Team HRC’s Tim Gajser made it two overall victories in a row, as he swept the MXGP of France in convincing one-one fashion. The Slovenian rider was made to work for both moto wins, but he proved all weekend that he was the fastest rider on the track and this speed shone through as he won his fourth consecutive race to close the gap at the top of the MXGP championship to just 10 points. For teammate Brian Bogers, he wasn’t able to put in the results that he wanted but now has a weekend off to try and build for the eighth round of the series in Orlyonok, Russia on June 8-9.

With confidence high after his double moto win in Portugal last weekend, Gajser knew that another good performance here would really get him right back into the championship battle. With the hard-pack surface suiting his skillset, he and his CRF450RW were fastest in every session on Saturday and then he backed that up on Sunday with two smooth and controlled motos. In the first race, he quickly moved to the front of the field after a top five start, where he then put in a couple of sprint laps to create a gap that he managed until the chequered flag. For race two, he had to work a bit harder as a bad jump meant he had to work his way through from around 10th place. He moved into fourth place after a lap and then gradually worked his way to the front of the field, with some nice passes and real display of throttle control on this tricky St Jean d’Angely track. The two wins meant 50 points and that has closed the gap at the top of the MXGP championship to just 10 points, with eleven rounds still remaining.

Orlyonok in Russia is another hillside venue, with the stony surface very similar to the one this weekend in France. This means that as he heads into this short break, it should give Gajser even more confidence that he can extend this current winning run and maintain this high level of performance that has seen him win six of the last eight motos. It is also a place that Bogers has performed well at in the past and the Dutch rider will be hoping that revisiting the track can revive his fortunes that have taken a bit of a downward trend in the past couple of rounds.

A crash early on in race one left him with a lot of work to do and he couldn’t quite make it all the way back to the points scoring positions. Race two went better as he scored six points and rode a pace similar to those inside the top 10 but he’ll still be hoping for more and this weekend off should give him the chance to help make that happen.

Tim Gajser  243

I’m really happy how both days went. I was having fun on the track and even though it was rough and sketchy in some places, it was still enjoyable to race on. In the first race, I took a little time to pass the guys in front of me before getting the lead and making a gap to control the race. In the second moto I clipped the gate and almost went over the handlebar off the start but I recovered and near the back it felt like. I made some passes to get near the front and then settled for a couple of laps in third before making a strike to get out front. I’m just really happy how things are going at the moment and I hope to continue this momentum into Russia. I am having fun on the bike and I am enjoying putting in the work with the rest of Team HRC. We have a great environment that is helping me this season and it is such a great feeling to win these races and reward the effort that everyone is putting in.

Brian Bogers  189

It didn’t go as well as I hoped it would go today. I didn’t get the best start in race one and I crashed early on. I was riding against myself and made a lot of mistakes. It definitely wasn’t an enjoyable experience out there. In race two I got a better start and was around 13th and I felt a lot better. Unfortunately I stalled the bike and lost a couple of positions so that didn’t help me, but the riding felt much better that the first race and I think my laptimes were good so although the end result wasn’t what I was after, I still hope I can use this to build towards the next race in Russia.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager – MXGP

Tim once again proved just how fast he can ride, and looked extremely impressive all weekend. The laptimes he was putting in on Saturday showed that he and the bike were working really well together and we just kept that momentum on Sunday when he showed again that he can perform under pressure and still control a race on a very tricky track. He has now won the last two overalls and closed the gap right up in the championship battle so we are extremely excited to head to Russia. There is a weekend off now, so we must remained focused but everyone in Team HRC is concentrating on the job at hand and confidence is running high.
We also hope that Brian can get his level back to like we saw in Mantova and Trentino. He has shown he can do it, so we must all work together to get him riding like that again. We know he has done well in Russia in the past, so we are hopeful of a similar effort after this weekend off.

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 CAIROLI Antonio 222 ITA 311 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
2 GAJSER Tim 243 SLO 301 Team HRC – MXGP
3 PAULIN Gautier 21 FRA 218 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
4 DESALLE Clement 25 BEL 208 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
5 JASIKONIS Arminas 27 LTU 190 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
6 SEEWER Jeremy 91 SWI 184 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
7 TONUS Arnaud 4 SWI 162 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
8 VAN HOREBEEK Jeremy 89 BEL 156 Honda SR Motoblouz
9 COLDENHOFF Glenn 259 NDL 144 Standing Construct KTM
10 LIEBER Julien 33 BEL 141 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
11 JONASS Pauls 41 LAT 138 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
12 SIMPSON Shaun 24 GBR 129 RFX KTM Racing
13 LUPINO Alessandro 77 ITA 103 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
14 MONTICELLI Ivo 128 ITA 87 iFly JK Racing
15 SEARLE Tommy 100 GBR 86 Bike It DRT Kawasaki
16 FEBVRE Romain 461 FRA 85 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
17 ANSTIE Max 99 GBR 80 Standing Construct KTM
18 LEOK Tanel 7 EST 65 A1M Husqvarna
19 BOGERS Brian 189 NDL 62 Team HRC – MXGP
20 PATUREL Benoit 6 FRA 53 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
21 TIXIER Jordi 911 FRA 40 Team VHR KTM Racing
22 BRYLYAKOV Vsevolod 18 RUS 31 JWR Yamaha Racing
23 STRIJBOS Kevin 22 BEL 29 JWR Yamaha Racing
24 BUTRON Jose 17 SPA 18 JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team
25 BERNARDINI Samuele 321 ITA 14 Ghidinelli Racing Team
26 PETROV Petar 152 BUL 14 Team Honda Red Moto
27 GOLE Anton 297 SWE 14 iFly JK Racing
28 KULLAS Harri 151 FIN 10 Wildcard Rider
29 VAN DER MIERDEN Sven 94 NDL 8 Wildcard Rider
30 FERRIS Dean 111 AUS 6 Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing

Words and Photos: Honda Racing Corporation