Team HRC is back in action this weekend as the 2018 Motocross World Championship heads to the Netherlands for the MXGP of Europe, which takes place at Valkenswaard. After missing the opening event of the season, two-time World Champion Tim Gajser will join MX2 team mate Calvin Vlaanderen, as the Slovenian rider reunites with the squad for the first time since fracturing his jaw in Mantova last month.
Gajser jumped back aboard his Honda CRF450RW for the first time last week to test his condition and felt no pain or discomfort. Further rides confirmed the good fitness status of Tim, who is now ready to tackle the first European event of the season.
After his encouraging comeback to fifth place in the second MX2 race at Villa La Angostura, Calvin Vlaanderen is eager to continue building momentum as he keeps gelling with the all-new Honda CRF250RW.
The MXGP of Europe is a home event for Eindhoven born-and-raised Brian Bogers who, despite still being unable to compete, will nevertheless attend the event to catch up with fans, media and his team. The 21-year-old Dutch rider was back on a motocross bike earlier this week – for the first time since injuring his foot last November – to test his condition and the progress of his recovery.
Motocross action at Valkenswaard will get underway this Saturday at 11:30 local time (GMT +1) with the 25-minute free practice for the MX2 class, which will be followed by the MXGP FP session at noon. Sunday’s MX2 two races are scheduled at 13:15 and 16:10, while the MXGP encounters will begin at 14:15 and 17:10.
Tim Gajser 243
I’m so happy to be finally making my season debut! I feel ready to go; I’ve ridden three times already and I’m getting more and more comfortable on the bike. Now I am just looking forward to getting to Valkenswaard and racing again. It will obviously be harder than normal not only because I’m back from injury but also because the other guys already have one round under their belts. But nevertheless I’m in good shape, I’ve been training a lot and I got back the few kilograms I lost due to the inability to eat properly in the early part of the recovery. I can’t wait to be back with the team again; it wasn’t fun to watch the races from home!
Calvin Vlaanderen 10
I’m very excited ahead of the second round of the season; I feel good with the bike and the team and I’m confident of my chances of doing well at Valkenswaard, a track where I’ve had good results in the past. For me it is sort of a home GP as I’m based in the Netherlands and obviously this gives me a great feeling, so I hope to see many Dutch and Belgian fans there this weekend. I hope the track won’t be frozen, but it looks like it will surely be harder than previous years because of the weather and temperatures expected – as we’re also racing quite early in the year this time.
Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager – MXGP
Valkensward has been kind to us in the past and we look forward to returning there every year. It is surely not an easy track to race – it used to be a really deep-sand course – but over the years it has changed and now it features a much harder base surface. We’re obviously very happy to welcome back Tim, because it’s his first MXGP round of the year after his injury. The goal for him will be to build some confidence back and score some valuable points. Calvin had an encouraging debut with the team in Argentina and showed good speed, so we are eager to see how he performs in the Netherlands.