Gajser sixth, as Fernandez walks away from Finland

Gajser sixth, as Fernandez walks away from Finland

Team HRC’s Tim Gajser and Ruben Fernandez leave Finland knowing that things can get better after a tough day of racing at the Vantaa circuit, near Helsinki.
For Gajser, it was his highest points tally since returning from injury, but he is aiming for the level of performance which saw him dominate the 2022 MXGP World Championship and while this was a solid showing, he now has a couple of weeks to keep the upward trend and get even closer to that sort of level.
Fernandez will be using this weekend off to recover from a serious crash in moto one that thankfully saw the Spaniard avoid any serious injury, but meant that he had to watch from the sidelines as the second MXGP gate dropped.
It was a shame because the #70 was third in the qualification race yesterday and was in fifth when a nasty kicker launched him over the front of the bike midway through today’s first moto.
It was a big impact that saw the doctors immediately on the scene, but after a number of checks post-race, it was deemed that he was okay to leave the on-site medical centre under his own steam.
Further hospital tests when he gets back home will determine his status but the hope is that he will return in Sweden.
Slovenian Gajser will also be using this break to recoup and assess his progress after three races in three weekends, on what has been a tough return to action after breaking his femur in February.
The sand of Vantaa wasn’t as deep as Lommel last time out, but the tight layout, combined with the heavy rain that fell yesterday meant it was still a difficult track to negotiate, as he looks to climb back to the top of the MXGP podium.
The first moto saw the #243 gradually move up from eighth to sixth over the course of the 19 laps, while race two was a battle as he tried to hold onto fifth place, against riders who have won races in 2023.
Eventually, he came home sixth, which gave him sixth overall and meant he left Finland knowing there is still work to be done in the remaining five rounds of this campaign.
While there isn’t any pressure on specific results, the goal for the Honda CRF450R rider is always to be near the podium, and with more time on the bike, as well as more favourable circuits, that is certainly a possibility as the championship enters its final quarter.
Next up is Uddevalla in Sweden, which is a bigger layout on a harder surface, where Gajser has won twice previously in his career.
Fernandez doesn’t have such a storied history there, but his main aim now will be to recover, and then once he’s on the start-line, he can focus on challenging for the podium alongside his Team HRC colleague.

MXGP – Honda Racing Corporation

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