Team HRC’s Tim Gajser started the day with a challenging qualify session, struggling a little to adjust to Matterley Basin’s loose terrain. The friendly Slovenian finished Timed Qualifying session in seventh place, but felt confident that the races would bring some strong results.
Gajser started race one in fifth place and battled hard through the moto to make progress, eventually moving up one position at the halfway point into fourth place where he finished the race.
As heavy rain began to fall, the gate dropped for race two and ‘Tiga’ dropped into an early third position, but on lap two pushed hard into second place and began to slowly close the gap to the leader. His tenacity and speed on the CRF450RW paid off on lap 12, bursting into the lead and winning the moto by almost 1.5 seconds.
Gajser retains the World Championship lead by 15 points as the MXGP World Championship heads to Maggiora, Italy next weekend.
The 250cc MX2 class also witnessed Honda success as Team Honda 114 Motorsport’s Ruben Fernandez backed up his fantastic first race second place with sixth in race two to secure third overall. The tall Spaniard now leads the MX2 World Championship by five points.
Matterley Basin also hosted round one of the 2021 FIM European EMX250 Championship and Team Honda Racing Assomotor’s Finnish EMX250 racer Emil Weckman had a great day on his CRF250R.
Race one saw Honda’s 2016 150 European Champion progress from a 10th place start to push forward through the pack to finish the moto in a well-earned 7th. The young Finnish racer had a better start in race two and dropped into fourth place on lap one, but pushed hard and moved up to third position on lap two where he remained comfortably for the rest of the race. Weckman now sits in fourth place in the championship. Round two is in Oss, Netherlands on 18th July.
Tim Gajser #243 - Team HRC
"I always enjoy coming to England and racing here at Matterley Basin.
The weather meant that they didn’t rip the track so much, so in the first moto there weren’t many lines and it wasn’t easy to pass on so I just had to settle for a fourth place.
I felt I could have challenged for the lead but I didn’t want to push too hard and I thought that in race two it would be easier. I got a better start in second race and although there was a lot of passing and action going on, I stayed calm and focused on finding good lines and working my way to the front. When I was in second place, I couldn’t stay too close to the leader for a long time because the roost was hard and I wanted to make sure I had clear vision for near the end of the race. When I saw the two-lap board come out, I knew a couple of places where I could make my move and on the last lap I used a really good outside line and took the lead. I’m really happy with how I’m riding and how everyone in the team is working together to improve each weekend.
I can’t wait for Maggiora and I hope to continue this run of results. A big thank you to everyone!"
Ru Fernandez #70 - Honda 114 Motorsports
"I didn’t make things easy for myself today after making a mistake in the first race and losing some positions, but I feel fantastic with everything; with the bike and the team and I think we are all doing a great job. We see this in the results and there’s a nice atmosphere in the team and this also helps to achieve these results.
I really think I fit well to the CRF250R and many people have seen a positive change in my riding since I started riding my Honda. I have a really strong bike and I’m very happy."
Gordon Crockard - Honda Motor Co. Ltd
"We’re leading the MXGP and the MX2 World Championship and it’s fantastic to have both red plates.
In the EMX250 class there was real promise from our young riders with good lap times in Free Practice and Timed Qualification - topped by the race highlight of Emil Weckman’s third place finish in race two giving him fourth overall.
In MX2, Ruben Fernandez had a fantastic race one snatch of second place, right on the last corner; and then in the second moto he had a small crash on lap one whilst in fifth position, which dropped him quite far back, but he recovered well to finish the day in third overall and lead the championship, so we’re very happy about that.
Stephen Rubini had some unfortunate luck in race one and wasn’t unable to finish due to a collision with another rider, but in race two he recovered well to finish in 12th.
It was also a delight to see Gianluca Facchetti return to racing and join the Honda family with his performance over the two races and recovering from his recent surgery.
Joel Rizzi experienced his first ever home GP and it was very nice to see him finish both races.
In MXGP, Tim Gajser extended his championship lead which is fantastic. He had another race win today and that’s brilliant to see. We also had a good result from Henry Jacobi in race two - finishing in 14th.
Overall I’m really happy with the weekend and very excited to go racing again next weekend in Italy."