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Gajser wins the French GP to reclaim MXGP Championship red-plate

Gajser wins the French GP to reclaim MXGP Championship red-plate

MXGP

Team HRC’s Tim Gajser won an eventful MXGP of France after a second-moto rain deluge to take-back the MXGP championship lead once again, and show that when the conditions get tough, the Honda CRF450R rider rises to the occasion.

There was initial confusion after the race as the FIM officials had to assess some yellow flag penalties handed out to other riders, but once those had been sorted out, it was confirmed that the #243 was the victor of the 2024 MXGP of France, after his one-four results.

In race one, when the track surface was back to it’s usual rutted, hard-pack self, Gajser put on a clinic to take his third moto victory of the season, moving quickly from third into first and pulling out a comfortable margin when he crossed the finish line. Winning that race gave him the virtual red-plate as he came into this GP tied, but he knew he’d have to perform in a similar fashion in race two if he wanted to leave the hillside venue of St Jean D’Angely grasping the actual plaque.

One hour before their gate-drop, the predicted rain hit the track in full force, turning the surface into mud and puddles, just like in the qualification race yesterday. This time around he got stuck in third place, and with the wet roost, and the single fast-line, he found himself unable to move forward and gain the positions that would have 100%-secured him the overall. Instead, with time running out to make a move, he ended up making a mistake on a downhill and remounted down in sixth place, which is where he eventually crossed the finish line. However, the FIM officials had spotted that the two riders in front of him had jumped on yellow flags, which moved him up into fourth and gave him enough points to take his first overall of this 2024 campaign.

The Slovenian now holds a five-point gap over his closest rival as they head into an off-weekend, before the series returns on June 1-2 for the MXGP of Germany in Teutschenthal, another track which Gajser has a good history on and one where he’ll once again have the red-plate adorning his Honda CRF450R.

 

MX2

Ferruccio Zanchi put in two excellent rides in changing conditions, going seven-eight for seventh overall in a very challenging MXGP of France. The youngster belied his years by riding smoothly in both dry and wet conditions, putting in a number of moves on the first lap to get himself well inside the top 10 and then holding on with some solid laptimes.

Considering it is only the Italians’ fourth GP, he is already becoming a staple performer in and around the top 10, and as he gets more and more bike-time, he’ll be looking to progress even further up the race standings at every opportunity. Next up will be the MXGP of Germany, where Zanchi won a moto in the EMX250 class, so he’ll be using this weekend off to prepare for that, before heading to Teutschenthal with even more confidence.

 

Tim Gajser

The circumstances aren’t how I’d like to win a GP, but I’m happy to take the overall as I felt my riding was good in what were extremely difficult conditions. The early-race passes in race one were very important as this track isn’t easy to make moves on, but once I got out front I was able to control the race and won with a nice gap. Then in race two, I felt confident about my skills in the wet, but I just wasn’t able to get the same passes done and instead ate a lot of roost trying to pass the rider in front. I thought that my mistake had cost me the overall, but as it turns out, I still was able to take the win and the red-plate. A big thanks to the whole team for their help as it wasn’t an easy one but I’m very happy and excited to go to Germany now.

 

Ferruccio Zanchi

I’m really happy with my riding over this weekend. There were some really difficult conditions over this weekend and to come away with race results of nine-seven-eight is something I’m very proud of. I just tried to keep a good pace throughout every race and minimise the mistakes when it was wet. I wasn’t perfect but overall, it was a good pace and a confidence boost for wet-weather riding. I’m also happy with my starts and we’ll continue to build-upon those as the season progresses.

 

Marcus Pereira De Freitas

Another crazy GP with the weather and the racing, but we are all extremely pleased with Tim’s performance and delighted for him to take the win and for him to get the red-plate. He has ridden extremely well this year, without perhaps the credit he deserves so this was a long-time coming and a great confidence boost in this difficult part of the season. We now have a weekend off before another triple-header so the work keeps going but this is a great moment for everyone in Team HRC and we will make sure to enjoy it.


We also very pleased with the progress that Ferruccio is making this year. This was only his fourth GP, and in very difficult conditions against much more experienced riders and he has riding extremely well, keeping composed and not over-riding the bike. We will keep working to get even better, but so far he has exceeded our expectations.

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