For the 11th round of the 2019 world motocross championship, Team HRC head to Palembang, Indonesia where MXGP riders Tim Gajser and Brian Bogers will once again be joined by MX2 rider Calvin Vlaanderen.
Palembang, nestled in the south of the island of Sumatra should provide some testing conditions as the weather is likely to be hot and humid when the riders take to the track. However all three Honda riders are looking forward to the challenge and hoping to build some momentum as the season heads towards its final third.
For Gajser, he’ll be hoping to extend his winning streak to six overalls in a row after wrapping up the German GP with another convincing one-one performance. Ripping off two holeshots on board his Honda CRF450RW, he then led every lap to give him maximum points and increase his lead at the top of the MXGP championship to 83 points. With eight rounds still to race though, the Slovenian rider knows he can’t afford to take his hand off the throttle too much and has continued to put in the work this past couple of weeks.
Teammate Bogers has also been working hard as he looks to build upon his nine-eleven results in Teutschenthal at the last round. It was the first time the Dutch rider has scored double-digit points in both races and he’ll be hoping for more of the same at this flyaway venue that is completely new for all the riders on the grid.
Meanwhile CRF250RW rider Vlaanderen will just be happy to be back behind a world championship start gate after missing the last five GPs through an ankle injury that then got infected. It’s been a tough period of time for the rider but after seeing off the infection, he has been able to get some decent time back on the bike and was even able to line up for a German ADAC event in Molln at the weekend, finishing third overall in what was a very impressive comeback performance. Palembang will be a tougher test though and the team know that it might be a couple of rounds before he is back challenging for podiums, like he was doing before the injury in at round four in Trentino.
The timetable for the action is slightly different than for European rounds, with the MX2 first getting on the track at 10:45 local time (GMT +7) on Saturday 6th July, followed by the MXGP class at 11:15. The qualification races then take place at 16:10 and 16:55 respectively that evening. On Sunday 7th 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.
Tim Gajser 243
I’m really looking forward to going to Indonesia. It’s always exciting to go to somewhere new, and to race on a new track that we’ve never raced on before. I’m going to try and do my best, as always, and try and carry this momentum from these last few rounds. I want to have fun and enjoy the racing as I believe that is an important thing for me, in order to continue this success. In the break I’ve been training hard, but I’ve also had a couple of days on the beach relaxing. It is important to have both at this stage of the season but I am very excited to go racing in Palembang.
Brian Bogers 189
It was nice to have a weekend off after all the races we’ve had recently, but I made sure I kept up the hard work because I know that I need to do that in order to get the results that I want. I came very close to getting two top 10 results in Germany and I’m heading to Indonesia determined to make sure that happens in Palembang. The travel isn’t easy but it is a new venue for everyone and I’m excited to get to the track and go racing!
Calvin Vlaanderen 10
I’m just really happy to be back travelling with the team again and going to the MXGP races. It’s been a long time and it’s been tough physically as well as mentally to be sitting on the sidelines and watching the other guys racing. I’m not putting too much pressure on myself with the results but obviously I want to do well at these races in Indonesia because I had my first MX2 overall victory in Pangkal Pinang last year and the fans and everyone were so great to me, so I want to reward their support again.
Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager – MXGP
It is really great to have all three riders back under the awning for Indonesia this weekend, and to be heading to a nation that is supportive of Honda as a brand. Of course Tim is riding really well right now and we hope that he can increase his winning streak to six by winning again in Palembang. The main goal is the championship though and we hope that after Sunday’s action the point’s gap at the top continues to be well in our favour. We also hope that Brian can keep up his good recent run and start to put himself inside the top 10 regularly. His past three moto results have been much more promising and we’ll be looking for him to do even better in these flyaway races.
And for Calvin, it is just really nice to have him back with again. He rode in Germany at the weekend and put in two really strong rides to finish third overall there and while we aren’t putting any pressure on his results in Palembang, it is still very encouraging that he continued to put in the hard work whilst he was recovering from injury. He is a true professional and it hopefully won’t be long before he gets back to challenging for the podium spots in the MX2 class.