He had to concede defeat on the day to his main title rival but Tim Gajser (Team HRC) took a huge step towards defending his MXGP crown at round 16 of the FIM Motocross World Championship – the MXGP of Trentino – on Sunday.
This year’s championship will be decided at the hard-pack Pietramurata track in Italy and Gajser looked at home there on Sunday with a dominant gate-to-flag victory in the opening moto.
The Slovenian’s start wasn’t as good in race two but he fought his way through the pack to fourth. A pass for third would have been good enough to claim his fourth overall win of the season but he was happy with second on the day, dropping just one point to Tony Cairoli (Red Bull KTM) with four races left on the schedule.
As a result he now leads by 73 points and could wrap up his third MXGP title at the penultimate round in two days’ time.
“Overall I am quite happy with how things went,” he said. “The first race was almost perfect, getting the holeshot and then making a gap at the beginning. Tony was pushing to start with but I managed to increase the gap every lap and controlled the race to take the win.
“In the second race I messed up the jump out of the gate and had a couple of difficult moments in the first lap as I battled through the field. I tried to take it easy at the beginning, not rush things and not make a mistake. In the end I came back to fourth place which was good enough for second overall.
“I did try everything to make the pass for third which would have been good enough for first but I couldn’t quite make it happen. It was still a good result though and there are four motos left to go so I will keep focused and try do my best.”