For the last few weeks we’ve heard rumors of plans by Tim Gajser to line up for the 2017 Monster Energy Cup that will take place in October. During our walk into the paddock at the 2017 MXGP of USA over the weekend, we had a quick moment to talk with Gajser and he confirmed to us that he intends to make the trip for a one-off appearance at this year’s race.
The Team Honda HRC rider hoped to compete in the Supercross-style event in 2016, yet suffered a series of shoulder injuries after clinching the 2016 Monster Energy FIM Motocross World Championship and was forced to withdraw just before the American event. The Slovenian racer has shared his career plans with us in the past and originally hoped to move to the United States full-time in 2018, but a difficult season in the MXGP series will keep this from happening in the immediate future.
Gajser is very interested in Supercross racing, as he has a Supercross-style practice track on his European property and watches videos of past races closely to learn the technique.
UPDATE | Funny what you find in the spam folder of an email. Four days ago Team Honda HRC issued a press release that further confirmed the plans, but we missed it while covering the 2017 MXGP of USA. It’s posted in full below.
Tim Gajser will make his hotly-anticipated debut in the Monster Energy Cup on Saturday 14th October at the Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, as he and the #243 Honda CRF450RW will tackle this flagship event with Team HRC.
Gajser is a big fan of supercross and regularly trains on his own private Supercross track in Slovenia. He will take on the three 10 lap main events for the first time in his career working out of the American Honda Rig.
Inside the floodlit stadium in the city that never sleeps, the Monster Energy Cup brings together the world's top riders to battle it out for the highly coveted Monster Energy Cup and one million dollars in prize money. Winners in the past include AMA supercross champions Ryan Villopoto and Eli Tomac. The event is one of the most watched race events of the year. Its unpredictability and technical track layout offers a racing spectacle that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
I am really looking forward to racing in the Monster Energy Cup this year. I want to go there, have fun and enjoy it as racing in a stadium in America is a whole new experience for me. I have an awesome new limited edition kit from Fox to debut on the night which I think everyone will love. Obviously when I enter a race the goal is to win but this is completely something new for me as I am entering without any real expectations of where I will be. I have a track at home that I can train on so after MXGP I will add more Supercross elements to it to help me prepare for the race. I want to come out to America a week early to practice on an American Supercross track. – Tim Gajser
Team HRC are really looking forward to seeing how Tim performs in this prestigious event alongside many of his American counterparts. It is one of the most popular none championship events that is in the supercross calendar and draws interest from around the world. This is the first time that Tim has ridden at this type of event, we were originally scheduled to race this event with Tim in 2016 but a shoulder injury prevented his participation. It goes without saying that Tim will have a great deal of support from the MXGP paddock with everyone wanting him to put on a good show on his CRF450RW. – Roger Harvey, HRC General Manager