Team HRC’s Tim Gajser took two convincing moto victories as he swept to a one-one overall at the first round of the Italian Championship, hosted by Maggiora Park, the famous circuit which has returned to race-usage only recently.
And two retired former world champions also raced. David Philippaerts, MX1 champ in 2008, took fourth overall – beating some current GP riders. While Alessio Chiodi, the 48 year old who won three 125 titles in the 1990s, was 13th overall and had a best finish of 11th.
Honda CRF450RW man Gajser took two holeshots and never looked in any trouble in what were difficult conditions at the hillside venue. The track was perfect on Saturday when Gajser took first gate pick with the fastest qualification time, but overnight rain caused the first race on Sunday to be muddy and extremely slippery, making the start crucial in order to maintain clear vision and avoid other riders as they struggled to navigate the terrain. After just one lap in both races, Gajser was over four seconds ahead and he kept pushing, eventually winning by 47 seconds in race one and then 28 seconds in race two as the track hardened up and became a bit one-lined.
Still, despite the ease of the victory, it was good for the reigning MXGP world champion to get a couple of competitive starts under his belt and get himself back into race shape, for when the 2021 world championship starts in Russia on June 13th.
Tim Gajser 243
I’m happy to be here at Maggiora and to take the victory. It was nice to start racing again and just get that feeling back of being behind the gate, because this was my first race since the MXGPs finished in November and I need a couple of races to find my rhythm. I didn’t get the best jump in the first race but I was able to still cut across the inside and come out with the holeshot, and try to push to get a good lead and not make any mistakes in the muddy conditions. I got a much better start in race two and again got the holeshot, and while the track was easier, it was harder to get around the lappers because there was one dry line and so I didn’t want to take too many unnecessary risks when passing. Overall, it was a good day and it was great to see Maggiora back holding motocross races again and looking really nice. I truly hope we can come back here in July for the MXGP round and fingers crossed the weather will be nicer.