In the MXGP class, it was once again Team HRC’s Tim Gajser on the CRF450R who took the day’s maximum points and retained the championship leader’s red plate.
In race one, the Slovenian got off to a good start, but had to work hard – working his way forward around the mid-race stage, showing patience and the wisdom of a champion. Once in the lead, Tim immediately built a comfortable gap using the Honda’s power to good effect on the tricky hillside circuit.
Tim’s teammate Mitch Evans was unlucky on the first lap when he got tangled up with other riders and had to fight his way back from the back of the field to finish the race in 13th position. Meanwhile, Honda 114 Motorsport’s Rubén Fernández had a relatively routine run to seventh for the entire race, but still a great race result for the MXGP rookie.
Tim Gajser completed the first lap of race two and again third place, but this time the 25-year-old took the lead on lap four, winning the race by over 20 seconds.
Rubén Fernández had a better outing in race two, finishing the first lap in seventh place and moving up to sixth on lap six. Fernández eventually finished the race fifth and also finished the day fifth overall. He now sits sixth in the championship, just a few points from a top-five finish.
Friendly Aussie Mitch Evans had a better showing in race two, pushing hard to come back from a mid-pack start to finish the race in sixth place, giving Evans ninth place overall.
Hats off to Tim Gajser this weekend. His 50-point run since today’s win puts ‘Tiga’ 81 points ahead of the MXGP World Championship with just seven of 20 races contested. Today’s win was Tim’s 39th career GP victory.
Honda’s success in Italy continued in the MX2 class where Shiptocycle Honda SR Motoblouz rider Stephen Rubini took his CRF250R to third place overall; his best career result and his first podium in the MX2 category.
Although the Frenchman struggled in the qualifying race, he got off to a great start in race one and finished the first lap in second place. Although at times a challenge for the lead seemed possible, Rubini made a reasonable run and came home a very comfortable second place, almost 13 seconds ahead of third.
In race two, Rubini had some work to do after completing the first lap in 10th. Halfway through the race he was sixth, but lost two positions on lap 11 and regained those places at the finish. It was enough to give the likeable Rubini his first MX2 podium and career-best GP result.
Round eight of the championship will visit the deep sands of Riola Sardo in Sardinia next weekend.