Team HRC’s Tim Gajser clinched his second MXGP title and the third world title of his Honda career, taking the crown three rounds early after a season filled with multiple moto wins and GP overalls. Needing just 13 points from the first race, Gajser looked to challenge for the win before settling for fifth place on the tricky Imola track, which hosted this MXGP of Italy. As he crossed the line, he knew that the championship was won and he then enjoyed the moment with the rest of Team HRC as they all celebrated another MXGP success, to follow on from the 2016 victory which marked Gajser’s rookie season on the Honda CRF450RW.

With the pressure of the championship off his shoulders for race two, the Slovenian rider was able to rider a bit freer and after a great battle with the rider currently in second in the championship, he was able to get the upper hand and come home in second place and finish third on the day. While he would have loved to have won the overall, the bigger picture was the championship and large number of travelling Slovenian fans made sure he fully enjoyed the moment as he took the gold plate on the podium. Numerous buses of fans made the trip across the border to cheer on their hero and as always Gajser returned the favour by celebrating with as many of them as possible, showing once again that he is a champion on and off the track.

In a season filled with records, Gajser continued his podium streak which now stands at 10 and with three rounds left, he can still become the joint most successful Honda rider in world championship history if were to win those remaining rounds.

Next up is Sweden at the beautiful Uddevalla facility in one week’s time where the Gajser will once again try to put his Honda on the top step of the podium and as he confirms his status as the 2019 MXGP world champion.

Unfortunately Brian Bogers’ weekend came to an early finish as a crash on lap one of the second moto left the Dutch rider with a damaged shoulder. He will now get it assessed by doctors back in Belgium in order to see what the situation will be for Sweden, when qualifying action gets underway on August 31st.

Tim Gajser

It is just an amazing feeling to have won this third world championship. To fight back after two really tough years and to even overcome a difficult round earlier in the year, it is just really, really great to have become champion. A big thanks to all of Team HRC, both here at the races and back in Japan who have supported me throughout this period, during the good and the bad. It is a real family I have under this awning and I am truly thankful to be riding with them for so long. We have all worked extremely hard this year to improve myself and the Honda CRF450RW but it has worked amazingly well. We have had great starts, zero issues, and I just feel really comfortable each time I get on the track, whatever the conditions.
I am struggling to say much more but it really has been an incredible experience and I’m so glad that a lot of fans from Slovenia could come out and witness this moment too. My previous wins have been in the USA, but now to have so much support here at Imola, and just throughout this year is something I am really appreciative of. Thank you to everyone who has been with me on this journey, fans team members, everyone, it means so much to me.

Brian Bogers

Unfortunately the day didn’t go very well as I got 14th in race one. I just couldn’t find a good rhythm and struggled on this tight and technical Imola track. Then in the second moto I had a crash right at the beginning and hit my shoulder pretty hard. I tried to ride for a couple of laps but had to pull off and now I will get back to Belgium in order to get it checked out, to see if I can ride in Sweden or not next weekend.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager – MXGP

I am so proud and happy for Tim to have won this MXGP championship. It certainly hasn’t been easy these past couple of years but he never gave up and this title is a reward for all the effort he has put in. From his first victory at Trentino, we knew it was going to be a special year and he just kept up that level of riding which allowed him to win this title with so many rounds left to race. He has now joined an extremely special group of riders in Honda history, winning his third championship with the brand and he fully deserves it. He is a very special talent.
Unfortunately Brian wasn’t able to finish the second moto and he will get checked out as quickly as possible in order to determine the next course of action.

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 GAJSER Tim 243 SLO 689 Team HRC – MXGP
2 SEEWER Jeremy 91 SWI 497 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
3 PAULIN Gautier 21 FRA 455 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
4 TONUS Arnaud 4 SWI 429 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
5 COLDENHOFF Glenn 259 NDL 421 Standing Construct KTM
6 FEBVRE Romain 461 FRA 380 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
7 JASIKONIS Arminas 27 LTU 377 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
8 JONASS Pauls 41 LAT 365 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
9 VAN HOREBEEK Jeremy 89 BEL 358 Honda SR Motoblouz
10 CAIROLI Antonio 222 ITA 358 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
11 ANSTIE Max 99 GBR 276 Standing Construct KTM
12 MONTICELLI Ivo 128 ITA 232 iFly JK Racing
13 DESALLE Clement 25 BEL 208 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
14 BOGERS Brian 189 NDL 198 Team HRC – MXGP
15 LIEBER Julien 33 BEL 184 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
16 LEOK Tanel 7 EST 177 A1M Husqvarna
17 SIMPSON Shaun 24 GBR 162 RFX KTM Racing
18 SEARLE Tommy 100 GBR 151 Bike It DRT Kawasaki
19 TIXIER Jordi 911 FRA 136 Team VHR KTM Racing
20 LUPINO Alessandro 77 ITA 131 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
21 STRIJBOS Kevin 22 BEL 89 JWR Yamaha Racing
22 BRYLYAKOV Vsevolod 18 RUS 77 JWR Yamaha Racing
23 PATUREL Benoit 6 FRA 65 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
24 HERLINGS Jeffrey 84 NDL 57 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
25 GOLE Anton 297 SWE 33 iFly JK Racing
26 PETROV Petar 152 BUL 31 Team Honda Red Moto
27 LUSBO Andero 621 EST 29 Wildcard Rider
28 STEWART Lewis 336 AUS 29 Wildcard Rider
29 BERNARDINI Samuele 321 ITA 25 Ghidinelli Racing Team
30 DE WAAL Micha-Boy 34 NDL 23 Jumbo No Fear Vamo Honda Team

Words and Photos: Honda Racing Corporation

A totally dominant performance at the penultimate round of this year’s Australian Motocross Championships in early August was a definite highlight of the season for Kiwi rider Maximus Purvis.

The 18-year-old from Mangakino rides in New Zealand for the high-profile Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team and again this season he had backing from Yamaha in Australia too, racing there for the WBR Bulk Nutrients Yamaha Racing Team.

This ensured he stayed with his preferred Yamaha YZ250F machine and he certainly looked comfortable on the bike when he dominated the day, scoring back-to-back wins, at the ninth round of 10 in the Australian series at Coolum, in Queensland, on August 3.

He could not quite match that at the 10th and final round at the same venue the following day, settling instead for two runner-up finishes, but that was still easily enough to ensure that he finished the championship ranked second overall in the MX Development (Under-19) class.

Australian rider Regan Duffy wrapped up the MXD title win at Coolum.

Purvis had finished runner-up in this class last season too, on that occasion finishing behind fellow Yamaha rider Bailey Malkiewicz, and he had high hopes of taking the trophy this time around.

However, Purvis suffered a massive set-back at a muddy round two of the 2019 series at Wonthaggi, in Victoria, in March, when he finished an unaccustomed 18th in one of his two races that day.

“That was something he was always going to struggle to recover from,” said his Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team boss Josh Coppins. “Even though Maximus won three rounds this season, he was never really going to be able to get back those points he lost at Wonthaggi. He had the speed again this year, but there was no coming back from what happened at Wonthaggi. We’ll try to come up with a plan to improve things for Maximus as he will look to head into the MX2 class in Australia next season.”

Purvis was gracious in congratulating his main rival.

“We had a good battle and it was fun racing with him (Regan Duffy) all season. Coming into this season my goal was to win this championship so I’m a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to make that happen. Regan raced well all year and I just made some costly mistakes at the wrong time as well as not always getting great starts which set me back,” said Purvis. “This was my last year in MXD and I can’t thank the WBR Yamaha team enough for offering me this opportunity this year. It’s been awesome having them working with me at the events and providing such good bikes to race. It’s a real family team and everyone works so hard. My plan is now to head back to New Zealand for a couple of weeks before getting started in supercross. I have only done a couple of supercrosses before and I really liked it so I’m keen to keep learning how to ride the smaller tracks and improve my technique on them.”

Another Kiwi racing in Australia at the weekend was Rotorua’s Josh Bourke-Palmer and, although he competed in only a selected few of the 125 Gold Cup class races in Australia this season, he managed to finish an impressive seventh overall.

“The relationship between Yamaha in Australia and New Zealand is great,” said Coppins. “Racing in the 125cc Gold Cup races was a good experience for Josh (Bourke-Palmer) and the co-operation between Yamaha in Australia and New Zealand shows these young riders that there is a pathway for them. By racing in Australia, it gives riders like Josh and Max the chance to develop and improve during the Kiwi off-season.”

Purvis won the New Zealand 125cc crown in 2018, before racing his way to runner-up spot in the MXD class on his 250cc Yamaha that same year.

He progressed to the 250cc competition fulltime at the start of 2019 and raced in the MX2 class in the New Zealand Motocross Championships earlier this season, finishing that series third overall, making in two years in a row now that Purvis has finished on the podium on both sides of the Tasman Sea.

Purvis will remain in Australia now to contest the Australian Supercross Championships and he is not expected to be seen in race action in New Zealand until the Whakatane Summercross in late December.

Meanwhile, in terms of title-winning performances in the MX1 and MX2 classes in Australia this season, the final two rounds at Coolum provided double celebrations for the DPH Husqvarna Team, with Todd Waters winning the MX1 class and Wilson Todd winning the MX2 title.

Waters dominated round 10, enjoying a perfect weekend, winning Superpole and both MX1 motos en route to claiming the 2019 championship title.

CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Luke Clout captured second overall for the series and Raceline KTM Thor’s Hayden Mellross finished the season third overall in MX1.

In the MX2 class, Wilson Todd took the title ahead of Penrith Pirelli CRF Honda Racing’s Kyle Webster and Yamalube Yamaha’s Jay Wilson.

The Yamaha Rising Star Rookies class saw Yamaha’s Alex Larwood dominate the weekend’s races at Coolum and take out the Championship. Ricky Chalmers and New Zealand’s Cobie Bourke finished round 10 second and third overall respectively, while the Championship podium had Larwood first, Brad West second and Cameron Torpy third.

The Yamaha 125cc Gold Cup saw Yamaha’s Cameron Taylor again win the series, ahead of Nicholas Murray and Lachlan Wilson.

Photo courtesy of MX Nats

FINAL 2019 AUSTRALIAN MX STANDINGS:

MX1 Championship Standings:
1   Todd Waters, 568 Points
2   Luke Clout, 530 Points
3   Hayden Mellross, 462 Points
4   Kirk Gibbs, 435 Points
5   Brett Metcalfe, 432 Points
6   Justin Rodbell, 373 Points
7   Richie Evans, 372 Points
8   Jesse Dobson, 360 Points
9   Dylan Long, 325 Points
10   Jayden Rykers, 300 Points

MX2 Championship Standings:
1   Wilson Todd, 562 Points
2   Kyle Webster, 536 Points
3   Jay Wilson, 523 Points
4   Nathan Crawford, 492 Points
5   Aaron Tanti, 460 Points
6   Dylan Wills, 394 Points
7   Bailey Malkiewicz, 387 Points
8   Ricky Latimer, 360 Points
9   Cooper Pozniak, 345 Points
10   Morgan Fogarty, 327 Points

MXD (U19) Championship Standings:
1   Regan Duffy, 593 Points
2   Maximus Purvis, 561 Points
3   Rhys Budd, 472 Points
4   Noah Ferguson, 435 Points
5   Brodie Ellis, 419 Points
6   Jai Walker, 411 Points
7   Liam Walsh, 389 Points
8   Jayce Cosford, 384 Points
9   Mackenzie O’Bree, 346 Points
10   Tye Jones, 337 Points

Words and Photos: Andy McGechan

Team Honda HRC rider Cole Seely announced today his retirement from professional racing after over a decade competing at the highest level in both the AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross series. Seely has dedicated nearly his entire professional career to the Honda brand, riding for a Honda satellite team throughout most of his 250 tenure before spending five years aboard a factory CRF450R.

At 29, Seely has accomplished a number of milestones. After turning pro in 2009, he signed with the then-Honda-backed Troy Lee Designs team in 2010. During his five-year stint with that team, Seely captured five 250SX victories and finished runner-up in the 2014 250SX West title chase. In 2015, he was awarded 450SX Rookie of the Year honors after finishing third overall in the AMA Supercross series, highlighted by his first 450cc victory, at the Houston Supercross. Seely also represented Team USA at the 2017 Motocross of Nations.

Over the past few seasons, Seely has been plagued by injuries, which contributed to his decision to retire. “These past two years have been very difficult,” he said. “Last year’s injury was severe and very tough on me both mentally and physically. I fought hard to return this season, but it was much more challenging than I anticipated. Now with this recent shoulder injury, it’s just another setback. This decision definitely wasn’t easy, but I think it’s the right choice. I’m grateful for having been given the opportunity to do something I’ve loved since I was a kid and to make it into my career. I’m grateful for the support from my fans and many sponsors throughout the years. I’d especially like to thank Honda, who has been behind me for my entire career, supporting me through the ups and downs. I’m grateful to have been partnered with such a great brand. I’m looking forward to this next chapter and to seeing where the future takes me.”

Team Honda HRC Manager Erik Kehoe thanked Seely for his time with Honda.“I was a little surprised at first when Cole mentioned retirement,” he said, “but after speaking to him, I could see where he was coming from. It makes sense, and I think he’s making the right choice for himself at this time. It’s been such a pleasure working with Cole. I can still remember the first time I saw him riding supercross out at the old Red Bull facility back in 2009, and I thought, ‘Man, that kid is talented!’ So now it’s very special to have worked with him and seen how his career has grown, particularly with Honda over the past 10 years. Cole is so talented that his abilities on a bike are only part of what he’s capable of, so I think that’s going to carry into every aspect of his life. I know he’ll be successful in whatever he decides to pursue next.”

Everyone at American Honda Motor Co. thanks Cole for his dedication and wishes him the best of luck in his future endeavors.

Photo and Video: American Honda Co. Media

Bike It DRT Kawasaki’s Courtney Duncan gave the 2020 KX250 a winning debut as she scored her second consecutive maximum weekend in the Czech round of the FIM World WMX Women’s Motocross Champinoship.

The twenty-three year old, who had flown back to her hometown of Dunedin just over a week before the race, was once again dominant around the tricky Loket track in much cooler temperatures than for the previous day’s first moto. Third after the initial sort-out at turn one, she repeated her Saturday surge to pass into second place on the big drop-off into the valley and took the lead with an immaculate inside pass halfway round the opening lap. Already two seconds clear at the completion of the first full lap, she continued to move relentlessly further and further clear to once again win the twenty-minute-plus-two-lap race by thirty-six seconds. Her fifth victory in six moto starts on Kawasaki, sees the Kiwi girl extend her lead in the individual World Championship to fourteen points, while Kawasaki now leads the manufacturers world championship by four points. It was the perfect debut for the 2020 production Kawasaki KX250 which was being raced for the first time in the world championship.

Courtney Duncan

“I’m just so happy for myself adn the whole team both here in Europe with Steve Dixon, and back home in New Zealand; everyone has been working so hard to achieve this success. It was pretty much a perfect weekend as I even set (the) fastest lap in practice, which is something I rarely do. I got two good starts and could immediately make good passes to lead every lap. This track is pretty tricky but I could stay concentrated and managed a good lead to the finish of each race. I’ve also got a good lead in the Championship now so I just need to keep focused and bring it home. It was really nice to race with the 2020 bike this weekend; I tested it a couple of weeks ago and after just ten minutes I knew it would be the bike I’d love racing with here. I’m very happy with the refinements Kawasaki have made. It’s a new engine so the power is a lot different, but it’s just so good and I could really feel the difference from my old bike.”

Photos: Kawasaki Europe Press

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Graham Jarvis heads into today’s start of the infamous Romaniacs Hard Enduro Rallye as leader of the 2019 World Enduro Super Series. With two consecutive WESS wins under his belt, the on form British rider starts round five of the series confident of further success and is joined by teammates Billy Bolt and Alfredo Gomez.

Jarvis comes into the 16th edition of Romaniacs on a superb run of form having won both rounds three and four of WESS – the Erzbergrodeo Hare Scramble and the recent Hixpania Hard Enduro. Enjoying a 120-point advantage at the top of the current series rankings, the experienced 44-year-old will be aiming to claim a record-breaking seventh win in Romania and with it extend his championship lead.

2018 World Enduro Super Series winner Billy Bolt continues to regain both strength and form following his off-season injury sustained over the winter. Fifth in the championship, Bolt narrowly missed the podium at the Hixpania Hard Enduro, fighting through the pack after a tough start to claim an impressive fourth-place result. Approaching Romaniacs in his best form of the season so far, the young Brit is looking to make his mark on the 2019 event.

Billy Bolt – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

One place ahead of Bolt and in fourth in the WESS standings, Alfredo Gomez tied on points with teammate Jarvis at Hixpania after winning the first two days of racing. The Spaniard is unquestionably on form and hungry to claim his first ever WESS win.

Featuring five days of racing, with a Prologue on the streets on Sibiu followed by four days in the surrounding mountains the Romaniacs Hard Enduro Rallye looks set to be one of the toughest and most demanding events on the WESS calendar. The race will test the riders’ skill, stamina and mental strength.

Alfredo Gomez – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Andi Hölzl

Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Team Manager

“Romaniacs is always a race that Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing look forward to, but this year, following Graham’s incredible result at Erzberg, we are even more motivated. The weather during the coming days will make a huge difference to the outcome of this year’s event, but like always it will certainly be difficult. Graham likes it when the conditions are super challenging, so we’re confident that he can again fight for a good result. Billy’s been busy in recent weeks testing and riding. While he doesn’t have the experience that Graham does, he’s raced here enough to know what to expect and is looking forward to it. Alfredo has also been busy and is really ready for this race. Romaniacs is very special, very different to all other races, so we know everyone must take things one day at a time. You never know what’s coming at Romaniacs, which is part of the reason why, as a team, that we like it so much.”

Round five of the World Enduro Super Series takes place in Sibiu, Romania from July 30 to August 3.

Graham Jarvis – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing

Photos: Husqvarna Motorcycles Press