Championship all-square as Gajser shows mud skills in St Jean D’Angely


After a rainstorm hammered the French circuit of St Jean D’Angely before the qualification race, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser was faced with a much-changed surface when he took to the gate. However, like Portugal a couple of rounds earlier, the Slovenian rose to the occasion and powered his Honda CRF450R round to finish second and tie the points in the championship standings.

In the morning free practice and again in timed practice, Gajser was showing-off his hard-pack skills on this beautiful hillside circuit, to place himself inside the top five of both sessions. At that stage, everything was looking pristine in France, but an hour or so before they would line-up, the heaven’s opened and the track changed from rutted and hard-pack to wet and sloppy, especially on the start straight and first corner.

Taking an inside position, the #243 avoided a chaotic mix-up just out of the gate, but he wasn’t quite so lucky around the first turn and narrowly avoided ending up in the mud. Skilfully threading his way around the outside of a lot of people in the next few bends, he made up a lot of positions and by the time they crossed for the first lap, he was all the way up to fifth and looking confident of moving higher. And that’s exactly what happened as by the time they crossed for lap five, he had made his way into second place and was chasing the leader.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of a mud-race, he got caught behind a few lappers which really stopped his momentum and although he closed up to just six seconds by the chequered flag, he had to settle for second place. However, having passed his closest championship rival earlier in the race, it now meant that the points were tied as they head into the two GP-scoring races tomorrow, where the weather could once again cause all manner of track conditions for the best motocross riders in the world.


Continuing on from his return in Galicia, Spain, Team HRC’s Ferruccio Zanchi posted another impressive result, by coming ninth in a weather-affected MX2 French GP qualification race. The young Italian was also ninth fastest when the conditions were dry for the timed practice, so it seemed like another fair result for the #73, who is coming back from an injury earlier in the year. However, given the fact that he was running in fifth place in the early stages before a small mistake, he’ll be hoping for even more when they line-up for the two motos tomorrow.

1. Lucas Coenen (BEL, Husqvarna), 25:45.416;
2. Marc-Antoine Rossi (FRA, GASGAS), +0:32.848;
3. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), +0:45.228;
4. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), +0:21.632;
5. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +0:56.564;
6. Quentin Marc Prugnieres (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:59.726;
7. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +1:13.266;
8. Mikkel Haarup (DEN, Triumph), +1:18.668;
9. Ferruccio Zanchi (ITA, Honda), +1:19.013;
10. Oriol Oliver (ESP, KTM), +1:40.215;

Tim Gajser  243

Very happy with my riding in all the different conditions we faced today. I felt good when it was dry and know if I had a completely clean hotlap I would have been close to being fastest, but then it started to rain and the track completely changed. I didn’t get the best start and only just avoided trouble around the first corner but I put on a really strong ride to come from near the back of the field all the way through to finish second. No one really knows what it’ll be like tomorrow but I’m ready for everything and with the championship now tied, it is all going to be some great racing.


Ferruccio Zanchi  73

The weather really made our MX2 qualification race a tough one because the track was wet, but the ground was still hard from the good weather earlier in the day. I got a good start once again and was inside the top five and feeling pretty good in the difficult conditions. Unfortunately, I made a mistake and dropped to around 10th and had to fight the rest of the race to stay there. In the end, I crossed in ninth so I’m reasonably happy but I still feel there is more to come and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.


Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager – MXGP

To go from sun to rain and then back to sun again never makes things easy for the riders or the team, but everyone did a great job adapting and performing all the tasks necessary when faced with such weather. Tim did a great job riding through the pack and passing a lot of his rivals and showed that when the conditions get tough, he really comes to the fore and shows what a complete rider he is. Ferro also did another good job fighting out for a top 10 when the track was probably at its trickiest. Being a youngster, he hasn’t raced too many times when a circuit is like that so it was impressive what he achieved. Given the forecast for tomorrow, we are going to plan for every eventuality and see how it turns out, but whatever the weather does, we’ll be ready!

Qualification Race

Pos.       Rider     Num      Nation Points   Team     Time/Gap

1            Febvre Romain 3            FRA        10          Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP     24:56.195

2            Gajser Tim          243        SLO        9            Team HRC – MXGP           0:06.656

3            Seewer Jeremy 91          SWI        8            Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP     0:14.755

4            Prado Garcia Jorge          1            SPA        7            Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing                0:44.402

5            Horgmo Kevin   24          NOR      6            Team Ship To Cycle Honda SR Motoblouz                0:45.597

6            Vlaanderen Calvin           10          NDL       5            Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team       0:49.634

7            Paturel Benoit                  FRA        4                           1:02.116

8            Bogers Brian      189        NDL       3            Fantic Factory Racing MXGP        1:05.095

9            Watson Ben       919        GBR       2            MRT Racing Team Beta 1:08.094

10          Herlings Jeffrey                84          NDL       1            Red Bull KTM Factory Racing                1:16.739

11          Guillod Valentin               92          SWI        0            Team Ship To Cycle Honda SR Motoblouz         1:35.699

12          Brumann Kevin 87          SWI        0            SixtySeven Racing Team               1:57.199

13          Gilbert Josh        326        GBR       0            Gabriel SS24 KTM           2:00.555

14          Bonacorsi Andrea            132        ITA         0            Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team       2:04.172

15          Guadagnini Mattia          101        ITA         0            Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing                2:09.130

16          Pancar Jan          253        SLO        0            TEM JP253 KTM Racing Team     2:19.443

17          Scuteri Emilio    228        ITA         0            Wildcard Rider 2:23.117

18          Monticelli Ivo    128        ITA         0            MRT Racing Team Beta

19          Grimshaw Tom                 GBR       0

20          Sterry Adam                     GBR       0


Rider Standings

Pos.       Rider     Num      Nation Points   Team

1            Prado Garcia Jorge          1            SPA        305        Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing

2            Gajser Tim          243        SLO        305        Team HRC – MXGP

3            Febvre Romain 3            FRA        277        Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP

4            Herlings Jeffrey                84          NDL       247        Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

5            Jonass Pauls       41          LAT        217        Standing Construct Honda MXGP

6            Seewer Jeremy 91          SWI        201        Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP

7            Vlaanderen Calvin           10          NDL       196        Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team

8            Coldenhoff Glenn            259        NDL       179        Fantic Factory Racing MXGP

9            Horgmo Kevin   24          NOR      121        Team Ship To Cycle Honda SR Motoblouz

10          Guillod Valentin               92          SWI        120        Team Ship To Cycle Honda SR Motoblouz

11          Watson Ben       919        GBR       99          MRT Racing Team Beta

12          Tondel Cornelius             17          NOR      91          Schmicker Racing

13          Bogers Brian      189        NDL       91          Fantic Factory Racing MXGP

14          Gifting Isak         517        SWE      77          JK Racing Yamaha Active

15          Pancar Jan          253        SLO        65          TEM JP253 KTM Racing Team

16          Renaux Maxime               959        FRA        63          Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team

17          Östlund Alvin                   SWE      56

18          Monticelli Ivo    128        ITA         46          MRT Racing Team Beta

19          Paturel Benoit                  FRA        41

20          Koch Tom                          GER       40