At the sixth round of the 2019 MXGP world championships, Team HRC’s Tim Gajser won the MXGP of Portugal with two impressive moto victories. After his triumph in Trentino, this is now Gajser’s second overall and a great way to rebound after last weekend’s race in Lombardia. Unfortunately team mate Brian Bogers wasn’t able to match his Mantova effort, struggling to challenge the top 10 after having an outside gate pick which really hindered his chances of doing well.
Gajser, put in two really impressive rides to show once again that when the conditions are good, he and his Honda CRF450RW are a tough combination to beat. After getting second gate pick for today’s races, the Slovenian rider got off to two decent starts which allowed him to start in the top five and pressure those riders in front of him. Rather than chase the victory, he showed good maturity to let the race come to him and when the opportunity arose in both races, he made the necessary passes before reeling off the fastest laps in each moto.
It was a great way to put the disappointment of Mantova behind him and showed that he is still very much in this championship hunt that has 12 more rounds left to race. Having also won four of the last six motos, his confidence is high and he is knows that on this hard-packed tracks, very few can match his speed.
Next weekend in France is another track that should suit him, with the St Jean D’Angely circuit being a stoney surface, on a naturally hilly landscape, very similar to the Pietramurata track which he won at earlier in the year.
The French GP will also give Bogers a chance to bounce back quickly after what was a disappointing pair of results in Portugal. Having an outside gate pick after Saturday’s qualification race, things were always going to be difficult and while his laptimes weren’t too far outside of those in the top 10, he wasn’t able to make the necessary passes to really challenge for those positions.
It was a tough weekend for Jeremy van Horebeek who is still suffering from a shoulder injury he sustained in a previous round. The Belgian rider came 12th in both races as he struggled to make an impact on those top 10 riders ahead of him, in what was a tricky track to pass on.
After France, the series takes a weekend off before three races in three weekends, taking place in Russia, Latvia and then Germany as the championship heads into its middle third of the season.