15. October 2012
In Ukraine, a Slovenian team made up of Tim Gajser, Klemen Gerčar, and Matevž Irt stood on the podium for the first time in the history of the Motocross of European Nations.
Already in the Saturday qualifying session, the Slovenian team (Gajser on a KTM, Gerčar on a Honda, and Irt on a Suzuki) showed that they should be taken seriously at this Motocross of European Nations (MXoEN). They won the qualifiers ahead of the Italians and Estonians.
Three races followed one another on what was a very cold and wet Sunday: in the first (MX1 and MX2) Gajser and Irt took second and sixth places, and in the second (MX2 and MX Open) Gerčar finished second and Gajser eighth, following an unfortunate incident with the leading Italian Manuel Monni. This meant the Slovenian team under the guidance of Sašo Kragelj was in the lead before the final heat. In the third heat (MX1 and MX Open), Gerčar had to remove his glasses on the muddy track and finished eighth; after some technical problems with his bike, Irt barely made it to fourteenth. So they had to cede victory to the Italian team, but nonetheless second place is an outstanding achievement for our racers. Two of them, Gerčar and Irt, ride bikes outfitted with an Akrapovič exhaust system.
“We’ve had a wonderful weekend and I’m glad that our team made it. We were in the lead after the second heat, but everything depended on the last heat. Second place is an outstanding achievement,” commented Irt, satisfied after the race. Despite his eye injury, Gerčar celebrated with the others: “Ten minutes before the end I got hit in the eye with a rock and I couldn’t see anything. I needed some time to pull myself together and continue the race. Eighth place isn’t so bad and I’m happy we made it to the podium.”
Third pace was taken by the local Ukrainians, ahead of the Estonians and Russians. This is already the second big achievement for the Slovenian team this year: at the Motocross of Nations in Lommel, they managed to break through to the finale and achieve an overall sixteenth place. Congratulations, guys!
Photo: Andreja Prel