Tim Gajser leaves Switzerland with a top-three race two finish in what was a turbulent day for the two-time world champion at Frauenfeld, which saw the Team HRC rider twelfth at the finish line in the first moto after a coming together with an opponent soon after the start. Gajser’s teammate Todd Waters was 15th and 18th at the end of the two Swiss encounters, showing some improvement from the previous round.
Gajser was battling in the middle of the pack in the opening race of the day but ended up crashing after a collision with Julian Lieber; after re-joining the moto at the very back of the field, Tim needed a few laps to regroup but was eventually able to get back up to speed and to start his comeback – which culminated in a 12th place finish. In the second race, Gajser soon found himself towards the front and after an overtake on Toni Cairoli he started charging towards the top-three. On lap 11, Tim took advantage of a small mistake by Desalle to move up to third place, which he kept all the way to the end of the race.
Todd Waters ran as high as 14th in the first moto before being overtaken by teammate Gajser with four laps to go. The first half of the second race was unfolding in a very similar way for the 27-year-old Australian rider, who unfortunately dropped a few places in the final four laps and was 18th at the chequered flag.
The MXGP World Championship will be back on track next weekend (25-26 August) as the seventeenth round of the championship will be contested at Sevlievo in Bulgaria.
Tim Gajser 243
It was quite a disappointing Grand Prix for us because I was very motivated heading into this round. We showed we had the speed to fight for the top step of the podium yesterday and this morning in warm up. My start in race one was not too good and in the chaos of the first lap I had a coming together with Lieber and went down quite hard – his bike actually landed on me! In the first couple of laps after the crash I wasn’t feeling too well, but then I regrouped and then tried to pass as many riders as I could. Race two was definitely a more positive moto, so now I’m looking forward to Bulgaria; we know we have the speed so we just need to translate it into two strong races. I would like to thank the team, as always, because the bike was perfect.
Todd Waters 42
Yesterday’s qualifying race was not good, so the poor gate pick did not help. I woke up this morning and I was motivated to do everything I could to make a difference. We were battling around the top-15 in both races – despite not so great starts – and whilst in the first race, I was able to maintain the position until the end, in the second one my form faded out towards the end. Nevertheless, we made some baby steps and my feeling with the bike has improved a little bit, so the goal is to continue in this direction and keep improving in the next two rounds.
Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager – MXGP
Tim showed great speed this weekend but unfortunately, he wasn’t able to capitalize. Race starts make a big difference – especially with such a competitive field – and we could see it today. Tim did a great job in any case, but given the speed he showed throughout the weekend, we all surely were expecting more. It is what it is, though, and luckily enough we have the chance to turn things around very soon. Todd showed some improvements and that’s good news, although there’s still a lot of work to do to get closer to the top-ten.
Words and image courtesy HRC Honda