Team HRC’s Tim Gajser won the MXGP of Latvia in dramatic fashion to secure his fourth overall win in a row, extending his lead at the top of the championship to 33 points. Held at the sandy Kegums track, an hour south of Riga, Gajser didn’t have an easy weekend after a qualification crash left him with a bad gate pick. However, after two good starts, he rode solidly in the first moto for a sixth place before storming to the front in race two to seal another top step performance. Team mate Brian Bogers also put in a good second moto to place just outside the top 10, something he can build upon as they now head into the second half of the series.

For Gajser though, he couldn’t have expected such an outcome after starting each moto with 18th gate pick on a Kegums track that definitely favoured the inside positions. However once again this season he proved that when it really matters, a good reaction time, plus the power of the Honda CRF450RW can get him right near the front of this highly competitive MXGP field. In the first moto he wasn’t able to really find his rhythm on this sandy surface and despite a top-five start, he dropped a position to take the chequered flag in sixth place. This meant he really needed a good placing around the first bend of race two, which is exactly what he was able to deliver as the #243 swept through into second place early on. Still, with work to do, Gajser found a much better flow around the track and after dropping into third for a few laps, he put his head down and charged through to take the lead with 10 minutes remaining. As time expired, results elsewhere meant that three riders ended up tying on 40 points, but with the second moto victory, Gajser took the overall on the tie-breaker. His points tally also meant that he was able to increase his point’s gaps from 13 points at the beginning of the weekend to 33 with nine rounds of the 2019 motocross world championships still to race.

 

Dutch rider Brian Bogers wasn’t quite as fortunate at the beginning of the races as he was involved in a first turn pile-up in the first moto that left him right at the back of the field. In the first half of the race he put on a great charge to get himself back into the top 20, but he wasn’t quite able to maintain that momentum and ended up 18th. Race two started off better as he was able to move into 12th by the end of the first lap. With consistent lap-times and showing good line selection, Bogers was able to remain there for the rest of the moto and cross the line for his joint-third best result of the season.

Next weekend sees the championship head to Teutschenthal, Germany on 22-23 June for the third event in a row and the 10th round of the season. This track is another one that suits Gajser’s smooth style and there is strong possibility he’ll be able to add to his 10 moto wins and five overalls of what has been an extremely successful MXGP championship campaign so far.

Tim Gajser  243

I’m really happy because I really didn’t expect this after yesterday’s performance. I had 18th gate pick after a horrible crash and I wasn’t feeling great in that first moto today either. I couldn’t find good lines or a good rhythm so I was only able to finish sixth. In the second race I had an even better start and although it took a few laps, I passed my way into the lead with about 10 minutes remaining. I’m really happy to win another overall and a big thanks to all of the team who work so hard, because that hard work is really paying off so a big thanks to everyone. Still there are a lot of races to go so I will continue to go into each GP trying to have fun, giving my best and hoping to come out on top and remain leading this MXGP championship.

Brian Bogers  189

It wasn’t too bad today as I was able to turn it around after I crashed in the start of the first race. That definitely isn’t how you want to begin the motos. That crash left me at the back of the field, but that made me want to try too hard and although I passed a lot of guys to begin with, I got held up behind one rider and that really halted all my momentum. I went from completely last to 18th which is a couple of points but not really what I wanted. This made me extra focused for the second heat where I had a better start and was around 20th. Then in that first lap I was able to get up into 12th and that’s where I stayed for the whole race. I was really happy with my riding in that moto because I showed some good speed in the first 20 minutes. I pushed as much as I could and I’m happy to get one solid result and I hope this can continue next week in Teutschenthal.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager – MXGP

After yesterday, it would have been hard to predict that Tim would be able to win the overall but once again he proved that he can perform under pressure and deliver results at just the right time. He certainly didn’t seem to be riding like himself in race one, but when he needed a good performance he raised his game and took another moto win for yet another overall.
All of Team HRC, both the people at the track and everyone in Japan working behind the scenes deserve a lot of credit because this really is a massive team effort from everybody involved. Tim is the person the fans see on the track but a lot of people around the world put in a lot of work to help him achieve these performances and I just want to make sure they get some recognition for their efforts.
It was also nice to see Brian bounce back from a tough first moto to get a 12th in race two. It is always good to see riders put disappointment behind them and that’s exactly Brian was able to do after that first turn crash in race one.
Now we head to Germany and it’s another good track for Tim and another race where he’ll be riding with the red plate, which is something we hope to keep all the way through the season now.

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 GAJSER Tim 243 SLO 391 Team HRC – MXGP
2 CAIROLI Antonio 222 ITA 358 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
3 SEEWER Jeremy 91 SWI 256 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
4 PAULIN Gautier 21 FRA 254 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
5 TONUS Arnaud 4 SWI 246 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
6 JASIKONIS Arminas 27 LTU 226 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
7 DESALLE Clement 25 BEL 208 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
8 VAN HOREBEEK Jeremy 89 BEL 200 Honda SR Motoblouz
9 COLDENHOFF Glenn 259 NDL 190 Standing Construct KTM
10 JONASS Pauls 41 LAT 186 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
11 LIEBER Julien 33 BEL 184 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
12 FEBVRE Romain 461 FRA 157 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
13 SIMPSON Shaun 24 GBR 129 RFX KTM Racing
14 MONTICELLI Ivo 128 ITA 122 iFly JK Racing
15 ANSTIE Max 99 GBR 117 Standing Construct KTM
16 LUPINO Alessandro 77 ITA 103 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
17 SEARLE Tommy 100 GBR 96 Bike It DRT Kawasaki
18 BOGERS Brian 189 NDL 82 Team HRC – MXGP
19 LEOK Tanel 7 EST 82 A1M Husqvarna
20 TIXIER Jordi 911 FRA 71 Team VHR KTM Racing
21 PATUREL Benoit 6 FRA 65 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
22 HERLINGS Jeffrey 84 NDL 57 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
23 STRIJBOS Kevin 22 BEL 43 JWR Yamaha Racing
24 BRYLYAKOV Vsevolod 18 RUS 38 JWR Yamaha Racing
25 PETROV Petar 152 BUL 24 Team Honda Red Moto
26 BUTRON Jose 17 SPA 18 JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team
27 GOLE Anton 297 SWE 16 iFly JK Racing
28 BERNARDINI Samuele 321 ITA 14 Ghidinelli Racing Team
29 VAN DER MIERDEN Sven 94 NDL 13 Wildcard Rider
30 KULLAS Harri 151 FIN 11 Wildcard Rider

Photos: Honda Racing Corporation

New Zealand motocross ace Roma Edwards has been coached by one of the best and now she’s put those lessons into action by taking on and beating some of the best in Australia.

The 16-year-old from Motueka has regularly been coached by Kiwi former Grand Prix motocross star Josh Coppins and this year decided she was ready to tackle the senior Australian Women’s Motocross Championships at Murray Bridge, South Australia, the host city located about 75 kilometres east-southeast of the state’s capital city, Adelaide.

As a year 12 correspondence school pupil, it allowed her the freedom to travel overseas to race, although she also knew that the competition would be tough.

“I wanted to get a feel for where I was at. Josh Coppins helped organise a Yamaha YZ125 for me through WBR racing and Dad came with me, armed with a pit board and a handful of tools that he could carry on the plane. I had a massive over-the-handlebars crash in practice and luckily I was only bruised. I got seventh place in the first points race by riding carefully. I then managed a fifth, sixth and fifth, giving me a sixth placing overall for the two rounds. Whilst in Australia, I also raced a qualifier round for the King of MX in Leeston and topped the podium with an overall win. Just last weekend, Dad and I went back to Australia, to Nowra in New South Wales, to race against the top women in Australia,” she said, with at least three of those lining up alongside her in Australia possessing vast international experience, these women having recently raced on the world championships scene in Europe. 

“I did a bit more preparation, riding a few different tracks on our way there. I managed to improve my overall to a fourth place in the State Titles at the King of MX,” she said, finishing behind Australian internationals Meg Rutledge, Jess Moore, and Emma Milsevich. “I am really happy with how I’m riding and confident that I can continue on my YZ125 against the more powerful 250cc bikes. I am back home now to work on losing a few more seconds off my lap times and catch up on some school work, but it has been an awesome experience.”

Moore visited New Zealand in September last year, winning the senior national women’s title while she was here. Edwards won the junior women’s, 12-16 years’, 125cc/250cc class title at that same event near Timaru.

Motueka’s Roma Edwards (Yamaha YZ125), tasting success across the Tasman Sea.

Words and Photo by Andy McGechan

The ninth round of the 2019 MXGP world championships takes place this weekend in Kegums, Latvia, where Team HRC’s Tim Gajser will be displaying the red plate on his Honda CRF450RW. The Slovenian rider has won the last three overalls, reeling off six consecutive race wins and now holds a 13 point lead as the series heads to the midway point of the season. Teammate Brian Bogers will also head into the weekend hoping that the sandy Kegums track will give him a chance to show his best form.

For Gajser, the red plate is just reward for this tremendous run of form that has seen a 53 point swing in the championship battle after coming back from a 40 point deficit following the MXGP of Lombardia. After those muddy conditions, the sun has been shining and Gajser has shown his best form since his Championship-winning season in 2016. The hard-pack tracks have suited Gajser’s smooth style and he’ll now be hoping that the large amount of sand training he did over the winter will help him maintain the lead in what should be another glorious weekend of racing.

After growing up near Valkenswaard in the Netherlands, Bogers is very comfortable in the sand and this ninth round in Latvia is a perfect chance for him to put in a solid performance and work towards his goal of two top 10 finishes. In a class that is filled with GP race winners, this year has been challenging for Bogers to jump into, after missing almost all of the 2018 season through injury but this weekend represents a great opportunity to put in a similar result, like he achieved in Mantova when he got a second place in the second moto.

While his recovery is going well from the operation to clean up the infection in his right ankle, Calvin Vlaanderen will unfortunately once again be missing from the MX2 class at the weekend. After consulting with the doctor it was deemed best to give Vlaanderen as much recovery time as possible to reduce the chances of re-infecting the area. This is disappointing news to everyone who wants to see the #10 CRF250RW out on the track, but everyone is confident that when he does return he will be 100% healthy and properly prepared to race in this highly competitive MX2 division.

In round nine of their series’ this weekend, the MXGP and MX2 riders are joined by the EMX250 and EMX2t classes with the first Team HRC bike hitting the track at 13:00 local time on Saturday 15th June for MXGP free practice. The first gate drop for the main races then happens at 14:15 on Sunday 16th June.

Tim Gajser  243

It was a tough trip back from Russia with the flights, but when you come back with the red plate, everything is okay! However it is definitely almost unbelievable to have gone one-one again this weekend. The track was pretty sketchy to ride on because it was very fast and not a lot of ruts formed, which meant it was quite slippery in the corners. Still, it was really good to get two starts and I am feeling really confident heading to Kegums. It is of course a lot sandier than these past few rounds but I feel like I am riding really well and I know I have done a lot of sand training this off-season. I just can’t wait to get back to the race track again and meet up with the team. We are working so well right now and I enjoy every weekend!

Brian Bogers  189

I like Kegums a lot more than the track in Russia because it is more sandy. It also means I can stay in Holland for a couple of days for training because the tracks here are quite similar to the surface in Kegums. I’m looking forward to it though and I’m really hoping I can show my potential and get myself into the top 10 in both races.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager – MXGP

Wow. What another great weekend for Tim, and for the team to see him leave Russia with the red plate. Knowing how important it was to get good starts in both races, it was so impressive to see Tim storm off the line, especially in the second race. With the way he is riding, if he can start anywhere near the front we know he can challenge for the wins and that’s exactly what he has proved the past few rounds. Obviously Latvia will be a different challenge but confidence is high within the team and we can’t wait for Tim to line up there with the red plate on his bike. It should also be a good place for Brian to show us again what he is capable of. He hasn’t quite reached the levels we expected recently but the sandy Kegums track should be good for him.
It would have also been a good track for Calvin too but unfortunately he still needs a bit more time for the wound to heal properly and get back to being bike fit. We don’t want him to rush him right back until he is completely ready and that means that he won’t be on the gate this weekend.

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 GAJSER Tim 243 SLO 351 Team HRC – MXGP
2 CAIROLI Antonio 222 ITA 338 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
3 PAULIN Gautier 21 FRA 231 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
4 SEEWER Jeremy 91 SWI 220 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
5 JASIKONIS Arminas 27 LTU 212 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
6 DESALLE Clement 25 BEL 208 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
7 TONUS Arnaud 4 SWI 206 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
8 LIEBER Julien 33 BEL 172 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
9 VAN HOREBEEK Jeremy 89 BEL 170 Honda SR Motoblouz
10 COLDENHOFF Glenn 259 NDL 168 Standing Construct KTM
11 JONASS Pauls 41 LAT 167 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
12 SIMPSON Shaun 24 GBR 129 RFX KTM Racing
13 FEBVRE Romain 461 FRA 117 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
14 LUPINO Alessandro 77 ITA 103 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
15 MONTICELLI Ivo 128 ITA 100 iFly JK Racing
16 ANSTIE Max 99 GBR 97 Standing Construct KTM
17 SEARLE Tommy 100 GBR 86 Bike It DRT Kawasaki
18 BOGERS Brian 189 NDL 70 Team HRC – MXGP
19 LEOK Tanel 7 EST 69 A1M Husqvarna
20 PATUREL Benoit 6 FRA 65 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
21 TIXIER Jordi 911 FRA 56 Team VHR KTM Racing
22 STRIJBOS Kevin 22 BEL 41 JWR Yamaha Racing
23 BRYLYAKOV Vsevolod 18 RUS 33 JWR Yamaha Racing
24 HERLINGS Jeffrey 84 NDL 32 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
25 BUTRON Jose 17 SPA 18 JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team
26 PETROV Petar 152 BUL 18 Team Honda Red Moto
27 BERNARDINI Samuele 321 ITA 14 Ghidinelli Racing Team
28 GOLE Anton 297 SWE 14 iFly JK Racing
29 KULLAS Harri 151 FIN 10 Wildcard Rider
30 VAN DER MIERDEN Sven 94 NDL 8 Wildcard Rider

Photos: Honda Racing Corporation

Find out the science behind Team HRC’s Honda CRF450RW, as explained by double world champion Tim Gajser and general manager Marcus Pereira de Freitas. Already in 2019, Gajser has shown that the machine is capable of winning MXGP races, with the Slovenian having won six of the last eight motos and three of the last four overalls, placing him just 10 points off the MXGP championship lead.

Words, Photos, and Video: Honda Racing Corporation

Team HRC’s Tim Gajser made it two overall victories in a row, as he swept the MXGP of France in convincing one-one fashion. The Slovenian rider was made to work for both moto wins, but he proved all weekend that he was the fastest rider on the track and this speed shone through as he won his fourth consecutive race to close the gap at the top of the MXGP championship to just 10 points. For teammate Brian Bogers, he wasn’t able to put in the results that he wanted but now has a weekend off to try and build for the eighth round of the series in Orlyonok, Russia on June 8-9.

With confidence high after his double moto win in Portugal last weekend, Gajser knew that another good performance here would really get him right back into the championship battle. With the hard-pack surface suiting his skillset, he and his CRF450RW were fastest in every session on Saturday and then he backed that up on Sunday with two smooth and controlled motos. In the first race, he quickly moved to the front of the field after a top five start, where he then put in a couple of sprint laps to create a gap that he managed until the chequered flag. For race two, he had to work a bit harder as a bad jump meant he had to work his way through from around 10th place. He moved into fourth place after a lap and then gradually worked his way to the front of the field, with some nice passes and real display of throttle control on this tricky St Jean d’Angely track. The two wins meant 50 points and that has closed the gap at the top of the MXGP championship to just 10 points, with eleven rounds still remaining.

Orlyonok in Russia is another hillside venue, with the stony surface very similar to the one this weekend in France. This means that as he heads into this short break, it should give Gajser even more confidence that he can extend this current winning run and maintain this high level of performance that has seen him win six of the last eight motos. It is also a place that Bogers has performed well at in the past and the Dutch rider will be hoping that revisiting the track can revive his fortunes that have taken a bit of a downward trend in the past couple of rounds.

A crash early on in race one left him with a lot of work to do and he couldn’t quite make it all the way back to the points scoring positions. Race two went better as he scored six points and rode a pace similar to those inside the top 10 but he’ll still be hoping for more and this weekend off should give him the chance to help make that happen.

Tim Gajser  243

I’m really happy how both days went. I was having fun on the track and even though it was rough and sketchy in some places, it was still enjoyable to race on. In the first race, I took a little time to pass the guys in front of me before getting the lead and making a gap to control the race. In the second moto I clipped the gate and almost went over the handlebar off the start but I recovered and near the back it felt like. I made some passes to get near the front and then settled for a couple of laps in third before making a strike to get out front. I’m just really happy how things are going at the moment and I hope to continue this momentum into Russia. I am having fun on the bike and I am enjoying putting in the work with the rest of Team HRC. We have a great environment that is helping me this season and it is such a great feeling to win these races and reward the effort that everyone is putting in.

Brian Bogers  189

It didn’t go as well as I hoped it would go today. I didn’t get the best start in race one and I crashed early on. I was riding against myself and made a lot of mistakes. It definitely wasn’t an enjoyable experience out there. In race two I got a better start and was around 13th and I felt a lot better. Unfortunately I stalled the bike and lost a couple of positions so that didn’t help me, but the riding felt much better that the first race and I think my laptimes were good so although the end result wasn’t what I was after, I still hope I can use this to build towards the next race in Russia.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager – MXGP

Tim once again proved just how fast he can ride, and looked extremely impressive all weekend. The laptimes he was putting in on Saturday showed that he and the bike were working really well together and we just kept that momentum on Sunday when he showed again that he can perform under pressure and still control a race on a very tricky track. He has now won the last two overalls and closed the gap right up in the championship battle so we are extremely excited to head to Russia. There is a weekend off now, so we must remained focused but everyone in Team HRC is concentrating on the job at hand and confidence is running high.
We also hope that Brian can get his level back to like we saw in Mantova and Trentino. He has shown he can do it, so we must all work together to get him riding like that again. We know he has done well in Russia in the past, so we are hopeful of a similar effort after this weekend off.

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 CAIROLI Antonio 222 ITA 311 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
2 GAJSER Tim 243 SLO 301 Team HRC – MXGP
3 PAULIN Gautier 21 FRA 218 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
4 DESALLE Clement 25 BEL 208 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
5 JASIKONIS Arminas 27 LTU 190 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
6 SEEWER Jeremy 91 SWI 184 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
7 TONUS Arnaud 4 SWI 162 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
8 VAN HOREBEEK Jeremy 89 BEL 156 Honda SR Motoblouz
9 COLDENHOFF Glenn 259 NDL 144 Standing Construct KTM
10 LIEBER Julien 33 BEL 141 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
11 JONASS Pauls 41 LAT 138 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
12 SIMPSON Shaun 24 GBR 129 RFX KTM Racing
13 LUPINO Alessandro 77 ITA 103 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
14 MONTICELLI Ivo 128 ITA 87 iFly JK Racing
15 SEARLE Tommy 100 GBR 86 Bike It DRT Kawasaki
16 FEBVRE Romain 461 FRA 85 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
17 ANSTIE Max 99 GBR 80 Standing Construct KTM
18 LEOK Tanel 7 EST 65 A1M Husqvarna
19 BOGERS Brian 189 NDL 62 Team HRC – MXGP
20 PATUREL Benoit 6 FRA 53 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
21 TIXIER Jordi 911 FRA 40 Team VHR KTM Racing
22 BRYLYAKOV Vsevolod 18 RUS 31 JWR Yamaha Racing
23 STRIJBOS Kevin 22 BEL 29 JWR Yamaha Racing
24 BUTRON Jose 17 SPA 18 JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team
25 BERNARDINI Samuele 321 ITA 14 Ghidinelli Racing Team
26 PETROV Petar 152 BUL 14 Team Honda Red Moto
27 GOLE Anton 297 SWE 14 iFly JK Racing
28 KULLAS Harri 151 FIN 10 Wildcard Rider
29 VAN DER MIERDEN Sven 94 NDL 8 Wildcard Rider
30 FERRIS Dean 111 AUS 6 Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing

Words and Photos: Honda Racing Corporation