Jonathan McCready: It was a move that initially came out of the blue when it was rumoured a couple of months ago and it ultimately seemed to cost the unfortunate Evgeny Bobryshev his ride at Honda.
But it does seem to strengthen Honda’s foundations with the might of Japan now backed by a big sponsor, but let’s hope it isn’t a long term exit strategy by HRC to invest less in motocross now they have the backing of another revenue source. HSF already know how to run a good team as they proved in MX2 and their backing will only improve Honda as they bring knowledge and money to the table alongside HRC’s proven technical quality.
And looking further down the line, if Tim Gajser does go to America by 2020, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Honda and HSF put a big money offer into Jeffrey Herlings. Honda reportedly wanted Herlings before he re-signed with KTM and gave him a big money offer then, and now with Dutch company behind them, they might just be positioning themselves long-term for another run at the man who many feel is the fastest man on the planet.
The under the radar signing of Calvin Vlaaderin I believe will be a good move for Honda. This guy is very fast when he is injury free and (as well as Hunter Lawrence) Honda will have a very strong presence back in MX2 which is important for their new 250f. With the 250f machine a popular purchase for club racers it seems logical that manufacturers would want to invest in top riders to get their machines some top results and Honda, after Tim Gajser moved up, have struggled to get back at the sharp end but 2018 might see a return to the front, hopefully adding another manufacturer to the front of the series.
Brian Bogers’ move to the 450 was surprising but the more you think about it the more it makes sense. Bogers is a bigger guy and has often struggled with his starts in MX2 but when he gets them he can run at the front so the talent is clearly there. He still had a year’s eligibility in MX2 but going up a year early gives Brian somewhat of a pressure-free season to learn the ropes of the class and the bike, and by 2019 he should be ready to really get amongst it.
Like a lot of the MX2 riders, Bogers seems to be a bit under-rated but this guy is fast and I believe the 450 will suit his style more. The issue is the incredibly tough class he will be going into that has GP winners throughout the top 15 and podium men across the entire top 20!
The best of the best are in MXGP and Bogers will have to adjust to that as well as the 450. But with time the Dutchman could well blossom into a top rider on the big bike.
Andy McKinstry: “It was announced a while ago that HSF Logistics and HRC Honda will join forces for the 2018 season and beyond. Due to this collaboration, Brian Bogers joining the team was one of the worst kept secrets in the paddock.
What’s HSF joining forces with HRC Honda mean for the future? Well, I predict there will be lots of finances available. Honda have already confirmed they need a plan in place if Gajser decides to go to USA. With HSF now on board, finances shouldn’t be a problem and they will go for whoever the want in future. So, they might not have to worry too much if Gajser does leave them in the future.
As for Bogers joining the team, I would have liked to see him stay in the MX2 World Championship until he reaches the age limit. Although having said that I do think he’ll suit the 450cc more than the 250cc machine. The problem he faces is how high the level is in MXGP! The Dutch rider should learn plenty from Gajser though as the pair will be training in Italy together before the season.
It’s assumed that Bogers is only getting the ride due to the HSF Logistics collaboration which to some extent might be true. However, I believe that Giacomo Gariboldi rates him highly and has actually tried to sign him in the past. Gariboldi is always very good at working with younger riders and getting the best out of them. It’s just a shame his signing is at the expense of Evgeny Bobryshev.
So, what should we expect from Bogers in 2018? Well, it’s a rookie year and the level is possibly at an all time high. I think at the start of the season he could be battling for 15-20 positions but he should get better as the season progresses and go for some top 10 results. He could be a surprise in the future as he should only continue to get stronger.”