HRC rider Tim Gajser is very much the man of the moment in the MXGP class. Having already won a handful of GPs this year, he went into Latvia with a little pressure as Antonio Cairoli wanted to fight back and gain the red plate, but that didn’t work out as Cairoli crashed and looks likely to be out for some races.
Gajser scored his 20th Grand Prix victory and now has 391 points, some 33 more points than second placed man Antonio Cairoli and 135 points more than third-placed man Jeremy Seewer.
To think if Cairoli is out for a few rounds, and the hard pack tracks coming up, which Gajser is at his strongest, that lead over both Cairoli and Seewer could end up being anything around 200 by the time the riders leave Loket in the Czech Republic in six weeks’ time.
Congratulations. This has to be the most unexpected win because yesterday and even this morning you didn’t look that comfortable?
That is true. I mean yesterday I was feeling great, comfortable on the track and smooth, but then when the race came I didn’t have a good start and I didn’t feel like myself and I was struggling fighting with the bike and didn’t find nice lines and then made a big mistake and crashed in the waves. I had to go in because I bent the bike, the bars and stuff. I managed to get 18th, which wasn’t good. Today I got two good starts from 18th place on the grid. I couldn’t find my rhythm in the first race and riders were passing me. Second race I felt better, more myself and a better start, top five and I was finding nice lines. The track was difficult, the bumps were hard underneath, but it wasn’t that rough. I didn’t know I had won the overall, which was unbelievable.
How is that when you win and don’t expect it, compared to winning when you go 1-1. Is one better than the other?
Definitely nice when you go 1-1 and you enjoy both races, but also this track, I have always struggled on this track and I came in thinking top five or maybe top three would be good. To get home safe from this track, but to win the overall and extend the points lead. I heard that Tony crashed, so I wish him well, also Jeffrey and the guys who crashed in Russia. I hope they are back soon.
I was speaking to Jeffrey last week, and I mentioned to him how he proved last year that he was the fastest man on the planet, but this year you have gone to another level from where you were. I said to him maybe Tim has something for you when you come back to your best. Of course, Jeffrey is a winner, but he gave you a lot of compliments about how you are riding at the moment.
It is difficult to say; we didn’t race yet when we are both fit. Last year I was struggling and coming back from the injury and he was fast and this year I am in the best shape of my career and it would be great to see how we both are when we are both 100%. I hope that happens soon.
Jeffrey also mentioned you have some good tracks for yourself, like Germany, Semarang in Indonesia, Loket. You must be going to those tracks with a lot of confidence?
Yes definitely. I like lets say, hard pack tracks, but I am training a lot in the winter in the sand to get more confident, but I am for sure looking forward to Germany and that scrub hill, but the most important thing at the moment is to not think about the championship, and just enjoy riding my bike and I think then I can go really fast.
How difficult is that to go from wanting to win, and then the mindset of having a 30-point lead and Tony is maybe out, and then the lead over third place is a lot. How do you deal with that?
It is difficult if you think about it too much. If you think too much about the championship, I mean, it is only nine rounds and we still have nine to go, so halfway. We are in a good spot, with a comfortable lead, but as you know in motocross, you have to focus until the final flag, and I need to stay focused and concentrate on the job.
Last question. Is this 2019 version of Tim Gajser the best Tim Gajser we have seen?
You know, comparing when I won in 2016, I would say I was also fast back then, but I am also going fast now. Maybe I am more experienced. Many things changed in the winter, and they seem to have worked out really well and I am happy I did that and hopefully, we can continue the right way.
Bavo Swijgers & MXGP.com images