The 2018 MXGP World Championship is running at a rapid pace towards the finish line. This weekend the series will witness its penultimate round at the TT Circuit Assen, the home of this year’s MXGP of the Netherlands. For this event, Tim Gajser and Calvin Vlaanderen will finally be joined by third Team HRC rider Brian Bogers, who is set to make his premier-class debut after being sidelined by multiple foot injuries since last November.
Bogers, along with his two team mates, yesterday completed a two-day test in Deurne in the Netherlands in order to get ready for the round ahead and find a good set-up for the sandy, “ad hoc” Assen track. The young Dutchman surprised everyone with his speed and, even with a considerable lack of track and racing times, he is looking forward to getting back in action.
Tim Gajser has been on a roll of late, with last round’s performance at Afyonkarahisar being his best so-far in the season as the recently-turned 22-year-old Slovienian was the only one able to ride at Jeffrey Herling’s pace throughout the weekend. Sand might not be Gajser’s favourite surface, but the two-time world champion is eager to do well in order to close in on third place in the standings.
Calvin Vlaanderen’s weekend will begin with an official event involving the riders defending the Netherlands’ colours at the upcoming Motocross of Nations at the Red Bud motocross track in Michigan, United States. Calvin is aiming to bounce back from a streak of challenging performances – and an unfortunate setback – in the past four rounds.
Motocross action will begin on Saturday morning at 11:30 with the 25-minute, MX2 free practice which will be followed at noon by the MXGP FP session.
Tim Gajser 243
I can’t wait to get back into action in Assen. Sure, it’s a sand track so not my favourite type of surface, but we have been very competitive lately, so the goal is to keep the same type of performance this weekend. We have been working extremely well and I feel very comfortable riding my Honda CRF450RW. We’ll do our best to be on the rostrum!
Brian Bogers 5
Finally, we’re back racing, and I’m looking forward to getting back into action! Maybe I’m not 100% and don’t have the best speed, but the drive inside me is enough to make me get out on track this weekend and try my hardest. I like the Assen track and it will be nice to make my MXGP debut in front of my home crowd. It’ll be an amazing feeling to be with the team and my team mates.
Calvin Vlaanderen 10
I’m looking forward to this weekend in Assen. It’s a nice rack and I enjoy riding there, despite many other riders saying the opposite. I think the fact that they have built a sand track where there normally is a circuit for road bikes is quite special – with all the grandstands for the spectators to watch the races. I’m looking forward to getting out there on Saturday: we’ve had a couple of tough GPs, but I’ve used this week off to regroup and I’m more motivated than ever to do well.
Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager – MXGP
We are very happy to head to Assen and at long last witness Brian’s MXGP debut. Obviously we know he needs track time, but he has trained well and just to see him out there will be incredible. We are chasing the top-three in MXGP, so we need two good results here if we want to have a chance at it. Tim is carrying a lot of momentum with him so we’re confident he’ll make a difference out there, even though sand is not his favourite surface. Calvin is eager to get back to pre-Lommel form after a few unlucky rounds, and we’re sure Assen is one of the best places for him to do so!