HRC’s Tim Gajser wins MXGP of Latvia | News
Team HRC’s Tim Gajser won the MXGP of Latvia in dramatic fashion to secure his fourth overall win in a row, extending his lead at the top of the championship to 33 points.
Held at the sandy Kegums track, an hour south of Riga, Gajser didn’t have an easy weekend after a qualification crash left him with a bad gate pick. However, after two good starts, he rode solidly in the first moto for a sixth place before storming to the front in race two to seal another top step performance.
For Gajser though, he couldn’t have expected such an outcome after starting each moto with 18th gate pick on a Kegums track that definitely favoured the inside positions. However once again this season he proved that when it really matters, a good reaction time, plus the power of the Honda CRF450RW can get him right near the front of this highly competitive MXGP field. In the first moto he wasn’t able to really find his rhythm on this sandy surface and despite a top five start, he dropped a position to take the chequered flag in sixth place. This meant he really needed a good placing around the first bend of race two, which is exactly what he was able to deliver as the #243 swept through into second place early on. Still with work to do, Gajser found a much better flow around the track and after dropping into third for a few laps, he put his head down and charged through to take the lead with 10 minutes remaining. As time expired, results elsewhere meant that three riders ended up tying on 40 points, but with the second moto victory, Gajser took the overall on the tie-breaker. His points tally also meant that he was able to increase his point’s gaps from 13 points at the beginning of the weekend to 33 with nine rounds of the 2019 motocross world championships still to race.
“I’m really happy because I really didn’t expect this after yesterday’s performance,” said Gajser. “I had 18th gate pick after a horrible crash and I wasn’t feeling great in that first moto today either. I couldn’t find good lines or a good rhythm so I was only able to finish sixth. In the second race I had an even better start and although it took a few laps, I passed my way into the lead with about 10 minutes remaining. I’m really happy to win another overall and a big thanks to all of the team who work so hard, because that hard work is really paying off so a big thanks to everyone. Still there are a lot of races to go so I will continue to go into each GP trying to have fun, giving my best and hoping to come out on top and remain leading this MXGP championship.”
Red Bull KTM’s Tony Cairoli was less than 100% due to the effects of a virus and a weakened right shoulder as a consequence of his crash in the Grand Prix of Russia the previous weekend. The nine-times world champion rode to third position in the opening moto, giving Red Bull KTM two motorcycles in the top three. The Italian was unlucky to fall in the second race and sustained a dislocated right shoulder, ending his participation.
“On Saturday I had the Flu and a fever, and my arm was not as strong as I wanted after the crash in Russia,” said Cairoli. “I could battle with the guys for first position in the first moto but then I got a bit tired and settled for third, which was good for the championship. In the second moto I was fourth and trying to follow [Arnaud] Tonus. I had quite a big crash and when I stood up I felt my shoulder was out. My hope is to be ready to at least start next week in Germany. I don’t want to give up at all and I want to be there as much as possible for the championship.”
Results MXGP Latvia 2019
1. Tim Gajser (SLO), Honda (6-1)
2. Romain Febvre (FRA), Yamaha (4-2)
3. Arnaud Tonus (SUI), Yamaha (2-4)
4. Jeremy Seewer (SUI), Yamaha (5-3)
5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL), Honda (7-5)
6. Jeffrey Herlings (NED), Red Bull KTM (1-DNS)
11. Tony Cairoli (ITA), Red Bull KTM (3-DNF)
Standings MXGP 2019 after 09 of 18 rounds
1. Tim Gajser 391 points
2. Tony Cairoli 358
3. Jeremy Seewer 256
4. Gautier Paulin 254
5. Arnaud Tonus 246