Officially called the MXGP of Asia, Semarang will host the 12th round of the world motocross championship and the second of the two back to back races in the motorbike hotbed of Indonesia. With over five million of the population riding Honda, Tim Gajser’s victory at Palembang last weekend was extremely well received and the Team HRC rider will be hoping to do the same again in Semarang. Brian Bogers will also look to build upon his best result of the season and MX2 rider Calvin Vlaanderen should improve every time he gets on the track after his return from injury.
Like last weekend, conditions in Semarang should be extremely hot and humid but all three riders have been staying in Indonesia in order to acclimatise as best as possible. For Gajser, this means continuing his current regime that has seen him win the last six MXGPs in a row and pull out a virtual point’s lead of 161 over his next active challenger. Having also achieved four holeshots in a row, it is safe to say that Gajser and his Honda CRF450RW are performing extremely well right now and will head into the weekend full of confidence that this run can continue.
Fellow CRF450RW rider Bogers is also buoyed by his season-best eighth overall in Palembang and with some good conditioning this week, he will be hoping to go even better on a track that will be brand new to him as he missed the 2018 edition through injury.
MX2 rider Vlaanderen has very fond memories of the venue though, going five-two for third overall last year at the big, wide open track. The result was part of a run of results that saw him on the podium for three GPs in a row and included two race wins and while he’d obviously love to be back to that kind of form, his expectations are tempered by the fact that he has only just returned back from injury. However, last weekend was a promising comeback after a five GP absence with a fourth place finish in moto one especially pleasing. With another week of physical training under his belt, he’ll be hoping for even more improvement as he tries to get back to his podium-challenging early season form.
Like last weekend in Palembang, the MX2 action gets underway with free practice at 10:45am local time on Saturday 13th July, follow by the MXGP class at 11:15. The qualification races then take place at 16:10 and 16:55 respectively that evening. On Sunday 14th July, warm-ups are at 10:25 and 10:45 before the first MX2 and MXGP gate drops are at 12:15 and 13:15.