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 podium again, like he achieved at the first four rounds. The title challenger showed his pace in the motos, posting both fastest laptimes, 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.
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.
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.