The start of the 2019 MXGP World Championship finally took place this weekend in Argentina at the beautiful Neuquen circuit in Patagonia. After months of detailed preparation as well as multiple pre-season warm up races, the big dance was finally here and the riders were chomping at the bit to get going. HRC's Tim Gajser came into the weekend feeling positive after a strong off-season and the 2016 MXGP World Champion was ready to get the new campaign underway. Gajser's MX2 teammate Calvin Vlaanderen was also notable for the start of the season as the South African born rider enters his second season with the HRC team and has been tagged as a championship contender. The entire HRC crew were part of our Spring LE release of the Airline Collection, and ran the Red colorway all weekend.
Gajser was off to a good start on Saturday with the fastest time during MXGP Free Practice and second fastest in Qualifying Practice. He grabbed the holeshot in the Qualifying Race on Saturday afternoon and held the lead until running into some issues with 5 laps to go. He first slid out in a corner, then had a big crash in the roller section just a few turns later. Luckily he was uninjured and remounted to finished up 9th despite the big get-off. In MX2, Calvin Vlaanderen was in the mix with his Qualifying times but suffered a not so spectacular start in the Qualifying Race - forcing him to battle from behind. He put in a solid effort and worked his way up to 5th from outside of the top 10 for a solid gate pick on Sunday.
The MX2 Class kicked off the 2019 race season on Sunday and Calvin Vlaanderen got off to a good start in Moto #1 just inside the Top 5. He put in a solid ride and finished up in 4th place. Moto #2 was almost a carbon copy of the opening race for Vlaanderen, starting 5th again and moving to 4th where he stayed for the rest of the race. Despite missing the podium by just 1 spot in 4th Overall, it was a really positive start to the season for Vlaanderen who will be surely stand atop the podium in the coming weeks.
After his big crash on Saturday, Tim Gajser returned to the fray a little sore but ready to go for Sunday's race program. The Slovenian started 4th in Moto #1, and was able to work his way past both Clement Desalle and Romain Febvre for 2nd at the end. In Moto #2 Tim started off 2nd, dropped to 3rd momentarily but took control of second position back by Lap 7. In the closing stages of the race he was closing on race leader Tony Cairoli, but ran out of time before he was able to get close enough to make a move. Gajser scored 2-2 results for 2nd Overall and also a great start to begin the year.
New addition to the Fox crew, Factory Yamaha's Jeremy Seewer earned himself a respectable Top 10 overall finish over the weekend with a 9th. After missing all of last season riddled with injuries, HRC's Brian Bogers got his year started with 16-17 moto scores for 18th Overall. Surely Bogers will bring more to the table as the season progresses but it was good to see him back out there competing after a tough 2018 season.
With the season kickoff now behind us, the MXGP World Championship tour moves back to Europe for Round #2 of the series coming up in a few weeks at Matterley Basin in the UK March 23 & 24. See you there!
The 2018 FIM Motocross World Championship made its way to Portugal this weekend for Round 5 of the series at Crossdromo Internacional de Águeda.
Despite heavy rainfall and warnings of inclement weather throughout the weekend, conditions ended up nice and offered a great venue for some exciting racing. After a bit of a tough weekend results wise in Arco, HRC's Tim Gajser looked to get back to his normal stride in Portugal and Gautier Paulin continues to build on solid performances with the IceOne Husky team. On the MX2 side, both Calvin Vlaanderen and Bas Vaessen came into Portugal healthy and looking for strong results. The WMX class returned this weekend as well, and Courtney Duncan had her eyes on the red plate after scoring 2nd at the season opener last week at Arco. Unfortunately Max Anstie & Hunter Lawrence both missed this round as they are still recovering from injury.
Gajser was looking quick on Saturday and was 2nd fastest during timed qualifying with a 1:49.964. Paulin almost matched him, closely in 3rd with a 1:49.992. Later in the afternoon, Gajser secured 4th in the Qualifying Race, with Paulin a close 6th. Solid gate picks for the races on Sunday! In MX2, Vlaanderen was 6th and Vaessen 19th.
The "Kiwi Girl" Courtney Duncan started the weekend off on top of the WMX field by 2 seconds in Qualifying Practice. She got off to a great start in Moto #1, grabbing the holeshot and building a nice lead early on. When the checkers flew, she had led every lap and took a commanding victory by over 20 seconds. In Moto #2, Duncan didn't quite get the holeshot, but was 2nd at the end of the first lap. She held 2nd for the first four laps before making the pass for the lead on Larissa Papenmeier. The perfect day was complete as Duncan took the checkered flag and she now holds the Overall points lead! The WMX series will now go on a brief pause and will return to action at Teutschenthal on May 20th.
Tim Gajser got off to a great start in MXGP Moto #1, taking the green flag in 2nd position.Gautier Paulin was a close 4th, and moved into 3rd after the first few laps. Gajser eventually finished up in 3rd, with Paulin just behind in 4th place. On the MX2 side, Bas Vaessen was 10th in Moto #1, with Calvin Vlaanderen back in 18th after suffering a crash in the early laps.
Tim Gajser was solid off the start again in MXGP Moto #2, rounding the first lap in 5th position. Unfortunately Gautier Paulin experienced a mechanical problem with his bike on the opening lap and would not be able to continue. Gajser rode a smart and consistent race to finish up in 5th, going 3-5 for 3rd Overall and his first podium result of the season. Great to see Tim back on the podium and working to overcome a tough preseason injury.
In MX2 Moto #2, HRC's Calvin Vlaanderen turned things around for a solid 6th place finish, but the luck was flipped for Bas Vaessen who finished in 19th. Vlaanderen was 9th Overall with Vaessen 15th. The FIM Motocross World Championship now takes a brief pause before returning to action in Russia on May 1st.
Round 6 of the FIM Motocross World Championship visited Russia earlier this week, with the races being held on a Tuesday around International Workers' Day.
Coming off his first podium of the season in Portugal, HRC's Tim Gajser was looking to keep the momentum rolling. IceOne Husqvarna was back to full strength as Max Anstie returned from injury to join Gautier Paulin who is experiencing another strong campaign in 2018. Calvin Vlaanderen was our only MX2 pilot of the weekend, as the 114 Motorsports outfit sat idle with Hunter Lawrence & Bas Vaessen both injured. Lawrence will look to return at Round 7 in Latvia and Vaessen will be a few weeks longer. Our EMX 250 athletes were also back in action in Orlyonok, with Danish youth sensation Mikkel Haarup under the IceOne umbrella and German Jeremy Sydow on a private KTM effort.
Tim Gajser got off to a strong start in Timed Practice as he set the fastest time in the session. Gautier Paulin was just a little over a second off in 3rd position, and Max Anstiewas 8th fastest. On the MX2 side, Calvin Vlaanderen was 6th fastest aboard his HRC machine.
Vlaanderen had his best Qualifying Race performance of the season, earning himself 3rd spot on the grid for the motos. Anstie was 8th in the MXGP Quali Race, with Paulin10th. An early crash for Gajser had him starting in dead last, but the Slovenian was able to climb his way up to 14th at the end.
Jeremy Sydow got off to a great start in EMX 250 Moto #1 as he grabbed the holeshot and led the opening lap. Unfortunately he would run into some bad luck and go down early on. Mikkel Haarup also had a solid start, running in 4th before he crashed as well and finished up 12th. Haarup got a tough start in Moto #2, but clawed his way up to 10th at the end for 11th Overall.
Calvin Vlaanderen was 7th off the start in MX2 Moto #1 and rode a consistent race to finish up in 6th. The South African started off 7th again in Moto #2, but worked his way up to 4th this time. 6-4 Moto scores were good for 6th Overall and he now sits 6th in the Overall Points Standings.
Gautier Paulin got off to a good start in MXGP Moto #1, taking the green flag in 4th. The consistent Frenchman would finish the race in 4th where he started, and Tim Gajser came from a 7th place start up to 5th. Max Anstie began his return to the races with a tough start back in 20th, but was able to work his way forward to 15th despite fighting off some arm pump.
MXGP Moto #2 started in a positive way for Gajser as he sat in 3rd on the opening lap. The HRC lead man ended up 4th, going 5-4 for 5th Overall. Gautier Paulin was not so lucky and went down early on, putting him dead last on the opening lap. He put in an impressive charge however, and pushed all the way to 6th place which salvaged 6th Overall with 4-6 Moto scores. Max Anstie struggled with arm pump again in Moto #2 and ended up 16th Overall on the day.
MX2 Championship Standings
- Pauls Jonass
- Jorge Prado
- Thomas Kjer Olsen
- Ben Watson
- Jed Beaton
- Calvin Vlaanderen
- Vsevolod Brylyakov
- Conrad Mewse
- Henry Jacobi
- Thomas Covington
MXGP Championship Standings
- Jeffrey Herlings
- Antonio Cairoli
- Clement Desalle
- Romain Febvre
- Gautier Paulin
- Glenn Coldenhoff
- Jeremy Van Horebeek
- Tim Gajser
- Jeremy Seewer
- Julien Lieber
The circuit rolls on with Round 7 at the Kegums circuit in Latvia on May 13th.