Team HRC’s Tim Gajser recorded his seventh MXGP overall of the season, and the sixth in succession after posting one-two results at the Palembang track in Indonesia. With high temperatures and brutal humidity affecting other riders, Gajser continued his hot streak of form, reeling off two holeshots on his way to his 10th moto victory in 12 gate drops. This meant he extended his lead at the top of the MXGP championship to 130 points with just seven rounds still to race. Fellow Honda CRF450RW rider Brian Bogers also put in two good rides to get his best result of the season, going twelve-eight for eighth overall at this 11th round of the world motocross championship.
After winning the qualification race yesterday, Gajser used first gate pick to great effect, ripping off holeshots in both races and leading the field for the first few laps. In the first moto, the Slovenian rider was able to then pull out a good gap quickly which allowed him to control the race and cross the line six seconds ahead of his nearest challenger. As he attempted to do the same in race two, a small mistake forced him off the track and he ended up on the ground. Remounting in third, he quickly moved into second place but with the rutted terrain proving quite treacherous, he decided to settle for second, knowing that he still had the overall wrapped up. And with the 47 points from today’s motos, his MXGP championship lead increased to 130 points, and more importantly to 161 points over the next active rider in the series.
For team mate Bogers, a strong second moto finish of eighth allowed him secure eighth overall and his best overall placing of the season. After having difficulties with the heat and humidity in the first race, dropping from 8th to 12th position, the Dutch rider regrouped in the break and set about trying to break into the top 10 for race two. After getting a good start and rounding the first lap in sixth place, he was able to achieve his aim with a strong, resilient performance, something he’ll be looking to show again in Semarang next weekend.
As the series moves east to the neighbouring island of Java, the high temperatures are likely to follow them but with a week to acclimatise to the weather, both Gajser and Bogers will be hoping to continue their form at a Semarang track that both riders enjoyed racing on in 2018.
Elsewhere, Jeremy van Horebeek had two 11th place finishes for 12th overall as the Belgian rider couldn’t manage to put together consistent laps on this tight Palembang circuit.
After missing the previous five MX2 races, Team HRC’s Calvin Vlaanderen returned to action and scored a solid eighth overall in hot, tough conditions of Palembang, Indonesia which hosted the 11th round of the 2019 world motocross championship.
The day started really well for Vlaanderen with a good start in race one that left him in fourth place after the first lap. Riding a consistent speed and keeping up with those in front, Vlaanderen remained in fourth until the chequered flag, which was a really good comeback considering his lengthy layoff. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to replicate this in race two as he got pushed down the field in the first few bends. Then, as he set about charging through the pack, a crash on lap five left him right at the back of the field and with a lot of work ahead of him. Knowing that any chance of a podium has gone, Vlaanderen put his head down and worked his way up the leader board, picking off riders who were struggling around him, eventually finishing in 13th place. Despite the second race, he knows that his fitness is still improving and that he gets better every time the gate drops.
Vlaanderen now has a few days to get ready for the 12th round of the MX2 series which takes place in Semarang, Indonesia where he was third overall last year, narrowly missing out on a second moto victory.
For Team Redmoto Assomotor’s Brent van Doninck, it was a season-best points tally with 28 points, which was good enough for sixth overall, and included a strong sixth place finish in the second race. Team mate Mathys Boisrame also put his Honda CR250F inside the top 10 in race with a good ninth.