Fernandez heads to Indonesia, Gajser confirms comeback

2023-08-21 08:47
Team HRC’s Ruben Fernandez travels to Indonesia this week as he gets ready to race the first of the double-header in the Asian country. First up is the return to the island Sumbawa, which provided an excellent venue at its debuting event last year. That is then followed by a new round on Lombok, on July 1-2, an island that has successfully hosted MotoGP for the last few years.

On a trip that normally consists of three flights, these races aren’t easy to get to, but the hugely enthusiastic and vocal local population make up for that, bringing great energy and making everyone in the paddock feel truly welcome. Fernandez took advantage of that last year when he went three-four for third overall, in what was his second MXGP podium of his career. Given the fact he’s riding a lot better this time around, and coming off the back of his third podium of the season in Germany last time out, hopes are high that he can make it number four at the incredible Sumbawa facility.

Meanwhile in Slovenia, reigning MXGP champion Tim Gajser announced in a press conference at his Tiga243land track that he will return to the world motocross championship at the MXGP of the Czech Republic on July 15-16. The #243 has missed the entire 2023 season up to this point due to a broken femur he sustained in the pre-season crash at the Pietramurata track in Trentino, Italy in February and has been in rehabilitation since that moment. Now though, after receiving the green light from his doctor, he will race at Loket, where a lot of Slovenians should be able to make the trip north to see their returning hero in action.

That race is still just over three weeks away, giving Gajser a bit more time to prepare himself for the rigours of MXGP duty, while the rest of the team support Fernandez as he looks to step on the podium again and continue his chase for third place in the 2023 world championship standings.

Ruben Fernandez 70

Last time in Sumbawa, I had a great time at what was a great GP. I got on the podium with two solid motos at the fantastic track they made there. I think everyone was shocked at how amazing the circuit was, with a big wide layout, and some massive jumps. The soil was this strange mixture, that was hard to setup right for, but I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait to ride there again. It is a lot of travel to get there but I think it is good that we have two races in Indonesia this year and I am interested to see a bit more of the country.

Ruben Fernandez

Tim Gajser 243

Obviously I’m extremely excited to have a date set for my return, to give me something to focus on a prepare for specifically and I feel that Loket is a good track, that I’ll have a lot of support at. I’ve been on the bike a number of weeks now and everything has gone well, the doctor has checked and confirmed this and given me the all-clear to return to racing. I have just over three weeks to make sure I am where I need to be, but just having that date makes things a lot clearer. A big thank you to everyone for all the support and I can’t wait to meet up with my Team HRC colleagues, and the rest of the MXGP paddock soon.

Tim Gajser

Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager - MXGP

The overseas races always require a bit of extra work to prepare for, and the team were flat out after Germany making sure everything was ready to come here. With two rounds, we have to make sure we have everything we might need with us, or know where to get it and that’s where our sponsors at Astra Honda really help us out with the local information. Ruben is feeling good, after his podium in Germany and he likes the Sumbawa track as it suits his style so we expect him to be up there once again. And then we have the really positive news that Tim will be joining us in the Czech Republic, which is just fantastic for everyone. So overall, Team HRC is in a good place right now.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

Rider Standings
Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 Prado Garcia Jorge 61 SPA 453 Red Bull GasGas Factory Racing
2 Herlings Jeffrey 84 NDL 386 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
3 Febvre Romain 3 FRA 347 Kawasaki Racing Team MXGP
4 Fernandez Ruben 70 SPA 337

Source: Honda Racing Corporation

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