Brian Bogers is currently in Sardinia preparing for the 2019 season as he’ll contest the MXGP World Championship. Due to injuries he missed the most of 2018 in what was supposed to be his rookie season in the class.
At least the young Dutch rider has had a full winter to prepare for 2019 and he’ll be hoping for some good results on his HRC Honda.
Obviously 2018 didn’t go so well, but we’ll start off with 2019. How is off-season training going? How is the pre-season?
Bogers: The off-season training went really well. I needed a lot of time to get back into it and get fit again, because you work all those years on physical and then in eight months, three surgeries, you throw almost everything away. So you need to start all over again. In a few months of time to get back fit, it’s very hard. But nothing is impossible. I’m very looking forward to the next season. We go for it.
Missing last season, how hard is it to sit on the sidelines and just watch racing?
Bogers: You don’t want to know. I’m serious. It’s really hard, especially the first time when I had a surgery in Italy. The doctors told me it’s two months of rest and then you can go again. But after one week in the hospital, I went back to Belgium for a checkup. There they said immediately, come in five days. You need to come back because you will need another surgery. It’s not correct. Then you think, shit. You’re not going to be there at the first round. So then you hope you miss maybe four rounds, five rounds. After I think four months I was laying on the couch watching the GP’s. But I did what the doctor said. I wanted to take rest. It’s your foot, and you need to walk with it, you need to ride with it. So I really wanted to give the rest what it needed. If the foot is not good, maybe your motocross career is over. But after four months, I made a scan and the doctor said for me everything looks fine, so you can start again. So I started physical training again. After two weeks, I started on the bike again, just slowly. I started with ten minutes. Then we build it, but slowly because the season was actually already over for me. So I also didn’t want to go back as soon as possible because I missed already so much months. So first I wanted to be a little bit fit again because in MXGP class, you know how tough it is. But then after two weeks of riding, I felt a little bit pain. So I thought by myself it was maybe an inflammation or something because I start using it again. So I went to the doctor. They made an x-ray. They took some blood. On the x-ray already they saw that it was broken again. Then you get a kind of depression. Then you know the whole year is over and you will need another surgery. That was really bad for me. Then I had a few weeks, a few months maybe that I was really, really down. What I said, it was a depression. But I got back up. I kept my head up. I was focusing on the new season, of course, and to start all over again.
You did manage to ride one GP, a little bit of another. You rode Assen. How important was that mentally as well as physically just to get that one GP done?
Bogers: That was it for me. I was eight months on the couch watching the other guys. Then finally I could start again after I think ten months. It was an amazing feeling that I maybe could ride Assen, but I had only three weeks left. So ten months almost not riding, and then three weeks riding and go for Assen, that’s impossible. It’s impossible. Even I had the drive inside me that I even could get the first heat 16th place, which I was very happy with because only three weeks of riding. Second race unfortunately I crashed again. It was not so big deal. I really enjoyed riding there. It was amazing. The feeling again to be with the guys on the start straight and everything of that. I watched all the races on the television, and then I was there by myself. It was a really good feeling. In Imola, another rider hit me in the back and I crashed just slowly. I hit my knee on the ground, so I had a little injury in my meniscus. So unfortunately I couldn’t race the first and second heat. That’s also okay now. Everything is fine now. I’m very happy with that.
This injury happened just as you’d moved up from the MX2 class into a new team, onto a new bike, onto a new size of bike. How difficult was that, that your first year in MXGP went so badly?
Bogers: Yeah. When you move to the MXGP, the level is very, very high. So even when I was fit, when I was in a good rhythm it would be very difficult. Now with the crash and everything, it makes it even more difficult. But what I said, nothing is impossible. I know I can be with the other fast guys. I won’t stop pushing until I be there, on the top step of the podium of course. I think it’s possible. With this team around me, everything is possible.
What do you hope to achieve this year? Is it set results? You said you just wanted to ride all year. But have you got results in mind? Specific GP’s in mind? Or is it just to see how it goes and just improve?
Bogers: If you’re riding in the MXGP, you don’t look how it goes. Of course, there is a goal and I think the goal is to be in the end of the year in the top ten. I want to be close to the top five, maybe some races even on the podium. I know that will be very tough, but we’re going to work for that and I think I will be better every race. Because what I said, I missed one year, so I need to get back in the rhythm and every race that will be better and better.
Lastly, obviously it’s a long way off. The Motocross of Nations. You came second with Team Netherlands in Maggiora. It’s in Assen this year. It’s a home Nations. Is that in the back of your mind? Have you kind of got one eye on that a little bit?
Bogers: Yeah. If the Holland team chooses me, of course I will give everything for that. I really enjoy riding for my home country. If the possibility is there, I think especially in Assen, I know for sure we can win there, if nothing goes wrong. That’s always possible, you see with the USA guys for sure. They thought we have this, but you see if something happens, it can go badly very quickly. But Jeffrey is strong. Glenn is strong. I will be strong. Calvin will be strong. We have a lot of Dutch riders who are very strong. It’s up to Team Netherlands who they choose.
Pics: Shot by Bavo