At the final round of the 2018 world motocross championships, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser made it three second place finishes out of the last four rounds by going two-two at the MXGP of Italy, held at the motor racing circuit in Imola. In the MX2 class, Hunter Lawrence also showed impressive speed as he led most of the first race, and then in race two, he came back from outside the top 10 all the way up to second place. The Team Honda 114 Motorsports rider make the technical conditions look easy as he swept through the field and with a couple more laps could have easily taken a much deserved win.

For Gajser, it was a solid end to a campaign that got better as it progressed. The Slovenian rider had to recover from a pre-season injury but once he got back up to full fitness, he proved at numerous rounds that he is one of the fastest riders in the world, especially in the hard pack conditions like the ones found here at Imola. Both Redmoto Assomotor riders Todd Waters and Petar Petrov also fought extremely hard in this final round, to try their best and end the 2018 season on as high as note as possible.

In the MX2 class, Hunter Lawrence showed great speed all weekend, putting his Honda CRF250R right at the front of the field for a long portion of the first moto, building upon his recent run of good form. Unfortunately a technical issue robbed the Australian rider of his first moto win of the season but he didn’t let that setback get him down and he came out determined to repeat the effort in race two. A bad jump out the gate meant he had his work cut out, but he put his head down and charged through the field, on a track that others were finding difficult to pass on. Lawrence came all the way through to second and was closing in on the leader as time expired, proving to everyone watching that he was the fastest guy on the track.

Teammate Bas Vaessen also raced well on the track, making a number of passes himself as he continued his points-scoring streak. After an injury-hit season, the Dutch youngster scored points in the last eight motos and can use that as a good platform as he now gets himself ready for the 2019 MX2 world championship. Calvin Vlaanderen’s attempt at finishing the season strongly were hampered by an outside gate pick, which meant he had to work extremely hard to get inside the top 10. With a full gate of MX2 riders for this find round, he had to settle for an eighth in the second moto, which saw him finish a solid sixth in the championship.

Calvin and Hunter now head to America where they’ll be racing the Motocross of Nations at the iconic Red Bud circuit in Michigan for the Netherlands and Australia respectively. For everyone else, it is now the time to recharge the batteries and have a break before the preparations and hard work begin for next year’s races.

Tim Gajser

Tim Gajser 243

It’s good to finish the season on the podium: that was the goal and we did it. It was not an easy season for us, and there have been many ups and downs, but in the second part of the season we really stepped up our game and we managed to improve race after race. Overall I have to be happy, especially given what happened at the start of the year. I’m grateful and thankful that I can be here. The season went so quickly and now I cannot wait for the next one to start; hopefully things will go smoothly throughout the winter. The bike was amazing but I’m sure HRC will do their best to improve it even more. I will work as hard as I can, and I will give everything I have to fight for the title. Once again, I would like to thank everyone at Team HRC for their outstanding support; they are like a family to me.

Team HRC – MXGP
Hunter Lawrence

Hunter Lawrence 96

I was really happy with my weekend. It was disappointing how the first moto ended but all weekend I felt pretty good. Every session we went out, I was in the top five, including a second in timed qualifying. Then in the qualification race we had a rock and mud jamming into the rear brake which lost me some places but I was still able to ride well and finish fourth.
In the first moto I ripped a good start on my Honda CRF250R, made some quick passes and got myself into the lead. I then led the whole race until two or three laps to go, until we had a small technical issue, so I ended up not finishing. I wasn’t too demoralised though because I knew how well I was riding, so I regrouped in the break and got my focus back to try and do the same again in race two.
Unfortunately I didn’t get such a great start but I put my head down and moved from outside the top 10 into the top five, halfway through the race. I knew my speed and fitness were good so I kept charging and got into second place and moved to within striking distance on first place before the race expired. I know deep down I was the fastest this weekend, I believe that, and I know I’ve worked really hard to be here, which is a satisfying feeling.

Team Honda 114 Motorsports
Calvin Vlaanderen

Calvin Vlaanderen 10

The 2018 MX2 season is over and obviously today things didn’t go our way. We were ninth overall, however, which is not too bad considering the gate-pick that I had. I came through the pack quite well in both races, but I just didn’t have enough for the top-five in race two. It is what it is: we will take it and we will learn from it, and it’s still good experience for next season. We finished sixth overall this year with five podiums and one overall win, which is the best result so far in my career. I’m really happy with it and look forward to staying with the team and working with all my crew. It’s been an awesome year, so thanks to everyone at Team HRC for it.

Team HRC – MX2
Todd Waters

Todd Waters 42

I’m disappointed it’s the last race of the season because I didn’t do the full championship and I’ve only done two rounds with this Redmoto team. I feel as though I’m just starting to get comfortable on the bike and set it up how I want so it’s a shame that it has to end now. This weekend I showed a bit of fight and I think it’s probably the best I’ve ridden all MXGP season so although it’s not the result that I wanted, at least I can walk away knowing that I fought this GP and tried my best.

Team Honda Redmoto Assomotor
Gordon Crockard

Gordon Crockard

Honda Europe Off-Road Manager

The season has ended with Tim Gajser being second in both MXGP races and I think this is very healthy for his confidence as he heads into the winter to prepare for season 2019. We also witnessed a very good ride from Hunter Lawrence in the MX2 class where he led convincingly, only to be denied victory two laps to go, by an unexpected bike issue. His riding was exceptional though and it was pleasing to see him lead the world champion Jorge Prado for the whole race and stretch such a large lead over third place. He then backed it up in race two with a completely different skillset, passing a large number of riders to move from outside the top 10, into second place. He ended up just a couple of seconds off the lead and proved that he was the fastest guy on the race track this weekend which was fantastic to see.
Bas Vaessen also showed his skills on the hard pack and I think he has had a good season and showing that on all terrain, he is consistent with his level and it is also a good platform to build upon for 2019.
Overall the world championships have been good for Honda, we will take stock on our highlights and move into next season with strong drive to have another good campaign.

Honda Motor Europe
GP of Italy

Imola, Italy

MXGP 2018, Round 20

Sunny / 22
Sunday 30 Sep 2018, 16:09 UTC
  • Track Condition: Hard Pack
  • Air Temp: 22°C
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Jeffrey Herlings 84 NDL 25 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 34:35.763
2 Tim Gajser 243 SLO 22 Team HRC – MXGP Honda +34.828
3 Clement Desalle 25 BEL 20 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Kawasaki +50.772
4 Julien Lieber 33 BEL 18 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Kawasaki +1:01.847
5 Jeremy Van Horebeek 89 BEL 16 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha +1:03.991
6 Gautier Paulin 21 FRA 15 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +1:06.621
7 Shaun Simpson 24 GBR 14 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Yamaha +1:07.493
8 Glenn Coldenhoff 259 NDL 13 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +1:09.285
9 Kevin Strijbos 22 BEL 12 Standing Construct KTM KTM +1:15.790
10 Evgeny Bobryshev 777 RUS 11 BOS GP Suzuki +1:20.562
11 Max Nagl 12 GER 10 TM Racing Factory Team TM +1:21.317
12 Jeremy Seewer 91 SWI 9 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Yamaha +1:23.854
13 Max Anstie 99 GBR 8 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +1:25.871
14 Jose Butron 17 SPA 7 Marchetti Racing Team KTM KTM +1:27.065
15 Jordi Tixier 911 FRA 6 Wildcard Rider KTM +1:40.104
16 Tommy Searle 100 GBR 5 Bike It DRT Kawasaki Kawasaki +1:42.276
17 Todd Waters 42 AUS 4 Team Honda Redmoto Assomotor Honda +1 Lap
18 Tanel Leok 7 EST 3 A1M Husqvarna Husqvarna +1 Lap
19 Ivo Monticelli 128 ITA 2 iFly JK Racing Yamaha +1 Lap
20 Petar Petrov 152 BUL 1 Honda Red Moto Honda +1 Lap
Sunny / 24
Sunday 30 Sep 2018, 12:56 UTC
  • Track Condition: Hard Pack
  • Air Temp: 24°C
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Jeffrey Herlings 84 NDL 25 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 34:41.213
2 Tim Gajser 243 SLO 22 Team HRC – MXGP Honda +12.438
3 Clement Desalle 25 BEL 20 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Kawasaki +28.131
4 Gautier Paulin 21 FRA 18 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +30.461
5 Julien Lieber 33 BEL 16 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Kawasaki +32.590
6 Jeremy Seewer 91 SWI 15 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Yamaha +34.849
7 Shaun Simpson 24 GBR 14 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Yamaha +35.907
8 Jeremy Van Horebeek 89 BEL 13 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha +43.218
9 Max Anstie 99 GBR 12 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +51.689
10 Evgeny Bobryshev 777 RUS 11 BOS GP Suzuki +54.842
11 Glenn Coldenhoff 259 NDL 10 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +57.186
12 Tommy Searle 100 GBR 9 Bike It DRT Kawasaki Kawasaki +58.432
13 Max Nagl 12 GER 8 TM Racing Factory Team TM +1:03.545
14 Jordi Tixier 911 FRA 7 Wildcard Rider KTM +1:08.430
15 Jose Butron 17 SPA 6 Marchetti Racing Team KTM KTM +1:23.583
16 Tanel Leok 7 EST 5 A1M Husqvarna Husqvarna +1:27.556
17 Todd Waters 42 AUS 4 Team Honda Redmoto Assomotor Honda +1:38.541
18 Davide Bonini 15 ITA 3 Steels – Dr. Jack Racing KTM +1 Lap
19 Maxime Desprey 141 FRA 2 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki Kawasaki +1 Lap
20 Graeme Irwin 55 IRE 1 Hitachi KTM UK KTM +1 Lap
Sunny / 22
Saturday 29 Sep 2018, 15:42 UTC
  • Track Condition: Hard Pack
  • Air Temp: 22°C
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Team Constructor Constr. Time/Gap
1 Jeffrey Herlings 84 NDL Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 24:37.982
2 Clement Desalle 25 BEL Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Kawasaki +23.909
3 Tim Gajser 243 SLO Team HRC – MXGP Honda +26.654
4 Julien Lieber 33 BEL Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Kawasaki +29.770
5 Alessandro Lupino 77 ITA Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki Kawasaki +33.970
6 Jeremy Seewer 91 SWI Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Yamaha +34.981
7 Shaun Simpson 24 GBR Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Yamaha +35.982
8 Jeremy Van Horebeek 89 BEL Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha +37.879
9 Gautier Paulin 21 FRA Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +45.519
10 Kevin Strijbos 22 BEL Standing Construct KTM KTM +48.658
11 Max Nagl 12 GER TM Racing Factory Team TM +52.462
12 Jordi Tixier 911 FRA Wildcard Rider KTM +57.698
13 Max Anstie 99 GBR Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna +1:00.971
14 Jose Butron 17 SPA Marchetti Racing Team KTM KTM +1:05.704
15 Tommy Searle 100 GBR Bike It DRT Kawasaki Kawasaki +1:11.745
16 Glenn Coldenhoff 259 NDL Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +1:19.204
17 Evgeny Bobryshev 777 RUS BOS GP Suzuki +1:27.242
18 Todd Waters 42 AUS Team Honda Redmoto Assomotor Honda +1:28.106
19 Ander Valentin 920 SPA 920 Fly Group Husqvarna +1:33.935
20 Maxime Desprey 141 FRA Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki Kawasaki +1:35.787
Rider Standings
Sunday, 30 Sep 2018 - Open world standings grid
# Rider Num Nationality Nat. Points Pts. Team Constructor Constr.
1 Jeffrey HERLINGS 84 NDL 933 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
2 Antonio CAIROLI 222 ITA 782 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
3 Clement DESALLE 25 BEL 685 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Kawasaki
4 Tim GAJSER 243 SLO 669 Team HRC – MXGP Honda
5 Gautier PAULIN 21 FRA 574 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna
6 Romain FEBVRE 461 FRA 544 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha
7 Glenn COLDENHOFF 259 NDL 534 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
8 Jeremy SEEWER 91 SWI 469 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Yamaha
9 Jeremy VAN HOREBEEK 89 BEL 433 Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team Yamaha
10 Max ANSTIE 99 GBR 386 Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing Husqvarna
11 Julien LIEBER 33 BEL 291 Monster Energy Kawasaki Racing Kawasaki
12 Evgeny BOBRYSHEV 777 RUS 289 BOS GP Suzuki
13 Alessandro LUPINO 77 ITA 283 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki Kawasaki
14 Shaun SIMPSON 24 GBR 276 Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Yamaha
15 Kevin STRIJBOS 22 BEL 254 Standing Construct KTM KTM
16 Max NAGL 12 GER 245 TM Racing Factory Team TM
17 Tommy SEARLE 100 GBR 197 Bike It DRT Kawasaki Kawasaki
18 Tanel LEOK 7 EST 139 A1M Husqvarna Husqvarna
19 Arminas JASIKONIS 27 LTU 111 Honda Red Moto Honda
20 Jose BUTRON 17 SPA 108 Marchetti Racing Team KTM KTM
21 Valentin GUILLOD 92 SWI 97 Standing Construct KTM KTM
22 Maxime DESPREY 141 FRA 91 Gebben V Venrooy Kawasaki Kawasaki
23 Ivo MONTICELLI 128 ITA 72 iFly JK Racing Yamaha
24 Todd WATERS 42 AUS 69 Team Honda Redmoto Assomotor Honda
25 Petar PETROV 152 BUL 54 Honda Red Moto Honda
26 Graeme IRWIN 55 IRE 47 Hitachi KTM UK KTM
27 Benoit PATUREL 6 FRA 40 Marchetti Racing Team KTM KTM
28 Jordi TIXIER 911 FRA 28 Wildcard Rider KTM
29 Harri KULLAS 151 EST 18 Wildcard Rider Husqvarna
30 Jeffrey DEWULF 212 BEL 16 Wildcard Rider KTM
31 Lewis STEWART 336 AUS 13 Wildcard Rider Husqvarna
32 Sven VAN DER MIERDEN 94 NDL 10 Wildcard Rider Yamaha
33 Erki KAHRO 411 EST 8 Wildcard Rider KTM
34 Ander VALENTIN 920 SPA 8 920 Fly Group Husqvarna
35 Aldi LAZARONI 288 IDN 6 Wildcard Rider Husqvarna
36 Rizky HANIF KUSPARWANTO 705 IDN 6 Wildcard Rider Husqvarna
37 Jetro SALAZAR 60 ECU 5 Wildcard Rider Honda
38 Ken DE DYCKER 9 BEL 5 BOS GP KTM
39 Brian BOGERS 5 NDL 5 Team HRC – MXGP Honda
40 Panagiotis KOUZIS 38 GRE 5 Wildcard Rider Honda
41 Batuhan DEMIRYOL 183 TUR 4 Wildcard Rider Honda
42 Stefan EKEROLD 85 GER 3 KTM Sarholz Racing Team KTM
43 Davide BONINI 15 ITA 3 Steels – Dr. Jack Racing KTM
44 Filip BENGTSSON 20 SWE 3 Wildcard Rider Yamaha
45 Matiss KARRO 291 LAT 3 A1M Husqvarna Husqvarna
46 Gregory ARANDA 220 FRA 3 Wildcard Rider Kawasaki
47 Nathan RENKENS 83 BEL 3 KMP-Honda Repsol Racing Honda
48 Andre SONDAKH IDN 3
49 Paulo ALBERTO POR 2
50 Galip Alp BAYSAN 48 TUR 2 Wildcard Rider KTM
51 Sakir SENKALAYCI 36 TUR 2 Wildcard Rider KTM
52 Klemen GERCAR 62 SLO 2 62 MotoSport Husqvarna
53 Lars VAN BERKEL 107 NDL 1 Wildcard Rider Husqvarna