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Tim Gajser interview - Leader

Tim Gajser interview - Leader

Jul 9

  • Interview

While it was Jorge Prado and Jeffrey Herlings who took victory in Lombok the last 10 days, it is still Tim Gajser, leaving Indonesia with the same points lead he had coming into these two rounds, which makes me feel like, he is going to be hard to beat as the last eight rounds are played out. With a 34 gap between himself and Prado, the MXGP title isn’t being packed up and sent special delivery to Slovenia, but the fact the worst results for the HRC man so far are his results in the mud of Portugal and round second Spanish Grand Prix.

Even his 3-5 results in the opener in Lombok didn’t cause him too much concern and unlike the DNF results from both Prado and Herlings, life hasn’t been too hard for Gajser just yet. He has never gone worse than third in the Saturday qualifiers, with five wins and six second places and his Sunday moto results are loaded with first, second and third results.

Despite being pushed around a little by both Prado and Herlings in Indonesia, by Prado in the opening Grand Prix when the Spaniard brake checked him and Herlings last Saturday, when he pushed him around twice. Gajser isn’t playing that game though, and just concentrated on himself and remains a class act. We caught up with him as he nursed a slight hand injury after Sunday’s press conference.

MXLarge: A good way to come back after missing the podium last weekend?

Gajser: Yes, last weekend we didn’t feel good on the track. Maybe also the set-up was off, and the bike was too stiff, but we did a great job making the changes and it worked better. I enjoyed it more, but shame about the two crashed, because we were pushing with Jeffrey and happy to go home safe. Getting three holeshots is a great accomplishment for me and for the team and I must thank all of them for all the work they do. I am very happy to be heading back to Europe with the red-plate and to be fit, healthy and still feeling like I’m riding well. Now we have Loket, which isn’t my best track, but I always get a lot of support and I’m excited to see all my Slovenian fans. And also, a big thank you to the hospitality shown by all the Indonesian fans and supporters who really add so much to this race, and I hope to see you all again next year.

MXlarge: You looked tired after the first moto. What did you do to recover?

Gajser: Yes, exactly. After the first one, I didn’t feel the best, you know. We didn’t have a lot of time to recover, like one and a half hours, but we recovered well, the team did a good job, and we were ready for the second race.

MXLarge: What have you done to your hand (Gajser had an ice pack on his hand)?

Gajser: Nothing too bad. When I had a moment in the race, I lost the hand off the handlebar and hit the clutch, it’s okay. I just need to put ice on it.

MXLarge: You didn’t win last Sunday and lost points to Jorge, but you again gained a lot of points over him in the championship from the second Lombok round, and that must feel pretty satisfying?

Gajser: I am walking away this weekend more satisfied than last weekend. Last week I was way off the pace, but this weekend, I had the speed, and we were really pushing with Jeffrey, and I just made little mistakes that cost me quite a lot. I fell in both motos and when its like it is here, so hot, it isn’t easy to regroup. I am happy, we did some big changes compared to last weekend and it was working well. I am really happy to see when we struggle, the team stands together and we find a solution.

MXLarge: Both Jorge and Jeffrey have made tough moves on you the last couple of weeks, maybe knowing the situation with the points. Jorge in the opening round last week and Jeffrey yesterday (Saturday). You never retaliate, and I know you don’t like to ride like that, but is there a moment you feel like maybe paying them back?

Gajser: I mean, I would rather do my thing, you know. With Jorge, I was angrier with myself, I was pissed with myself a little bit, maybe I should have expected that, you know, with some brake checking, things like that. At the end of the race, I was more pissed with myself. With Jeffrey, yesterday he was aggressive, and we talked about it this morning and he said he was sorry. It is racing, and everyone wants to win. I prefer to not ride like that and have clean racing.

MXlarge: How did you feel on Saturday?

Gajser: It’s a bit frustrating to lose the lead that close to end of the race, but I am happy with my riding overall and I felt much better than last week. I am also very happy with how I started, and that is thanks to all the work everyone does, so I’m hoping I can continue with this momentum and keep getting the holeshots.

MXLarge: Did you prefer the track the way it was this week, going the opposite way?

Gajser: If I am completely honest, as it seems like the track as more flow, but it was still rather tight, you know. For 450s, we have so much power, and they are really strong bikes, and it isn’t easy keeping them on the track if its narrow. Specially when it is so narrow and so many 180 corners. I still felt this weekend was better.

MXLarge: Loket seems like a track that should suit you, have you won there before?

Gajser: No, have never won there. I always struggle with the track with no grip, it was similar here in Lombok, a lack of traction and grip. We did make some changes here, which should also help in Loket. I think it will give me more trust with the front end. The changes will be good for the upcoming races.

MXlarge: You are always somebody who enjoys life and coming here is always an adventure. I heard you stayed in a pretty nice hotel, but can you tell me how it went here in Indonesia?

Gajser: Actually, it has been nice, but I cannot wait to go home. It has been a nice two weeks. We had a really nice hotel and we wanted that a lot. We wanted a place where we can have proper food and a nice place to sleep. So, we ate normal food, that was are used to. Between the races, we didn’t ride the bike, so no training on the bike, but we worked hard in the gym. We also had some fun with the team, went out on a boat going around to see nice places. I think it is important to have the balance, enjoying life, but also working hard. The season is so long, and we have so many races, and there are no weekends off. It was nice the time between the race, being away from the bikes.

Bavo Swijgers/HRC images

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