Gajser dominates Italian qualification to extend championship lead


Team HRC’s Tim Gajser put in an absolutely dominating performance at the muddy Maggiora circuit to take the qualification win – his third in a row – and extend his lead at the top of the 2024 MXGP Championship to nine points.

Earlier in the day, he posted a laptime over four seconds quicker than second-place in timed practice, giving himself first gate-pick for the qualification race and he used that to maximum advantage by taking the holeshot and checking out from the rest of this talented MXGP class. By the end of the first full lap, he was already 10 seconds ahead, and after four laps it had increased to 23 seconds. Knowing that victory was sealed, he seemingly cruised the remaining seven laps, but still increased his lead to 33 seconds by the time he received the chequered flag. On a track that had received a lot of rain the morning, it was the most impressive display of the year and he negotiated the ruts and slippery corners with complete control.

More rain has since fallen after the race, but the Slovenian will be excited by whatever conditions he finds when he wakes up tomorrow morning, as he is looking completely in synch with his Honda CRF450R and will be hoping to capitalise on a circuit that he really enjoys riding.



An excellent day of riding for CRF250R rider Ferruccio Zanchi as he backed up an impressive fastest timed practice position with a season-best third place in the qualification race. As soon as he hit the track, he felt comfortable, and with the Italian fans cheering him on, he put in a great laptime in what were difficult conditions early-on.

As the circuit dried for the qualification race, he used his first gate-pick to sweep around the first turn in second place, just narrowly missing out on the holeshot, before settling in behind the leader. The front three riders immediately pulled away from the pack and although a lapped rider caused a chaotic moment which saw Zanchi drop to third, he was still over one minute ahead of the fourth placed rider when he crossed the line. He’ll now be hoping to use that gate-pick to the same effect and get two good starts, which will hopefully allow the Italian to put in his best GP performance of the season.

1. Liam Everts (BEL, KTM), 26:13.639;
2. Simon Laengenfelder (GER, GASGAS), +0:08.720;
3. Ferruccio Zanchi (ITA, Honda), +0:24.333;
4. Sacha Coenen (BEL, KTM), +1:28.567;
5. Valerio Lata (ITA, GASGAS), +1:31.464;
6. Andrea Adamo (ITA, KTM), +1:32.927;
7. Oriol Oliver (ESP, KTM), +1:43.798;
8. Cas Valk (NED, KTM), +1:46.685;
9. David Braceras (ESP, Fantic), +2:25.066;
10. Kay de Wolf (NED, Husqvarna), -1 lap(s);


Tim Gajser 243

Almost a perfect day, and I really felt good today. The bike was working perfectly out there, so massive credit to everyone who keeps working hard in what has been a really tough run of races, with a lot of bad weather. Even today, we had a lot of rain and the conditions changed in every session but I was still able to perform at a really good level. Winning the qualification race is always a big boost, but to win by over 30 seconds is something I can be very happy with. Of course, I need to back this up tomorrow and that’ll be my plan when hopefully the weather will be better.

Ferruccio Zanchi 73

It was great to ride in front of all the Italian fans and I think it helped me a little bit because I immediately felt comfortable on the track and I think that showed in my results. It was my first time being fastest in practice which was a great feeling, and then almost grabbing the holeshot in the qualifying race was important too. I was able to ride a good pace, kept the leader in sight and although I finished third, I am very happy with the riding and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager – MXGP

What a day for everyone in Team HRC. Tim and Ferro put in two great rides and really showed the power of the Honda CRF450R and CRF250R by almost grabbing both holeshots. Tim was able to get a great jump and lead from start to finish, lapping almost four seconds faster a lap at different points in the race and crossing the line 33 seconds ahead of second. Ferro was just beaten to the line, but he rode well in the tricky conditions inside the top three and just kept in smooth and consistent. Of course we will keep working hard to try and help the pair do the same again tomorrow.