Motocross

Defending champ Tim Gajser happy with season start

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Tim Gajser took second place in the opening GP of the 2017 FIM Motocross World Championship season at Qatar on his CRF450RW in the most competitive MXGP class for the last few years.

Both Gajser and team-mate Evgeny Bobryshev had a solid first race of the season taking second and seventh in the world championship standings to maintain Team HRC‰Ûªs 100 per cent podium record at the Qatari venue since 2014.

Gajser, who has been fighting off an illness all weekend, found he had a battle on his hands in the first race as he fought for the podium between teammate Evgeny Bobryshev and Clement Desalle. It was the second race where he looked more comfortable and was able to take an early lead within the first few corners, pulling a gap between himself and round winner Toni Cairoli. In the last lap of the race Gajser‰Ûªs energy waned and he sensibly surrendered his first-place finish to Cairoli. With a full season ahead, this is a positive start to the reigning world champions season despite the challenges he faced.

"Yeah I am actually really happy overall with the weekend," Gajser said. "It didn‰Ûªt start the best as I have been really sick all weekend but I was able to achieve two good races despite this.

"The first race I didn‰Ûªt have the best start and I had to battle with Bobryshev and Desalle all race. It was tough to pass because there was only actually one fast line and the other lines were not the same speed. In the second race, I had a better start, I was leading and I pulled a gap between myself and Cairoli. Then, in the last two laps I was destroyed and I couldn‰Ûªt give anymore but I am happy to start the season with second overall this weekend."
Evgeny Bobryshev ended round 1 in fourth overall.
Evgeny Bobryshev started well in the first race and quickly got himself into second place and was running strongly, looking comfortable in the lead group. A couple of mistakes in the last few laps of the race cost the Russian a podium finish as he settled into fourth place. In the second race Bobryshev didn‰Ûªt have the same jump out of the start meaning he had his work cut out to get back through the pack from eleventh. With the track becoming harder to ride and the lines limited, Bobreyshev had to settle for a seventh-place finish but took fourth overall in the GP, to lie fourth in the World Championship standings.

"Today was positive for my overall result in the championship but looking at the races I didn‰Ûªt feel I did as well as I could have," Bobryshev said.

"In the first race, I made a mistake and dropped the bike in the corner before the start as I didn‰Ûªt feel comfortable with my riding. In the second race, I had a really bad start and I struggled with the track but I know I had good speed as we changed a little bit on the bike for the second race.

"The changes were much better for my riding style in these conditions and I knew I was faster in the second section of the track. The track was really tough to pass; I feel that last year it was much better prepared. I was trying to change my line and I just couldn‰Ûªt gain anything by doing this.

Main Photo: Tim Gajser
Credit: Supplied


MXGP Moto 1:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 35:02.202
2. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:08.904
3. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:12.554
4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:22.042
5. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:23.434
6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:26.076
7. Arnaud Tonus (SUI, Yamaha), +0:29.380
8. Maximilian Nagl (GER, Husqvarna), +0:33.072
9. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:34.933
10. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:39.219
11. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), +0:40.572.

MXGP Moto 2:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 35:00.353
2. Tim Gajser (SLO, Honda), +0:04.918
3. Romain Febvre (FRA, Yamaha), +0:23.375
4. Clement Desalle (BEL, Kawasaki), +0:25.782
5. Gautier Paulin (FRA, Husqvarna), +0:30.096
6. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, Yamaha), +0:31.689
7. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, Honda), +0:33.559
8. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), +0:47.517
9. Jordi Tixier (FRA, Kawasaki), +0:49.816
10. Max Anstie (GBR, Husqvarna), +0:57.389
11. Jeffrey Herlings (NED, KTM), +0:59.949
12. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), +1:00.742.

MXGP Overall/ Points Standings:
1. Antonio Cairoli (ITA, KTM), 50 points
2. Tim Gajser (SLO, HON), 42 p.
3. Clement Desalle (BEL, KAW), 40 p.
4. Evgeny Bobryshev (RUS, HON), 32 p.
5. Romain Febvre (FRA, YAM), 31 p.
6. Gautier Paulin (FRA, HUS), 31 p.
7. Jeremy Van Horebeek (BEL, YAM), 31 p.
8. Jordi Tixier (FRA, KAW), 24 p.
9. Glenn Coldenhoff (NED, KTM), 19 p.
10. Max Anstie (GBR, HUS), 19 p.
11. Kevin Strijbos (BEL, Suzuki World MXGP), 19 p.

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