World champion Tim Gajser finally proved he’s fully recovered from his mid-season injuries as he took overall victory in the Swedish MXGP at Uddevalla. The HRC man took the win in the opener and second place in the second race after battling with 2015 MXGP champ Romain Febvre for the top slot. Febvre took his first moto win of the year and second overall, but it was Gajser who took the overall. Frenchman Gautier Paulin took third overall with two thior places frpom Clement Desalle and Glenn Coldenhoff
But it was disaster for Jeffrey Herlings, who was second in the opening moto. He moved into second in race two, passing Gajser, when his KTM threw a chain and he had to retire. With red plate holder not having a great day in seventh overall, if Herlings could have finished second, he would have reduced the Italian’s lead to 77 points. But Herlings’ DNF means Cairoli now leads the Dutchman with 101 points with six motos remaining and mathematically can win the title at the next round in the USA. Cairoli just didn’t have a great day with ninth and seventh finishes for second overall, but still managed to extend his points lead!
Race one saw Evgeny Bobryshev take the holeshot but he was soon passed by Romain Febvre, who slipped off then got back on in 12th and started to make a charge forward. As Tim Gajser led, Jeffrey Herlings was on a charge and got past Bobby, Glenn Coldenhoff and then Paulin but by that time Gajser was gone.
Cairoli had a terrible start, pulled through then fell off again and ended up ninth. Bobby, fourth on the final lap, went off the track and ended up, which gave Desalle fourth from Glenn Coldenhoff and Febvre. Shaun Simpson marked his return to MXGPs with 11th, Max Anstie was 13th while Tommy Searle, in his second GP of the year, was 15th.
Race two saw Febvre take the holeshot and was soon battling with Gajser and Herlings until the Dutchman retired. Paulin gave chase but never got close enough to make a serious challenge. As both Febvre and Gajser both made small mistakes, it was Fevbre who held on to the front position until the flag, with Gajser second from Paulin who fended off Clement Desalle all race. Anstie took ninth, Searle 12th and Simpson 14th.
Gajser, who took his third overall of the year but first since the Mexican GP 12 races ago on April 2, said: “It’s really special. I’ve been injured, had really bad races and now again I can win GPs. We’ve worked really hard and now it’s paying off.
“I’m really happy. The second race was nice as I battled all race with Romain. In the the last couple of laps I knew I had the overall so didn’t push so much.”
Febvre said: “It’s such a good feeling to be on the podium and finally win a moto. In the second race I twisted my ankle in one corner and slowed down and Tim caught me. But I felt better and pulled a gap again.”
Paulin, who took his seventh podium of the year and is now third in the series just four points behind Herlings, said: “The track changed a lot and I wasn’t feeling that good on the bike yesterday. In the first race today I had a good start but didn’t find my rhythm. I think I had the speed to fight for the win. In race two not a good start but the bike was working good. It wasn’t the best track for me.”
Tosten Hallman, Bengt Aberg and Hakan Andersson, all legendary Swedish riders who won world championships, presented the trophies to the top men on the podium. Sweden also paid tribute to ex-champ Hakan Carlqvist, who died recently, on the day before the event with a special presentation to announce a new charitable foundation in his memory.