Photo by: MXGP.com
Heading into the final round of the 2015 FIM Motocross World Championship series at Glen Helen Raceway, Team Honda HRC’s Tim Gasjer carried an 18-point lead in the MX2 World Championship. During both motos of the USGP, the Slovenia-born rider did not lay it all on the line to stay with the Americans at the front, but he did make sure his MX2 Championship rival, Red Bull/KTM’s Pauls Jonass stayed behind him. When the points were tallied at the end of the day, Tim became the country of Slovenia’s first major class World Champion.
At 19 years old, the young rider gave the country smaller than Massachusetts their first MX2 World Championship—Klemen Gerčar from Slovenia won MX3 Championship on Honda in ’13—and Honda their first major class World Championship since Frédéric Bolley won MX1 back in 2000. Honda’s last MX2 Championship was back in 1995 when Alessandro Puzar won the 125cc class World Championship. It was a huge win for the rider in only his second full year of MX2, and his win was celebrated in the pits of Glen Helen for hours after the event concluded.
After Tim’s World Championship was in the books, we caught up with the #243 when he was walking back to the pits and asked him a few questions. You can hear what Tim had to say about winning his Championship, the Glen Helen circuit and possible plans to race AMA Supercross in the future below.
Congrats! You didn’t win the battle, but you won the war today. You’re a World Champion now!
Yeah, actually, it’s just amazing. I was just riding how I have much to. I didn’t push too much, because I know that it will be long day. I know really warm out there over here, 55 degrees [Celsius]. I’m just so happy. We didn’t expect that in the beginning of this season. So, yeah, huge thanks to everybody around me. Thank you.
Did you think it was even possible this year? I think it was in Great Britain that you didn’t score points, but from France on, you were on fire. Did the Championship seem out of reach at times, though?
Actually, I have many, many races where I didn’t finish. I think I have four zeros. So after England we were thinking, “Aye, it’s over; it’s impossible.” That’s the sport; it can happen. So happy, so happy.
During the second moto, when did it start to sink in that you’re a World Champion?
Actually, you know, the last couple of laps. It was just amazing when they put me on the board and everybody was in the big lane and I can see that, so it’s just amazing.
What does this mean for Slovenia?
For Slovenia, it’s big. We are a really small country in Europe, only two million people over there, and it’s just amazing for everyone, for everyone. Thanks a lot. Thank you. Just amazing for everyone. I have so many supporters over there in Slovenia, and I just want to say thanks to all of them.
What’s the motocross scene like in Slovenia? Is there one?
Actually, it was on the bottom, but after last year and this year, when I started riding MX2, they start streaming on the TV channels with Slovenian commentators. So it’s getting better and better. Slovenia fans and people can follow me, so it’s great.
How did you get into racing being from Slovenia? Your father?
Actually, yeah, my father was racing—still racing—veteran World Championships. So, yeah, he put me on the bike when I was 2 1/2 years, and from there everything start.
The Americans obviously train and ride here at Glen Helen a lot. I wouldn’t say it’s quite like us going to Lommel, but close. Was their pace unmatchable for you or were you just on cruise control today for the World Championship?
Actually, yeah, they are very fast here. Also for us in Europe, when we come to America, it is different. Everything is different. The culture, the eating, everything. It was great competition, clean riding. I’m really looking forward to riding again with American guys.
Any interest in riding American Supercross?
Yeah, exactly. We are planning for next season. We will see. We will speak after MXoN after next week. Yeah, the plan is, so we will see.
That would be cool. Nice to see you and big congrats.