Champion Gajser joined by Fernandez on multi-year contract.
The MXGP line-up of Team HRC has been confirmed for next season, with champion Tim Gajser to be joined by Ruben Fernandez, both on multi-year contracts.
Gajser has won four premier class world titles with Honda, taking 14 moto victories en route to the 2022 crown.
“It was an easy decision to continue this amazing relationship with Team HRC,” said Gajser. “It is like a second-family to me and there is no other place where I feel it is such a nice environment.
“I always say ‘happy rider, fast rider’ and working with everyone in Team HRC, from all the technicians in Japan, to my practice mechanic, to my physio, it is all so enjoyable and I always look forward to going racing.
“I have won five world championships with Honda so I am extremely comfortable on-board the CRF450R and they always do such a great job with developing and improving the machine, so I know I’ll be riding a bike capable of winning title number six in 2023.
“A huge thank you to all my supporters around the world, and I look forward to meeting you at Team HRC next year.”
Fernandez stepped up to MXGP at round 17 last season and continued in the category – 114 Motorsports Honda mounted – to land eighth in the 2022 points standings, with two third-place finishes to his credit.
“It is a dream come true to be riding for Team HRC in the MXGP class,” Fernandez explained. “The team is the best in the paddock and having ridden the Honda for the past couple of years, I am very familiar with the bike, but now I’m very excited to get to ride the full factory machine next year.
“I am also excited to work alongside Tim, as I know I can learn a lot from a rider who is five-times champion of the world. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout my career, who got me to this point and I can’t wait to show everyone what I am capable of. I now have the winter to prepare myself, and make sure I’m ready for the first gate-drop in 2023.”
With Fernandez announced alongside Gajser, it effectively pushes Mitch Evans out of the team. Evans is linked to a seat at Kawasaki Racing Team, alongside Romain Febvre from next year.