After the wide open Matterley Basin, and the sandy Valkenswaard track comes the tight, stony Arco di Trento circuit, held in the beautiful Trentino region of Italy. A regular fixture on the calendar in recent years, this fourth round of the 2019 world motocross championships is a completely different track that those that have come before it, but one that holds good memories for Team HRC and Tim Gajser in particular.
With the venue being just a few hours from the Slovenian border, this has quickly become a ‘home’ GP for the #243 and large amounts of fans are expected to make the trip once again and support their national hero. Gajser won in Trentino in 2015 on his way to the MX2 world title and he won an MXGP moto in 2017, eventually tying on points for the overall, but losing out on the tie-breaker. And hopes are high that he can repeat those successes this year and close up the gap at the top of this year’s MXGP championship. Three podium overalls in a row have him sitting in second place in the title hunt, but he’ll be really hoping he can get that victory his speed has deserved and send those travelling fans home happy.
After once again coming fourth overall for the third time this season, Calvin Vlaanderen is hoping to put his Honda CRF250RW on the podium at this spectacular facility. He has consistently scored good points this season, but just missed out on the podium spot in Valkenswaard due to a last-straight pass by another rider elsewhere on the track. Confidence is still high though and motivation definitely isn’t lacking for the Dutch-South African rider.
Brian Bogers also enters into the weekend off the back of a season-best moto result. His 12th in the first race at Valkenswaard is a positive step and a sign that he is finding his speed and fitness in this competitive MXGP class. The Dutch rider will be hoping to continue this upwards trend at Trentino where conditions are very different from the Valkenswaard sand.
With the track being nestled in the Trentino region of the Alps, the weather is always changeable, so it’s hard to predict what will greet the riders as they head into the mountains this weekend. However early forecasts predict it should be okay and that track should be hard and dry like it has been in previous visits. This weekend sees EMX125 and EMX250 classes join the main programme, but the Team HRC riders get on-track at 11:30 local time (MX2) and 12:00 (MXGP) on Saturday 6th April.
Tim Gajser 243
It’s almost like a home GP for me next weekend. Many fans from Slovenia will be there and I’m very excited. It’s going to be very busy, but I always really enjoy racing there and as always I will try my best. The track is hard pack with a lot of small stones so sometimes the roost isn’t nice, but I have really good memories riding the track, especially around the area where there are a lot of Slovenia fans all in one section. It is so cool to see them all dressed in yellow and red and to hear them shout for me.
Brian Bogers 189
I fly to Italy on Monday to get some training over there. I think it’s good to get some practice done on Italian tracks in preparation for this round, and it’s good because I can ride with the team, which is always a benefit to everyone. I really like the Arco track. It’s a hard pack track like England, but it’s a lot different too, it’s a smaller track and a lot tighter. I normally ride well in Arco though, so I’m looking forward to having a good weekend.
Calvin Vlaanderen 10
Arco is a nice track and I always like to go there. I’m going to Italy early this week to ride with the team and to spend some time riding on Italian soil, just to get me as ready as possible for the GP. I’m trying to take this momentum that I’ve got from the last GPs and put it into this this weekend, but also use it as motivation to get that one position higher and finish on the podium. I’m going to work on starts a lot and try to improve those for the races, so that I can battle up front.
Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager – MXGP
Three races in a row is always tough but I am very happy with how the riders and everyone in the team is working together to continually try and improve. It was such a shame to see Calvin miss out once again but I feel like this weekend will be good for him. Brian also said he likes this track so I am hopeful he can put in another good ride. And for Tim, this is obviously a big weekend for him, but I believe he can cope with the extra pressure of the crowd and he can perform well in Trentino. I am excited for this weekend and hopeful of some good Team HRC success.