Finland, Aug 17 (IANS): Team HRC's Tim Gajser became the most successful current MXGP rider after winning his fifth world title and the fourth in the premier MXGP class at the MXGP of Finland.
The Honda CRF450R rider wrapped up this year's championship two rounds early, after dominating periods of what has been a very challenging campaign.
Starting off the season with six wins in the first seven rounds gave him a platform that none of his rivals could get near, and further wins in Germany and a perfect performance in Indonesia meant that he was able to cement his crown and cruise home to yet another world title.
This weekend at the sandy Hyvinkaa track, No. 243 wasn't at his best, but he was still able to post six-seven results, which was more than enough to give him a 104-point advantage and wrap-up the championship with two rounds still to race. With the pressure of winning his fifth world championship over, expect Gajser to be battling for wins once again, and adding to what is already a remarkable 2022 season.
Unfortunately, teammate Mitch Evans wasn't able to put his practice and qualification speed into either of the two motos, as first lap crashes in each race ruined his chances of challenging for a podium.
The Australian had proved in every other session that he was a contender on this gruelling Hyvinkaa surface, but luck wasn't on his side and instead has to prepare himself for the final two rounds of the season where he'll be once again aiming to be up there at the front of the field.
The world championship now heads to St Jean D'Angely in France next weekend, for the penultimate round of the series, with both riders highly motivated to get back at the sharp end of this MXGP field.
Gajser will be looking to add to his eight GP overalls, while Evans will be hoping to get his first podium of the season for what should be another action-packed weekend of high-quality motocross riding.