More success for Team HRC in Italy as Gajser wins in Mantova!
Tim Gajser, Ruben Fernandez and Ferruccio Zanchi had another impressive day at the second Internazionali d’Italia, held at the sandy Mantova track in typically-winter conditions.
Words and Images by HRC
Gajser continued his strong start to 2024 by going one-two for first overall, winning the first moto after leading from start to finish. Then in race two, he had a difficult first lap, but came all the way up to second, almost reaching the leader by the time the chequered flag came out. It was still good enough for the victory though and further proved that the #243 is ready to tackle the best riders of the world at the first round down in Patagonia-Argentina on March 9-10.
Spaniard Fernandez improved upon his results from last weekend’s race in Riola, by going two-four for third overall. The second in race one was especially impressive as he was able to withstand pressure for the duration of the moto and for that strong finish, and while he wasn’t able to quite repeat that in race two, it was still a good progression from Riola.
1. Tim Gajser – Team HRC – 1-2 – 47pts
2. Romain Febvre – Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP – 3-1 – 45pts
3. Ruben Fernandez – Team HRC – 2-4 – 40pts
4. Jeremy Seewer – Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP – 4-3 – 38pts
5. Alvin Ostlund – Honda – 10-5 – 27pts
In the MX2 class, rookie racer Zanchi showed that his winning results from the first round in Sardinia were no one-off, by posting the fastest lap in qualifying and then following that up with a strong ride for second place in the first moto in Mantova. The youngster held off challenges from the reigning MX2 world champion to show once again that he looks like he already belongs in this class. Unfortunately, a crash in race two meant he pulled off the track, but it was more a precaution so that he can live to fight another day as the focus now switches to the world motocross championship which starts in just under one month’s time.
1. Liam Everts – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1-2 – 47pts
2. Andrea Adamo – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 4-1 – 43pts
3. Valerio Lata – Beddini GasGas Factory Juniors – 5-3 – 36pts
4. Simon Laengenfelder – Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing – 6-4 – 33pts
5. Oriol Oliver – WZ Racing KTM – 3-9 – 32pts
9. Ferruccio Zanchi – Team HRC – 2-38 – 22pts
Tim Gajser 243
“Obviously, I wanted to win that second race as well, to make it a perfect four wins from four races, but I was still pleased to be able to come through the field and get close to winning before time ran out. And I still won the overall, so it was a good day and I’m glad we did these two events. Getting in some competitive races before the MXGPs start is an important step for me and it is nice to test out this new bike in a race environment. I’m very happy with how its going and I can’t wait to go to Villa La Angostura.”
Ruben Fernandez 70
“I was much happier with my riding at this event than in Riola, so it is nice to improve and get another couple of gate-drops in before the MXGP season starts. We still have a few weeks to go until we head down to Argentina and I’m happy with how things have gone this off-season. The new CRF450R is working really well and having done four motos on it now, we are definitely making good progress and are heading in the right direction.”
Ferruccio Zanchi 73
“It was a really good race one, coming in second and having a strong moto. I was happy with my speed and just with my riding as a whole. Unfortunately, the second race didn’t go so well, as I pulled off after a crash, but that was more of a precaution just because my main focus is on Argentina in a few weeks and I just wanted to make sure I am ready for that, rather than push too much here. Still, I am really pleased with how these two rounds have gone and I’m really happy to be riding for Team HRC and I’m excited for the future.”
Marcus Pereira de Freitas – HRC General Manager – MXGP
“Overall, it was another good event for us here in Mantova. Ferruccio showed good speed in practice and in race one, and has impressed everyone with how he has adapted to being in this new team with a new bike to ride. He is definitely riding above expectations, but we really don’t want to put any pressure on his for when the world championships start. Tim, showed once again that he’s coming into the season ready to challenge and Ruben also looked better, and with a few more weeks to improve, we are excited to see how they both doing when that gate drops in Patagonia on March 9-10.”