Following a three-week summer break the 2021 FIM World Motocross Championship restarted today in the western Turkish city of Afyon, 260km south-west of the country’s capital city, Ankara.

Known for it’s high altitude, mountainous landscapes and hard-pack soil, the 1,021m (above sea-level) Afyon Motor Sports Circuit always presents an oxygen-starved challenge for teams, riders and bikes alike with its hot, dry, thin air.

Current MXGP World Champion and red-plate holder Team HRC’s Tim Gajser lined up on the race one start-gate in seventh position after struggling to find a clear lap in Timed Qualification. Although a good start-gate pick is important in Turkey, Gajser still managed to hit lap one in fifth position and set about an early battle with his rivals. Gajser worked hard throughout the race, but struggled with arm-pump and eventually finished the moto in sixth.

Riding the CRF450R JM Honda Racing’s Henry Jacobi had a strong first moto today hitting lap one in ninth position and dropping one place on lap two, only to recover to ninth on lap 10 to finish the race in a well-earned ninth place.

In race two Gajser made amends and rode a masterful World Champion’s race making a pass to take the lead on lap eight and take the race win by 4.654 seconds. Team HRC’s four-time World Champion was third overall today and still leads the MXGP World Championship after eight rounds. 

Henry Jacobi struggled to find the same form in race two today, starting lap one in 12th position and finishing the race in 14th giving the German 11th overall and 19 championship points.

Team Honda 114 Motorsport’s Ruben Fernandez also battled hard in the MX2 class today. 

In race one the Spaniard took an average start in ninth, but by lap four had pushed into fifth place and set-about a hard back-and-forth fray to eventually finish the race in sixth position.        

Still recovering from vertebrae and nerve damage in the shoulder, Team Honda Racing Assomotor’s Stephen Rubini worked hard in race one, starting the moto in 15th place, but pushing hard to finish in 12th.

Race two once again saw Fernandez push up to fifth place in the early stages of the race, only  dropping one position to sixth for the majority of the moto. A freak last lap crash though robbed the 22 year old of a points scoring position, dropping him to 13th overall, but still fifth in the MX2 World Championship standings. 

Frenchman Stephen Rubini took his CRF250R to 12th overall today backing up his first race 12th with a 13th in race two. 

Tim Gajser

Tim Gajser 243

That was definitely two completely different races today, but I’m glad to have finished on a high note with that victory.

In the first race I just got stuck behind another rider for too long and couldn’t find a rhythm. When I did get past, the front guys were too far in front so I couldn’t catch them.

In race two, I got a better start and was in third early on. I quickly moved into second and then a few laps later I moved into first. Once I was there, I was able to pull away a bit and control the race until the chequered flag.

Overall, it was good and I’m excited to come back on Wednesday and try and get the win here.

Team HRC – MXGP
Henry Jacobi

Henry Jacobi 29

I didn’t manage a good Timed Qualifying time today, but I could still manage some good starts in the races.

In race one I was fourth or fifth into the first turn, but chose a few poor lines early in the race and was pushed back some positions. I tried to push back towards the front and made some good passes.

In the second race I spun-up a little off the start-gate but still managed to get to the first run in around 10th place. I then took a stone to my groin which hurt a lot and I struggled to breathe for one or two laps, so I had to let some riders by as I struggled to find my rhythm.

Still not quite in the top ten at the end of the day, but I hope for a better Timed Qualification on Wednesday and then I can get even better starts.

JM Honda Racing
Ruben Fernandez

Ruben Fernandez 70

The day was going solid for me with sixth position in Timed Qualification, then sixth in the first moto. I was also holding onto sixth position in the second moto until I crashed on the last lap.

I feel very disappointed with myself, crashing after working so hard. I was off-balance when I landed and the tyre lost traction and spun me around, so I went off the side of the track and damaged the bike so I couldn’t restart the race.

The temperature was hot today, but not such a problem. The altitude though is a problem for the body and the bike as we all struggle for oxygen. It’s the same for everyone though and we have to race as well as we can considering the circumstances.

Honda 114 Motorsports
Gordon Crockard

Gordon Crockard

Honda Off Road Racing Manager

Today here in Turkey we were missing a lot of our riders due to injuries they suffered in recent weeks, and at the same time we had riders Rubini, Weckman and Paturel return to racing at Turkey from time off recovering from injuries.

Tim Gajser winning the second Moto was my highlight, largely because he displayed the spirit of his best self.

Jacobi taking a superb ninth in moto one is really encouraging. This is very good to see.

The MX2 boys fought their best as always. Nice to see Rubini back in the mix and getting positive points on his comeback to better form.

I was so disappointed when Ruben crashed out of sixth on the last lap of the second moto. I’m pleased he is not injured and can focus to Wednesday’s race next.

I think all our guys who raced today have arrived back to the series restart well. Today will have provided important feedback to help be even better for Wednesday’s race.

The wait over the next couple of days will pass quickly and I look forward to Wednesday’s race day.

Honda Motor
MXGP of Turkey

Afyon, Turkey

MXGP 2021, Round 8

Sunny / 28
Sunday 5 Sep 2021, 13:53 UTC
  • Track Condition: Hard Pack
  • Air Temp: 28°C
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Tim Gajser 243 SLO 25 Team HRC – MXGP Honda 34:39.849
2 Jeffrey Herlings 84 NDL 22 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0:04.654
3 Jorge Prado Garcia 61 SPA 20 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0:08.824
4 Romain Febvre 3 FRA 18 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Kawasaki +0:28.683
5 Antonio Cairoli 222 ITA 16 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0:34.198
6 Alessandro Lupino 77 ITA 15 MRT Racing Team KTM KTM +0:39.772
7 Jeremy Seewer 91 SWI 14 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha +0:41.305
8 Calvin Vlaanderen 10 NDL 13 Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha Racing Yamaha +0:42.717
9 Kevin Strijbos 22 BEL 12 Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha Racing Yamaha +0:45.092
10 Brent Van Doninck 32 BEL 11 Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha Racing Yamaha +0:46.408
11 Glenn Coldenhoff 259 NDL 10 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha +0:48.900
12 Brian Bogers 189 NDL 9 Marchetti Racing Team KTM KTM +0:53.499
13 Arnaud Tonus 4 SWI 8 Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +1:04.018
14 Henry Jacobi 29 GER 7 JM Honda Racing Honda +1:04.712
15 Thomas Kjer Olsen 19 DEN 6 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +1:08.090
16 Jeremy Van Horebeek 89 BEL 5 SDM Racing Beta +1:10.321
17 Arminas Jasikonis 27 LTU 4 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +1:12.113
18 Alberto Forato 303 ITA 3 Yamaha SM Action – M.C. Migliori Yamaha +1:14.604
19 Ben Watson 919 GBR 2 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha +1:19.912
20 Vsevolod Brylyakov 18 RUS 1 JWR Honda Racing Honda +1:40.055
Sunny / 28
Sunday 5 Sep 2021, 10:57 UTC
  • Track Condition: Hard Pack
  • Air Temp: 28°C
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Jeffrey Herlings 84 NDL 25 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 34:42.407
2 Jorge Prado Garcia 61 SPA 22 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0:05.534
3 Pauls Jonass 41 LAT 20 Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing Team Gas Gas +0:06.236
4 Romain Febvre 3 FRA 18 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Kawasaki +0:09.174
5 Antonio Cairoli 222 ITA 16 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0:31.970
6 Tim Gajser 243 SLO 15 Team HRC – MXGP Honda +0:35.999
7 Jeremy Seewer 91 SWI 14 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha +0:52.191
8 Glenn Coldenhoff 259 NDL 13 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha +0:54.267
9 Henry Jacobi 29 GER 12 JM Honda Racing Honda +0:56.317
10 Thomas Kjer Olsen 19 DEN 11 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +0:57.016
11 Brian Bogers 189 NDL 10 Marchetti Racing Team KTM KTM +0:59.266
12 Arnaud Tonus 4 SWI 9 Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +1:00.858
13 Alessandro Lupino 77 ITA 8 MRT Racing Team KTM KTM +1:01.145
14 Brent Van Doninck 32 BEL 7 Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha Racing Yamaha +1:03.684
15 Jeremy Van Horebeek 89 BEL 6 SDM Racing Beta +1:14.885
16 Alvin Ostlund 161 SWE 5 JK Racing Yamaha Yamaha +1:19.553
17 Alberto Forato 303 ITA 4 Yamaha SM Action – M.C. Migliori Yamaha +1:23.575
18 Calvin Vlaanderen 10 NDL 3 Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha Racing Yamaha +1:29.572
19 Vsevolod Brylyakov 18 RUS 2 JWR Honda Racing Honda +1:35.434
20 Ben Watson 919 GBR 1 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha +1:37.244
Rider Standings
Sunday, 5 Sep 2021 - Open world standings grid
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr.
1 Tim GAJSER 243 SLO 310 Team HRC – MXGP Honda
2 Jorge PRADO GARCIA 61 SPA 297 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
3 Romain FEBVRE 3 FRA 293 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Kawasaki
4 Antonio CAIROLI 222 ITA 284 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
5 Jeffrey HERLINGS 84 NDL 274 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
6 Jeremy SEEWER 91 SWI 234 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha
7 Pauls JONASS 41 LAT 200 Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing Team Gas Gas
8 Glenn COLDENHOFF 259 NDL 197 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha
9 Alessandro LUPINO 77 ITA 157 MRT Racing Team KTM KTM
10 Ben WATSON 919 GBR 133 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha
11 Calvin VLAANDEREN 10 NDL 121 Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha Racing Yamaha
12 Thomas KJER OLSEN 19 DEN 118 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna
13 Brian BOGERS 189 NDL 109 Marchetti Racing Team KTM KTM
14 Jeremy VAN HOREBEEK 89 BEL 109 SDM Racing Beta
15 Henry JACOBI 29 GER 85 JM Honda Racing Honda
16 Brent VAN DONINCK 32 BEL 78 Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha Racing Yamaha
17 Kevin STRIJBOS 22 BEL 71 Gebben van Venrooy Yamaha Racing Yamaha
18 Shaun SIMPSON 24 GBR 62 SS24 KTM MXGP KTM
19 Ivo MONTICELLI 128 ITA 54 Standing Construct GasGas Factory Racing Team Gas Gas
20 Arnaud TONUS 4 SWI 53 Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha
21 Arminas JASIKONIS 27 LTU 52 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna
22 Alvin OSTLUND 161 SWE 47 JK Racing Yamaha Yamaha
23 Alberto FORATO 303 ITA 39 Yamaha SM Action – M.C. Migliori Yamaha
24 Jordi TIXIER 911 FRA 33 Wildcard Rider KTM
25 Adam STERRY 811 GBR 33 JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team KTM
26 Lorenzo LOCURCIO 183 VEN 22 JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team KTM
27 Tom KOCH 226 GER 21 Wildcard Rider KTM
28 Cyril GENOT 105 BEL 15 Wildcard Rider KTM
29 Vsevolod BRYLYAKOV 18 RUS 10 JWR Honda Racing Honda
30 Evgeny BOBRYSHEV 777 RUS 6 PAR Homes RFX Husqvarna Husqvarna
31 Lars VAN BERKEL 107 NDL 5 Honda SR Motoblouz Honda
32 Nathan WATSON 991 GBR 4 Honda SR Motoblouz Honda
33 Jimmy CLOCHET 520 FRA 4 SDM Racing Beta
34 Jose BUTRON 17 SPA 2 JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team KTM
35 Todd KELLETT 998 GBR 1 hostettler Yamaha Racing Yamaha
36 Hardi ROOSIORG 75 EST 1 Wildcard Rider KTM
37 Anton GOLE SWE 1
38 Valentin GUILLOD 92 SWI 1 hostettler Yamaha Racing Yamaha