Gritty ride from world champion sees him narrowly trail red plate.
After sustaining a broken left collarbone in the lead-up to the MXGP of Sardegna, Tim Gajser salvaged valuable points at round 10 to now only trail new championship leader Jeffrey Herlings by a single point.
Gajser was injured prior to the weekend and underwent immediate surgery, putting forward a gritty effort to maintain his title defence.
A poor gate pick before getting caught up in another rider’s incident didn’t make moto one easy for the injured Team HRC rider, however, he was able to score two points finishing 19th.
Gajser had a much better start in moto two, launching just outside the top 10. From there the Slovenian was able to progressively work his way forwards to ultimately finish the race in eighth.
“Coming into this race, I knew it would be extremely tough but I know how important that every single point can be in this championship battle so I wanted to try,” Gajser explained.
“Despite the injury, I actually felt pretty good, posting a fast lap-time in free practice, but I wasn’t able to do a good one in the timed practice and this really hurt my chances of a top 10 start.
“Then, unfortunately, in the first moto, I got caught up by another rider as he fell over round the first bend and I had to remount almost last. I tried to regroup but another crash a lap later made things very difficult. I didn’t give up though and kept pushing and pushing and eventually I passed a couple of guys to finish 19th.
“Obviously, I was disappointed but I really felt I could do better if I got a good start, which thankfully I did in race two. I rounded the first lap in 12th place and I got into a nice rhythm on what was a really difficult track. I knew I was fit, and although I was hurting, I battled through into eighth place.
“Overall, I am happy to have scored 15 crucial points and with a weekend off to get healthy, I hope that by Teutschenthal, I will be able to be back battling for wins once again. A big thank you to the team for supporting me during this difficult week, I really appreciate everything you do!”
With the Riola Sardo being one of the more physically demanding rounds of the season, the fact Gajser was able to still score haul of points could prove pivotal come the end of the season, as the top three in the championship – Herlings, Gajser and Romain Febvre are only separated by four points.
The factory Honda rider now has two weeks to streamline his recovery before the 2021 MXGP World Championship resumes on 3 October at Teutschenthal, Germany for round 11 of the series.