MXGP World Champion Tim Gajser will compete for Honda and HRC in the upcoming SMX Rider’s Cup in Germany and also keep his agenda in place to contest the 2016 Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas.
The Slovenian missed the Motocross of Nations due to pain in his shoulder and hip after a crash through the whoops practicing in the days leading up to the fixture in Maggiora.
It was one of the rare ‘miscues’ by the recently-turned 20-year-old in 2016 that gave Honda their first title in the premier class in 16 years and the team created by Giacomo Gariboldi their second gold plate in just two seasons.
When asked to reflect on the ascendency of his squad from humble days as a home for teenager talent at European level with Yamaha to the position where they are now expected to be announced as the official hub for HRC’s motocross effort in 2016, the Italian was concise with his timeline.
“11 years ago we started from nowhere – just a couple of young kids and [the goal] to support them in national junior races,” he says. “My programme was never to go to the world championship. I never had this in mind and didn’t have the time to do that. Then we started getting good results with a junior world championship and a European championship and there was a natural move to MX2. We then had a big change from Yamaha to Honda in 2012. People kept asking me ‘why keep going?’ and I simply said: “it’s because I want to win something”. It wasn’t about the money but for the pleasure of one day winning a world championship. Now we have two in a row and it is like reaching your dream twice.”
The team’s combination with the Gajser family may have created their most prosperous season yet (almost on a par numerically with the utter dominance of Christophe Charlier’s European title winning term in 2009) but it has also been their most hectic. “We still have Monster Cup and Sugo,” said Gariboldi, in reference to the last round of the All-Japan Motocross series which Gajser is due to appear and also complete some tests with HRC Japanese staff. “It is a very long and tough season…and we were saying this inside the team the other day. We start in February and we finish at the end of October. It is a little bit too long but when you are world champion you have to expect this. They [Honda] want him in Japan for the last round and he wants to try Supercross so we agreed to this and he’ll probably do the last few races on the ’17 factory bike.”
Gajser is also expected to be at the 2016 EICMA show in Milan where Honda make a traditional presentation wrapping the year and previewing the campaigns to come across their racing disciplines.