Team HRC and Tim Gajser started off the 2019 MXGP world championships with a second overall at the picturesque Villa La Angostura track in Patagonia-Argentina. With a packed crowd showing their appreciation, Gajser led part of the second race as he looked on course for an overall victory. In the end, he had to settle for a pair of second place finishes, but it was an extremely impressive opening round for the Slovenian rider who has won at this track twice before.
Rounding the first turn outside the top five in moto one left Gajser with plenty to do, but he eventually settled into a rhythm and began to pick off riders one by one as the laps ticked off. With just five laps remaining he eventually made the pass on Romain Febvre for second and set about trying to track down Antonio Cairoli. Unfortunately time ran out before he could really mount a challenge and he crossed the line just over five seconds behind.
In the second race, Gajser was millimetres away from claiming the holeshot but he soon passed for the lead and set about trying to escape from the chasing pack. Unfortunately he couldn’t find his rhythm straight away and Febvre passed him early on. With Cairoli just behind, the three engaged in a great battle which eventually saw Cairoli move into the lead with Gajser close behind. The two quickly pulled away and although the #243 gave it everything he had, he missed out on the overall victory by under three seconds. It was still a podium performance though and one that sets him up nicely for round two in a few weeks’ time.
Joining Tim Gajser on the podium was new Honda SR Motoblouz rider Jeremy van Horebeek, who had only recently announced he would be competing in the MXGPs this year. The Belgian rider put in two extremely impressive rides, going six-three, which was good enough to take the third step on the podium at this opening round of the 2019 MXGP season. This sparked great scenes of celebration amongst the rider and the team, who will now set their sights on maintaining this start at the next round in Matterley Basin in three weeks’ time.
It was also a solid first round for fellow Team HRC rider Brian Bogers, who is easing himself back into this competitive MXGP class, after missing almost the entire 2018 season with injury. Bogers is hoping to get up to race pace as quickly as possible and felt that today was positive step towards that goal as he achieved two top 20 finishes.
With the next round of the series being at Matterley Basin, on March 23/24, Bogers has a couple of weeks now to build upon this solid showing and prepare himself for England and for what is another one of the best tracks in the calendar.