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Interview: Tim Gajser on his Spanish podium, hopes for an MXGP in Slovenia and the 2025 prototype Honda

Interview: Tim Gajser on his Spanish podium, hopes for an MXGP in Slovenia and the 2025 prototype Honda

It has been a very solid start to the MXGP World Championship season for Tim Gajser. This time last year he was injured so to come through the first two rounds this year with two podiums and sitting second in the championship and only ten points off is a positive start.

After the second round in Spain, we caught up with Gajser to discuss his start… you can listen/watch or read below:

GateDrop: Tim, a solid weekend for you here in Spain. Obviously you want to win GP’s but a podium is also a good day… So, overall a solid day and you’re still healthy after two rounds…

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Gajser: Yeah, I have to say I have to be satisfied. You know, today the track was not easy. The first moto I didn’t have the best start, I have to came through the pack and make some nice quick passes in the beginning to get into second place.

Then in second moto, I had a better start, I was with Jorge there at the beginning and also Roman, so all four… let’s say the fastest ones, we were at the front so the pace and riding was good. Happy to finish second, you know it is solid points for the championship. It is still early in the season you know, just the second GP but I think it’s important to be consistent. You know, it is important to not make let’s say big mistakes and so far, so good.

GateDrop: Just on the second moto, you sort of touched on it there but it was nice to see the big four get away and you were all there on the first lap. It looked like the pace was high, did it feel high out there? How close where you go 100%?

Gajser: I mean like the pace was good. You know, we were pushing and even the lap times were quite good, you know. Especially I tried to push towards the end and I drop a little bit the lap times and I closed a little bit to Prado but then when we got to the lappers which was quite difficult. You know, they didn’t really move so it was not easy because the ruts were super deep. From one corner to the other was just one lined so they couldn’t really move out of but anyway yes I think the second moto was a good one, you know.

GateDrop:  Jorge Prado was obviously very very fast today but I think the big thing is the first few laps, he’s obviously always getting a holeshot and he’s very quick in the first two laps… maybe between now and Riola you will work on the starts and maybe the first couple of laps sprint speed because you can’t afford to let him get away…

Gajser: (laughs) Yeah, exactly. We all know that Jorge is a good starter, you know and I think with doing Supercross, I know from my experience with that type of racing, the first two laps is super intense so I think you get that from Supercross racing.  But yeah, I mean we are always working on the starts, you know. I feel that we improve this year at the starts a little bit but still plenty of room to improve, it is definitely way more easier if you start at the front. In second, third, or fourth,  you know because you have a clear track in front of you and you can pick lines with less risk as well so yeah we are working on it trying to be always be in front.

Image: Shot by Bavo

GateDrop: What was your thoughts on the track this weekend? Obviously yesterday there was no track prep whatsoever so it was very very technical… Today was maybe more open and not quite as rutty but it was still technical out there…

Gajser: Yeah, yesterday was super rough with many deep lines and ruts. But today they were fixing a little bit so they opened it up a little bit the outsides and making the danger spots a little bit flatter. This is really good and makes the racing better let’s say and more safer. But overall it was a typical Spain  GP, let’s say.  I kind of like expected that from coming here previous years years it was was always like that, rutty and quite bumpy.

GateDrop; What’s your thoughts on having a GP here at this Madrid man made track, but you’ve got it right beside the mall and a big crowd – I think these GP’s are important as well as going to old school tracks as well because it’s easier for people to come here…

Gajser: I think it’s good, you know and we are close to the capital to Madrid so there’s always many people show up. You could see today on the podium there was so many people and that’s super nice to see. It’s like a stadium  with the stands, so you can hear them really loud.  When you’re riding I think yes it’s important to keep the old school tracks you know, but also some GP’S like that, it’s not too bad.

GateDrop: Obviously you’re from Slovenia and Slovenia doesn’t have an MXGP World championship at the moment… Is that something you would like as I think every top rider should have a home GP…

Gajser: I mean, yes I hope, I hope…

GateDrop: Do you think there’s any tracks that it would be possible at or would they have to build one like they have here in Madrid?

Gajser: They would need to do it like they have here. We don’t have a track that would have enough space, you look at the paddock,  the public, you know all these things… yeah I just hope that it’s going to happen you know before I finish my career.

GateDrop: Obviously you’ve got the new prototype 2025 Honda, you made the debut at the international Italian Championship. How did you feel first jumping on the bike and between then and now, have you made many changes to make it better?

Gajser: Yeah, the new Honda is good, you know, I’m really happy and I felt immediately really comfortable on it. When I see it the first time and on the track in November last year, we haven’t really did too many changes since the races that I did in Italian Championship because I was quite quick comfortable on it. We found a good base, good setup and we didn’t change quite a lot. Of course, clickers here to there you know like from track to track you obviously you have to change but like nothing too big.

GateDrop: Last question, obviously it was technical track so it was easy to make a mistake out there but actually you were really smooth this weekend. Is that something you’ve been working on?

Gajser: I think it’s really important on the tracks like that to be smooth. You know, the more you are aggressive the more you’re making mistakes more and you lose the power, let’s say you. You know, because the track was really really sketchy and if you were too aggressive it was not good. Yeah, definitely I’m working on it to be smooth to use less clutches because I usually use a lot of clutch so it helps you. When you are not using that much clutch then you become a bit more smoother so we are working on these kind of things.

Interview: Andy McKinstry

Images: Shot by Bavo