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

The motocross World Championships heads to St Jean D’Angely, France this weekend for what will be the seventh round of the season and another chance for Tim Gajser to put himself on the top of the podium, like he achieved at the last round in Portugal. It also gives fellow CRF450RW rider Brian Bogers a chance to get back to his Mantova form, when he finished second in race two at the MXGP of Lombardia.

After riding so well to win in Portugal, Gajser is hoping for more of the same in St Jean D’Angely where he’ll arrive at the track filled with confidence. To come from behind and win both motos was an impressive statement and one that stands him in good stead on another track that will provide a real test for both rider and machine. The big uphills and downhills, as well as the rocky surface make it a tricky terrain to negotiate but the #243 machine is fully prepared to add to his two GP victories already this season.

For Bogers, the quick turnaround gives the Dutch rider a chance to move on from his Portugal results and build towards this seventh round of the series. In what is essentially his rookie season in the MXGP class, after missing all of 2018 with injury, Bogers has had a mixed bag of results so far and is looking to try and find a consistent level as the season heads towards it’s halfway point.

Unfortunately, Calvin Vlaanderen won’t be joining the team in France as he recovers from the operation to clean up the infection in his right leg. After pulling out of the MXGP of Portugal on the advice of the medical team at the track, he swiftly returned home to have the necessary surgery and is now looking to recover from the latest procedure. It is disappointing news for the CRF250RW rider and everyone in the team is wishing him the best after this latest setback.

This weekend the MXGP and MX2 riders are joined by the EMX250 and EMX125 classes for what should be another great weekend of racing. The first Team HRC bike hits the track at 13:00 (MXGP free practice) local time on Saturday 25th May with the qualifying race starting at 17:40. The first gate drop for the motos then happens at 14:15 on Sunday 26th May.

Tim Gajser  243

France is always filled with a lot of great fans so it’s always really cool to race motocross there. The hillside track makes a really nice venue to race motocross and it’s a place that I enjoy riding. I’ve had a couple of really good races in the past and hopefully I can continue the momentum from my one-one performance in Portugal and do well again this year. It will be another tough challenge but I am really looking forward to it.

Brian Bogers  189

I definitely like the St Jean D’Angely track, I think it’s a good track for me as I have had a few good races there already and I’m looking forward to going there and trying to get two more good results. This week I will go to France for training for a couple of days. It’s a good idea to ride on some French-style tracks to get a good feeling so I’ll be doing that on Wednesday and Thursday.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager – MXGP

Having three races in a row is tough for the riders and everyone in the team, but we are all doing a great job and staying focussed on the task at hand. France is always a nice race to go to with very passionate fans and hopefully a lot of them will be cheering on our pair of riders. Tim is obviously excited to get back onto the track again after winning in Portugal and Brian is hoping to perform like he did in Mantova, so we head to St Jean fully motivated to work hard and deliver some more good results. Unfortunately Calvin won’t be with us but we hope that he can make it a full Team HRC line up soon.

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 CAIROLI Antonio 222 ITA 285 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
2 GAJSER Tim 243 SLO 251 Team HRC – MXGP
3 PAULIN Gautier 21 FRA 197 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
4 DESALLE Clement 25 BEL 175 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
5 JASIKONIS Arminas 27 LTU 166 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
6 SEEWER Jeremy 91 SWI 153 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
7 JONASS Pauls 41 LAT 137 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
8 VAN HOREBEEK Jeremy 89 BEL 136 Honda SR Motoblouz
9 TONUS Arnaud 4 SWI 122 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
10 COLDENHOFF Glenn 259 NDL 120 Standing Construct KTM
11 SIMPSON Shaun 24 GBR 116 RFX KTM Racing
12 LIEBER Julien 33 BEL 114 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
13 LUPINO Alessandro 77 ITA 85 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
14 ANSTIE Max 99 GBR 80 Standing Construct KTM
15 MONTICELLI Ivo 128 ITA 78 iFly JK Racing
16 SEARLE Tommy 100 GBR 71 Bike It DRT Kawasaki
17 BOGERS Brian 189 NDL 56 Team HRC – MXGP
18 LEOK Tanel 7 EST 51 A1M Husqvarna
19 FEBVRE Romain 461 FRA 47 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
20 PATUREL Benoit 6 FRA 40 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
21 TIXIER Jordi 911 FRA 36 Team VHR KTM Racing
22 BRYLYAKOV Vsevolod 18 RUS 31 JWR Yamaha Racing
23 BUTRON Jose 17 SPA 18 JD Gunnex KTM Racing Team
24 STRIJBOS Kevin 22 BEL 15 JWR Yamaha Racing
25 BERNARDINI Samuele 321 ITA 14 Ghidinelli Racing Team
26 PETROV Petar 152 BUL 14 Team Honda Red Moto
27 GOLE Anton 297 SWE 13 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

 

 

The opening round of the 2019 AMA Pro Motocross Championship, held in Rancho Cordova, California, saw Team Honda HRC’s Ken Roczen secure his first overall 450MX victory since incurring serious injuries in the 2017 AMA Supercross season. Roczen’s long-awaited return to the top step of the podium gives him the red plate heading into round two.

Roczen got off the line to a decent start in the first moto, emerging from the first turn in sixth. The German made swift and aggressive passes, taking over the lead on the first lap and building a gap. Throughout the 30-minute-plus-two-lap race, Roczen rode flawlessly, stretching his advantage to 15 seconds by the checkered flag. Meanwhile, teammate Cole Seely got off to an 11th-place start and worked his way into ninth on the second lap, which is where he spent the remainder of the race.

When the gate dropped on moto two, Roczen emerged from the muddy first turn in fifth place aboard his CRF450R. As in the first race, Roczen made speedy and precise passes, moving into second on the first lap and setting his sights on the leading Eli Tomac. He closed the gap and made an incredible pass over the Fly 150 jump to take over the front position. Roczen quickly began to pull away but small mistakes on the deteriorating track allowed Tomac to close back in and retake the lead. The two frontrunners continued to play cat and mouse, but Roczen was never able to mount another charge and settled into second, which is where he finished. Seely had a challenging race due to the wet and muddy conditions. After getting a less-than-desirable start, the Californian was forced into the mechanics’ area for new goggles after the first lap, sending him back to 19th. He regained a few positions before multiple crashes once again thwarted him, and he ultimately crossed the finish line in 18thplace.

Ken Roczen 94

“I’m absolutely stoked. All day, we were on it; qualifying was great, got the first moto win and then the overall. I honestly didn’t think it would go that well because I felt like I had more in the tank and it’s hard to gauge where you’ll be at the first round. What we did today was very important to me, the team and our journey. I didn’t get the best start in the first moto but was able to make some moves early to get out front and have a clear track. We were all hoping we could get one moto in without the rain, so that was great. The second moto was tough and those types of conditions can backfire on you so quickly. Eli [Tomac] and I had a good battle in the beginning. We kind of yo-yoed back and forth. I had some sloppy parts out there though, so I just took it extra easy toward the end and didn’t want to push the envelope to risk a mistake and miss the overall. This is such a great way to start the season, and I can’t wait to keep the momentum going.”

Cole Seely 14

“The opening round had its ups and downs for sure. I think I qualified pretty good for not having raced an outdoor in almost two years. I was a little nervous going into the day and anticipating the rain. I was happy we were able to get at least one moto in before the storm actually rolled in. I was also happy with how I rode. I felt like I managed the race well and had more energy at the end of the moto than I normally do. The second moto was tough; I fell way too many times and just didn’t have very good luck. If there was a way to build some more skill for muddy races then I would but the only time we really get to practice that is in race situations. Moving forward I think I know what I need to work on and that will help set some additional goals to push through the season.”

Erik Kehoe

Team Manager

“Today was great—I’m so happy for Ken and the team! Everyone works so hard, especially Ken himself, so to see him come away with this long-awaited win is incredible. He looked solid all day, laying down the fastest qualifying time in practice and dominating the first moto. He was even strong in the terrible conditions of the second race. We still have some improvement to do on the bike to make him even more comfortable, but I think we’re in a good place to continue to build. It was a disappointing day for Cole; he rode solid in the first moto but the conditions in the second race didn’t play in his favor at all. He’ll regroup and head to Fox Raceway strong.”

Oscar Wirdeman

Mechanic (Ken Roczen)

“This win has been a long time coming and it feels really good. I’ve been with Ken for a while now and have seen his highs of 2016 to the lows of all his injures, so to see him back on the top step is unbelievable. I felt like we were watching 2016. He was riding with confidence and aggression, which was awesome. It’s a long season but we’re going to enjoy this win and hopefully collect more this year.”

Jordan Troxell

Mechanic (Cole Seely)

“Today was pretty rough. The first moto wasn’t too bad but the second was a struggle for Cole. He didn’t get a great start and lost a lot of time coming into the mechanics’ area after the first lap to get new goggles. It was basically downhill from there because any time he would gain some positions, he’d make a mistake and lose it. He went down a few times too, so it was more about survival at that point.”

450MX Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor
1 ROCZEN Ken 94 GER 47 Team Honda HRC Honda
2 TOMAC Eli 3 USA 43 Monster Energy Kawasaki Kawasaki
3 ANDERSON Jason 21 USA 38 Rockstar Husqvarna Husqvarna
4 OSBORNE Zach USA 36 Rockstar Husqvarna Husqvarna
5 WEBB Cooper 2 USA 35 Red Bull KTM KTM
6 MUSQUIN Marvin 25 FRA 32 Red Bull KTM KTM
7 BARCIA Justin 51 USA 27 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team Yamaha
8 BAGGETT Blake 4 USA 26 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS KTM
9 FERRIS Dean 111 AUS 23 CDR Yamaha Yamaha
10 BOGLE Justin 19 USA 23 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS KTM
11 MASTERPOOL Jake 146 USA 18 None Yamaha
12 WATERS Todd 477 AUS 17 Todd Waters Racing Husqvarna
13 LAMAY Ben 907 USA 16 TPJ.com/Fly Racing Honda
14 SEELY Cole 14 USA 15 Team Honda HRC Honda
15 NOREN Fredrik 40 SWE 8 TiLUBE Storm Lake Honda Honda
16 TOMITA Toshiki 718 JPN 7 Team Honda HRC Honda
17 KOGA Taiki 929 JPN 6 TPJ.com/Fly Racing Kawasaki
18 MERRIAM Dylan 559 USA 6 None Yamaha
19 COOPER Cody 121 NZL 6 Crownkiwi Enterprise Honda
20 BOWERS Tyler 69 USA 5 Bowers Racing Kawasaki
21 HILL Justin 46 USA 5 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing Suzuki
22 DEMARTILEDare 207 USA 2 None Honda
23 JORGENSEN Mathias 221 DEN 1 None Honda

Words and Photos: Honda Racing Corporation