Team HRC’s #calvinvlaanderen put in a pair of 10th place finishes to help the Netherlands win their first ever Motocross of Nations, while #timgajser rounded off his amazing season with one-two #moto results in his two races, taking a convincing #mxgp class victory for yet another award in 2019.
The Slovenian rider also took a pair of holeshots as his Honda CRF450RW once again showed its power in the deep, wet, sandy conditions of the Assen motor-racing circuit.
Torrential rain hit the facility overnight and it continued throughout the whole day, adding an extra layer of difficulty to what is already a tough track. The organisers trucked in 26,000m³ of sand to lay on top of the tarmac #racing circuit and despite the horrendous weather, the track held together really well for all three motos.
For an ecstatic Vlaanderen, even the large quantities of rain couldn’t dampen his mood as the Netherlands were called up on the podium to collect the Chamberlain Trophy. As the MX2 rider, he rode the first two races up against 450cc machines but despite the displacement disadvantage, he was still able to put in a pair of 10th place results, which was good enough for second in the class. Those results also helped the Dutch win by almost 30 points as they ran out convincing victors in front of their home crowd. It was a sweet redemption for Vlaanderen who got injured in last year’s #MXoN, and also confirmation that the Dutch Federation made the right decision when choosing the Honda CRF250RW rider.
While Vlaanderen was helping the Netherlands make history, Gajser also made a bit of history for Slovenia as his race win in the #mxgp + MX2 #moto was the first ever for their nation in this #Event. The HRC rider grabbed the holeshot but was pushed out in the second corner and had to spend the first half of the #moto looking for a way to get back into the lead. Eventually he made the pass and despite some late pressure, he won the #moto and proved once again that he is fastest 450cc rider in 2019. In the third #moto, his second, he once again grabbed the holeshot and led for the first three laps before a small tip-over dropped him two places. He regrouped quickly though and set about trying to regain the lead, and although he had the fastest lap of the race, he couldn’t make the pass he needed to go one-one. However, his three points were still half as many as the next rider in the #mxgp class and that meant he added another award to an already packed trophy cabinet.
Next up for the 2019 #mxgp world champion is a trip stateside as he looks to take on the best supercross riders in the world at the Monster Energy Cup in Las Vegas on October 19th.
Unfortunately Team Japan were unable to make it out of the B-Final as Akira Narita sat out of the race due to the incident in yesterday’s qualification race. That meant it was just down to Gota Otsuka and Toshiki Tomita and despite them trying their best, they just weren’t able to take the win they needed to make it into the A-Final.
Calvin Vlaanderen 10
Last year didn’t go as planned but we came into this year feeling confident and even though the rain made it a bit harder, we still knew we had a really good chance of winning. For myself, I had a pretty good day and I came close to winning the MX2 class, which was my goal, but I came second and that was still good enough. I was second and third for the MX2 riders in each race, 10-10 in the overall classifications and I was happy with how I rode and especially happy to help the Netherlands win the Motocross of Nations. Last year I felt terrible and I felt like I let down the team but this year I am extremely proud to be a part of this winning team.
Tim Gajser 243
It was a good day. The weather wasn’t the best and the track became a bit of a mess but I took two good starts, two holeshots and then I was able to win the first #moto too so it was good. I’m a bit disappointed to make that little mistake in the second #moto when I was winning but I came back very close to the leader at the end so overall I’m super happy. It’s been an incredible season and this is just another great moment to win a #moto and to become the first Slovenian rider ever to do so.
Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager – MXGP
The Motocross of Nations is always a crazy #Event and this year was no different. The rain made it a real test for the whole team but everyone did their job and it was great to see our two riders up on the podium at the end of the day. I am really proud of Calvin, to come out after last year and ride like that and do exactly what he needed to do to help the Netherlands win the #Event. He fully deserves it and we are all delighted that he could perform so well in his last MX2 race.
As for Tim, he did what he has done all year and that is win motos and overalls. The first race was a really intense #moto and despite tremendous pressure from the home-team rider, he held onto the win and showed why he became the #mxgp champion. He almost did the same in race two, but second place was still enough to win the #mxgp class and set a couple of new records in the process.