(Photo : KTM Racing)

HRC Signs Contracts with Tim Gajser and Rubén Fernández

TOKYO, Japan, September 7, 2022 – Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) announced that it has renewed its contract with Tim Gajser (25 years old, Slovenia), who currently competes in the FIM*1 Motocross World Championship premier MXGP class (450cc class) for Team HRC, Honda’s factory team*2, and newly signed a contract with Rubén Fernández (23 years old, Spain). Both riders are signed on for multiple years starting in 2023.

After winning the Motocross World Championship title in the MX2 class (250cc) in 2015, Tim Gajser moved to the premier MXGP class the following year, and won the championship along with the Rookie of the Year title. Although he did not win the title for the following two years, Gajser won back-to-back championships in 2019 and 2020, and by claiming his fourth MXGP title this year, has won a total of five titles in the Motocross world championship.

Rubén Fernández was third overall in the European Motocross Championship EMX250 class. Although he moved to MX2 in 2018, he moved back to EMX250 the following year. After moving full-time to MX2 in 2020, he finished ninth that year. In 2021, Fernández joined the MX2 team Honda 114 Motorsports, but from Round 17 moved to the premier MXGP class. This year, Fernández continued his full-time career in the MXGP class, ending up eighth in the championship, with two third-place finishes.

*1 FIM: Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme
*2 Factory team: Racing team operated by manufacturer. In Honda’s case, HRC-operated

Tim Gajser 243

It was an easy decision to continue this amazing relationship with Team HRC. 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.

Ruben Fernandez 70

It is a dream come true to be riding for Team HRC in the MXGP class. 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.

Koji Watanabe

HRC President

We are all very happy to have Tim signing again with Honda. He is an important figure for our company, and the perfect ambassador on and off the track. His achievement of winning five world titles is incredible and we hope that he can achieve even more goals riding on Hondas in the future. It is also exciting to have a new young rider Ruben Fernandez joining the team. He has done well the past couple of years and this is the perfect time for him to make the switch to Team HRC. He has already had success on Honda, and now we hope we can build upon that in the coming years. I wish both riders the best of luck.


Ce dimanche 4 septembre 2022 restera dans les annales du Motocross français. En Turquie, sur le tracé d’Afyonkarahisar, et pour la finale de la saison, le Français Tom Vialle a signé le doublé, une performance lui permettant de décrocher le titre de Champion du Monde MX2 pour la 2ème fois.

Champion du Monde MX2 2020, à bientôt 22 ans et après 4 saisons au plus haut niveau, Tom Vialle inscrit à nouveau son nom sur les tablettes du Motocross mondial en décrochant le titre MX2 2022. Surtout, Tom l’a acquis au terme d’une saison incroyable après avoir « mangé son pain noir » en début de saison et être revenu comme un boulet de canon sur les talons de son principal adversaire, le Belge Jago Geerts.

Un parcours exceptionnel

Tout le paddock s’accorde à lui reconnaître la maturité et le sang-froid d’un très grand. Tom a fait toutes ses classes sur les Championnats nationaux de Motocross avec un titre en Minivert en 2011, a sauté la catégorie 125 cm3. C’est un cas unique, notre double Champion du Monde est passé directement du 85 cm3 deux-temps au 250 cm3 quatre-temps ! Un exploit qui en dit encore un peu plus sur la valeur du jeune homme, membre de l’Équipe de France Espoir 250 de la FFM en 2017 et 2018. 

Sébastien Poirier, Président de la Fédération Française de Motocyclisme : « Je tiens à féliciter Tom et son équipe pour la saison exceptionnelle réalisée. Tom a effectué une saison magnifique, difficile, avec un adversaire redoutable. Il a allié performance, intelligence de course et force mentale. A travers lui, c’est le sport moto français, nos clubs, nos pilotes et nos bénévoles qui brillent. Notre pays a un très beau Champion du Monde, nous lui souhaitons le meilleur pour la suite de sa carrière aux Etats-Unis. »

(Crédit photo : KTM Racing – Ray Archer)

Fédération Française de Motocyclisme

Nancy van de Ven Clinches Maiden WMX World Title in Turkey

 Nancy van de Ven has been crowned World Champion at the fifth and final round of the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey. The 24-year-old Dutch wonder-woman arrived with a 25-point lead in the series and did exactly what she needed in the final two races to secure her maiden world title with a 6-8 finish for eighth overall. Fellow Yamaha stars Larissa Papenmeier and Lynn Valk put in stellar rides to finish second and fourth at the Turkish round. That was enough for Valk to secure the championship silver medal and Papenmeier the bronze, making it a total “blue-wash” of the top-three positions for Yamaha. As a result, Yamaha has claimed the WMX Manufacturer’s world title for the seventh time in the past 11 years. 

The FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship was introduced in 2008 and has since seen five different World Champions. Van de Ven is the second World Champion for Yamaha, after Kiara Fontanesi celebrated six titles aboard a YZ250F between 2012 and ‘18, and is the first WMX World Champion to hail from The Netherlands. 

Confirming the strength of the YZ250F, Yamaha also wrapped up its seventh WMX Manufacturer’s title thanks to the combined efforts of van de Ven, Valk and Papenmeier. Throughout the five rounds of the WMX World Championship this season, van de Ven celebrated one Grand Prix victory, two race wins and four podium finishes. At the same time, Valk celebrated three race wins, one round win, and two podium finishes to finish as the 2022 series runner-up. Papenmeier made her first podium appearance of the season this weekend to clinch her fifth championship bronze medal.  

For full results from the FIM Women’s Motocross World Championship, click here. 

Nancy van de Ven 

FIM WMX World Champion 

“I have been dreaming of this moment for so long. This has been my goal for as long as I can remember, and what I have been trying to achieve for so many years. So many times, I have come close, and it just did not work out for one reason or another. Now, I have finally won the title, and it feels so good to have achieved the biggest goal I have ever set for myself. I am just so happy!

Tom Vialle remporte le Grand Prix de Turquie 2022 et célèbre son second Titre MX2.