Today the FIM World Motocross Championship visited Oss in the province of North Brabant, in the Netherlands and it was the first World Championship race in 23 years to visit Oss.
The track’s location right beside the N329 and A59 highways make it easily accessible and its compressed sandy surface made for exciting racing.
The MXGP class once again saw Team HRC’s Tim Gajser top the podium after a challenging start to the day with sixth in Timed Qualification.
The Slovenia turned this around in race one with a hard fought third place, backed up by an equally tough second place in race two, giving the 24 year old the overall MXGP win and the series leader’s red plate going into round four in the Czech Republic next weekend.
The ever-competitive MX2 class also witnessed some hard racing with Team Honda 114 Motorsport’s Ruben Fernandez hoping to regain the championship lead.
In race one the Spaniard hit turn one in an average position, starting lap one in 10th place. Brave and strong passes pushed Fernandez up to seventh by lap four, but a high-speed crash drop him down to 13th. The #70 eventually finished the race in 10th position. A very hard fought race.
Ruben took a much better start in race two - firing his CRF250R into fifth place on lap one and quickly progressed into fourth. Fatigue began to show in the latter stages of the race as he dropped a few place to finish in seventh.
Fernandez now sits in third position in the MX2 World Championship, just eight points from the lead.
EMX250 hopes were dashed during Timed Qualification as Emil Weckman suffered a small crash and tangled with some track infrastructure in a short run-off area. The former two-time Honda 150 European Champion suffered a fracture to his T5 vertebra and will be out of action for at least two months.
Tim Gajser 243
"Overall I am happy with the day.
"Coming into the event I knew it would be difficult to take the victory as it was a new track for me and there are a lot of good sand riders, but I tried to ride smoothly, not taking too many risks and it paid off.
"Of course I would have liked to have finished off with a win in the second moto but increasing my championship lead and getting on the top step of the podium was a good finish to the day.
"I know I still need to keep working hard though and I will make sure I’m ready for the hard-pack of Loket next weekend where hopefully there will be a lot of Slovenian fans who can cheer me on.
Honda Motor Co. Ltd
"It was great to see Tim Gajser extend his championship lead today and his management of a challenging sandy circuit and hot conditions; showing that he’s a great all round rider and why he’s the current MXGP World Champion.
"In MX2 class it was Ruben Fernandez who was once again the highest scoring Honda rider abroad the CRF250R. Although there were more points available for Ruben, in the end he managed not to panic today and salvaged some good points to keep his championship hopes alive. He now sits in third position, just eight points from the lead.
"Stephen Rubini was struggling today and chose not to ride the second race feeling unsafe on the track and we can appreciate how he arrived at this decision. Stephen himself suffered a broken back during off-season training and was concerned after hearing about his close friend and teammate Emil Weckman’s accident.
"A very promising EMX250 opportunity was taken away from us this weekend resulting from a small crash for Emil Weckman that ended in a big injury due to circumstances outside of our control.
"Emil collided with some track infrastructure at the side of the circuit and we have to accept that the championship challenge for him is over for this year and we wish him all the best with his recovery and return to racing.
"As always, we now want to move on and look for improvements at the next round in Czech Republic in one week’s time."