HRC Honda’s Tim Gajser claimed a double win in Maggiora this weekend, with him extending his championship lead at round seven of the series.
In the opening MXGP race of the Italian Grand Prix, the first Fox Holeshot went to Gebben Van Venrooy Yamaha Racing’s Calvin Vlaanderen, who led Team HRC’s Tim Gajser, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing’s Maxime Renaux and Jeremy Seewer, as well as Standing Construct Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Pauls Jonass.
Renaux then slipped by Gajser as he took over second place on the opening lap and the pair then battled closely for much of the race, with Gajser making several attempts to pass. While the two fought for second, Vlaanderen was looking pretty comfortable in the lead, until lap six when Renaux went through and lap or so later so did Gajser.
In that time, Seewer found his way past Jonass and could then put in a couple of good laps in order to close in on Vlaanderen, Gajser and Renaux.As the fight between Renaux and Gajser intensified, the pair came within touching distance as they almost made contact, but it was the Slovenian who came out on top and became the new race leader on lap eleven.
Seewer then upped his pace as he worked his way around Vlaanderen on lap eleven, after battling with the Dutchman for four laps. Towards the final laps of the race, Seewer passed Renaux and then crashed with two laps to go but managed to get going quickly to maintain second position.
Gajser won the race, Seewer was second ahead of Renaux, Vlaanderen and Jonass. In the second race, it was Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP’s Ben Watson who secured his first Fox Holeshot of the 2022 season and led Jonass, Seewer and Gajser.
Gajser was quick to pass Seewer as Jonass took the lead away from Watson on lap two. The Brit then came under more pressure from Gajser and Seewer, and eventually dropped to fourth by the third lap. SM Action Racing Team YUASA Battery’s Alberto Forato was looking good as he challenged Renaux for his position and eventually took fifth away from the Frenchman. He looked solid for a couple of more laps before crashing and finishing the race in 13th position.
On lap five we saw a change for the lead, as Gajser got around Jonass, while Seewer remained close. Moments later the Swiss got around the Latvian who crashed five or so laps later and dropped back to 8th.
From then on it was a steady race for Gajser, as Seewer got comfortable in second, while Watson was looking good in third. Renaux was on a mission though, as he looked to fight back and score some solid points. On lap 12 the Frenchman sensed an opportunity to get Watson and took it with both hands and solidified his spot on the box.
Gajser won the race with a 20.264 second advantage over Seewer. Renaux was third ahead of Watson and Fernandez. Gajser went on to claim his sixth overall win of the season, with Seewer finally making a comeback on the box since Matterley Basin to secure the second spot ahead of his teammate Renaux who celebrated his fourth podium in MXGP.
With Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing’s Jorge Prado out for the Italian GP, this now means that Gajser leads by 81 points as Renaux moves into second in the championship standings ahead of Seewer who is third.
Tim Gajser: “Yeah, it was a good weekend, I was really enjoying those days. It was completely different, we had rain during the night so it was completely different and more technical let’s say. It was a good day and also good starts, then I took the time to find some nice lines to pass the guys in front of me, then could make a comfortable lead and then control the race. I really enjoyed the race and look forward to next weekend”.