After sealing the 2019 MXGP world championship at Imola last weekend, Team HRC now head to Sweden looking for more success at the beautiful Uddevalla facility, located an hour north of Gothenburg.
Tim Gajser wrapped up his title three rounds early but he can still set more records and put a bigger stamp of authority on a season that has already been the best of his distinguished career. The Slovenian rider is already the youngest three-time Honda world champion and holds the record for the longest individual winning streak with seven victories earlier this year. Were he win in Sweden this weekend and then in both Turkey and China, he would join Andre Malherbe as the rider with the most wins on a Honda in world championship history, on 27.
First up is Uddevalla though, with the stony hillside track a venue that should hold good memories for the Honda CRF450RW rider, having won here in 2015 on his way to his first world title success in the MX2 class. Despite his five-two results in Imola when the championship was the bigger goal, Gajser is still in very good form and continually posting fastest laps in practice sessions and races, and now with the main goal achieved, he can focus back on winning races.
In a week where MX2 rider Calvin Vlaanderen was named in the preliminary Netherlands team for the Motocross of Nations, the #10 CRF250RW rider will be hoping to put in a good performance in Sweden and show the selectors he is the best choice for the position by putting himself back on the podium. He finished fifth overall in Imola but since his return from the ankle injury, he has been on the podium twice and been one of the top three guys in most of the timed sessions. Provided he is able to avoid other riders’ mistakes in the opening laps, he has proved he has the speed to run with the best of this 250cc class.
Unfortunately the third member of this team Brian Bogers is waiting for another check-up on his injured shoulder before he commits to riding the MXGP this weekend. The Dutch rider was collateral damage in another riders’ crash and he had to pull out of the second moto in Imola as a result. After an initial test on Monday, Bogers has been resting as much as possible in order to give it a chance to heal, but with the quick turnaround between races, he knows it will be tough to battle it out in this competitive MXGP division.
Action on the track gets underway at 12:30 (GMT+1) on Saturday 24th August for the MX2 class with their 25 minute free practice, closely followed by the MXGP riders. They then have a timed practice session before qualifying races that begin at 16:55 (MX2) and 17:40 (MXGP). Gate drops for the points scoring races are then on Sunday at 13:15 and 16:10 (MX2) and 14:15 and 17:10 (MXGP).