up winning in a convincing fashion once again. Obviously the championship situation is the key thing right now and one good moto will secure him the title, but it is still good to see him winning races and cementing who the best rider in the MXGP class is.
For Brian, it was a good recovery to get back to 13th place in qualifying. At one stage we hoped he might continue his charge and get all the way into the top 10 but it was still a good ride and with better starts tomorrow we are hopeful he can score good points at this tricky Imola track.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas
Qualification Race
Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Time/Gap
Tim 243 SLO 25 Team HRC - MXGP 24:46.048
Glenn 259 NDL 22 Standing Construct KTM 3.653
Ivo 128 ITA 20 iFly JK Racing 5.396

Source: Honda Racing Corporation

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