It’s been a difficult end to what has been a stellar season for rookie MXGP World Champion Tim Gajser. His MXGP season was remarkable and he smashed records on his way to becoming the first back-to-back champion in the MXGP and MX2 era, but since wrapping up the title in the United States, he’s had more of a tough time of things.
Whilst practicing on Wednesday 21 September before the Motocross of Nations, a crash in the whoops section of his track in Slovenia meant that Tim hit the ground hard, sustaining heavy bruising and swelling to his right hip and shoulder, but also suffering a small crack in his right collarbone. It was this injury that put him out of the Motocross of Nations.
The 20-year-old Slovenian bounced back for the SMX Riders’ and Manufacturers’ Cup on Saturday 8 October, and proved he’d lost none of his speed. Racing for the first time aboard the all-new 2017 Honda CRF450RW, he set the fastest time in the pole shootout, took the holeshot, win and fastest lap in the opening race, and again surged into the lead of race two.
Three laps from the end of race two, however, a crash on the back section of the track inside the Veltins Arena put Tim down hard again on the already weakened right shoulder. He was able to finish the race, albeit a lap down and in visible pain. After a little rest before race three he steeled himself in true Gajser style and decided to push on and race. Starting well, as the race progressed the Slovenian uncharacteristically slid backwards from second to fifth, demonstrating the pain he was enduring.
Based upon this, and the fact that Tim wants to enter the Monster Energy Cup fit and able to challenge for the win, it has been decided that he will miss this year’s edition of the race to focus instead on recovery and preparations for next season.