News 27 Feb 2017

MXGP champion Gajser content with start of title defence

Team Honda HRC leader overcomes illness for podium result.

Source: Supplied.

Defending champion Tim Gajser is satisfied with his 2017 MXGP World Championship opening round performance fighting off illness for a runner-up finish in Qatar.

The Team Honda HRC rider, who last year swept both motos at round one, used a consistent 3-2 moto scorecard to finish behind eight-time world champion Antonio Cairoli.

“I am actually really happy overall with the weekend,” said Gajser. “It didn’t start the best as I have been really sick all weekend but I was able to achieve two good races despite this.

“The first race I didn’t have the best start and I had to battle with Bobryshev and Desalle all race. It was tough to pass because there was only actually one fast line and the other lines were not the same speed.”

Confirming he did indeed run out of steam after leading the majority of moto two, the young Slovenian remains positive leaving the opener with an eight-point gap between himself and the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider.

“In the second race I had a better start, I was leading and I pulled a gap between myself and Cairoli,” he added. “Then, in the last two laps I was destroyed and I couldn’t give anymore, but I am happy to start the season with second overall this weekend.”

Gajser now has just one week to recover from his illness before the series heads to Pangkal Pinang in Indonesia for round two of the 2017 series.