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Red-plate for Gajser after strong performance in Portuguese mud

Red-plate for Gajser after strong performance in Portuguese mud

Team HRC’s Tim Gajser took over the lead in the 2024 MXGP World Championship after one-ten results in treacherous conditions at the Agueda track in Portugal sees him leave this weekend with a 14-point advantage over his nearest competitor.

After taking the qualification race victory yesterday, Gajser used the first gate-pick with maximum effect by taking his first holeshot of the season on the extremely muddy circuit. With the rain falling heavily throughout the moto, Gajser fought hard for every inch, balancing attack and defence, whilst also fighting the mud. In the end he was able to pull out a comfortable win as the track took a number of victims, moving him into a virtual red-plate situation as the points-tally was totalled after the first moto.

Once again, he got a great start in the second moto but as he neared the holeshot line, he slid out in the slippery mud and narrowly avoided getting hit by the rest of the field as they went through. He remounted in last place and then set about trying to dice his way through the field in what were still treacherous conditions. By the end of the first full lap, he had made his way up to 13th, but the risk factor is always high when making passes in the deep mud and unfortunately an off-track excursion cost him a few of spots on lap three. He wasn’t deterred though, gradually moving through the field to get all the way up to 10th by the time he crossed for the chequered flag.

This gave him 36 points from the two motos, which was enough for third spot on the podium – continuing his 100% podium record – and also completed a 27-point swing over the course of the weekend to move the Slovenian 14 points clear at the head of this extremely competitive MXGP title battle. The #243 doesn’t have long to recover from the ordeals of this gruelling event though, because up next is a new round at the Lugo circuit in Spain this coming weekend on May 11-12.

Tim Gajser 243

“Of course it is great to get the red-plate after all the work we’ve put in. Even getting the podium position after that second moto was a surprise but those conditions it can be a lottery. I made far too many mistakes, which is frustrating as I had a really good start before that first mistake and from there on it was just survival. It was also a shame because the first moto was a really good one for me. I got the holeshot and had a good battle for the lead and eventually won in really difficult conditions. Overall though, to get on the podium, winning two of the three motos over the weekend and to get the red-plate I have to be happy with that.”

Marcus Pereira de Freitas – HRC General Manager – MXGP

“Leaving Portugal with the red-plate is a big step for us and it was great for Tim to take the first moto win today and to do it after the holeshot as well. We did a lot of work after Trentino and to see that pay-off this weekend was amazing. With these conditions, it is never easy and the second moto proved that, but it is nice to keep his podium-streak alive and to take the red-plate into Spain next weekend, where hopefully the weather will be a bit better.”

Words and Images by Team HRC