Officially called the MXGP of Asia, Semarang will host the 12th round of the world motocross championship and the second of the two back to back races in the motorbike hotbed of Indonesia. With over five million of the population riding Honda, Tim Gajser’s victory at Palembang last weekend was extremely well received and the Team HRC rider will be hoping to do the same again in Semarang. Brian Bogers will also look to build upon his best result of the season and MX2 rider Calvin Vlaanderen should improve every time he gets on the track after his return from injury.
Like last weekend, conditions in Semarang should be extremely hot and humid but all three riders have been staying in Indonesia in order to acclimatise as best as possible. For Gajser, this means continuing his current regime that has seen him win the last six MXGPs in a row and pull out a virtual point’s lead of 161 over his next active challenger. Having also achieved four holeshots in a row, it is safe to say that Gajser and his Honda CRF450RW are performing extremely well right now and will head into the weekend full of confidence that this run can continue.
Fellow CRF450RW rider Bogers is also buoyed by his season-best eighth overall in Palembang and with some good conditioning this week, he will be hoping to go even better on a track that will be brand new to him as he missed the 2018 edition through injury.
MX2 rider Vlaanderen has very fond memories of the venue though, going five-two for third overall last year at the big, wide open track. The result was part of a run of results that saw him on the podium for three GPs in a row and included two race wins and while he’d obviously love to be back to that kind of form, his expectations are tempered by the fact that he has only just returned back from injury. However, last weekend was a promising comeback after a five GP absence with a fourth place finish in moto one especially pleasing. With another week of physical training under his belt, he’ll be hoping for even more improvement as he tries to get back to his podium-challenging early season form.
Like last weekend in Palembang, the MX2 action gets underway with free practice at 10:45am local time on Saturday 13th July, follow by the MXGP class at 11:15. The qualification races then take place at 16:10 and 16:55 respectively that evening. On Sunday 14th July, warm-ups are at 10:25 and 10:45 before the first MX2 and MXGP gate drops are at 12:15 and 13:15.
Tim Gajser 243
I really like the Semarang track, it is a much bigger track than the one in Palembang, and it has some big jumps and a wider layout so you have more line selection. I am really excited to race there but this week I have spent a couple of days in Bali to relax a little bit. I used the gym of course to continue my fitness and I made sure to get used to the weather because I believe it will be another hot event in Semarang. Hopefully there I can continue my winning streak and give another good performance for all the Honda fans in Indonesia.
Brian Bogers 189
This week we went to Bali for a couple of days because it was a better option than going back to Europe. I needed to get used to the hot weather because for Palembang I only arrived the day before so it was a bit of a shock. Hopefully now after doing some training outdoors this week, I am more prepared because it is important to be in the right condition for these races. I didn’t race Semarang last year but it seems like a nice track and I hope to ride well in both motos.
Calvin Vlaanderen 10
It is definitely a cool track in Semarang. It’s a nice big track and I was on the podium last year with third overall, so I have good memories and it gives me some confidence coming into this weekend. We’re taking the positives from last weekend and I’ve tried to recover as best I could because it was quite a tough event in Palembang. I need to work on some starts for next weekend and I know that my fitness is improving all the time so I’m really looking forward to getting back on the race track.
Marcus Pereira de Freitas
HRC General Manager – MXGP
We had another successful weekend for all three riders last week and now we hope to do the same again in Semarang. Tim’s victory, plus some other news meant that the championship lead is now essentially 161 points so that is obviously really impressive and extremely exciting for all Honda fans. Brian was able to get his best overall result of the season with eighth and with a good week of training in hot weather we believe he can go even better in Semarang. It was also good to see Calvin riding last week for the first time in a long time and we know that he will improve each round just because he will be getting back to race shape. Overall, Team HRC is strong position and we are excited to get each round underway.
Words: HRC Honda
Pic: Shot by Bavo