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Double podium for Gajser and Vlaanderen at the MXGP of Asia

The amazing track at Semarang provided a great backdrop for what was a successful weekend of racing for the Team HRC duo of Tim Gajser and Calvin Vlaanderen. Blistering temperatures gave the riders a real test, as did the terrain which was an interesting mix of dirt and rice but the end result was a real spectacle for the large crowd that turned up to watch these world motocross championships.

For Tim Gajser, this was another step in the right direction as he continues on the road to taking an overall this year. His second place on the podium was the joint-best so far and the fact that he led the first moto on board his CRF450RW for so long will be a big boost in confidence for the Slovenian rider. Despite not getting out the gate as well as he would have liked, he carved his way through this highly competitive MXGP class and rode out front, much to the delight of all his fellow Honda riders in the crowd. In the second moto, he once again worked his way through the field to get into third place and despite pressuring the top two, he had to settle for third, giving him two-three results on the day, which was also good enough to move him into fourth place in the MXGP championship.

Todd Waters also experienced a good day on-track as the Australian rider posted his best results of the season so far, with a 12th in race one a sure sign that he is moving in the right direction as he gets to grips with this 2018 world championship. He now has a couple of weeks before Loket where he can really put his head down and work towards his goal of consistent top 10 finishes.

In the MX2 class, Calvin Vlaanderen backed up his win from last weekend in Pangkal Pinang, with another podium performance here in Semarang. After a first lap crash in race one left him way behind the rest of the field, his third place overall looked a long way off. However Calvin showed real determination and speed to work his way all the way up to fifth place, with a last lap pass capping off an impressive comeback. Things started off much better in race two, with his CRF250RW allowing him to work his way into second place early on. With the track getting rougher, he dropped to third place but once again he never gave up and with time expired, he made the pass for second place that secured his spot on the podium.

Team Honda 114 Motorsports’ Bas Vaessen enjoyed his best moto result of the season as he comes back from his thigh injury. He scored an eighth place in the second moto and was also looking good in race one before an unfortunate crash meant he had to pull off the track. It was still a good points haul and with a couple of weeks to heal up further before the MXGP of the Czech Republic, Vaessen will be hoping for even better when the series resumes in Loket.

The scenic Czech track will also hopefully see the return of some of the current injured Honda riders, who missed the trip to this impressive Semarang circuit but who used the time wisely in order to rest and recuperate before this next run of races.

Tim Gajser 243

It feels good to be on the podium again. Today I felt quite good on the bike. The first race was amazing: the speed was good and I managed to stay in the lead for many laps. In the end I was passed by Jeffrey but I was able to stay with him and tried to get back to first place, but it was too late. My start to the second race was not the best, but came through the pack and made a couple of passes and pushing towards the front, too. I made a couple of mistakes in the central part of the race and lost touch with Jeffrey and Clement. Third place was enough to get second overall, so I’m happy to leave Indonesia with a second-place finish. I would like to thank the team for their hard work and look forward to the next round at Loket!

— Team HRC – MXGP

Calvin Vlaanderen 10

It was a great day for me and the team, with Tim’s second position and my third. I’m really happy with how the day went. I really fought hard to get back to fifth place after crashing at turn three. I think it was a great result given the fact that I had to come through the pack. I had a great start to the second race and was behind Jorge, but then I was passed by Covington. We had a bit of a battle and I stuck behind him, trying to follow his lines and see where I could make the pass – and then I did it with two laps to go. I was really happy with how my riding was today and my fitness; the team did a great job: the bike was great so thanks to everyone for the support.

— Team HRC – MX2

Bas Vaessen 98

The weekend was a bit mixed really. I had good feeling on the bike on Saturday and was riding well in the qualification race before a small mistake cost me a bit of time. I was still confident heading into today though as I felt my speed was good. In the first moto I had an okay start but I was pushing forward in sixth place but trying to make a move on fifth. Instead I made a small mistake and dropped back to seventh and then my rear wheel spun out on the top of a jump and I had a pretty big crash. Unfortunately I had to go back to the pits after that, which was disappointing for me. In the second race, I really wanted to finish the race and put my effort into that, rather than passing people. I was still able to finish eighth, which I’m happy with but I know I can go a lot faster so I have a bit of mixed feelings because it could have been even better.

— Team Honda 114 Motorsports

Todd Waters 42

It was another difficult day for me as unfortunately my health did not improve during the night. I did all my best out there but I was obviously lacking strength, and I was not already on top of my game after making a late season debut and injuring my collarbone in Latvia. We are now going back to Europe and we’ll have a few days to recover and then get ready for the next round, where hopefully I will be able to step up my game.

— Team HRC – MXGP

Gordon Crockard

Honda Europe Off-Road Manager

Many season personal bests from all our Honda riders here in Asia this weekend. Most impressive for me was the consistent lead times from Tim Gajser in MXGP. Not once was he outside of the top three in any of the session’s results. Fastest in warm up, he led race one for 75% of the race, second overall and now up to fourth in the championship standings. All very positive progress steps.

Todd Waters also had a season best result with a 12th in race one of MXGP, this is closer to the top 10 goal that he desperately wants to hit soon.

From last weeks MX2 victory, Calvin Vlaanderen had another podium with third overall and added his first ever second place moto result to his career CV. Calvin also moves closer to fourth in the MX2 Championship standings.
Bas Vaessen added his season best result to the board with a great ride in race two giving him a well deserved eighth place at the finish. This is a great ride to have whilst still carrying his leg injury.

I think the riders and teams will be happy to leave Asia on a positive note after such good points scores from all the Red Riders, and I look forward to seeing them joined on track by the return of our current injured riders who will hopefully be healthy when the series resumes in Loket, Czech Republic in a couple of weekends time.

— Honda Motor Europe

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