World Champions of the past two years – Tony Cairoli and Romain Febvre – recently commented on the emergence and performances of current champ-elect Tim Gajser after the Slovenian scaled the podium for the 14th time from 15 Grands Prix in Switzerland and now needs just one point over Cairoli at the Dutch GP at Assen in two weeks to be crowned for 2016.

The Honda rider – who is expected to make the sideways move from the Gariboldi squad to the full HRC set-up for 2017 – boasts a 50 per cent win rate from the 30 motos this season; his first in the premier class. The 19-year-old will be the first back-to-back champion this century and faces the enticing prospect of a match-up with Jeffrey Herlings next year.

When asked why Gajser has been able to have such an impact from the moment of his first victory at the MXGP opener in Qatar Cairoli said: “From last year he showed that he would be a contender for the title. What he does on the bike is not normal – some things you see are very technical, very aggressive and [with a] nice style. He is a big talent also. It is very good to have such a good rider in the world championship and to build up the speed and have such great races together.”


Outgoing rookie champion Febvre claimed that #243’s consistently prosperous starts were also another factor. “He was good on the 250 and rode a lot on the 450 before,” the Monster Energy Yamaha racer offered. “He has good conditioning for sure and always starts in the lead! When you have good speed and conditioning and take a lot of holeshots then it is easier. He is good…but we need to work to get closer to him.”