The sixth round of the 2019 motocross world championship sees Team HRC head to Agueda, Portugal for what should be another different challenge in this testing season. After the mud of Lombardia, the red clay surface of Agueda can provide a lot of grip if it has moisture but without the necessary water it can be quite hard-pack and dusty. This makes it a real challenge, but one that Tim Gajser, Brian Bogers, and Calvin Vlaanderen are highly motivated to overcome.

For Gajser, he’ll be looking to bounce back and put his Honda CRF450RW on the podium again, like he achieved at the first four rounds. The title challenger showed his pace in the motos, posting both fastest lap times, but he just struggled to stay consistent in the extremely muddy conditions. Portugal should offer a much different surface though, with nowhere near as much rain forecasted to fall on the area. If that remains the case, the natural layout and nice jumps should allow the Slovenian rider a good chance to match the victory that he achieved at the MXGP of Trentino.

Calvin Vlaanderen

His MXGP teammate Bogers heads to Portugal buoyed with confidence after his second-place finish in the second moto in Lombardia. After a good start, the Dutch rider rode solidly all moto long, holding off any threats behind while maintaining a good speed and minimising any mistakes. It was a great reward for the work he’s been putting in during the break and he’ll be looking to follow up that result with two more strong finishes in Agueda.

While Bogers was training hard in the five-week break, Vlaanderen was recovering from his fractured fibula and that meant the MX2 rider had very limited practice before the MXGP of Lombardia last weekend. The CRF250RW rider still rode well in the difficult conditions, picking up points in both races, but he’ll be hoping to do even better after another week of recovery and testing.

Brian Bogers

The MXGP and MX2 classes are joined by the WMX and EMX2t series this weekend with the first Team HRC bike hitting the track at 12:30 (MX2 free practice) local time on Saturday 18th May. The MXGP class follows on from them, with qualifying races starting at 16:55 and 17:40 respectively. The first gate drop for the motos then happens at 13:15 on Sunday 19th May in what should be another excellent weekend of action in the world championship series.

Tim Gajser  243

I’m going to train hard this week to make sure that I am ready for Portugal. I like the track at Agueda, it is really natural, with the uphills and downhills. Some nice jumps and red clay that can get really grippy. Sometimes it can be a bit too dry but I know they know how to prep the track so I am definitely looking forward to it. Lombardia is behind us and now I’m focusing on Portugal.

Brian Bogers  189

Obviously it was great to get that second place result in Mantova, but I can’t afford to stop working now. I need to keep building and keep improving and making sure that last week happens again and again. The races are coming up very quickly now so there isn’t much chance to change too much, so it’s all about those little things that can help keeping me moving forward.

Calvin Vlaanderen  10

Portugal is a really nice track. Last year they had a lot of rain and it became really rutted and I didn’t have my best result there but I’ve had a podium before in the EMX125 series so I really enjoy the track and racing there. I’m actually going to stay in Italy for a couple of days to test, before flying home to Holland quickly and then it’s off to Portugal. Not much time and my foot does need some rest so that is as important as the testing but I aim to allow that to happen this week so I can hopefully come out a little bit more prepared than this weekend.

Marcus Pereira de Freitas

HRC General Manager – MXGP

First off, it was great to see Brian ride so well in Lombardia last weekend, so we are really excited to see what he can do in Portugal this weekend. He got a ninth in Trentino and then a second in Mantova so we really hope he can start to consistently find the top 10 now. Portugal is a different track again but he really improved in the break and this weekend is another chance to show it.
Unfortunately Tim didn’t have his best weekend but we know he is a champion and having a race so quickly afterwards gives him the perfect opportunity to bounce back and prove his race-winning speed again. He was fastest in both motos last weekend, he just didn’t have things go his way, so we are hoping that things will go smoother in Portugal.
As for Calvin, he is another week further into his recovery and every day is a step closer to being back to being 100%. The conditions in Mantova didn’t really allow him to show his capabilities but he kept fighting and we know that he’ll get better at these next few rounds.

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team
1 CAIROLI Antonio 222 ITA 241 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
2 GAJSER Tim 243 SLO 201 Team HRC – MXGP
3 PAULIN Gautier 21 FRA 175 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
4 JASIKONIS Arminas 27 LTU 146 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
5 DESALLE Clement 25 BEL 142 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
6 SEEWER Jeremy 91 SWI 124 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
7 VAN HOREBEEK Jeremy 89 BEL 118 Honda SR Motoblouz
8 JONASS Pauls 41 LAT 109 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
9 SIMPSON Shaun 24 GBR 100 RFX KTM Racing
10 COLDENHOFF Glenn 259 NDL 94 Standing Construct KTM
11 LIEBER Julien 33 BEL 86 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing
12 TONUS Arnaud 4 SWI 82 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP
13 ANSTIE Max 99 GBR 80 Standing Construct KTM
14 LUPINO Alessandro 77 ITA 67 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
15 MONTICELLI Ivo 128 ITA 66 iFly JK Racing
16 SEARLE Tommy 100 GBR 66 Bike It DRT Kawasaki
17 BOGERS Brian 189 NDL 55 Team HRC – MXGP
18 LEOK Tanel 7 EST 45 A1M Husqvarna
19 TIXIER Jordi 911 FRA 36 Team VHR KTM Racing
20 PATUREL Benoit 6 FRA 32 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki
21 BRYLYAKOV Vsevolod 18 RUS 25 JWR Yamaha Racing
22 FEBVRE Romain 461 FRA 20 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
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 GOLE Anton 297 SWE 12 iFly JK Racing
27 KULLAS Harri 151 FIN 10 Wildcard Rider
28 PETROV Petar 152 BUL 10 Team Honda Red Moto
29 VAN DER MIERDEN Sven 94 NDL 8 Wildcard Rider
30 FERRIS Dean 111 AUS 6 Wilvo Nestaan Husqvarna Factory Racing

Tim Gajser

Words and Photos: Honda Racing Corporation