Yesterday, the pair went one-two in a dominating display of riding for Team HRC, but unfortunately they weren’t able to make the best use of their gate-picks in race one as they both struggled out of the gate. Within a few turns, the pair were just outside the top five, but as Evans tried to make another pass, he made a slight error and had to remount his bike. With the pack still close together, this meant that he was near the back of the field when he headed off again and with a lot of work ahead of him.
For Gajser, he managed to get into fourth by the end of the first lap and despite trying many different lines, he was unable to make any passes to improve his position, crossing the line still in fourth place. Behind him, Evans was the only rider who was making moves, crossing the line in 27th on lap one, but making his way up to 10th place by the end of the moto. It was a monumental effort from the Australian and although he was disappointed with the mistake, it was a great ride and gave him confidence he could still get a good result in race two.
Knowing the start was crucial, both Honda CR450R riders got much better jumps and were right in the thick of the action in the first few corners. Both Gajser and Evans made some nice moves to get into second and fourth respectively by the end of lap one, and with everyone separated by just a few seconds, there was potential for the results to get even better. However, like race one, the top five were all running laptimes so close to each other than passing was almost impossible, and although Evans did post the fastest laptime, neither rider could make a pass and they finished where they started, in second and fourth.
With four-two results, this meant Gajser was second overall, and still leading the MXGP championship by 115-points, with just three rounds remaining. This means the #243 needs just 35-points in the next six motos to be crowned world champion for the fifth time in his career, all under the Team HRC awning.
Evans, who moved into 10th place in the championship, can also get excited for Finland next weekend as the fourth in race two was his best so far this year. This should give him a lot of confidence as the rider’s head to Hyvinkaa, a track that hasn’t seen MXGP action since 2014. This will mean that he’ll have as much experience as most of his competitors, and with a big boost of confidence from the three races this weekend, he’ll definitely be aiming for a podium position.
In what is the second of three back-to-back rounds, the track in Hyvinkaa should provide a much different challenge for the Team HRC duo than this rutted but narrow Uddevalla circuit, with the deep-sand circuit hopefully making passing a bit more possible. The weather forecast right now is looking promising and everyone will be hoping that the MXGP results also go to plan when the gate drops on August 14th.
To come away with second overall is a solid result, but it was a little frustrating because the track was just so difficult to pass on. In both races, there wasn’t a pass in the top five after the first lap, so when I didn’t get the best start in race one, it really hurt my chances to win my ninth overall of the season. However, it is another race down and I’m still in a really strong position in the championship so I just need to keep the level high and aim for the win in Finland next weekend.
After winning yesterday’s qualification race, I really felt like I could have been on the podium today, but unfortunately I made a small mistake on the first lap of race one and that cost me. I fought back from near the back of the field, and worked my way up to 10th, which on this track wasn’t easy, so that was a good recovery, but I really hoped for more. Still, in race two, I made up for that with a strong fourth place finish, my best moto result of the season so that felt really good and gives me confidence that I can battle for the podium spots in these last three GPs of the season.
Marcus Pereira de Freitas - HRC General Manager - MXGP
Going one-two in the qualification race yesterday really gave everyone hope that both Tim and Mitch could get on the podium today, however motocross can be a tough sport and one mistake can take away that opportunity. I do have to give big credit to Mitch because he fought hard to comeback to 10th, overtaking a lot of guys on a track that barely anyone else made a move on. He then carried that into race two for his best race of the season and I’m really excited for these next few rounds for him. Tim continues to ride at a high level and was back on the podium again with his four-two results. The championship position is very good and we are very much looking forward to Finland.