Team Honda HRC MXGP have confirmed that Brian Bogers and Tim Gajser will both miss the opening round of the 2018 Monster Energy FIM Motocross World Championship due to offseason crashes that resulted in injuries.
Bogers sustained a complex fracture-dislocation to his right foot in a practice crash in December that required two surgeries which completely fixated the foot against movement to expedite the recovery. It was widely expected that Bogers would miss the opening rounds due to the extended time off of the bike and lack of preparation with the Honda CRF450R.
Gajser overshot a tabletop jump during a preseason event in Italy this past weekend and the resulting impact with the handlebars resulted in Gajser being knocked unconscious along with two fractures to his jaw and the loss of teeth. He was immediately taken to a hospital for surgery and was then transported to Slovenia for a second surgery. Team Honda HRC MXGP states that Gajser will have a mandatory rest for the jaw to heal and is expected to return for the 2018 MXGP of Europe in Valkenswaard, which will take place on March 18th.
Calvin Vlaanderen will be the lone Team Honda HRC MXGP rider at the opening round, as he will compete in the MX2 class aboard the Honda CRF250R.
The full press release from Team Honda HRC MXGP is posted below…
Team HRC's Tim Gajser will miss the opening event of the 2018 MXGP season in Argentina as a result of the jaw injury suffered in the final round of the 'Internazionali d'Italia' in Mantova last Sunday. With teammate Brian Bogers still on his way to full recovery, the sole standard bearer of the team at Neuquén will be Calvin Vlaanderen aboard his Honda CRF250RW machine in the MX2 class.
After undergoing a successful surgery in Mantova on the evening of Sunday 18th February, Gajser checked out of the hospital the following day and was transported via ambulance to his native Slovenia, where he had another surgical operation – performed by jaw surgeon specialist Dr. Grošeta of Maribor Hospital – to further stabilize the fractured jaw.
With the recovery time estimated at three weeks and a mandatory rest for the two-time World Champion, Gajser will target a possible return to action at the MXGP of Europe at Valkenswaard.
“All things considered, I can say that I've been quite lucky. I slid with my right leg before going for a jump and that caused me to inadvertently open the throttle and that's why I overjumped. I landed basically at the base of the following jump and hit my face hard on the handlebar. I want to look at the bright side because it could have been much worse, and I'll be back sooner rather than later. I would like to thank the doctors and medical staff who took care of me, the team that stayed by my side and the fans and everyone who was seriously concerned about my well-being. I'll soon get a smile back on my face – and hopefully it will be a good-looking one, too!” – Tim Gajser
“First of all, we're happy that Tim had no serious injury to his body because it was quite a scary crash! The goal, for now, is to make sure he gets back to full fitness before jumping back on the bike but looks like it won't take too long this time. We can't wait to have him back on board with us and we wish him a speedy recovery; he's a warrior, so he'll be stronger than ever.” – Marcus Pereira de Freitas HRC General Manager – MXGP