Tim Gajser proved he’s so much faster than the rest of the MXGP elite by coming from a first turn off after he clashed with Jorge Prado, right through the pack to clinch the second moto win in Russia for a perfect 1-1 day. He’d run away with the opener after taking the lead on the first lap.
And his biggest rival ended up being Tony Cairoli, who was third in moto one and set the fastest lap of the race. Then in race two TC222 led after holeshot man Jeffrey Herlings fell, until Gajser came past. But the Italian sat close to him until he wiped out on the finish line jump that caught out so many riders. Cairoli’s bike was wrecked and he had to retire. It would have been a clear runner-up spot for Cairoli in the moto and overall.
That allowed Jeffrey Herlings, a distant fourth in the first moto but who inherited second in the final moto when Cairoli fell, to take a surprise second overall.
And third overall was super-fast Romain Febvre who was second in the opener then crashed out when challenging fast-starting Pauls Jonass for third in race two until he went off the track. He came back through to third for third overall.
“I enjoyed it so much today. It got rough but I could use some different lines to past. I was dead last and I knew I had the speed so I picked off the riders. It was a lot of fun!” said Gajser.
Gajser took the lead on the opening lap of the race one and romped off to the win from Febvre and Cairoli. Cairoli, who set the fastest lap of the race, lost second when he ran wide. Jorge Prado took the holeshot but crashed, and came back to ninth. Herlings came through from a mediocre start to fourth. Shaun Simpson was top Brit in 17th, in front of Nathan Watson. Ben Watson fell and took 20th, one spot in front of Adam Sterry.
Sterry was top Brit in race two with 13th place with Simposn 16th, Nathan Watson 20th for a single point – one point in front of brother Ben.
Herlings said: “I have mixed feelings. I haven’t raced GPs for ninth months and I don’t have race speed yet. To me, a second feels like a win so I’m happy.”
Febvre said: “After my crash in the second race I thought the podium had gone. But I fought back hard and took sixth for third overall.”
It was also a perfect 1-1 day for Tom Vialle as he won both MX2 motos in Russia to dominate, from Ruben Fernandez second overall (2-3) and Mathys Boisrame (4-2) on the podium’s final step. Boisrame finished second in the second moto, in front of Fernandez who made some mistakes but took his first ever podium.
Vialle takes a start-to-finish win in the Russian MX2 GP opener from Ruben Fernandez, Roan Van De Moosdijk, Mathys Boisrame and Rene Hofer. The only Brit, Joel Rizzi, took 23rd. Conrad Mewse didn’t start as he’s too ill
In race two, Rizzi was so close to his first world championship points, running 18th for a lot of the race before dropping to 22nd.