HRC'S TIM GAJSER IMPRESSES AT THE MXGP SEASON OPENER IN ARGENTINA | 05/03/2019
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!