The Slovenian rider has won the last three overalls, reeling off six consecutive race wins, and he now holds a 13-point lead over Italy’s nine-time former MXGP champion Antonio Cairoli (KTM) as the series heads to the midway point of the season.
For Gajser, the red plate is just reward for this tremendous run of form that has seen a 53 point swing in the championship battle after coming back from a 40 point deficit following the MXGP of Lombardia.
After those muddy conditions, the sun has been shining and Gajser has shown his best form since his championship winning season in 2016. The hard-pack tracks have suited Gajser’s smooth style and he’ll now be hoping that the large amount of sand training he did over the winter will help him maintain the lead in what should be another glorious weekend of racing.
In round nine of their series’ this weekend, the MXGP and MX2 riders are joined by the EMX250 and EMX2t classes.
“It was a tough trip back from Russia with the flights, but when you come back with the red plate, everything is okay,” said Gajser.
“However it is definitely almost unbelievable to have gone one-one again this weekend. The track was pretty sketchy to ride on because it was very fast and not a lot of ruts formed, which meant it was quite slippery in the corners.
“Still, it was really good to get two starts and I am feeling really confident heading to Kegums. It is of course a lot sandier than these past few rounds but I feel like I am riding really well and I know I have done a lot of sand training this off-season. I just can’t wait to get back to the race track again and meet up with the team. We are working so well right now and I enjoy every weekend.”
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1 GAJSER Tim, SLO 351 points Team HRC – MXGP Honda
2 CAIROLI Antonio, ITA 338 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
3 PAULIN Gautier, FRA 231 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Yamaha
4 SEEWER Jeremy, SWI 220 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha
5 JASIKONIS Arminas, LTU 212 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna
6 DESALLE Clement, BEL 208 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Kawasaki
7 TONUS Arnaud, SWI 206 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Yamaha
8 LIEBER Julien, BEL 172 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Kawasaki
9 VAN HOREBEEK Jeremy, BEL 170 Honda SR Motoblouz Honda
10 COLDENHOFF Glenn, NDL 168 Standing Construct KTM KTM
11 JONASS Pauls, LAT 167 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna
12 SIMPSON Shaun, GBR 129 RFX KTM Racing KTM
13 FEBVRE Romain, FRA 117 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha
14 LUPINO Alessandro, ITA 103 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki Kawasaki
15 MONTICELLI Ivo, ITA 100 iFly JK Racing Yamaha
16 ANSTIE Max, GBR 97 Standing Construct KTM KTM
17 SEARLE Tommy, GBR 86 Bike It DRT Kawasaki Kawasaki
18 BOGERS Brian, NDL 70 Team HRC – MXGP Honda
19 LEOK Tanel, EST 69 A1M Husqvarna Husqvarna
20 PATUREL Benoit, FRA 65 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki Kawasaki
21 TIXIER Jordi, FRA 56 Team VHR KTM Racing KTM
22 STRIJBOS Kevin, BEL 41 JWR Yamaha Racing Yamaha
23 BRYLYAKOV Vsevolod, RUS 33 JWR Yamaha Racing Yamaha
24 HERLINGS Jeffrey, NDL 32 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
25 BUTRON Jose, SPA 18 JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team KTM
26 PETROV Petar, BUL 18 Team Honda Red Moto Honda
27 BERNARDINI Samuele, ITA 14 Ghidinelli Racing Team Yamaha
28 GOLE Anton, SWE 14 iFly JK Racing Yamaha
29 KULLAS Harri, FIN 10 Wildcard Rider Husqvarna
30 VAN DER MIERDEN Sven, NDL 8 Wildcard Rider Yamaha