Courtesy of Honda Racing Corporation
After the Latvian experience of three races in seven days, Team HRC’s MXGP riders are now gearing up for what will be six races in a row in northern Italy. First up for Tim Gajser and Mitch Evans is the triple-header at the hillside track in Faenza, with races on Sunday 6th, Wednesday 9th and Sunday 13th September.
Much like Latvia, the events will be run in a one-day format with qualifying done using fastest laptimes, giving the gate picks for the afternoon motos. It is a fast paced day of activity but the timed sessions in Kegums proved that both riders could get the best out of their Honda CRF450RW’s and work with the team to make any necessary adjustments for the later races.
For Gajser, he’ll be hoping to once again show the speed that saw him get holeshots, fastest laps and a couple of race wins in the six motos in Latvia. He’ll also be looking to add in an overall victory that has just eluded him in the five rounds so far, as he tries to close up the gap at the top of the MXGP championship. And with Faenza being a hard-pack track, these three rounds coming up give him the perfect chance to do so, at a facility he is very familiar with.
His teammate Evans is also on the rise after his comeback from shoulder surgery earlier in the year. The break gave him time to recover and although he wasn’t quite up to full race speed by the time of the first round in Kegums, over the course of the week, he got better and better and now with another two weeks of solid training and riding, he’ll be looking to solidify his standing as a top 10 rider and push back towards the podium, a result he achieved at the first moto in Matterley Basin at the start of the year.
With the temperatures for the week looking like it’ll be in the 30s, the riders can expect a gruelling week of racing, but both Tim and Mitch are in good physical condition and are looking forward to the challenge that this beautiful track and the one-day format present.
Tim Gajser 243
After to Latvia, I came straight back to Slovenia, so I’ve been training here at my home track. Basically, I’ve been training hard to get ready for Faenza. It’s been a long break again and I want to get back racing! I’ve raced the track there many times and it is a good one that I enjoy riding. It is hard-pack, which I like, so I look to give my best and try to enjoy as much as possible and try to ride like I know how to ride and see where we end up.
Mitch Evans 43
It’s been a good couple of weeks since Latvia, I’ve been riding a lot of hard-pack here in Italy, and doing a lot of long motos. I’m trying to get my fitness back up and get some riding time under my belt. I’m really happy with how things are going though, I’m progressing a lot and I’m feeling a lot stronger and my fitness has improved a lot too so I’m really looking forward to Faenza. I’ve never been there before, but I’ve seen a few videos and I’ve been told that GPs in the past used to get really rough and rutted which I’m excited about as I like tracks like that. I’m hoping for those deep ruts and that clay dirt so it’s got me excited and I’m looking forward to the three races where I’m hoping to get back inside the top 10 and aiming for a couple of top five’s, but really I just want to keep progressing each time I’m out on track.
Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager – MXGP
After the return to action in Latvia, we have had a couple of weekends off to just get ready for this next load of races. We learnt a lot from those three races and we hope we can implement this knowledge for Faenza and beyond. Both riders have been training a lot during the break and are in good shape and everyone in the team is ready to help them to finish as high up as possible. It certainly won’t be easy and the temperatures look like it will be hot, so that is another factor but we are confident that both riders can put in their best results of the season so far.